Steve Fisher (head coach, San Diego State): âHe talked about [going pro] after his freshman year. We did our due diligence, and he probably was not going to be a first-round draft pick. And I told him that. I said, âYou should not go.â âAfter his sophomore year, he was for sure a first-round draft pick and we told him that and he decided to go with our blessing, and I went to the draft with him. I was there, and he had workouts where he moved up the food chain, where the whispers were he might be a top-10 pick, based on his workouts. And then when he slipped, he was a very sullen, somber guy until his name was called.â
February 18, 2019 | 6:00 am EST Update
The Wizardsâââ sole All-Star representative is looking three-and-a-half months ahead to the start of free agency â and maybe even beyond that. Beal joked to The Athletic on Friday that he may have to spend the weekend tampering with the other 25 All-Stars in Charlotte. Then again, maybe he wasnât joking too much. The two-way recruiting has already begun, as he admitted following Sundayâs game. âIt was really crazy,â Beal said. âA lot of guys were coming to talk to me and asking me how I feel. The recruiting process is really going all right. Itâs going all right. Iâm trying. This is new for me. So, Iâm definitely getting some ears and seeing where guysâ minds are at.â
Still, the league does not enforce player-on-player recruiting as if it were tampering. So, in this case, Beal can âtamperâ away. And opponents can return the favor. âGuys were, âSo, what yâall doing in D.C.? How is D.C.?â Or Iâm asking, âWhatâs your situation? What you thinking about? How you feeling? Any changes need to be made?ââ he said.
So, uhhh, who was it? âI canât name no names. Iâm not gonna name no names. I ainât gonna name no names. Youâre not gonna have me out here for tampering. I ainât gonna throw no names out. Iâm keeping them in my piggy bank, my back pocket right here,â Beal said. âBut in July, hopefully we can do something.â Beal, who has two seasons remaining on his contract with the Wizards and says he wants to stick around, is a known shooter, but this is a halfcourt heave. Props to him for at least being the guy who chucks before the end-of-quarter buzzer sounds.
Scott Kushner: AD said the weekend really wasnât any different for him than typical All-Star Games despite the scrutiny surrounding his trade request. âGreat to be around family and the other All Starsâ He also doesnât think it will be an issue returning to New Orleans to finish the season.
Scott Kushner: I just spoke to AD. He said the plan was to just play a limited amount so he wouldnât âmess the shoulder upâ any further. But he said of the shoulder, âitâs fineâ. He also said he expects to play when the Pelicansâ schedule resumes next week and will play his normal workload.
Matt Velazquez: Khris Middleton was asked about his future postgame: âIâll think about the summertime in the summertime. We have a lot more work to do, hopefully. The second half of the season is going to be tough. Weâve been playing great basketball, so thatâs the only thing Iâm worried about.â
James said heâs healthy and focused on the stretch run. “I feel great,” James said. “Looking forward to the second half of the season. Looking forward to seeing what we can do to get back in this playoff race. That’s my only mindset. That’s the only thing that’s going to happen in my mental space for these next two months, pretty much on how I can get this team playing the type of level of basketball we were playing before my injury.”
Team LeBron defeated Team Giannis 178-164 in Sundayâs NBA All-Star Game. Durant had a team-high 31 points and was named MVP, James and Leonard each had 19 and Lillard 18. Irving had 13 points, nine rebounds and six assists, and Thompson added 20 points. “We just started making shots,” Durant said during a televised interview. “Our second group got us going and we took off from there. It doesn’t matter, all these players are great and we are mixing up the conferences, and there are so many great players in the league. Being out here among so much greatness. I appreciate it.” It was the second consecutive year Team LeBron won the All-Star Game.