Though he has yet to confirm his retirement, Steve Nash is under no delusions when it comes to the fact that his NBA career is at its end. The Los Angeles Lakers point guard joined the The Bro Jake Show on TSN Radio 1040 Vancouver on Tuesday morning and pulled no punches when it came to the state of his game. “Unfortunately the NBA game is just a touch too far for me,” said the 41-year-old native of Victoria, BC. “I play one game and I’m out a month. I have a bunch of back things going on that compromise that nerve.”
August 2, 2015 | 5:39 pm EDT Update
August 2, 2015 | 4:39 pm EDT Update
Becky Hammon has had quite the summer. San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich entrusted NBA Summer League head coaching duties on Hammon, making her the first female head coach in NBA Summer League history. If the story were to end there it’d still be one of the most significant storylines of the year. But Hammon and the Spurs weren’t satisfied with just an appearance in Summer League. No, they wanted to take home the championship. And they did. Hammon guided the Spurs to the Summer League title in a win over the Phoenix Suns. Since then Hammon has rightly received much laud. On Sunday, she was recognized once again for her contributions – this time on the court. The New York Liberty inducted Hammon into their Ring of Honor, a recognition bestowed on players “who have made the most significant contributions to the Liberty’s tradition of excellence and to the growth of the WNBA.”
August 2, 2015 | 11:17 am EDT Update
Bob Kauffman, who led the Buffalo Braves in scoring and rebounding in the franchise’s inaugural season of 1970-71, died in suburban Atlanta on Saturday night at age 69. Lara Kauffman said her father, who had a history of heart trouble, died peacefully in his sleep Saturday evening in his home in Lilburn, Ga. “He couldn’t have gone in a more peaceful manner,” Lara Kauffman said by phone Tuesday. “His health had been laboring. He had been seeing a cardiologist pretty regularly. So the general consensus is his heart just gave out in the end.”
“The Buffalo fans from all over, people who moved to Atlanta or wherever I go, they all remember my dad,” Lara Kauffman said. “What people remembered about my dad was he played very blue-collar. I think he was sort of a reflection of a lot of people in the Buffalo community the way he played. He wouldn’t back down from anybody. He played against Lew Alcindor at the time. He matched up against Wilt Chamberlain. My dad would go head-to-head with those guys.
August 2, 2015 | 7:47 am EDT Update
The Clippers on Saturday waived forward Jordan Hamilton. Hamilton, 24, is out of Dominguez High in Compton. He played in 14 games this past season for the Clippers after being signed on Feb. 24. He averaged 2.7 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 8.7 minutes.
It was Jerebko’s first free agent experience after five seasons with the Pistons. “Yeah, I was up,” Jerebko said of the clock striking midnight to begin free agency. “I got a few phone calls. It was like proof that you had a good year. I had other teams interested, but after talking to Danny [Ainge] and the way we worked stuff out, this is where I wanted to be and we worked it out. It was fun to have other teams interested but Boston was always the No. 1 landing spot that I was hoping for.”
Gasol, speaking before Saturday’s landmark NBA exhibition game in Johannesburg, was asked about the Bulls’ dysfunction last season. “It’s hard to pinpoint the specific reasons,” he said. “There was definitely an inconsistency throughout the year. We were kind of a very up-and-down team even though we finished third in the conference. We still had a lot of games that we just weren’t ready to play, just too many games we gave away against teams that we were supposed to beat.”
Okafor won’t lack confidence. He expects a lot from a Sixers team coming off an 18-64 season. He knows the expectations will again be low, but he doesn’t care. “Everybody knows we have expectations, and the fans have expectations, and that is all that matters,” he said. Okafor will be a trendy choice for rookie of the year because he is expected to play major minutes. “It’s definitely a possible goal,” he said about earning the award. “Definitely.”
At 6-9 and 212 pounds he looks bigger than he did nine months ago, when he was launching his NBA career as the great experiment of the Toronto Raptors. Caboclo is by no means as strong as the NBA forwards he expects to be opposing someday, but progress is being made. He has been away from his home in Brazil for one year. His English is improving. He is on his way, but he is still only 19 years old. “I will have more chance,” he says of the opportunities waiting in October at his second training camp, where he will continue to be the Raptors’ youngest project. “But I need to be good in this chance and work hard.”
“He can be really good because of that length,” says Mermuys. “You see in the NBA these guys with that extreme length have a huge advantage. So it’s really about his physicality now. The stronger he gets, the more he’s going to be able to use his length as a weapon, and be able to take the contact and still stay in place.” “My defense has gotten a lot better,” says Caboclo. “I know almost everything, but sometimes I forget the little things. The rotation is very hard. But I try to do right every time.”
Maxwell freely admitted it was difficult watching Fred Roberts and Mikki Moore wear No. 31 before it was retired. And he suggested that the Celtics formulate a list — with the help of a committee of former players, executives, and public relations employees — of players whose numbers would be considered untouchable. Obviously, No. 2 (Red Auerbach), 6 (Russell), 17 (Havlicek), and 33 (Bird) would be on that list. But what about 18 (Cowens), 21 (Bill Sharman), 22 (Ed Macauley), 23 (Frank Ramsey), 24 (Sam Jones), and 25 (K.C. Jones)? Would No. 15 (Heinsohn), 16 (Tom Sanders) or 19 (DonNelson) be considered untouchable?
When the Spurs signed LaMarcus Aldridge to a maximum contract this summer, general manager R.C. Buford approached former San Antonio standout Bruce Bowen about allowing Aldridge to wear his retired No. 12. Bowen quickly agreed. “If you’re talking about a great player wearing your number like a Reggie Miller, that makes the jersey even better,” Maxwell said. “Now, when Fred Roberts wore my number or Mikki Moore wore it, I didn’t really feel good about it. Now, if you’re one of the greatest players to ever wear that jersey, I think that would be a little bit different.”
The 52-year-old Olajuwon, in a Houston No. 34 jersey, pulled off a turn-around jumper — the “Dream Shake” — that had the current NBA stars leaping off the benches with their arms in the air. “That’s one of the most memorable experiences ever,” said the Clippers’ Chris Paul, one of the team captains. “I told Dream, if he’s still moving like that at his age now, I couldn’t imagine him in his day.”
In a video from Bleacher Report, Drake, Durant, Thompson and James could all be seen goofing around on the field and making wisecracks. Drake took more shots at current subject-of-rap-beef Meek Mill. Thompson, a Toronto native also represented by Klutch Sports sided with James, but not before throwing a little shade about free agency (“whoever puts the offer in first … put the offer in first.”) Durant, still recovering from a season-ending foot injury, sat things out, admitting the first action he needed would come on the basketball court.
August 1, 2015 | 8:31 pm EDT Update
The New York Knicks are finalizing an agreement with former Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic. Vujacic’s deal was originally believed to be a training camp pact but league sources said the two sides later agreed to a fully guaranteed contract for the veteran’s minimum ($1.35 million).
With Vujacic on board, the Knicks have 12 players signed to guaranteed contracts. Counting Langston Galloway, who has a partially guaranteed deal but is expected to make the regular-season roster, they have two open spots.