David Pick: Alexey Shved has turned down Knicks offer and is weighing return to Europe, said agent Obrad Fimic.
August 28, 2015 | 12:17 pm EDT Update
Steve Ballmer, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, has turned down a $60 million-a-year offer for local TV rights and is forging ahead with a plan to start his own over-the-top streaming network, The Post has learned. If he follows through on the plan, Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft, would be the first owner of a major US sports team to deliver games direct-to-consumer via a Web-based service and not through traditional cable or satellite companies, sources said.
Leonsis is weighing whether to build a glitzy Wizards basketball practice facility on the site of the former St. Elizabeths Hospital, a mostly vacant campus in Southeast D.C. that is considered one of the District’s largest redevelopment opportunities.
Boe said Leonsis expects to make a selection next month, which could mean the facility would be under construction by the next summer, when NBA teams go to the free agent market looking for talent. Among the players that might be available is four-time NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant, a native of Seat Pleasant — seven miles from St. Elizabeths — whom the Wizards are hotly pursuing. “It’s a huge recruiting tool for free agents. This is where the players go to to work every day,” Boe said.
Students at Motueka High School had their hopes dashed when NBA star Steven Adams failed to show for a planned visit. The students had been getting ready for the visit for weeks and were “very, very disappointed” to find out Adams wouldn’t be arriving on Friday morning, just over an hour before he was due, Year 13 dean Brian Jones said. He said Adams was only due to be at the school for half an hour and, with all the seniors on exam leave, all the juniors had filled up the gymnasium to see him.
But Adams’ mentor Kenny McFadden said neither he nor Adams knew the school was holding a special assembly for the visit, and they hadn’t signed up for any official school visits throughout Adams’ time in New Zealand. Adams arrived in Nelson on Wednesday with McFadden, coaches from Wellington and representatives from the Oklahoma City Thunder, for the New Zealand Basketball Association camp held at Saxton Stadium on Thursday. Adams visited Nelson College’s basketball teams for a training session on Wednesday.
Isaiah Thomas has been working out with Floyd Mayweather this summer. It turns out Mayweather is a huge trash talker, even when it’s someone else’s sport. In a new clip from Showtime’s upcoming All Access series, he talks a big game about beating Thomas at basketball when they play on opposing teams in pickup.
August 28, 2015 | 9:55 am EDT Update
On Thursday Jim Buss, part-owner and executive vice president of basketball operations, spoke to The Times about the upcoming season, the team’s draft picks, his rebuilding plan — and what could be the final season of Bryant’s career. “We’re going to approach it like it is, but that doesn’t mean it is,” Buss said of Bryant. “I’m not going to sit there and say, ‘This is it, Kobe, you’re done,’ because it’s not my decision, it’s his decision.”
So is this Bryant’s final year with the team? “My arms are like this,” Buss said, holding his arms wide open, about Bryant’s future. “He just has to know, at that age, and that many miles on you, what is your role? We’ll explain the role, and if he still wants to do that and that’s how he wants to go out, that’s fine with me.”
Ric Bucher: The expectacion is that Crawford could be going to a playoff team in the Eastern Conference somewhere later in the season [..] Chicago, Cleveland or a team that could use a little more perimeter shooting. But I’m definitely buying that the Clippers are interested in moving him now that they have Lance Stephenson in the fold.
The Lakers have traditionally built their championship rosters with big men, but the team passed on Duke center Jahlil Okafor to take Ohio State guard Russell with the second overall pick in the 2015 draft. “We’ve got high aspirations for him,” Buss said. “We normally look to get bigs, but [Russell] was just that impressive, that we just didn’t feel right passing up on him. “My enthusiasm for D’Angelo Russell, I have to curb it because I’m so excited about it. He could be anything in this league.”
Buss also believes strongly in Coach Byron Scott. “He has the Laker blood in him,” Buss said. “[Mike] D’Antoni and Mike Brown, they weren’t Lakers. They loved the Lakers and they tried their best and I think they’re both great coaches. “I’ll take blame for that, but there was a lot of people, including my father [the late Jerry Buss] and Mitch [Kupchak], who were in favor of these changes. But it feels like we’ve righted the ship. We’ve got the coach, we’ve got the players.”
August 28, 2015 | 6:31 am EDT Update
Lowe asked Olshey about whether the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, which didn’t allow the Blazers to give LaMarcus Aldridge a more lucrative extension last year hurt them, and Olshey said that it did. But he also said that it helps other teams avoid getting hamstrung by players at the end of their usefulness from demanding tons of years and money.
