RIP, DAVID STERN: Just 20 days after the NBA announced former league commissioner David Stern – who held the position for 30 years and helped take the NBA from having its championship series shown on tape delay to making it a global brand – had suffered a brain hemorrhage, the 77-year-old passed away on Wednesday.
The outpouring of thoughts and prayers came from far and wide once the unfortunate news was announced, with both former and current players, including Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Bill Russell, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, leading the way.
Throughout his time as commissioner, Stern had to navigate occasionally difficult circumstances, like Malice in the Palace and MJ’s first retirement, but he always did so with aplomb, and the league always came out just fine on the other end of controversies. We made a gallery of some great Stern moments of the past, and going through it will help you realize how long, and how important, that man was to the game of basketball.
LAST NIGHT IN THE ASSOCIATION: The Lakers won their third game in a row, taking down the Suns 117-107 behind 57 combined points from Anthony Davis and LeBron James. Meanwhile, Milwaukee beat the Timberwolves 106-104, where Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 32 points and 17 rebounds. The league’s top contenders keep rolling.
Also, Carmelo Anthony made his return to Madison Square Garden as a member of the Blazers. The fans met him with loud cheers as his name was announced, and he went on to score 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting. The Knicks won, however, spoiling the return for Melo, by a final score of 117-93. The Blazers have now dropped five games in a row.
SECOND THOUGHTS? The NBA world was shocked when Darren Collison announced his surprise retirement prior to the season. Apparently he’s having second thoughts on the matter, though, as Woj is reporting that Collison is considering a February return to action.
His return won’t be to Indiana, however; Woj says Collison, who is originally from Rancho Cucamonga, CA, prefers to sign with either the Lakers or the Clippers should he go through with his comeback. Collison shot 42.4 percent from three over his last four seasons, so whoever does pick him up will be making a sneaky strong addition to their team.
TRADE SCUTTLE: As we welcomed 2020, we received a good bit of trade rumors from around the Association: There’s confidence the Cavs will find a Kevin Love trade by the February deadline. Love could be a trade target for the Suns, but Danilo Gallinari is a likelier option.
The Clippers are interested in Aron Baynes, whose floor-spacing from the 5 could be a game-changer for a contender.
Indiana isn’t looking to break up their supersized frontcourt of Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, despite previous reports that they might be thinking about it.
DOWNPLAYING RUMORS: The Athletic is reporting that sources both with Karl-Anthony Towns and the Timberwolves have downplayed any talk of the star big man being unhappy in Minnesota.
STATE OF DISARRAY: The Sixers have lost three games in a row (as well as six of their last nine), and Josh Richardson says a lack of accountability is a problem in their locker room right now. Things aren’t going so hot for Brett Brown’s guys at the moment.
BALANCING ACT: Derrick Rose would like to play more minutes, but physically, he just can’t anymore, says Pistons head coach Dwane Casey.
COUNT THE WINZ: Only two players won over 500 games in the 2010s, and they are LeBron James and James Harden. Here, we rank the 20 players with the most victories last decade.
A NEAR MEGA TRADE: The Knicks nearly traded for DeMarcus Cousins back in 2015, just before that year’s draft. That trade would have cost New York a first-round pick, the one that would go on to become Kristaps Porzingis. Fascinating to think about how different the league would be if that deal had actually happened.
ROZIER ON BOSTON: Former Celtics guard Terry Rozier talks about his old team, and why they’re having so much more success this year than last. Pretty much, he thinks this Boston team has much better chemistry than they did in 2018-19.
LACK OF CREATIVITY: Spurs legend Gregg Popovich says he finds today’s NBA boring, at least as far as the coaching aspect is concerned, because there’s a lack of innovation among head coaches in the league, who are too quick to steal from each other rather than invent something new.
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