JR Smith: Happy to say that I am returning to the Cavs! It’s been a long ride this summer but I can say for sure, well worth the wait. When I opted out of my contract, I wanted to understand the landscape of the NBA and where I fit best. The Cavaliers had things they needed to do in order to piece together a championship caliber roster. I ended up deciding that instead of potentially securing a larger deal elsewhere, I wanted to rejoin an incredible organization in pursuit of the ultimate goal, an NBA championship. Thank you to the Cavaliers for making this happen. Can’t wait to get started! #TheLand http://instagram.com/p/6oG0NDNfH-/
October 5, 2015 | 8:06 am EDT Update
During media day, Karl opened up to CSN’s Kayte Christensen and addressed the situation directly. For the first time in public, Karl gave a mea culpa that went largely unnoticed. “To be honest with you, I apologized to DeMarcus for making the trade comment that I’ve never coached a player that’s untradeable,” Karl told Christensen. “That was wrong for me to say, because you all (the media) took it and blew it up into crazy.”
“But it’s my responsibility to be smart enough to not say things like that,” Karl continued. “So I did apologize because I thought that was the only thing, maybe some other things, but really the only thing that got us separated was that comment that then everybody wrote the we’re going to trade [Cousins].”
Cedi Osman: In my mind, in the summer of 2017, I’m going to make the big step and go to the United States to play in the NBA. Until then, a big goal that I’d like to accomplish is to win the Euroleague! It’s a dream for which we have all the prerequisites and credentials to make it come true. At 22 and after some full seasons in the Euroleague and the TBL, I’d like to go to the NBA and begin my effort there. I’m happy that my rights are owned by the Cleveland Cavaliers and I hope that when I go there, I’ll meet LeBron James! I have a lot to learn from him!
Speaking to Aaron Bruski of the Koz and Bru Show, CSN Kings Insider James Ham said that rookie Willie Cauley-Stein could barely run up and down the court during training camp. “He is going to open the season at 14 minutes a game, if he’s lucky. When you show up to camp and you can’t run up and down the court twice without being so winded you have to pull yourself off the court, then something’s wrong.”
After his first game since late January, when he tore the rotator cuff in his right shoulder, ending his 2014-15 season after 35 games, Bryant said he felt “pretty good” and that it was “good to get out there.” He added that his legs feel strong and that he didn’t feel any fatigue. “It’s just getting the timing,” said Bryant, whose past three seasons have all been cut short by injury. “Getting timing. Getting acclimated to that again.”
Scott said the plan of playing Bryant 12 minutes was agreed upon before the game. “I told him before we went out, ‘Let’s just play the quarter and then let’s shut it down and see how you feel [Monday]. We’ll go through practice and then get ready for Tuesday,'” Scott said.
Nick Young shot 4-of-10 from the field, but it’s been no secret since the middle of last season that Scott is looking for a lot more than offense from the self-monikered Swaggy P. The coach said Young seems to have taken seriously his demands that he focus on defense, and not letting bad shooting nights affect his mentality. “I think he’s made strides in those departments that we talked about on both ends of the floor,” Scott said. “I’m going to harp on him all season long to continue to get better at it.”
Anthony Morrow said it on Thursday. Russell Westbrook backed him on Friday. The Billy Donovan offense is opening up scoring opportunities for every Thunder player, not just the shooters. “Definitely. Definitely more space,” Westbrook said. “Guys are in positions where they can score the basketball. The space is especially good for myself and it’s also good for guys that shoot the basketball really well, roll to the basket, whatever it is, can use their strengths really well.”
Thomas denied that he’s using his position with the Liberty as a step to getting back with the Knicks. “First of all, Phil Jackson is a great basketball mind, and the Knicks are in great hands,” Thomas said. “And Jim Dolan speaks to Phil Jackson about the New York Knicks, rightfully so.”
New York Liberty president Isiah Thomas continues to deny wrongdoing in a 2007 sexual harassment case stemming from his time as New York Knicks coach, telling ESPN that it “just didn’t happen.” In 2007, when Thomas was coaching the New York Knicks, Madison Square Garden executive Anucha Browne Sanders alleged that she was sexually harassed by Thomas. Although Thomas maintained his innocence, a jury found that Madison Square Garden, the owner of the team, improperly fired Browne Sanders for complaining about the unwanted advances. “I will own up to what I did and the mistakes that I made, but I can’t own up to things that I didn’t do,” Thomas told ESPN’s Hannah Storm in an interview that aired on SportsCenter on Sunday. “… I did not call her derogatory names. Just didn’t happen.”
The NBA and Swiss watchmaker Tissot announced a comprehensive multi-year partnership on Monday that both hope will lead to the most complex timekeeping in sports history. Terms were not announced but Tissot president Francois Thiebaud told ESPN that it was the most expensive deal the brand had done in its 162-year history.
The Phoenix Suns do not have many people who can claim working in the organization for about two-thirds of its 46-year history and there are only two players who can claim a 20-point, 12-rebound season for the Suns. Neal Walk’s legacy includes both. Walk passed away Sunday night at age 67. He was at a Phoenix hospital after being in poor health in recent weeks for various medical reasons, 28 years after surviving surgery to remove a tumor on his spinal cord.
“People didn’t appreciate how good he was on the court,” said Steve Rich, Walk’s longtime friend and former roommate. “He felt unappreciated. Instead of appreciating him for what he could do, they always compared him to Jabbar. He was as smart as any athlete I’ve ever met. Neal like it when he was seen that way.”
October 4, 2015 | 9:09 pm EDT Update
Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Boston Globe there is “nothing imminent” regarding contract extension negotiations for Jared Sullinger and Tyler Zeller, but the team will continue to speak to representatives for both players. The Celtics have until an Oct. 31 deadline to reach extensions with Zeller and Sullinger, who are entering the final seasons of their rookie contracts.
“I’m not sure how that’s all going to work out. But we’ll continue to talk throughout this month,” Ainge told the Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach.
October 4, 2015 | 4:41 pm EDT Update
When a reporter joked if they will have to cover another free agency in four years, Anthony laughed and said, “I’m here to stay.’’ Of course, he will feel less willing to finish his contract here if Porzingis turns out a bust.
As I started to settle in, I’m sure that you have heard about my struggles getting into the arena. The security lady was giving me a hard time so I tweeted it out and it picked up way more publicity than I anticipated. The media did exaggerate it a little bit. The conversation went something like this: Her: Hi how can i help you? Me: Hi im trying to get into the tunnel. Her: It’s only for players. My Friend: He plays on the team. Her [scans car]: Who?? Me: I do. Her: What team?!? Me: Uhh, Charlotte Hornets. Her: Players can’t park here today (there was a conference). Park across the street. Funny thing is I have experienced this multiple times in New York, Houston, and LA. I’m not sure if she believed me but I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt!