Given the opportunity to reunite with star forward Anthony Davis, Kentucky coach John Calipari has made it known to New Orleans Pelicans officials that he’s interested in the team’s vacant head-coaching job, a source close to Calipari said Tuesday.
October 5, 2015 | 2:29 pm EDT Update
October 5, 2015 | 1:24 pm EDT Update
Ian Begley: Carmelo Anthony says “hell no” when asked if he thinks he’d get to a point where he’d ask for a trade this year. “I already came this far.”
Me: What is different about the offense that will benefit the personnel you have? Jimmy Butler: Spacing. I think offense is a lot about spacing. Last year, at times, our spacing was terrible. We might get a basket out of it, just because we’ve got really good players. Now, with the spacing we have, there’s going to be more driving gaps for people that drive the ball good. It’s all about that spacing. It’s going to make things easier for everybody. And, you’re going to know where everybody’s going to be on the floor. When you drive baseline, you know there’s going to be a guy over there in the drift spot. You know there’s going to be a guy over there in the slot. So if everybody pays attention and gets to the right spot, it’s almost like you can pass the ball without even looking.
When Joerger talks about getting more easy baskets, Green’s dynamic ability is at the front of his mind. “Jeff has all the tools,” point guard Mike Conley said. “He’s a phenomenal athlete and he can shoot the ball, too. He’ll be the first one to tell you that he knows he could have played better (last season). That’s given him a chip for this season.”
Standing on a fresh gray blacktop, Kevin Durant dedicated his first outdoor court in North America on Monday at North Highland Elementary in Oklahoma City through his foundation’s “Build It And They Will Ball” initiative. “One day I was reminiscing and I felt that being outdoors molded me into the person I am, the player I am and I wanted everyone feel the same thing I did,” Durant said.
The court includes plenty of branding, with the “KD” and Nike logos all over as they combined to refurbish a court at the school that’s only about a mile from the team’s practice facility. “This community is unbelievable, man,” Durant said. “I can’t say enough about how grateful they are and how supportive they are.”
October 5, 2015 | 12:51 pm EDT Update
“When I signed, it wasn’t all the way done yet, but now, they have a new stadium coming,” Monroe said. “And I saw how the fans were. We played there, been coming there for years now, multiple times a year in the division. I know what kind of fan base they have. And I talked to a couple of my former teammates in Detroit who played here before, and they had nothing but great things to say about the city and the organization. So with all of that combined, I just definitely felt I made the right decision.”
And what can Bryant, ending a score with the same team — two decades’ worth of triumphs and jealousies, pride and pain — still bring to the table? “I think it’s experience, kind of what I’ve been through on my journey,” Bryant said. “That’s the most important thing. It’s not necessarily to tell the young kids, do this or do that. It’s more like, this is what I’m gonna do. These are some of the obstacles that I’ve met. And hopefully they can relate it to whatever it is that they’re going through. So that’s what I’m looking forward to bringing off the court.”
“I think he’s at a point in his career that he’s mature enough to accept certain things, and accept uncertainty,” said the Bulls’ Pau Gasol, one of Bryant’s closer friends and his Lakers teammate from 2008-14. “Probably earlier on in his career, he wouldn’t have dealt with it as well. But I think he understands they have a pretty young group — with some talent, for sure. But he also understands he’s in his 20th year in his career. He hasn’t had a full, healthy year for the last three years, pretty much. I think he’s just looking forward to having a healthy year and to compete and have fun and be the player he is, and we’ll see where the team goes.”
Me: So what did you do this summer in anticipation of what Fred was going to put in? JB: I just worked on putting that ball in that basket, to tell you the truth. I worked on my conditioning. I worked on being a playmaker. You know, I never really thought of it like this until Coach (Jim) Boylen said it to me the other day at practice. All summer, I’m working on my game, I’m working on my game — yeah, I think everybody knows that. But I step into practicing, making a few shots. And he was like, ‘you know, Jimmy, yeah, you’ve got an open shot. But you’ve got to start looking to facilitate, get the ball to the other guys more. Because, believe it or not, you’re going to be a key points on people’s scouting reports.’ I never thought of it like that. I never thought that, hey, Jimmy Butler may be on somebody’s scouting reports, like, ‘hey, we have to stop this guy.’ Seriously.
JB: I belong in this league. I’m here for a reason. I mean, I have to be semi-decent at this game. I may not be good, but I’m not bad. That’s how you have to look at it. Me: They drafted you. JB: Exactly. And they picked his ass, what, 11th. Traded for him. I was picked 30th. I was like an afterthought — you know what, 30th pick, I guess we’ll take that kid from Tomball. I’m glad they decided to take that kid from Tomball, to tell you the truth.
“We’ve done a good amount of playing together, scrimmaging, pick-up, but we definitely do need some game time,” said Green Sunday. “We’ve come together more each day. Obviously, we had some pick-up games early in September, but now, it looks better.” “The second unit is looking really good,” continued Green. “We don’t know who the first and second unit is as of yet, but the second unit that is right now, that we’re playing against is really good. They’ve got their chemistry down probably better than the first unit. As I said, it’s going to take some time, but each day, it’s coming together more and more.”
The Chicago Bulls will be draining jumpers on a new hardcourt this season. An updated court design was unveiled Monday when the Bulls were set to practice at the United Center as training camp in preparation for the 2015-16 season continued. The most significant change is the bull head at center court has increased in size by 75 percent and stands alone without an image of a basketball that had been behind it. In addition, the lines on the court have been changed from red and white to black.
Pau Gasol has different cultural tastes than a lot of his NBA contemporaries, but it would be pretty fun to spend an evening gallivanting with him around Chicago. Last night he took in a performance of Cinderella at Lyric Opera in Chicago. Afterwards, he got his picture taken with the star. It turns out that he’s significantly taller!
In a segment on ESPN First Take, Smith said “You don’t want to make an enemy out of me. And I am looking right at the camera.” He also said that if he was lying in his initial report about Durant going to the Lakers, Durant should sign a long-term deal with Oklahoma City to prove him wrong.
October 5, 2015 | 9:30 am EDT Update
But Anthony says he has plenty of good basketball left. In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.” “Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.
Karl, who angered his sixth-year veteran late last season by suggesting every player was tradeable, apologized during a Divac-facilitated meeting during the offseason that seems to have repaired the breach. “What I said, I should not have said,” Karl reiterated Friday. “But we all make mistakes. I make mistakes with game-planning, make mistakes coaching. DeMarcus makes mistakes. I think he was a little surprised (laugh) to hear me say that I make mistakes and that I’m going to ‘bleep up’ again.”