Chris Fedor: #Cavs Kyrie Irving responds to Tracy McGrady’s comments about NBA being “watered down” right now: “I really don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me. There’s always a different era that comes into the game and guys are going to continue to change the game. We just try to make our imprint as best we can. The past guys that have been in this league are always going to have an opinion of what they would’ve been like in this era and this new generation. All you can do is respect what they have given to the game, respect any opinion of the past guys that have given something to this game that I’ve watched for numerous years. It’s all in good respect.”
NBA players today are, on average, significantly better at virtually every skill relevant to basketball than ever before. And the gap between modern players and players in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s is enormous, and even since the late 80’s and 90’s there’s been at least some improvement.
Basketball actually throws an interesting variable into the equation because height is an incredibly valued tool. According to David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene, in 1983 when the NBA signed its first agreement making the players entitled to a certain percentage of the ticket revenues and television contracts, the proportion of 7-footers in the NBA doubled almost overnight. And for every few inches after 6-foot-2, the odds of making the NBA is increased by an order of magnitude.
Curry has been the most recent victim of this growing trend, with the likes of Oscar Robertson and others marginalizing the historic accomplishments of the Golden State Warriors star and reigning MVP with their self-serving commentary. “Yeah, for me personally in my career I’ve done nothing but big-up the guys who paved the way for us,” James told USA TODAY Sports. “I’m respectful to all the guys who paved the way, the greats, guys who were role players, guys who were part of a championship team or was not. I’ve always been respectful, so it does kind of suck when you’ve got guys who played before us and paved the way for us (and) …they like to talk down on a lot of our players, saying, ‘Well if they played in our era it wouldn’t be the same.’”
“I heard Dennis Rodman say if I played in their era I’d just be an average player – yeah, about me, that I’d be just an average player,” James said. “And they say the same things about Steph, ‘If Steph played in our era, then we’d be more physical with him and we’d go at him.’ And it sucks because we’re just trying to carry the torch for the next group to come behind us. “I just want to be able to leave a mark personally, and be able to leave this game, this beautiful game, when I’m done with it for the next group of guys. I’m never one to talk down on a group of guys. If they can play, they can play.”
“So you hear about (the criticism), but you don’t let it affect you because we understand that they paved the way for us. Then you’ve got (Tim) Duncan, Kobe, KG (Kevin Garnett). They paved the way for us. Now myself, D-Wade, ‘Melo, Chris Bosh, CP3 (Chris Paul), we’re kind of paving the way for Steph, Klay, all those generations, and now they’re doing it for the younger guys. It’s no biggie.”
August 16, 2022 | 7:52 pm EDT Update
“Who’s talking about what kind of pressure?” Doncic joked when asked about the Slovenia national team’s goal and explain that he is aiming for the top again: “We are going to Germany to win gold. In every competition where we compete, the goal must always be the first place. We will do everything for it, but we will see if we make it. In 2017, no one took us seriously when we announced our attack on the gold medal, today is different. It’s nice when you see that everyone will make an extra effort against us to win”.
Stefan Bondy: Re: Brunson tampering investigation, heard at least one Knicks employee had cell confiscated by NBA. Something else I learned: players have never turned in devices and won’t unless it’s CBA bargained. Union won’t stand for that. Rightfully so. Agents also don’t turn them in.
“It was just guys who knew their roles,” Cuban said. “Like an Andrew Wiggins. I think he was the one who beat us, and I told him that after the series. We knew what to expect from Klay and from Steph and from Draymond. We didn’t know what to expect or how Wiggs would step up, and he did.”
Apparently, Cuban was already in deep discussions with then-Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss about a potential blockbuster deal: “I was going back and forth with Dr. Buss, and I forgot who called who, I think he called me, actually, and said, ‘Look, we think we might be parting ways with Kobe,’” Cuban said. As it turns out, however, the deal “all fall apart” when Cuban told a Lakers PR guy named Elvis about it. Word quickly spread and Cuban believes Mitch Kupchak ended up convincing Kobe to stay in LA.
Cuban made it abundantly clear that he believed they were already at the finish line: “I thought it was done,” he reiterated. “I thought it was done, yeah. Done. Done. Done. Like, let’s start talking about putting together the trade call.”
August 16, 2022 | 5:44 pm EDT Update
Another offseason, another summer of trade rumors. That had Tyler Herro offering a resigned smile Tuesday at a Miami Heat back-to-school event at Target at Dadeland Station. “I mean, every summer, that’s just what it is,” Herro said after helping a group of youths fill their back-to-school carts. “I mean, ever since I’ve been here, my name’s been in rumors. So rumors, like I said last summer, they don’t bother me. I’m just getting ready for this season and whether I’m on the Heat or somewhere else, I’m getting ready for the season.”