NBA free agency opens up next week, and the player arguably at the top of the Nuggets’ wish list is one of their own — point guard Jameer Nelson. Nelson’s representation has informed the Nuggets he will opt out of the remaining year of his contract, but Denver remains a strong contender to re-sign him.
September 5, 2015 | 6:45 am EDT Update
One Nuggets player missing out on the tournament is center Jusuf Nurkic. The big man was set to play for Bosnia and Herzegovina, but knee surgery in late spring put an end to that. Nurkic has been rehabbing the knee in Denver with hopes of being ready when the season starts or soon thereafter.
Since then, he has made a case to rival his fellow future Hall of Famer with his body of work in a way few, not even Parker, would have imagined when he initially landed in San Antonio as a fish out NBA water. Now, he says, “it’s an honor to be in a conversation for the best European player in history. You don’t think of that when you start. You have all the names, guys like [Toni] Kukoc, [Drazen] Petrovic who stood out in European basketball. It’s bizarre to think of someone from France being near No. 1.”
“My idol was Michael Jordan,” Parker said. “He was always motivated to get better. Lots of people have asked me, ‘Tony, why do you continue to play for the French national team? There’s nothing to prove.’ But I’m motivated, to play as long as possible, to use my talents for as long as possible and to push my limits.
FIBA needs to make a buck — but at what cost? The beer company sponsoring this FIBA Americas tournament has round decals on the court, that have proven to be rather slippery so far. Andrew Wiggins has nearly bailed on several occasions, Kelly Olynyk looked a little sore after nearly doing the splits at one point on Friday and head coach Jay Triano would rather FIBA find another way to let its sponsors advertise. “You know, this isn’t the first event that this has happened,” Triano said after Canada beat Puerto Rico.
Arriving at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in February and donning a Thunder jersey for the first time, Enes Kanter felt at ease. At his request, the Oklahoma City Thunder organization had prepared a prayer room at the downtown arena specifically for him — an observant Muslim whose Islamic faith calls for obligatory prayers five times a day.
The Thunder center talked about the Thunder’s efforts to make him feel welcome during a recent reception held in his honor at the Oklahoma City home of Clayton and Marnie Taylor. “They have really welcomed me here. The first thing the team did for me was they did a halal meal for me,” Kanter said. Halal foods are foods that are allowed under Islamic dietary guidelines.
September 4, 2015 | 7:57 pm EDT Update
The outlook, however, is a little more bleaker for starting small forward Quincy Pondexter. It’s looking like the Pelicans may have to wait until this upcoming November for Pondexter to fully recover from undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in May. ”Just one of those things that’s just takes time, he’s going to be OK,” Gentry said during a refurbished basketball court dedication ceremony on Friday involving the Pelicans and Chevron at Rev. Peter Atkins Park in Covington.
In the past two seasons, Holiday has combined to miss 90 games because of recurring problems with his right leg. He sat out 42 games last season due to a stress reaction injury. ”What I think we’re trying to do is not push him anywhere,” Gentry said. ”We’re going to monitor obviously his practices. I doubt there will be a situation where we’ll let him go two-a-days. It’s just doesn’t make sense right now.”
Kerr’s home renovation project wrapped up Friday with a new wall-hanging — a 2014-15 NBA championship banner. It was unfurled in a private ceremony for team employees in advance of training camp opening on Sept. 29. In a nod to the team’s “Strength in Numbers” motto, the name of every player was stitched around the border of the banner, in alphabetical order, from Barbosa to Thompson. “With everything we were trying to accomplish, we knew that we needed every piece of the puzzle to make it happen,” reserve guard Shaun Livingston said Friday. “And in the end, that’s kind of how it played out.”
September 4, 2015 | 5:47 pm EDT Update
Free-agent guard Kendall Marshall is finalizing a multiyear contract with the Philadelphia 76ers, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Marshall has been rehabilitating a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Chapel Hill, N.C., over the past few months and worked out this past week for the 76ers in Philadelphia. Marshall is expected to return sometime in the first half of the upcoming season, league sources said.
Ira Winderman: Heat expected to bring in summer-league center Joshua Smith for a workout/tryout next week. Could fill final camp spot.
September 4, 2015 | 4:44 pm EDT Update
LeBron James is apparently getting a jump on his pre-training camp workouts for the 2015-16 season with the Cavaliers in Miami, under the direction of one or two personal trainers. David Alexander, a Miami-based personal trainer for several pro athletes who is also business partner and personal trainer for James’ wife, Savannah, posted a picture to his Instagram account Friday of himself, James, restricted free agent guard Norris Cole, and James’ personal trainer Mike Mancias.
September 4, 2015 | 3:33 pm EDT Update
Platinum Equity founder and Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores is buying his firm’s stake in the National Basketball Association team, giving him 100 percent of the franchise, according to a person with direct knowledge of the planned transaction.
Gores, personally, has held a 51 percent stake in the club since 2011. It isn’t known how much he’s paying for Platinum’s 49 percent stake. NBA owners have approved the transaction, said the person, who requested anonymity because the move hasn’t been announced.
Can you picture yourself playing another 10 years and having a long career till late in your thirties? Kevin Durant: I hope so. I’d love it. I’m 26, but I’ve played a lot of years, a lot of games. So hopefully.
Alex Kennedy: Tyrus Thomas has signed with German basketball club Eisbaeren Bremer, according to his agency.
Smallball or a more traditional game with bigs? Kevin Durant: Oh… Great question. I love the traditional game and I think it works for me, playing with two quick players outside and two bigs inside. Smallball allows me to play power forward, moving in different spots both on offense and defense and I have to adjust to to it. I think the NBA is heading towards smallball and at the end it’s something that forces us to compete and improve our game and it’s fun.
“As far as this year’s team, I think this is Andre Drummond’s coming out party,” Rose said. “I think he takes the lead we saw DeAndre Jordan take (with the Clippers). If you noticed, one of the things Stan (Van Gundy) has been able to do in his career is nurture young big men, including Dwight Howard. So that’s the thing, number one, I’m looking most forward to. And he has a better touch around the basket, and better hands, than DeAndre Jordan.