October 13, 2015 | 6:11 pm EDT Update
The lone player with a guaranteed deal (nearly $1 million) on the bubble appears to be center Robert Sacre. While he’s a legitimate 7-footer, and an exuberant locker room presence, Sacre may need to beat out both Tarik Black and Upshaw to keep his position. Black is non-guaranteed at $845,059. While he’s a bit undersized, Black is also a great teammate and is more athletic than Sacre.
Upshaw, on a rookie contract at $525,093, comes in with a very different reputation after getting dismissed from both Fresno State and Washington for team violations. At Washington, Upshaw blocked 4.5 shots a game. He has great size for a center and tremendous potential, but only if he can keep his personal life in order. The Lakers are likely to keep two of the three, and midway through the preseason Sacre may be on the outside looking in.
Thus far rookie Marcelo Huertas, an international veteran from Brazil, has been sidelined with a minor hamstring strain. Despite his absence, the Lakers may choose to keep him as a needed true, backup point guard — over both Brown and Frazier. Like Frazier, Texas forward Holmes has potential but making the roster may be a long shot. Both may end up in the NBA Development League with the D-Fenders.
Gregg Popovich: You look at a guy like Tim Duncan. He never changes his expression but he can hit you with some of the best wise-ass comments in the world. I can be in a huddle, laying into him about his rebounding, saying to him, “Are you gonna get a rebound tonight or what? You haven’t done anything.” Then on the way out of the huddle, he’ll say, “Hey, Pop.” I’ll say, “Yeah.” He’ll say, “Thanks for the encouragement,” and walk back on the court. He’s being facetious, but nobody sees things like that. I think when a player has that ability and has respect it’s a good thing.
Gregg Popovich: Speaking to that, the other thing I’ll do in practice on a regular basis when we run drills, is I’ll purposely get on the big boys the most. Duncan, Parker, and Manu Ginobili will catch more hell from me than anybody else out there. You know the obvious effect of that. If you do that and they respond in the right way, everyone else follows suit. The worst thing you can do is let it go when someone has been egregious in some sort of way. The young kids see that and you lose respect and the fiber of your team gets frayed a bit. I think it has to be that way. They have to be willing to set that example and take that hit so everybody else will fall in line. It’s a big thing for us and that’s how we do it.
Gregg Popovich: When I’m interviewing a kid to draft I’m looking for specific things. Over the course of sitting in the gym and talking, having lunch, watching him at free agent camp, this is what I’m after and not necessarily in this order. Having a sense of humor is huge to me and to our staff because I think if people can’t be self-deprecating or laugh at themselves or enjoy a funny situation, they have a hard time giving themselves to the group.
October 13, 2015 | 5:31 pm EDT Update
Curry “apologized” to critics of the Warriors’ title on Tuesday. “I apologize for us being healthy, I apologize for us playing who was in front of us. I apologize for all the accolades we received as a team and individually. I’m very, truly sorry, and we’ll rectify that situation this year,” he said.
Green and Curry made their comments Tuesday when they were asked about people discussing whether the Warriors “deserve” their title, possibly in reference to Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers saying to Zach Lowe of Grantland, “You need luck in the West. Look at Golden State. They didn’t have to play us or the Spurs.” “If they saying that, they aren’t the champs. It’s simple. Gregg Popovich didn’t say that. That’s one organization I really respect. And you haven’t heard anybody in they camp say that. You ain’t heard anybody from OKC say that, some of the organizations that I really respect,” Green said.
“I was really disappointed in them because that’s not how I said it,” Rivers said. “I was really surprised at how sensitive they are, but I’m giving Klay the benefit of the doubt. I’m sure it was worded wrong in the question that was asked to him. I basically say it and I say it all the time. During the conversation, I said of my (Boston Celtics) team in 2008, you’ve gotta have some luck, things have to go your way. You need all that. “But I respect Golden State a hundred percent. But I was surprised at how quickly they jumped on it. To each his own.”
Can this make the rivalry bigger? “I don’t know if it can get any bigger,” Rivers said, “but I’m fine by that. Whether they likes us or we like them, doesn’t matter. They’re the champs and we want to be the champs.”
The Timberwolves will play in the building through the renovation. But the WNBA’s Lynx will have to move out of the building for the 2017 season while renovations are completed. It is not yet known where the Lynx will play. The Wolves also announced an extension of the naming rights deal with Target.
Fox: “I don’t think this is his last year. It might be his last year in L.A. But it won’t be his last year in the game. I think he’ll play overseas in China. Or maybe go to New York and be with Derek (Fisher) and Phil (Jackson) and mentor the other players with the triangle offense.”
October 13, 2015 | 4:15 pm EDT Update
With almost the entire young roster back again this season, the confidence of winning a championship and upgrades to the bench, the Warriors see plenty of room for improvement. “That second year of that new offense is when things start to really click,” Curry said. “(Kerr) always was telling us that second, third year is when you really take off. So if we did what we did last year and we’re still learning about the system and how we’re going to go out and play it, I like our chances going into this year, too.”
Gordon gives the Warriors a needed shooter off the bench as a former 20-point-a-game scorer who has shot better than 40 percent from 3-point range in his career. “One of the things I heard a lot of guys say is they want to get better than they were last year,” Gordon said. “With most of the team here, the chemistry is already there. And the style of play is just a lot of ball movement. The longer guys are together, the easier the reads are going to be. I think they’ll definitely be able to do that.”
Now, despite Rose shooting a few free throws on Tuesday, the Bulls said Rose “most likely” will miss all eight exhibition games and placed his participation for the Oct. 27 regular-season opener against the Cavaliers in jeopardy.
“They still want him to be a little bit careful just with the swelling, make sure that his vision is back to where it’s supposed to be, to where it was before he got hit, before they want him to get anything going on with his blood pressure spiking is how I understand it,” coach Fred Hoiberg said following Tuesday’s practice. “So he’s probably at least a week away from that happening to where he’s able to get out and work up a sweat, and then hopefully it’s full go from there to where we can get him out into some contact drills, get him back out there running our offense, and hopefully get him ready to play. So I think it’s still yet to be determined if we’re going to have him for the opener. But the good news is he’s progressing, he’s getting better. His vision is getting better, and hopefully we’ll get him back soon.”