Gay had surgery five days later, expecting to be ready for the start of the 2017-18 season. Gay’s agent Roger Montgomery recalled a lot of negativity that Gay heard about guys his age who suffer that injury. “Rudy was motivated to defy the odds and come back strong,” Montgomery said. “So many people said that it was a tough injury that ends careers. Three days after, he said he had this motivation to defy the odds.”
The Spurs brought their medical team to meet with Gay and Ferguson. The team was comfortable offering a contract to Gay afterward. “We needed to add some talent to our team, and he was a gifted player,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “He can really score, and from all the reports we were getting, his Achilles healed rather quickly. They even thought he would be ready for training camp, which really surprised us but it made us go ahead and pull the trigger. We broke bread together and talked about what would be expected. We talked a little bit about defense, which at the time probably wasn’t his favorite topic. He’s a very intelligent young man and he knows how we’ve played over the years. I enjoyed my time with him, and it worked out. It’s as simple as that.”
While Gay wasn’t happy with the loss, Game 1 was meaningful as it was his first playoff game since May 13, 2012, when he and the Memphis Grizzlies lost a deciding Game 7 in the first round to the Clippers 83-72. “It’s a long haul,” Gay said. “I’ve been on some really good teams. I’ve been on some really bad teams. My whole career kind of led up to [Game 1] and is kind of leading up to where I am going to be in the future. Everybody says, ‘A loss is a lesson.’ I took a lot of losses in my career and it taught me a lot. I’m not going to let a day pass by. I didn’t deal with all the losing [well]. It was tough. All those people you see as your peers out there showing their talents at the highest level and you’re at home planning your vacation. It’s not something that any competitor wants to do.”
This wasn’t James’ fight. He easily could have ignored the debate, or waited until Cleveland’s next media availability to weigh in. But he recognized that LaForce’s reputation and ethics were being challenged, and didn’t think it was fair.  “Please get off Allie LaForce’s back because she followed the proper protocol and she warned me,” James added. “So get off her back, man. She’s very professional and she does a great job at her work.”
Storyline: Erin Popovich Death

Lakers targeting Kawhi Leonard this summer?

Former Lakers coach and star Byron Scott, for one, said this week that he believes the team has targeted this summer for a quick jump-start rebuild, suggesting that LA will wind up with both Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James this summer. Around the league, front-office sources agree with at least half that assessment. “I think they go in hard for Leonard once the season is over and once the dust settles in San Antonio,” one executive told Sporting News. “(Leonard) wants to go to LA. There probably won’t be public demands on that, but he has leverage. He is going to be a free agent (in 2019). He’s an LA guy and he can just let teams know he won’t re-sign next year with anyone but the Lakers.”
This rumor is part of a storyline: 1 more rumor