ONE LAST GOODBYE: A memorial for the life of David Stern was held on Tuesday, and the turnout was a who’s who of NBA legends, current employees and the departed commissioner’s friends and family. Just a few of the big names who attended were Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Yao Ming.
It was a chance for many to pay their final respects to Stern, and Magic didn’t take that for granted, as the Hall-of-Fame ball-handler spoke beautifully of the man he referred to as his angel. Johnson credited Stern for saving his life by letting him play in the 1992 All-Star Game after his AIDS diagnosis, at a time when so little was known about the awful disease.
Former NBA employee and current Warriors president Rick Welts also spoke glowingly of Stern, telling a touching story about Stern donating money to the memory of a former partner of Welts’, who passed away from AIDS in 1994 and had a scholarship fund set up in his name by Welts. The Golden State front-office member says he and Stern never even talked about the donation.
His legacy may be complicated, but there’s no doubt Stern touch a lot of lives in a very positive way. He will be missed.
LATEST TRADE SCUTTLE: Tuesday brought a new batch of trade rumors.
The Warriors will be active sellers at the deadline, and Alec Burks, who’s posting a very solid season so far, is their likeliest trade candidate.
Following a strong spell of play and with the impending return of Zion Williamson, the Pelicans have pulled back on trade talks, including those involving Jrue Holiday and JJ Redick.
Unlike last season, Kyle Kuzma isn’t focusing on the trade talks that continue to surround him. Smart decision by the young forward.
BRUTAL INJURY: Dwight Powell reportedly suffered a torn achilles last night, an injury that will force him to miss the rest of the season. Horrific news for the underrated 28-year-old big man.
RETURN IMMINENT: Zion Williamson is so excited to return on Wednesday that he says he might not be able to sleep the night before the game. For the Pelicans’s sake, let’s all hope he does get some rest, because we’ve already seen what happens when he’s tired during games.
SUPPORT SYSTEM: Many were touched by the video of Delonte West that was circulating on social media yesterday. Jameer Nelson, Danny Ainge and Mark Cuban have been in communication with West since his troubles started, and they all badly want to help him get back on his feet.
ALWAYS ADAPTING: Fascinating film breakdown here of the ever-evolving Bucks offense, which remains elite despite the difficulty their best player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, has shooting the basketball.
ABANDONED JUMPER: James Harden has made just nine of his last 51 three-point attempts, including a brutal 1-for-17 performance from the outside on Monday. Harden responded by having an intense shootaround immediately after the Rockets’ loss to Oklahoma City that night.
TIGHT LIPPED: If you were wondering why it seems like we’re getting fewer and fewer enlightening/introspective/hilarious player quotes recently, it’s because teams are having fewer shootarounds than ever, prioritizing rest for their players instead. That means less time in front of the media for players, and, unfortunately, fewer quotes for all of us.
THANKS BUT THAT’S ENOUGH: Alex Caruso has enjoyed seeing his name receive so many All-Star votes this year, but he’s glad this saga is almost over so the deserving players can get the attention they deserve.
EARLY STRUGGLES: This season, the Clippers have learned that building a super team is far from easy, from the load management to greatly heightened expectations to learning to play alongside one another.
ALREADY A GREAT: Bradley Beal recently passed Wes Unseld to become the Wizards’ second all-time leading scorer, trailing just backcourt mate John Wall. Beal is honored to have his name sharing the history books with so many Wizards and Bullets greats.
LOSING A FATHER: Nicolas Batum’s first memory is of his father collapsing on a basketball court and eventually passing away at the way-too-young age of 30. His father’s demise not only led to a lifetime of Batum worrying that the same would happen to him at 30, but it also got Nic red-flagged prior to the draft and almost forced him to not get selected in 2008.
GO-TO MEAL: A steakhouse in Dallas called Nick & Sam’s has become the top restaurant choice for various visiting teams and players, including both the Warriors and Doc Rivers himself. Here’s the story of how that came to be, featuring a whole lot of Dirk.
SALARY QUIZ: WHO’S THIS NBA PLAYER? 🤔
Click here for the answer.
Feel super free to forward this newsletter to your friends. Subscribe here.