Adrian Wojnarowski: Free agent Luis Scola is finalizing a one-year, nearly $3M deal with the Toronto Raptors, league source tells Yahoo Sports.
October 6, 2015 | 10:41 am EDT Update
There’s a decent chance Gentile, whose NBA rights are held by Houston, will be in the league next season, because the Rockets hope to bring him over for the 2016-17 campaign. Yet in this instance, Bender’s length and foot speed completely snuffed Gentile out of the game. Gentile backed off, unsure how to counter Bender’s length. The kid has a L-O-N-G way to go, with his physical development as well as a long-range game he’s still smoothing out, but we have to ask: How many 7-footers from Europe have sent a gaggle of NBA scouts home talking about his perimeter D?
The Clippers have had three cracks at it with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan all in their primes, and they’re not afraid to admit the fourth could be their last — that another flameout will force them to ask whether the core has grown stale. “We’re right on the borderline,” Doc Rivers tells Grantland during a long sit-down at his office. “I have no problem saying that. I’m a believer that teams can get stale. After a while, you don’t win. It just doesn’t work. We’re right at the edge. Oklahoma City is on the edge. Memphis, too. We just have to accept it.”
Paul is movable even amid a glut of point guards, but he’s good only for the “win now” types, and dealing him would amount to a complete reconstruction of how L.A. plays. Rivers isn’t quite ready to think about specific changes yet, even as he acknowledges he might have to be in seven or eight months. “We’re all on that edge together,” he says. “I believe we’re gonna be really good. But if we’re not, it depends on how we play, and what the reason is. That’s what would make you make a big decision.”
Perhaps the most successful European big men in recent times are Gasol, whom Rambis coached, and Nowitzki. “He might be a combination of both of them,’’ Rambis said. “He can do so many things. You guys haven’t seen it yet. And some of it won’t come out for three, four, five years, either. He’s got to grow up, mature, develop, get stronger and [get] used to the NBA game. He already understands basketball and knows what to do, and he’s an unselfish player. He makes really good decisions. It wasn’t like he was a blank slate coming here.’’
I got to watch Bender from very close range. And I can assure you that he’s the realest of deals. The slender 7-footer doesn’t turn 18 until November, but he can already do a little bit of everything. Bender runs the floor. He handles the ball. He scores inside and outside. He knows how to pass. He’s not afraid to bang even though he clearly needs to add bulk and strength. And, most of all, he’s already an impact player defensively who, despite his tender age and slight frame, can play the 3, 4 and 5.
“India has long been a priority market for us. We don’t expect overnight changes but we are definitely here for the long haul. We are also looking to invest tens of millions of dollars in India. Our focus is to grow the game of basketball in India”, said Yannick Colaco, CEO of NBA in India, while describing his vision for the NBA’s plans in India.
When questioned about the potential TV viewership numbers in India, he said “Our ratings are about 35% of the ratings of the English Premiership, which is the highest watched overseas league in India. I’d say we are doing well for the moment.”
National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts earned a salary of $1.2 million in her first year on the job. Roberts, who was elected as the first female executive director of a major sports union last summer, received total compensation of $1,061,662 for the…
Needless to say, it was a big change going from selling drugs to flipping Whoppers. The day I was arrested at school, I had $1,200 cash on me. Suddenly I was making minimum wage and wouldn’t come close to seeing that kind of money after a month’s worth of mopping floors and working the grill. Caron Butler: It took time to adjust to this new lifestyle. I saw guys rolling around in new cars, having new clothes, new Jordans — reminders of all the things I couldn’t afford. Old “friends” would come in and make fun of me because of my uniform. But I knew I couldn’t go back to jail — no matter how tempting the lure of quick money was. At Bray Community Center in Racine, where I first started playing organized basketball, there’s a photo of 21 black men, many of whom I used to run with. All were under the age of 25, and now they are all dead. I knew I had to turn my life around.
It’s been 20 years since I spent two weeks alone in that 10-by-12-foot cell, but I remember it like it was yesterday. My mother and I reflect on our times of adversity all the time. To recognize the delta between where we are now and where we once were — it’s surreal and it’s a blessing. Now I speak about my journey to younger generations who are at-risk because I was them. I didn’t have an easy, structured upbringing and then suddenly became an NBA All-Star and champion. I’ve spent time in jail. I lived in a neighborhood infested with drugs and gang culture. I grew up seeing people get stabbed and shot. Despite all of that, by the grace of God, hard work and the devotion of my mother, I’m in the position that I’m in today. Younger generations need to see a real, tangible example of making it.
Stephon Marbury continued to plug what he promises will be a comeback of his Starbury shoe line by slamming Michael Jordan for the violence that has surrounded the release of his shoes in the past. The former NBA guard turned China star replied to one social media user who wrote that they chose Marbury’s shoes, which sold for $15 at the now defunct Steve and Barry’s, over Jordan’s shoes.
The poster says that he’s a retired Nike employee of 30 years and gathered all these Michael Jordan goodies from years of working closely with the man. Unsurprisingly, he’s asking a small fortune for the stuff he’s got. He concludes the post with, “if you don’t have $50k to offer don’t waste your time or mine.”
October 6, 2015 | 8:47 am EDT Update
Marc Stein: Rockets hold NBA rights to Alessandro Gentile and word is they’ll try to bring him to the NBA for next season. Legit chance it happens, too
Ezeli’s rookie contract runs up next summer, when he could become a restricted free agent. If he remains healthy, Ezeli could land a big payday — either replacing Bogut as the Warriors’ starting center or signing elsewhere. For now, he’s focused on rebooting the Warriors’ title hopes and still keeping a close eye on Vanderbilt’s upcoming season. “I love coming back to Vanderbilt, especially in this light (as a champion),” Ezeli said. “Part of what drives me is that (Commodores) fan base. Those fans saw me grow up at Vanderbilt as a little freshman kid to an NBA player. So it’s still home to me.”
