Veteran center Emeka Okafor, who is being tracked by numerous teams in search of frontcourt help, is giving strong consideration to delaying his comeback from a neck injury until next season, according to league sources.
August 28, 2015 | 2:24 pm EDT Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: Yahoo Sources: Likelihood is free agent Carlos Boozer waits for NBA season to start, sees where a need and fit develops with playoff team.
After a busy summer that included his wedding, some basketball and, last night, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at a Hillsboro Hops game, Meyers Leonard is fired up for another NBA season. And fired up to help Damian Lillard with leadership on this year’s team. “Obviously, Dame and I are the guys who have been here the longest and he’s going to be our leader. But I hope to be right there by his side, kind of a co-leader, right there having his back through the ups and downs,” Leonard said Thursday night in Hillsboro.
The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club has made hires to its Athletic Performance Team, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. Keke (kay-kay) Lyles has been named Executive Director of Player Performance, Art Horne Head Athletic Trainer, Mike Roncarati Director of Rehabilitation and Chris Chase Athletic Performance Coach. They join Assistant Athletic Trainer Scottie Parker on the staff. “The health and well-being of our players are a critical component of our ability to succeed,” Budenholzer said. “Our Athletic Performance Team has a wealth of experience working with high-level athletes in injury prevention, treatment and development that will serve us well and keep us strong over the course of a long season.”
What’s the best thing you’ve eaten so far? Andre Iguodala: Last night I ate Yakiniku. It’s like Japanese barbeque. They bring you a steak, and you grill it on your own in front of you. The food last night was amazing. And cow tongue—we had cow tongue!
What’s on your travel bucket list? Andre Iguodala: I don’t have a buck list, really, but I really want to get back to Africa. I plan on next year or sometime in the next two years, at the most, on getting back to Africa. A good friend of mine was just there and had the experience of a lifetime, so I plan on getting back really soon. I’ve got to go to Nigeria, because that’s where my fathers from. I’d like to start there and go to a few other places.
It’s scary to think of what could be done with an 18-year-old Dawkins coming out of the 2015 draft. “A 6-11, physical, athletic, rim-protecting, running ‘big,’ ” said former Sixers general manager Ed Stefanski. “In the up-tempo style of today’s NBA, the big fella would have no problem. “[Dawkins] would be making a lot of money coming into the league right now.”
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.”