Summer League Rumors
Michael Jordan is too old to compete in Ice Cube’s new 3-on-3 league for retired NBA players … so says Allen Iverson, who tells TMZ Sports MJ’s teeth are a little too long to still get it in on the court. We got Iverson out in NYC at the official news conference for the BIG3 summer league (AI’s gonna be playing and coaching) and wanted to know if we could look forward to Michael Jordan showing up.
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said he has a relationship with former Cleveland player and first-year Lakers coach Luke Walton, and it revolves around “craps table No. 6” at undisclosed Vegas casinos. The two apparently meet at the same table every night during the annual NBA Summer League tournament out there to toss some dice. “Every night at nine o’clock,” Lue said Friday after Cavs practice. Lue will see Walton Saturday when Cleveland hosts the Lakers at 7:30 p.m. “We meet there every night during Summer League,” Lue continued. “Me, him and (Cavs forward Richard Jefferson). But R.J. is terrible, so we keep him away. He’s not serious enough. Me and Luke are pretty serious about it.”
He didn’t. Powell’s monster jam tied the score, and the Raptors went on to win the game and the series, their first in 15 long years. The clutch play was Powell’s first signature moment in the NBA, the kind of big-stage performance that can signal a star turn for a young player. Factor in the stellar Summer League showing that followed it and the noticeable improvements he’s displayed in the pre-season, and you can understand why Powell has already been anointed by many as the Raptors next breakout star. And he just may be. But Norman Powell isn’t buying it. Not yet, at least. “People think ‘Oh, you did it in the playoffs, you got minutes, you’ve made it,’” Powell says on the eve of a Raptors’ pre-season game in Detroit. “I made a couple of shots. I made a couple of plays. That’s great, sure, but I worked for that. I’m not where I want to be… I’m nowhere close.”
Here, Thibodeau is in his element. Last April, the ink barely dry on his deal, Thibodeau gathered the team in Minnesota. “Get in shape,” Thibodeau told them, according to several players, “and get ready.” In July, the T’wolves gathered in Las Vegas during the NBA’s summer league. Team building. “Building relationships is important,” Thibodeau said. Before he joined USA Basketball in Rio de Janeiro, he encouraged the players to return to Minnesota early to work out together. Defense, of course, is Thibodeau’s hallmark. The Bulls jumped from 10th in defensive efficiency to first in Thibodeau’s first season — and never finished outside the top five after. The T’wolves ranked 28th in defensive efficiency last season, an improvement from 30th the year before.
Michael Wallace: Grizzlies reach deal to add 6-10 PF Vince Hunter to preseason roster. Hunter avg 11.8 pts, 7rbs for Grizzlies summer league team.
Power forward Carlos Boozer didn’t play in the NBA last season but contacted the Spurs last spring and told them he wanted back in. Buford suggested he play in San Antonio’s June minicamp, but Boozer declined. “Then he was going to come for a piece of our summer league, but then he said, ‘Nah, I’m not going to do that, either,'” Buford says. “So we moved on. How can we evaluate him if he’s not playing?” Boozer ended up signing with the Guangdong Tigers in China on July 30.