NBA coaching sources say there is unquestioned mutual interest between Thibodeau and the Pelicans, with Thibs naturally said to be very intrigued by the possibility of coaching Davis full-time after working with him last summer as a Team USA assistant alongside Williams under Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.
August 31, 2015 | 3:42 pm EDT Update
Tim Kawakami: I’ve been skeptical about Warriors’ ability to get $26M or so under the cap-line next July in any theoretical Kevin Durant pursuit, and And I’m still not sure they can do it. But league people emphasize: 1) Never under-estimate the aggressiveness of Lacob/Myers/West. And due to huge increases to cap # this year & next, there’ll be many teams set up to absorb huge salary chunks if GSWs start maneuvering. That does NOT mean anybody thinks the Warriors are leaders in the Durant chase. Just means league people figure they’ll be creative.
Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal squashed whatever beef was lingering from their split in 2004 on the latest episode of O’Neal’s The Big Podcast, which was released Monday. O’Neal introduces Bryant as “the greatest Laker ever,” and starts the show by clearing the air. “I just want people to know that I don’t hate you. I know you don’t hate me. I called it today a ‘work beef,’ is what we had. I was young, you was young. As I look at it, we won three out of four so I don’t really think a lot was done wrong. I just wanted to clear the air and let everybody know that no, I don’t hate you. We had a lot of disagreements, we had a lot of arguments, but I think it both fueled us — and I was thinking back the other day why Phil Jackson never really jumped in, because he knew that you say something about me, I get pissed off, I say something about you and you get pissed off, and again it works.”
One Trail Blazer has already punched his ticket to the 2016 Olympics as Al-Farouq Aminu helped Nigeria qualify for next year’s games in Brazil by winning AfroBasket in Tunisia on Sunday. This week Blazers coaches Jay Triano and David Vanterpool will try earn a spot in the Olympics starting Tuesday when they lead Canada into the FIBA Americas Championship in Mexico City. The Canadian roster features nine NBA players, including former No. 1 overall picks from Minnesota, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, as well as Toronto’s Cory Joseph, Boston’s Kelly Olynyk, Philadelphia’s Nik Stauskas and the Lakers’ Robert Sacre.
With their surge to a NBA title and guard who earned a regular season MVP award, a number of Warriors players have been involved in the Silicon Valley culture that their team attracts to games and will likely continue to bring in when they move to their new arena in San Francisco. “You’ll see Larry Ellison, you’ll see Jack Dorsey, you’ll see Adam Bain,” said Harrison Barnes, listing off the names of the co-founder of Oracle and Twitter executives. “You’ll see all these guys courtside that they’re walking down the street people might not say ‘oh my god that’s so-and-so’ but if you know who they are and you know what they do, there’s obviously well-respected in their fields.”
Jordan Fliegel, the co-founder of CoachUp said that there were a million reasons they partnered with Curry – after all he’s marketable on his own personality and what seems like a sincere dedication to the company. But playing in the Bay Area is helpful. “I think as we go, if we need introductions to various people, Stephen’s offered to help however he can,” Fliegel said. “He’s a huge part of our team.” Curry is also involved in another company that’s “in the social media space that talks about athletes and fan engagement, especially on the professional level,” he said, that will hopefully be coming out in the next year. His agent, Jeff Austin, said that playing in the Bay Area definitely influenced the opportunities sent his way, even as a high-profile player.
August 31, 2015 | 1:35 pm EDT Update
David Pick: Source: Utah Jazz looking for point-guard. Could be Marcelinho Huertas.
August 31, 2015 | 12:17 pm EDT Update
Apparently, $94,343,125 – a max contract – and not a penny less. Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report: A league source tells me that his agent, Rich Paul, has already made it clear to the Cleveland Cavaliers that Thompson will not sign a long-term deal unless it is a max deal. And otherwise, he is prepared to sign a one-year qualifying offer with the additional knowledge, according to the source, that Paul believes that he can get a max deal with the Raptors next summer.
During the summer, reports surfaced that the Los Angeles Lakers were on the verge of signing undrafted rookie Robert Upshaw to a deal. Fans clamored over Upshaw during the draft process, viewing him as a first-round talent. The problem with Upshaw is that he had as much public baggage as anyone in recent draft history and while he’s an immensely talented player, the stories surrounding him were downright scary from a team point of view. Upshaw was kicked out of two NCAA college programs amid reports of heavy drug use and personal issues that had most executives in the NBA removing him from their draft board.
August 31, 2015 | 11:40 am EDT Update
Sir’Dominic Pointer, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 53rd pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, will play for the Canton Charge of the NBA Development League, a league source informed Northeast Ohio Media Group. Pointer, 23, will not attend training camp with the Cavaliers and instead will report to Canton once its camp opens up, the source said. The Charge is the Cavaliers’ D-League affiliate.
What you can do, though, is bid on the uniform Jordan wore during the filming of Space Jam way back in the ‘90s, when times were simpler and athletes had senses of humor about themselves. Variety reports that LA-based Profiles In History, which has previously headed the auctions of items from other interspecies sports cartoons like Glee and Mad Men, is handling the auction for Jordan’s jersey. The estimated listing price ranges from $10,000 to $15,000, which is a small price to pay to sport a jersey with “signs of wear” and “minor staining” from the athletic machinations of MJ himself. Not convinced yet? The jersey comes complete with a Tune Squad logo—the team of cartoon animals that helped Jordan demolish the nefarious Monstars—and the number 23 across its back, which is both Jordan’s number and the number of times we had to rewrite the plot of Space Jam in that first paragraph so it made at least a modicum of sense.