Zaza Pachulia a Mav

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October 7, 2015 | 2:55 pm EDT Update

Nazr Mohammed mulling retirement

So, if I’m really being honest with myself, I want to play basketball, but if I had to sign today or tomorrow, the answer would be “No!!” I look at it like this: I’m not willing to play the role that I’ll be needed for right now, which is to provide veteran leadership, a locker room presence, insurance in case someone gets hurt, etc. In a few months, if the right team that has an identity and a need for what I bring calls me, then maybe. Rosters are full and everybody is trying to figure out what type of team they want to be. I’ve watched training camp practices on NBA TV and I don’t have a desire to go through that right now. I don’t think I need to be on a roster – and go through pre-season – for a team that doesn’t quite need me yet, doesn’t have an identity or know what they are going to be in the future. I have an identity and I know what I bring to a team. I’d rather sit back and enjoy my family and see my kids off to school every morning than sign with a team that has so many unknowns.
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I don’t want to repeat my experience of the last couple of seasons as the “in case of emergency” guy, which was very hard. My mental preparation is intense, and I didn’t like getting myself mentally prepared, going through my game routine, lying to myself saying “tonight’s the night I’m going to play and help us win,” then not getting the chance…over and over again. The letdown at the end of the night was tough. That experience ate at my ego and made my confidence waver. It made me wonder if I was good enough or if I still belonged in the NBA. Luckily the respect and confidence that my teammates had for me kept me motivated to work hard and stay ready. To be prepared and know there’s more than a 90 percent chance that you’re not going to play is very hard. It was a lot less playing than I expected. After a long summer of training and competing, I realize that I can still contribute but “fit” is more important at this stage in my career.
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And while I’m preparing to move on from the game, I’m still leaving that window open a little bit! If the right situation were to present itself, I will take a strong look at it. When I say the “right” situation, I mean this: if a team needs a big man who can knock down open jump shots, can guard his man in the post, understands good team defense, who has played in every different kind of basketball offense known to man AND can provide leadership, then I am a fit. If a team only needs my locker room leadership and my Ph.D. from playing for the best coaches and organizations for the last 20 years (college included), then I’m not your man. But I may be the man you need in your front office (humble brag). Truth is, I still love this game, I still have that competitor in me and I still feel like I can help a team. And regardless of what happens, I plan on staying in basketball shape.
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October 7, 2015 | 1:47 pm EDT Update
October 7, 2015 | 12:55 pm EDT Update

No deal in sight for Tristan Thompson

Tristan Thompson remains a hold out as he and the Cleveland Cavaliers are in a stalemate with his restricted free agency. Thompson decided not to sign the Cavaliers’ qualifying offer and he’s been unable to agree upon terms on a multi-year deal. “I think it will take a third party event to bridge the gap here,” said Windhorst on Zach Lowe’s podcast. “I actually believe it will probably go months,” said Windhorst. “This will go well into the regular season.”
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October 7, 2015 | 11:42 am EDT Update
Love said his ill-timed injury in the playoffs left him “very upset” and “down” and pretty helpless as he was reduced to a spectator of his own team. “What was the hardest part was obviously having to sit there and watch,” Love said. “Be in a suit and be in a sling and knowing that I could be out on the floor helping or doing different things and be at a way higher capacity than cheering helping the team. So, it was that … I really started to feel comfortable in what we were doing and then I hurt my shoulder. So, it was tough. Even if Kyrie had been healthy, who knows? But if I would have been healthy, who knows? It becomes a lot of what ifs.”

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