MOOD SWINGS? After an ESPN report came out on Monday about Kyrie Irving and his “mood swings,” Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson and several players, including Kevin Durant, came to the star point guard’s defense. DeAndre Jordan called Irving a great guy and said that he hasn’t noticed a single negative thing he’s done while with the Nets, while Spencer Dinwiddie referred to the six-time All-Star as a great teammate.
Regardless, this is something to keep an eye on as Irving indeed has a long history of this type of up-and-down behavior.
🏀 From purely a basketball sense, thus far, the fit between Irving and the Nets looks rather great. We say rather because Brooklyn is just 1-2 through three games, but it’s tough to fault Irving – who is averaging 37.7 points, 6.3 assists and 1.7 steals on 45.6 percent shooting – for that.
YOUNG STAR GOES DOWN: Trae Young suffered an ugly ankle injury on Tuesday night, twisting his ankle and missing most of Atlanta’s game against the Heat. Early x-rays came back clean, and the prognosis isn’t so bad, stating that Young should only miss around two weeks, but we still haven’t seen the MRI, which could change things.
Fingers crossed Young doesn’t miss too much time.
SLOW SUMMER? The summer of 2020 has been projected by many to be a slow one in free agency by the NBA’s usual standards. Not helping that belief is the fact that the majority of the league’s executives, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, fully believe Anthony Davis will re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers without an ounce of drama. Can’t blame him – that seems like a pretty good situation he’s settled himself into.
IN THE MONEY: On nine of the 30 NBA teams, the highest-paid player has never made an All-Star Game.
😮 Chandler Parsons has been paid $994,090 for each game while on this contract.
MATT BARNES EXPLAINS THE KOBE FLINCH: Everyone remembers the moment. Attempting to inbound the ball, Kobe Bryant crowded Matt Barnes, glaring at him, leading to the rugged swingman faking like he was going to toss the ball right in Bryant’s face. While a mere mortal would have dodged out of the way, Bryant didn’t move. Barnes recently talked about the incident on an episode of Vlad TV, stating that it was moreso something that just happened, and that he wasn’t intentionally trying to make Bryant flinch. We’ll just have to take his word for it.
COACH PAU? Pau Gasol told Spanish media that he’d consider getting into coaching once his playing career is over. Makes sense, as Gasol has always been one of the most cerebral players in the league throughout his days as a player.
WILDFIRE SCARE: LeBron James spoke to the media about what it was like being evacuated, along with his family, due to an approaching forest fire. James also spoke glowingly of the first responders, going as far as sending a taco truck to feed them lunch today. A great gesture towards the real heroes.
BIG MAN SHOWDOWN: MVP of the first week Karl Anthony-Towns is trying to downplay his matchup with Joel Embiid Wednesday night.
UNDERRATED ADDITION: Although most people are focused on Mike Conley’s struggles with the Utah Jazz, their other major addition of the summer, Bojan Bogdanovic, has been balling out. We took a look at his game and broke down what the Crotian swingman has been doing to excel with Utah.
NEW DADDY: Jimmy Butler missed the first three games of the season for the birth of his child, and he could not be happier about it. He named his new daughter Rylee, though it has nothing to do with the guy who just acquired him, Pat Riley. Butler finally played his first game for Miami on Tuesday night, scoring 21 points and securing five boards against the Hawks.
RUSS FACES OLD TEAM: Rockets point guard Russell Westbrook faced off against his old team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, for the first time on Monday. After Houston’s 116-112 victory, he stepped into the Thunder’s locker room and had some entertaining interactions with his former teammates, as well as with Chris Paul, the player he was traded for.
ROLE PLAYER BACK SOON: Speaking of the 3-1 Lakers, Kyle Kuzma is expected back at some point during the team’s upcoming three-game road trip. That’ll be a nice addition to one of the league’s top contenders.
NEW SITUATION WORKING OUT: Los Angeles’ other team, the Clippers, are also off to a strong start. Part of that has been due to Kawhi Leonard’s quick assimilation to playing for head coach Doc Rivers, who Leonard says is one of the reasons why he chose to sign with L.A.’s less-popular brand.
BIG IN CHINA: Amare Stoudemire has signed with Fujian of the Chinese Basketball Association. It’s the third stop for the Suns legend since he announced his retirement from the NBA three years ago. (He worked out in front of NBA teams last summer in an attempt to return to the league, by the way).
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