The last spot may come down to Butler or Jimmer Fredette, another training camp signee, with forwards Reggie Williams and DeShaun Thomas also lurking. Asked if he’s looking at the situation that way, Butler said: “Only thing I can control is how hard I can work, how smart that I do things and go out there and give good effort everyday.”
Ian Clark knows he’s facing long odds, but that’s nothing new to him. One of five training-camp invites among a six-player competition for the final roster spot with the Warriors, Clark has made a career out of beating the odds. “For me, it’s just about playing with confidence, knowing what I can do and what I can’t do, and improving the things I need to do better,” Clark said before Monday’s exhibition opener in San Jose. He went scoreless in eight minutes, missing both of his shot attempts, one from beyond the arc.
Goran would have preferred having his brother around, but was realistic about the team’s perspective and Zoran’s viability in the NBA. Zoran logged 75 minutes in his first year in the league. “I was sad, of course,” Goran said of the trade. “I know how much he wants to be part of a team in the NBA, but I understand this is a business. That’s a better situation for him right now. He’s gonna get playing time. He signed a good deal in Russia. He’s happy. That’s a good thing.
Backup center Alexis Ajinca is expected to miss four to six weeks with a sprained right hamstring, the team announced Monday, and coach Alvin Gentry said after practice that Ajinca’s absence could lead to more small-ball lineups. “We’ll just try different combinations of players,” he said. “One of the things that we’ll do is we’ll experiment a little bit with (Anthony Davis at center) and then play even a small lineup where Dante Cunningham may even (play power forward), and three guards — Tyreke (Evans) and Jrue (Holiday) and Eric (Gordon) or Norris (Cole) — in there.”
As he put it, cutting back on long twos is his top goal this preseason. “The biggest thing, man, like I’ve been preaching all summer, is just not shooting those long twos,” Beal said Monday, later adding another objective is to be named first-team all-defense.
Danilo Gallinari sat down for an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport about the upcoming season for the Denver Nuggets, as well as his Eurobasket experience. (…) Q: Malone said he’s gonna use you as a SF and as a “stretch four”, like Americans say. Do you have a preference? Danilo Gallinari: Well, we have already talked about it a lot, we have already planned situations in which I’m gonna start as a SF, then I can be used as a 4 as the game goes on. It depends on the team we’re facing, the trend of the game, but often I’m gonna play as a stretch four, as he says, spreading the floor. We’ve already tried most of these schemes, so basically I already have these situations set in my mind.
Q: What’s your real goal? You were telling me that starting the season as underdogs can be an advantage. Gallinari: Yeah it can be an advantage. For me, it’s gonna be an advantage. Being underdogs, especially in the West, can really be an advantage. According to me, we can fight for the playoffs without a doubt, we have the chance to do it.
Cleveland opens the preseason Wednesday night against Atlanta in Cincinnati. Cleveland plays at Philadelphia on Thursday. It’s unlikely James will play in both games. “It has not been discussed yet, but I probably won’t play in one of the two games,” James said. “I’m not sure if it’s the front side or the back side. It would probably make more sense (to play) in Cincinnati since they don’t get to see us a lot and then we go to Philly, and I’ll probably be there in the regular season.”
James will be wearing his familiar No. 23 for the Cavs this season, the same number he has worn every season he’s been in Cleveland, but he explained how he feels comfortable practicing while donning No. 6. “It’s just a number of mine,” James said after the scrimmage. “One of my two numbers — 6, 23. There’s nothing to it. It’s my practice jersey.”
“Great to be out there in front of the best fans in the NBA,” Varejao said following Monday night’s annual Wine and Gold Scrimmage. “It was great. Since December I don’t play any sports, I don’t play any basketball. It was good to be back. I know I have to take baby steps. We are looking forward to a big season and we’re going to work hard everyday and we’re going to do our best to get the championship.”
The Cavs’ doctors were concerned enough with the severe cramping that they called for a stretcher and sent him to the Cleveland Clinic for overnight IVs to get him rehydrated. He wasn’t released until the following afternoon. “I probably pushed it a little. I thought I’d pushed it before but there was just so much on the line,” Dellavedova said. “I wasn’t scared. What was scary was how am I going to prepare for the next game? I only had one day’s rest between the games. I told them I didn’t need to go to the hospital, but then I thought to myself ‘What would happen if these cramps happened again in the middle of the night?’ I would’ve been screwed.”
KR: The question everyone wants to know. How’s the ankle doing? Ricky Rubio: Pretty good. I’ve been working all summer to get healthy. I’ve been cleared to play 5-on-5 a month ago. I haven’t done much, but I feel good. I’ve been doing conditioning and all of that stuff to keep me in shape and do a lot of stuff.
KR: It was probably tough for you to sit out for Spain this summer. I’m assuming you’ll be suiting up next summer for the Olympics? Ricky Rubio: Yeah, I mean if I’m healthy I will. I was watching the European championships through TV and it was so tough to watch it on TV but it was fun to see them win.
Before the game, Walton had also spoken with his father, Hall of Famer Bill Walton. “He told me to call about six different coaches,” Luke Walton said, smiling about his father encouraging him to reach out to Hall of Famers Phil Jackson and Lute Olson. “Then he told me to read about seven different books, John Wooden books.”
Walton said he has been too busy coaching to call his former coaches for advice. “As a staff, we feel confident that we can make this thing keep going,” Walton said. “It’s been a little crazy, but it’s been a good experience. It’s been fun. “We’re leaving Steve alone. We don’t need to bother him with all the little things that are going on day-to-day. We’re hoping and waiting for him to get healthy.”