The NBA is limping to the finish line. The summer brings problems real and perceived. The postseason has been littered with blowouts and void of competitive drama. The regular season was largely unsatisfying, even with the record-breaking Warriors. The league’s most influential voice (Charles Barkley) called the on-court product “the worst I’ve ever seen it.” What do your eyes tell you? “It sounds so old-man ridiculous to me,” ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas said. “Everything gets better in America except basketball players. I’m telling you … if the stopwatch had never been invented, they would be arguing that Jesse Owens was faster than Usain Bolt. Or that Mark Spitz swam faster than Michael Phelps. And it just doesn’t make any sense.”
June 18, 2021 | 5:01 pm EDT Update
Malika Andrews: Kyrie Irving remains out for Nets-Bucks Game 7 on Saturday, Steve Nash says. Nash says Irving still has some “miles to make up.”
Mark Murphy: The Celtics, per source, now believe they will have an easier time re-signing Evan Fournier, and still have a modest free agent goal of signing someone to the full mid-level extension.
Duane Rankin: “That kind of violence is senseless.” Monty Williams extended prayers, thoughts and condolences from himself and #Suns in regards to multiple shootings in West Valley that left one dead, 12 injured Thursday “If we can do anything to be a benefit to them, we’ll do what we can.”
June 18, 2021 | 4:58 pm EDT Update
Marc Stein: The most pressing issue, obviously, is his availability for the Western Conference finals, but Phoenix’s Chris Paul has been actively pursued this month by @usabasketball for a spot on the Tokyo Olympic team, league sources say. Lots for Paul, 36, to weigh amid a deep playoff run