July 30, 2015 | 1:59 pm EDT Update
Flip Saunders: But you say luck, and maybe I say patience. I didn’t have a problem keeping Kevin into the final year of his deal and coaching him. Guys just don’t turn down the extra year and $30 million. Even though he maybe wanted to leave, I thought we still had an opportunity to re-sign him. When you are patient, you can say, “This is what we need to get something done, and if we don’t get it, we’re keeping him.” Then things kind of fell into place, with LeBron going to Cleveland and [Andrew] Wiggins becoming available. That’s when you can say “lucky.”
Is KG going to start? He’s gonna start. That’s who he is. KG is a starter. He’s the best power forward on our team, actually. No one rebounds better. He’s the best help defender. No one communicates better. He knows the offense, and he can pass it.
How often do you think about Sam Cassell’s injury in the 2004 playoffs — a hip thing, I think, right before the conference finals against the Lakers? Flip Saunders: All the time. It was his hip. He made a shot out of the corner against Sacramento in Game 7 [of the conference semifinals], and he did his little Big Balls dance, and from that, he created a little avulsion fracture in his hip. No question, I think about that dance all the time. But that’s the NBA. I went to four straight conference finals in Minnesota and Detroit, and we had injury issues in each one. The team that wins the title is usually the healthiest team.
Q: Has James said he will be playing in the 2016 Rio Olympics? Colangelo: I think he is intent on wanting to play for USA Basketball and be in the Olympics next year.
Q: Do you expect LeBron James to be playing for USA in the Olympics next year? Colangelo: He is one of the greatest players of all time. If he wants to be on the team, how is he not going to be on the team? It’s really not my call. It’s really his call. If that is still important to him and what he wants to do, I truly believe that’s what he wants, than he will be there.
Colangelo: In Kevin Love’s case, he really felt bad in not being there to participate after he said he would. That was more about advice he’s getting from legal counsel and his agent. That, too, is a variable. We have no control over that. If that happens next year with one or two players and they’re out, it’s not the end of the world. We have other players. The point is with the roster we have we can take hits like that and there are other guys to step in.
Colangelo: I understand his disappointment. He’s a great player. For whatever reason, the times he’s been with us he just hasn’t played as well as he’s capable of playing. That happens to be at a position where we are overloaded. There is no question about that. And so that’s not a knock on him. I have a great respect for him as a player and through the course of an NBA season, he shows how great he is. The fact that he wasn’t selected really hurt him. He was extended an invitation, but I don’t think he’s coming.
Q: Is there any way you can convince Mike Krzyzewski to coach past the 2016 Rio Olympics? Colangelo: No. This time I know it’s done. I’m already working on the future. But my focus is on ’16. I have so much time on my hands that I’m already working on it. Q: Do you already have a next coach in mind? Colangelo: I always have a guy already in my head. Always did and always will.
The Detroit Pistons announced today that Detroit Collegiate Preparatory at Northwestern High School is the winner of a new library as a part of the “Reading Room Makeover” contest presented by Farm Bureau Insurance. The newly renovated library at Detroit Collegiate Preparatory, located at 2200 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit, MI, 48208, will be unveiled during a special ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 21 with Pistons personalities present. Pistons Legend Earl Cureton, along with Farm Bureau Insurance representatives and Palace Sports & Entertainment employees, will kick-off the six-week renovation in a day of service on August 6.
July 30, 2015 | 1:19 pm EDT Update
Olimpia Milano agreed to terms with Robbie Hummel, a source told Sportando. The forward will complete the roster of the Italian powerhouse. Hummel returns to Europe after two seasons in the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Josh Robbins: Vucevic: “It’s definitely a very important year for us. After a couple of tough seasons where we haven’t been very successful as a team… I think it’s time for us to turn it around and have a better year.”
July 30, 2015 | 11:52 am EDT Update
In this case, Suns source openly laughed at the notion of trading Bledsoe. That’s not to say that a home run type trade wouldn’t turn the situation, because that is true of virtually 95 percent of the league, but to characterize the Suns as looking to trade Bledsoe couldn’t be further from the truth. One Suns source said if the team wanted to move Bledsoe they could without much effort – there is that kind of interest in him. The problem for the Bledsoe trade enthusiasts is that for all the reasons someone would trade for him are all the reasons the Suns plan to keep him.
July 30, 2015 | 11:52 am EDT Update
The fit for Deng in Miami has been less than ideal, but sources near the situation say the HEAT want to see if this squad, when healthy, can truly compete. If it all works there is a real chance Miami keeps things together and sees how far this team can go. If the HEAT are middling, then looking to cash out Deng and reduce the tax seems extremely likely.
There is no question that the Brooklyn Nets are in cost cutting mode and moving off the $24.894 million owed to Joe Johnson would be welcomed in that department. The problem with moving him is the enormity of the contract. Almost no one can meet that payroll without sending equally as much money back to Brooklyn, which defeats the entire concept of the trade. The Nets have aggressively shopped Johnson and understand exactly what his trade value is (non-existent). That could change close to the NBA Trade Deadline in February after the Nets have paid almost 70 percent of his salary and Johnson is far cheaper and an ending contract. Brooklyn seems at peace with the idea they will have Johnson for the season. That won’t stop his name from being mentioned, especially as his true cost goes down, but sources close to the situation say there is no deal the Nets would do out there for Johnson, so he is a name you can safely remove from the list for now.
But perhaps absence made the heart grow fonder? This morning on Sirius XM’s NBA Radio, Colangelo was asked about James future involvement in the USA Basketball program, and Colangelo sounded as though James might not be done with USA Basketball. “Well, I think LeBron wants to be part of it,” said Colangelo. “You know, when you talk about LeBron, Dwyane Wade, Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo [Anthony], they were the four young players who were, what, 19 years old, 20 at the best, who were added to the roster when some people dropped out at the last minute. They weren’t quite ready for prime time, if you think back. They just weren’t, and it’s a little bit of a disservice in some ways, but the NBA was looking to promote young, up and coming stars, and I get that. That’s one of the reasons why I was asked to take over the program. I said, ‘Look, I’ll do it, but it has to be complete autonomy, no more committees, no more politics. I’ll pick the coaches, I’ll pick the players if I’m going to be responsible.’ That’s the only way you can really turn the program and make it successful. So, we deal with it as it comes.”
He hasn’t ruled out coaching in the future, but said his real dream is in management. Rose said he’d like to wind up in an NBA front office some day. “Seeing the way R.C. Buford and the Spurs management works, it’s impressive and inspiring,” Rose said. “I’ve always had a dream of building my own championship team.”
Malik Rose swears he’s happy in retirement. He’s the color commentator for the Philadelphia 76ers, hosts a Sirius XM show and has time to be a dad and husband. When he saw the offseason moves the Spurs made though, Rose admits that he wishes he could make a comeback and reunite with one of his best friends, Tim Duncan. “I still feel like I can get out there and play, but I know I can’t,” Rose said. “I see guys out there that I played with still going strong, and I live through them. Especially Tim.”