The Warriors’ 73 victories broke the Bulls’ 1996 record, but O’Neal said his 2001 Lakers would have beaten them. That team set an NBA record by going 15-1 in the postseason for the second of three straight championships under Jackson, back when O’Neal could be an even bigger physical force before rules changes loosened the game for free-flowing offenses like Golden State’s to thrive. “If you’re using those rules, we’d win. Now we use these rules these days, we’d still win, because you wouldn’t be allowed to touch me, you wouldn’t be allowed to touch Kobe,” O’Neal said. “So yeah, that’s how I always look at it.”
Diamond Leung: Byron Scott: "Me and Coop are going to guard Klay and Steph pretty damn good." http://es.pn/1rc6FbB
Diamond Leung: Magic Johnson: "If we can beat somebody like the Celtics, who we feared, now we never feared a jump-shooting team." https://youtu.be/ub40kowVrmI
Diamond Leung: Magic Johnson on Mychal Thompson: "If we were playing in the series & he didn't want to play against his son, you go ahead & sit down." https://youtu.be/ub40kowVrmI
Basketball Hall of Famer Dave Bing has a pretty strong opinion: Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is the best shooter in NBA history. "He is absolutely the best shooter that has played the game," said Bing, who was named one of the Top 50 NBA players of all time. "Nobody's close, except his teammate." Curry's teammate, of course, is Klay Thompson. But Bing gave Curry the nod over Thompson because of everything else he does.
"Curry, he has the ability to get free. I mean, he's a great ball handler," Bing said. "He can play one-on-one and he gets free because he handles the ball so well. Klay Thompson doesn't handle the ball like that, but he's probably got equal depth. He's got the range also, but he can't get free like Curry. Curry can get free on his own and he makes the rest of his teammates, he makes them better."
Mychal Thompson: I agree with Klay, I think they would beat us (Showtime Lakers). We couldn't keep up with them offensively.
“People think us old guys hate when we talk about it,” Barkley told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “It has nothing to do with the Warriors’ greatness, LeBron’s greatness. But I’ve never seen the NBA as bad as it is, and I’ve been saying it the last three or four years. We’ve got too many young players coming out of college that don’t know how to play. It’s frustrating for me because I want to see competitive basketball.
“It’s funny how the game has changed,” Bird continued. “And my thinking about it. I was really worried—back sixteen, seventeen years ago—that the little guy didn’t have a spot in the N.B.A. anymore: it was just going to be the big guards like Magic Johnson. But then players started shooting more threes and spacing the court, and everyone wants small guards now. Watching these kids play now, I’m like everybody else: Wow, man. They can really shoot! They have more freedom to get to the basket. The ball moves a little better. These kids are shooting from farther, with more accuracy. Now some teams shoot up around thirty threes a game. My era, you always think that’s the greatest era. But I’m not so sure anymore.”
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving says he doesn't care about Tracy McGrady's recent comments that the NBA is "watered down." "It doesn't matter to me," Irving said. "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," Irving said. "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."
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.”
July 3, 2022 | 11:25 pm EDT Update
If a trade is possible, would the leaders of the locker room welcome Durant? According to multiple sources, they would, for the same reason they embraced him in 2016. “I mean,” one source said, “it’s freaking Kevin Durant.” The Warriors superstars have been in conversations with Durant. In addition to catching up, the Hall of Fame-bound peers did entertain the idea of a reunion.
The Warriors could undoubtedly put together one of the best packages for a Durant trade. And for a front office known for unearthing every stone, they’d have to vet the chance to add Durant. With that said, according to multiple sources in the Warriors organization, a reunion is highly unlikely. Nothing about the last three years suggests the Warriors would be willing to pay the price for a KD return. That price is likely (and reportedly) an All-Star-caliber player, young talent and a heap of draft picks.
This isn’t a case where the Warriors stars are pressing the front office to go acquire Durant. Sources made it clear they are fine defending their title with Wiggins, Poole and the young players they’ve been grooming to win with them. But if the universe somehow sets it up so legends reunite, they’d be open to it.
David Hardisty: Woj says Brooklyn has “no traction” on a deal for KD or Kyrie. They’re being patient because they “don’t have to trade either”, though that’s not their ideal scenario. Nets trying to get the “biggest haul of assets that they can” and “there’s a lot more talks coming.”
Lionel Hollins, the long-time Memphis Grizzlies head coach through the Grit and Grind era, will join Rockets coaching staff six years after he and Stephen Silas sought to team up on the Houston bench a person with knowledge of the Rockets additions to the coaching staff said on Sunday.
The Rockets will also promote Mahmoud Abdelfattah after he led the Rio Grande Valley Vipers to the G League championship. Abdelfattah was a Vipers assistant coach in their 2018-19 G League championship season and was promoted to head coach the following season. Mike Batiste, a Wizards assistant who like Hollins played at Arizona State, will also join the Rockets staff.
Tony Jones: Utah Jazz head video coordinator Charles Allen has accepted a job with the Sacramento Kings under new coach Mike Brown, according to league sources. He will be the head video coordinator and a special assistant to the head coach