Olshey was also asked about reports claiming that LaMarcus Aldridge was prompted to say that he wanted to be the best Blazers player ever. Olshey laughed it off, saying he didn’t think it came “from a very reliable media outlet… it was a blog or something.” Lowe began to remind Olshey that it originated from Blazer’s Edge, but Olshey cut him off, asking what he (Olshey) would gain from prompting LaMarcus to make those comments.
In a report by TMZ, it was stated that Lawson attended a hearing for his case in Denver last week with the judge saying that he’s made “excellent progress.” Another hearing for his case in Los Angeles is scheduled for next week. “I spoke to Ty. That’s my best friend,” said Faried, who’s about to enter his fifth year in the NBA. “We talk frequently – just about BS, like we just have conversation – and it was tough, you know, cause like I said that’s my best friend, that’s my boy, we was tight, but it’s the nature of the beast. It’s business. You can’t really dwell on the past.”
The additional strength should allow Davis to hold his ground better against bigger frontcourt players he faces, some of whom have outweighed or outmuscled him in the past. “He’s going to be stronger, faster, quicker and more explosive this year,” said Sumerlin, who has also emphasized core strength. “He talks about it all the time. He feels it. His trunk stability is a huge thing. Whenever he has been down low with the big guys, he kind of collapses (at his midsection). He’s starting to understand how to use his body more efficiently now.”
Cousins and Shumpert joined Chandler Parsons, Caron Butler, Tyreke Evans, Roger Mason, Alan Anderson and Gal Mekel on the trip organized by the Omri Casspi foundation. The Sacramento Kings forward started the nonprofit organization last year, and the players took part in promotional events and basketball clinics. “Even though we’re in the middle of a conflict, whatever is going on, this trip wasn’t a political trip,” Casspi said. “It was a fun trip. We had a great time. That’s the most important thing.”
You’ve called DeMarcus Cousins a “brother for life.” Why? Casspi: Me and DeMarcus met, it was my second year and it was his first. We had a good connection, you know? It’s like with your family; you can tell them everything. They trust you and you trust them in the same way. If you do something wrong, they’ll tell you and vice versa. He came all the way from the United States to see my family and meet my family. Seeing him having dinner and talking to my mom and dad and my sister … we have a special bond and I love him. So he’s my brother.
Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook is getting a ring even before the NBA season begins — he’s marrying his longtime GF this weekend in a pretty baller setting. TMZ Sports has learned … Russell and Nina Earl will walk down the aisle in Beverly Hills on Saturday — just about a year after they started planning. As we reported, they announced their engagement last September … when Nina posted a pic of her $700k ring!
One season Dawkins had to miss several games with a sore shoulder. He was unable to lift his right arm above his head to shoot or dunk. He was sent to the see the Sixers team doctors and was given a program of rest and therapy and had to undergo treatment from a transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulator. The pain eventually subsided until the next road trip. That’s when the late Chuck Daly, then assistant coach, noticed Dawkins boarding a team flight singing aloud. “Do you think?” Daly asked, pointing at a boombox the size of a small house perched on the big man’s shoulder.
“The world could be crashing down around him, and there was never a day when I didn’t see him with a smile on his face,” Collins said in a phone interview Thursday. “He used to call me Paul Douglas, because that’s my full name — Paul Douglas Collins. And I’d call him Double Stick of Dynamite or D Double D. He was so talented. The game came so easy to him. Maybe too easy. I can’t even imagine how big he’d be if he came along today in this age of social media and top 10 highlights.”
Laughing now, Collins tells a story of sitting next to Dawkins in the locker room in Portland the season the 76ers and Blazers played for the 1977 NBA title and listening in as a sneaker company rep bent Dawkins’ ear about how his company was willing to pay Dawkins double if he’d switch to their brand. “Well, when the guy said how much more they’d pay him,” Collins recalled, “Darryl looked at me and said, ‘Paul Douglas, these old sneakers I have on are killing my feet! I am going to have to get rid of them, just throw ’em in the trash.’ And I said, ‘Darryl, you can’t do that! We’re in the NBA Finals!'” Dawkins stopped. Thought it over. Then came up with this Solomon-like solution: He took the court wearing one shoe from the new sneaker company that was chasing him and one from the first company he’d signed with.