The interplay between Smith and the Philips Arena crowd was lively throughout the night. Smith, an Atlanta native who played his first nine NBA seasons with the Hawks, was booed loudly whenever he touched the ball. The catcalls grew louder in the third quarter, after Smith drained a 3-pointer that rattled around the rim several times before dropping in. Smith then shushed the crowd by placing his finger over his lips as the Hawks called timeout. “I mean, those fans are fickle, very fickle and bandwagoners,” Smith said. “It really doesn’t mean anything to me.”
August 24, 2016 | 9:13 pm EDT Update
Though he was mentioned in trade rumors previously, the Heat has indicated to Josh McRoberts’ camp that he’s in the team’s plans for this season, his agent said, adding Miami called to go over his offseason training and make sure everyone is on the same page. McRoberts will make $5.8 million this season and has a $6 million player option for 2017-18.
For the second consecutive year Houston Rockets guard James Harden has organized a players-only minicamp scheduled for next week. Last September Harden had the Rockets players together for a minicamp in Los Angeles.
“James is doing everything,” said Corey Brewer, Rockets guard/forward. “He is showing he wants to be a leader. He’s the franchise player. He signed the extension. So it’s his team, and he’s doing all the right things to do what we need to do to have a chance to win championships.”
When Thon Maker worked out for the Milwaukee Bucks before the NBA draft in June, I asked him to compare his game to another player. Maker, an affable young man, didn’t hesitate in responding and fired back, smiling, “I’m a modern-day version of Kevin Garnett.’’ The Bucks, who shocked the basketball world by making the 7-foot-1 Maker the No. 10 overall selection in the draft, would be ecstatic if he came remotely close to having the same type of pro career as Garnett, who is a lock for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.