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October 25, 2014 Updates

As a teammate, I'd put him in an exclusive club of two when it comes to on-court leadership over these past two decades. Nash and Tim Duncan are the two finest star players I've ever seen when it comes to the rare art of positive reinforcement, making everyone around them feel good about themselves and galvanizing a group. On his own several years back, well aware of the critics who argued so loudly that Shaquille O'Neal should have won the MVP award that went to the little Canadian in 2005, Nash volunteered that the honor, in his case, was really a Best Teammate trophy -- in a nod to the dramatic impact he had on the 2004-05 Suns -- more than a Best Player trophy. ESPN.com

October 24, 2014 Updates
October 23, 2014 Updates

But I make no excuses. I posted my best personal numbers last season, and we still didn’t make the playoffs. Some of the backlash was pretty hard to take — I learned that there is apparently such a thing as an “empty stat” (I’ll try to remember the importance of that the next time I am boxing out for a rebound against Tim Duncan). In the end, I was given the opportunity to move on, and I took it. My decision was about wanting to win. When I think back to being a kid shooting on an eight-foot hoop in my Shawn Kemp jersey, I never dreamed about putting up a triple-double or signing a max contract. I dreamed about holding up a championship trophy. In order to get to that place, I knew that I needed to move on. The Players' Tribune

On what he does when he’s not playing basketball: Monta Ellis: “During the season I usually go home and play with my kids. With the time that I have in the offseason, I’m going to fish at least four or five times a week. That’s what I love doing. That’s my second love besides basketball because it relaxes me. It gives me a time to think and reflect on what I need to do for next season. Seeing the Spurs win the championship after we gave them the toughest run; it’s a time where I can think and evaluate myself as a person and a player and see what I can do to get better and better. I don’t too much mess with the catfish. If I’m with my uncle or granddaddy, I let them take it off. [If I’m not with them] I’ll cut the line. I don’t do catfish. They’re slimy and too wiggly. They got the pointy things on the side and on the top that’ll stick you. I hate that. Fishing is like going to court. You don’t know what to expect. I go out there to just ease my mind and be on the water to relax. If I’m catching fish, that’s good. If I’m not catching fish, it’s not bad for me because I’m still getting that relaxation that I’m looking for. It takes your mind off everything else around you.” Dallas Morning News

October 22, 2014 Updates

The league's GMs voted Aldridge the best power forward in the league, along with the Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin. Aldridge and Griffin both got 25 percent of the vote in by far the tightest race among the five positions. Aldridge finished fourth in the category the last three seasons. Last year, Aldridge got 6.9 percent of the vote, with Tim Duncan finishing No. 1 at 31 percent. In 2012, he got 10 percent of the vote, which was topped by Love at 30 percent. In 2011, Aldridge got 10.7 percent, with Dirk Nowitzki finishing No. 1 at 41.1 percent. Oregonian

The league's general managers believe that we're going to see James vs. the San Antonio Spurs in The Finals for the third straight June and the fourth time in eight years. But the championship picture is also relatively wide open, as six different teams were picked to win The Finals and a seventh was picked to get there. James was picked to take back the MVP award from Kevin Durant and is still the guy that with whom half of the GMs would most like to start a franchise. But it's becoming clear that Anthony Davis is the next big thing. NBA.com

October 21, 2014 Updates
October 20, 2014 Updates


The big stars from the Gregg Popovich years crowd the top of the list.


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