Once again this season, with Lillard going from player to player to assure they followed through, the team voted to give up their full shares. The money was divided among 25 support staff, with some getting more than others depending on their role. “We divide our playoff shares to give to the people who we work so closely with because they spend as much time away from their families as we do, and they are just about as invested as we are,’’ Lillard said after the season. “They also do as much as possible to make our lives easier, even if it makes theirs more difficult – all while making far less. So it’s a further way of showing appreciation beyond a thank your or a handshake.’’
July 23, 2017 | 7:01 pm EDT Update
No matter the reconstruction of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ roster, no matter the potential for heightened inner turmoil, no matter the win-loss record, and with or without Kyrie Irving, LeBron James will not waive his no-trade clause for any teams at any point during the 2017-18 season, league sources tell ESPN.
James, along with Dirk Nowitzki and Carmelo Anthony, are the only players equipped with no-trade clauses. The Cavaliers’ superstar holds a $35.6 million player option for the 2018-19 campaign, which means he could elect to test unrestricted free agency next summer. In regards to that scenario, a decision has not been made.
Sources are adamant that James is fully committed to leading the team with the personnel the organization imports to training camp in September. His primary focus is next season, an entire season with the Cavs in pursuit of another championship.
John Kundla, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and one of the top coaches in NBA history, died Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis. Kundla, who was the oldest surviving Hall of Fame member of the four major sports, was 101.
When the Minneapolis Lakers were formed in the summer of 1947, the 31-year old Kundla wasn’t the team’s first choice to be its head coach. When he was offered the position, he turned it down. After becoming the Lakers’ coach, he and the Lakers were an immediate success. Kundla remains the only coach in NBA history to win league titles in his first two seasons in the league.
July 23, 2017 | 5:18 pm EDT Update
Before the Lakers hosted the Denver Nuggets on Jan. 17 in what would be their 31st loss in 46 games, Jeanie Buss sat down for dinner with Johnson, the Hall of Fame Lakers point guard who remained a close friend. Jeanie is two years younger than Magic, and the two have shared a “genuine, innocent, youthful connection” from the day he arrived as a 20-year-old rookie in 1979, Rambis said.
On that night, the friends reminisced about the days of Lakers glory, and Jeanie shared her concerns about the direction of the franchise. She had already given serious thought to deposing her brother and Kupchak from their roles. “Earvin and I were basically raised by the same person,” she said. “We see things the same way.”