David Pick: Alexey Shved has turned down Knicks offer and is weighing return to Europe, said agent Obrad Fimic.
October 5, 2015 | 12:51 pm EDT Update
“When I signed, it wasn’t all the way done yet, but now, they have a new stadium coming,” Monroe said. “And I saw how the fans were. We played there, been coming there for years now, multiple times a year in the division. I know what kind of fan base they have. And I talked to a couple of my former teammates in Detroit who played here before, and they had nothing but great things to say about the city and the organization. So with all of that combined, I just definitely felt I made the right decision.”
And what can Bryant, ending a score with the same team — two decades’ worth of triumphs and jealousies, pride and pain — still bring to the table? “I think it’s experience, kind of what I’ve been through on my journey,” Bryant said. “That’s the most important thing. It’s not necessarily to tell the young kids, do this or do that. It’s more like, this is what I’m gonna do. These are some of the obstacles that I’ve met. And hopefully they can relate it to whatever it is that they’re going through. So that’s what I’m looking forward to bringing off the court.”
“I think he’s at a point in his career that he’s mature enough to accept certain things, and accept uncertainty,” said the Bulls’ Pau Gasol, one of Bryant’s closer friends and his Lakers teammate from 2008-14. “Probably earlier on in his career, he wouldn’t have dealt with it as well. But I think he understands they have a pretty young group — with some talent, for sure. But he also understands he’s in his 20th year in his career. He hasn’t had a full, healthy year for the last three years, pretty much. I think he’s just looking forward to having a healthy year and to compete and have fun and be the player he is, and we’ll see where the team goes.”
Me: So what did you do this summer in anticipation of what Fred was going to put in? JB: I just worked on putting that ball in that basket, to tell you the truth. I worked on my conditioning. I worked on being a playmaker. You know, I never really thought of it like this until Coach (Jim) Boylen said it to me the other day at practice. All summer, I’m working on my game, I’m working on my game — yeah, I think everybody knows that. But I step into practicing, making a few shots. And he was like, ‘you know, Jimmy, yeah, you’ve got an open shot. But you’ve got to start looking to facilitate, get the ball to the other guys more. Because, believe it or not, you’re going to be a key points on people’s scouting reports.’ I never thought of it like that. I never thought that, hey, Jimmy Butler may be on somebody’s scouting reports, like, ‘hey, we have to stop this guy.’ Seriously.
JB: I belong in this league. I’m here for a reason. I mean, I have to be semi-decent at this game. I may not be good, but I’m not bad. That’s how you have to look at it. Me: They drafted you. JB: Exactly. And they picked his ass, what, 11th. Traded for him. I was picked 30th. I was like an afterthought — you know what, 30th pick, I guess we’ll take that kid from Tomball. I’m glad they decided to take that kid from Tomball, to tell you the truth.
“We’ve done a good amount of playing together, scrimmaging, pick-up, but we definitely do need some game time,” said Green Sunday. “We’ve come together more each day. Obviously, we had some pick-up games early in September, but now, it looks better.” “The second unit is looking really good,” continued Green. “We don’t know who the first and second unit is as of yet, but the second unit that is right now, that we’re playing against is really good. They’ve got their chemistry down probably better than the first unit. As I said, it’s going to take some time, but each day, it’s coming together more and more.”
The Chicago Bulls will be draining jumpers on a new hardcourt this season. An updated court design was unveiled Monday when the Bulls were set to practice at the United Center as training camp in preparation for the 2015-16 season continued. The most significant change is the bull head at center court has increased in size by 75 percent and stands alone without an image of a basketball that had been behind it. In addition, the lines on the court have been changed from red and white to black.
Pau Gasol has different cultural tastes than a lot of his NBA contemporaries, but it would be pretty fun to spend an evening gallivanting with him around Chicago. Last night he took in a performance of Cinderella at Lyric Opera in Chicago. Afterwards, he got his picture taken with the star. It turns out that he’s significantly taller!
In a segment on ESPN First Take, Smith said “You don’t want to make an enemy out of me. And I am looking right at the camera.” He also said that if he was lying in his initial report about Durant going to the Lakers, Durant should sign a long-term deal with Oklahoma City to prove him wrong.
October 5, 2015 | 9:30 am EDT Update
But Anthony says he has plenty of good basketball left. In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.” “Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.
Karl, who angered his sixth-year veteran late last season by suggesting every player was tradeable, apologized during a Divac-facilitated meeting during the offseason that seems to have repaired the breach. “What I said, I should not have said,” Karl reiterated Friday. “But we all make mistakes. I make mistakes with game-planning, make mistakes coaching. DeMarcus makes mistakes. I think he was a little surprised (laugh) to hear me say that I make mistakes and that I’m going to ‘bleep up’ again.”
October 5, 2015 | 8:06 am EDT Update
During media day, Karl opened up to CSN’s Kayte Christensen and addressed the situation directly. For the first time in public, Karl gave a mea culpa that went largely unnoticed. “To be honest with you, I apologized to DeMarcus for making the trade comment that I’ve never coached a player that’s untradeable,” Karl told Christensen. “That was wrong for me to say, because you all (the media) took it and blew it up into crazy.”
“But it’s my responsibility to be smart enough to not say things like that,” Karl continued. “So I did apologize because I thought that was the only thing, maybe some other things, but really the only thing that got us separated was that comment that then everybody wrote the we’re going to trade [Cousins].”
Cedi Osman: In my mind, in the summer of 2017, I’m going to make the big step and go to the United States to play in the NBA. Until then, a big goal that I’d like to accomplish is to win the Euroleague! It’s a dream for which we have all the prerequisites and credentials to make it come true. At 22 and after some full seasons in the Euroleague and the TBL, I’d like to go to the NBA and begin my effort there. I’m happy that my rights are owned by the Cleveland Cavaliers and I hope that when I go there, I’ll meet LeBron James! I have a lot to learn from him!
Speaking to Aaron Bruski of the Koz and Bru Show, CSN Kings Insider James Ham said that rookie Willie Cauley-Stein could barely run up and down the court during training camp. “He is going to open the season at 14 minutes a game, if he’s lucky. When you show up to camp and you can’t run up and down the court twice without being so winded you have to pull yourself off the court, then something’s wrong.”
After his first game since late January, when he tore the rotator cuff in his right shoulder, ending his 2014-15 season after 35 games, Bryant said he felt “pretty good” and that it was “good to get out there.” He added that his legs feel strong and that he didn’t feel any fatigue. “It’s just getting the timing,” said Bryant, whose past three seasons have all been cut short by injury. “Getting timing. Getting acclimated to that again.”
Scott said the plan of playing Bryant 12 minutes was agreed upon before the game. “I told him before we went out, ‘Let’s just play the quarter and then let’s shut it down and see how you feel [Monday]. We’ll go through practice and then get ready for Tuesday,'” Scott said.
Nick Young shot 4-of-10 from the field, but it’s been no secret since the middle of last season that Scott is looking for a lot more than offense from the self-monikered Swaggy P. The coach said Young seems to have taken seriously his demands that he focus on defense, and not letting bad shooting nights affect his mentality. “I think he’s made strides in those departments that we talked about on both ends of the floor,” Scott said. “I’m going to harp on him all season long to continue to get better at it.”
Anthony Morrow said it on Thursday. Russell Westbrook backed him on Friday. The Billy Donovan offense is opening up scoring opportunities for every Thunder player, not just the shooters. “Definitely. Definitely more space,” Westbrook said. “Guys are in positions where they can score the basketball. The space is especially good for myself and it’s also good for guys that shoot the basketball really well, roll to the basket, whatever it is, can use their strengths really well.”