October 7, 2015 | 2:55 pm EDT Update
So, if I’m really being honest with myself, I want to play basketball, but if I had to sign today or tomorrow, the answer would be “No!!” I look at it like this: I’m not willing to play the role that I’ll be needed for right now, which is to provide veteran leadership, a locker room presence, insurance in case someone gets hurt, etc. In a few months, if the right team that has an identity and a need for what I bring calls me, then maybe. Rosters are full and everybody is trying to figure out what type of team they want to be. I’ve watched training camp practices on NBA TV and I don’t have a desire to go through that right now. I don’t think I need to be on a roster – and go through pre-season – for a team that doesn’t quite need me yet, doesn’t have an identity or know what they are going to be in the future. I have an identity and I know what I bring to a team. I’d rather sit back and enjoy my family and see my kids off to school every morning than sign with a team that has so many unknowns.
I don’t want to repeat my experience of the last couple of seasons as the “in case of emergency” guy, which was very hard. My mental preparation is intense, and I didn’t like getting myself mentally prepared, going through my game routine, lying to myself saying “tonight’s the night I’m going to play and help us win,” then not getting the chance…over and over again. The letdown at the end of the night was tough. That experience ate at my ego and made my confidence waver. It made me wonder if I was good enough or if I still belonged in the NBA. Luckily the respect and confidence that my teammates had for me kept me motivated to work hard and stay ready. To be prepared and know there’s more than a 90 percent chance that you’re not going to play is very hard. It was a lot less playing than I expected. After a long summer of training and competing, I realize that I can still contribute but “fit” is more important at this stage in my career.
And while I’m preparing to move on from the game, I’m still leaving that window open a little bit! If the right situation were to present itself, I will take a strong look at it. When I say the “right” situation, I mean this: if a team needs a big man who can knock down open jump shots, can guard his man in the post, understands good team defense, who has played in every different kind of basketball offense known to man AND can provide leadership, then I am a fit. If a team only needs my locker room leadership and my Ph.D. from playing for the best coaches and organizations for the last 20 years (college included), then I’m not your man. But I may be the man you need in your front office (humble brag). Truth is, I still love this game, I still have that competitor in me and I still feel like I can help a team. And regardless of what happens, I plan on staying in basketball shape.
Brett Dawson: Chris Douglas-Roberts working on being Anthony Davis’ nutrition coach: “AD is like my little brother. I’m trying to school him on ‘Put the damn Whopper down. You can eat anything in this world. You just got $200 million.”
Raul Barrigon: Adam Silver on CBA deal talks with Michele Roberts: “We continue to talk all the time. I think Michele Roberts and I both have the same goal which is to avoid any sort of work stoppage. And we know one of the ways to avoid a work stoppage is to talk early and often. And we’re doing that.”
October 7, 2015 | 1:47 pm EDT Update
The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday they have signed free agent Kadeem Jack. Jack is a 6-9, 235 lb. forward that played collegiately at Rutgers. The Pacers training camp roster now stands at 18.
Liz Mullen: Breaking: Happy Walters has left Relativity Sports. The sports agency will conduct a search for a new CEO. More in today’s Closing Bell.
Liz Mullen: Happy Walters announced today he is leaving Relativity Sports to form a new sports and media company. More in Closing Bell
October 7, 2015 | 12:55 pm EDT Update
Tristan Thompson remains a hold out as he and the Cleveland Cavaliers are in a stalemate with his restricted free agency. Thompson decided not to sign the Cavaliers’ qualifying offer and he’s been unable to agree upon terms on a multi-year deal. “I think it will take a third party event to bridge the gap here,” said Windhorst on Zach Lowe’s podcast. “I actually believe it will probably go months,” said Windhorst. “This will go well into the regular season.”
The AmeriLeague have acquired forwards Terrence Williams and Antoine Wright. Both have agreed to the terms of a contract that will allow the former 11th (Williams) and 15th (Wright) overall NBA draft picks to compete in the 2015-16 AmeriLeague season.
According to the source, Butler considers Rose a friend, but “doesn’t have a lot of respect for his work ethic.’’ In Butler’s mind, Rose was considered the face of the franchise, and if the face of the franchise wasn’t busting his butt in practice every day, especially last season, what was the message to the rest of the team?
Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook and Grammy-winning country music superstar Ronnie Dunn will be among the presenters at the 2015 Oklahoma Hall of Fame Banquet & Induction Ceremony.
Legendary member of the New York Knicks family, Harry Gallatin passed away on Wednesday at the age of 88. Gallatin holds a spot in the Madison Square Garden Walk of Fame and the Basketball Hall of Fame for his incredible achievements on the court. Considered a pioneer for his rebounding abilities, Gallatin was also nicknamed “The Horse” and considered the NBA’s original “Iron Man” during his nine seasons as a Knick.
October 7, 2015 | 11:42 am EDT Update
Before James and Blatt set the tone for the 2015-16 season by vowing to feature Love more prominently this year, they privately assured the 27-year-old forward the same this summer. “I expect, at least from a comfort level, things to be different this year,” Love said. “On and off the court, everybody has been making a big effort to make this thing start off really great.”
Rather than focus on those frustrating moments, Love owned up to his responsibility in contributing to them. “Naturally there were times last year where I didn’t feel as if I was always in the right spot or I was second-guessing myself where I should be out there on the floor,” Love continued. “So, I think as far as a comfort standpoint, I feel a lot better on how things stand as far as where to be in the offense and playing off of these guys.”
When Love showed up to camp, not only was he about 15 pounds lighter than he was at the start of last season, but several team officials noted how much stronger his legs appeared. In taking care of his shoulder, he seemed to have transformed his whole body.
Love said his ill-timed injury in the playoffs left him “very upset” and “down” and pretty helpless as he was reduced to a spectator of his own team. “What was the hardest part was obviously having to sit there and watch,” Love said. “Be in a suit and be in a sling and knowing that I could be out on the floor helping or doing different things and be at a way higher capacity than cheering helping the team. So, it was that … I really started to feel comfortable in what we were doing and then I hurt my shoulder. So, it was tough. Even if Kyrie had been healthy, who knows? But if I would have been healthy, who knows? It becomes a lot of what ifs.”
Oladipo’s first choice, of course, is to be selected to play for USA Basketball – the heavy favorites to win a third straight gold medal – in the Summer Olympics. However, if Oladipo is bypassed by USA Basketball, he could opt to play for Nigeria because of his parents’ heritage with the African country.
“Playing in the Olympics is definitely a dream, but I’ll worry about it when the time comes. Right now, the focus is on winning games for the Orlando Magic,’’ Oladipo said on Tuesday. “At the end of the day, whatever (Olympic) opportunity appears on the table, it will be about making the right decision that’s best for me.’’