Of the eight high-ranking African-American NBA team executives The Undefeated spoke to, none expressed any malicious intent toward Johnson or Pelinka. But they all said they would have at least appreciated an opportunity to interview for the job. All are more than qualified for the position. But many black assistant general managers and other high-level team executives said they have had a hard time getting consideration for any NBA general manager opening. “We just want to compete. Guys with practical basketball experience, that’s what it’s about. Don’t give me anything. We just want to compete,” one high-ranking black NBA team executive said.
June 25, 2022 | 7:06 pm EDT Update
“Their continuity wasn’t there,” Perkins said on a recent appearance on JJ Redick’s The Old Man & the Three podcast (h/t Lee Tran of Fadeaway World) about Westbrook and Durant. “No matter how much they tried to fake it to the public, their brotherhood, it never was a brotherhood. And that’s okay, right, because you don’t have to be somebody’s brother to go out there and win a championship. But it helps. They never just got on the same page.
“It was the most difficult situation that I’ve ever been in coming from a Celtics team that was so close. When I got to the Oklahoma City Thunder, it was so separated. You had Eric Maynor, Russell Westbrook and James Harden… and Daequan Cook. They had their little clique and they kicked it with each other. Then you had KD who as just by himself. He didn’t even hang with them.”
“I gave him a choice because he had a 20-minute restriction the first game,” Steve Kerr told Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner on Friday’s episode of the Point Forward podcast. “I told him this is how the minutes would play out for you if you started verses if you came off the bench. Typical Steph, he said, ‘No, it sounds way better to come off the bench. That way I don’t have to sit too long between my minutes.’ “It never even entered the equation that this would be a blow to his ego or anything.”
“Physically get right, mentally take a step back, reflect, and kind of decompress,” Udoka said about Tatum. “Get your mind right as well. Just that time away. Don’t want to bother guys as much right now, but we want to relay the message that there’s still more to build on and grow on in certain areas.”
The Spurs had Branham pegged as a “midteens pick, maybe late lottery,” said Wright, who added that the club was prepared to trade up to get him. “We were just fortunate he was there at 20,” Wright said.
June 25, 2022 | 5:45 pm EDT Update
Joe Mussatto: Sam Presti on Lu Dort’s team option: “Obviously it’s our plan to exercise that pending anything different.” Significant news. The Thunder could have declined the option to make Dort a restricted free agent.