Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin is expected to return to the team on Sunday or Tuesday, multiple sources told ESPN.com. Griffin went through a full workout in Los Angeles without any limitations Friday during the Clippers’ 129-99 loss to the Mavericks in Dallas. The plan is for him to return Sunday against the Houston Rockets, but there is a chance the Clippers will want to see him go through a practice and a shootaround with the team first, pushing his return to Tuesday against the Hornets.
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.
Kim Turner, a former Jazz public relations staffer, picked Dawkins up the day he was acquired and later took him to the airport to catch a flight to join the team in southern Utah. “I think I said, ‘Hello, I’m Kim Turner’ and in the next six hours the only thing I said was goodbye,” Turner said. “He was one thing after another, cracking jokes, telling stories. He honest-to-goodness wore me out.”
August 27, 2015 | 9:37 pm EDT Update
Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson will not suit up for Philippine national basketball team anytime soon. In an email to US-based Philstar.com contributor Homer Sayson, Mike Clarkson, Jordan’s father, cited timing as a factor in his son’s decision to pass on the chance to don the country’s colors, emphasizing Jordan’s current commitment with the Lakers in the NBA.
“As you know in professional sports, timing is of the essence especially when managing a player’s career,” he continued. “Unfortunately, the timing couldn’t be worse as he [Jordan] prepares for rigors of the upcoming 2015-2016 NBA season and heightened performance expectations.”
SC: It’s just from case to case, but you have to demonstrate your values and you have to demonstrate the unconditional care for your athletes that you’re trying to develop, but it’s a process of feeling it out, feeling personalities out, seeing how they mesh, so the athlete can kind of understand what they’re trying to get out of the private coaching, and match you up hopefully with that perfect coach that’s gonna get you there, and it’s just about getting in the gym, or on the field, or what have you, and going through the process. Basically, like what happened with our coach this year, Steve Kerr, he came in — he’s not a private coach — but the feeling out process was quick. I understood what that coach was about, and how he’s gonna inspire you to get better, and you just trust the process.
In recent years, the Heat have done as good a job of any team in the NBA of mixing unique, distinctive alternate uniforms in with their regular ones. During the last few years of the LeBron James era, they had a series of sharp-looking monochrome jerseys. Now, Heat owner Micky Arison threw out a hypothetical new design to test the waters with fans, a Miami Vice-themed set of jerseys that he asked fans to comment on at his Instagram page.
Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose on Thursday denied allegations that he sexually assaulted an ex-girlfriend in Aug. 2013, saying in a statement issued to USA TODAY Sports that he is innocent. “I am just focusing on staying healthy and getting ready for the season,” Rose said in the statement. “I am not going to comment other than to say – I know the truth, and am confident I will be proven innocent.”
August 27, 2015 | 8:08 pm EDT Update
There are rumblings that agent Rich Paul could deliver another client to his hometown team in the near future. Several league executives believe Canadian Tristan Thompson may head north to Toronto in the summer of 2016 if he signs his one-year, $6.8 million qualifying offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers. “I always thought he was going to end up (in Toronto) this year,” one Eastern Conference general manager told SheridanHoops. “There’s going to be so much money next year so I think he will get it.”