Trail Blazers guard Steve Blake has exercised his player option for the 2015-16 season, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.
No more. Boston has changed him, leveled him off. It’s made him seek higher goals. He’s an All-Star, but next year he wants to be a starter. He’s an elite point guard, but he wants to go down as one of the best little men of all time. He cedes the top spot to Allen Iverson, but refuses to believe he can’t surpass the accomplishments of anyone else. Boston’s equipment manager, John Connor, calls Thomas “Allen Iverson II,” a nickname Thomas loves and is determined to live up to. “AI is pound-for-pound the best player ever, in my opinion,” Thomas told The Vertical. “So everybody under Allen Iverson, I’m trying to be better than them.”
And from his friendship with Mike Krzyzewski, Okafor’s college coach at Duke, to his coaxing the NBA’s superstars into revitalizing the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball program, Colangelo hoped he could reach Okafor before the kid put his career in more peril. “What I’ve tried to do is encourage him and talk about what this is all about,” Colangelo said in a phone interview Thursday, adding that he has met with Okafor three or four more times since Dec. 26. “There’s a lot at stake as it relates to a career and a future. In other words, encouragement is basically the bottom line and saying, ‘Look, everyone makes mistakes, and you have to learn from those mistakes on the floor and off. Just tune in.’ ”
The center was an early benefactor of the coaching change in Kurt Rambis’ debut this week, playing more minutes (15) than all but two of his previous 32 games. Needless to say, the 26-year-old wasn’t going to romanticize Fisher’s stint. “I don’t have any thoughts. I’m not the general manager,” he told the Daily News. “I just hope for more playing time. That’s the goal. It’s a new opportunity for sure. “It’s not only me. It’s all the guys on the bench,” he added. “It’s a new opportunity for us. We have to take it.”
Washington Wizards guard John Wall said he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to play in Sunday’s All-Star Game after suffering a bruised right knee in Thursday’s 99-92 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. Wall said he suffered the injury in the first quarter when he collided with Bucks guard O.J. Mayo. He stayed in the game and received treatment on his knee at halftime and after the game, according to the Washington Post.
The NBA is moving a step closer to putting advertisements on jerseys. Sources told ESPN.com that the league sent out a memo this week, ahead of the owners meeting Sunday at the All-Star Game in Toronto, where the topic of putting corporate logos on uniforms is expected to be discussed. Sources said the NBA’s planning committee is seeking comments from teams in advance of the April Board of Governors meeting. The committee will continue to meet with team feedback, which will determine if the proposal makes the April meeting agenda.