The marriage started the way so many everlasting unions do. “We couldn’t stand each other,” Butler says. It was December 2011, and Thibodeau had a lot on his mind: Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, a lockout-condensed schedule and Miami’s Big Three. Butler, the last pick of the first round, was not a priority. At practice, Bulls assistant coach Adrian Griffin would tell Butler to make 20 corner threes and the rookie would bristle: “Why? It won’t matter, anyway. Thibs doesn’t want me here. I’m not going to play tomorrow. I’m not going to play the game after that. I’m not going to play 10 games after that.” He was sure he’d spend the next decade in Turkey. At halftime Butler would trail Griffin to the locker room and plead, “Talk to Thibs! Tell him I’m ready!” Once, Griffin persuaded Thibodeau to put the rook in a game and call a pick-and-roll. Butler promptly turned the ball over. “See!” Thibodeau barked at Griffin. “I told you!”
July 23, 2018 | 11:54 am EDT Update
Mark Berman: NBA sources confirm Carmelo Anthony plans to sign with the #Rockets once he becomes a free agent. Carmelo expected to get a one-year deal from the Rockets at the veteran’s minimum of $2.4 million. @Marc Stein first reported the story.
Ira Winderman: Heat executive Chet Kammerer, who turns 76 tomorrow, tells the Sun Sentinel he is stepping down from his role as Heat Vice President of Player Personnel, “This is always tough when you feel like it’s time to turn the reins over.” Will move to a role as a senior adviser.
July 23, 2018 | 11:08 am EDT Update
Marc Stein: Carmelo Anthony intends to sign with the Houston Rockets upon becoming a free agent, league sources say, though it could be several more days before Melo is formally traded and clears waivers.
Marc Stein: Dirk Nowitzki will today sign a one-year, $5 million deal with the Dallas Mavericks that sets him up for a record-setting 21st consective season with the same team, according to league sources. Full @NYTSports coverage: nytimes.com/2018/07/23/spo…
So, here at Ocean Prime, he’s talking about the topic that’s been inescapable with his story: money, the kind paid to NBA stars. “You can always play the ‘what-if,’ game, but man, I’ve been F’d over so many times. But, of course, I think about it. I’m human,” Thomas says, shrugging and staring out the window onto Wilshire Boulevard. “I’m human.”
“People are scared of my hip now,” Thomas says. “I just had to be real with myself. I had to understand that it’s not going to be about the money this summer. I’ve got to show people that I can play — and play at a high level again. And I will.”
“If I didn’t play in the playoffs, I’d be OK,” Thomas says. “I’d be getting paid. I’d be who I am — who I was. But you couldn’t tell me in that moment in time — with everything I was going through — that, OK, I should just sit out. I don’t think Boston went about it the right way, as well. “But at the same time, it was hard for me to sit out. I just lost my sister, one of the closest people in my life. Basketball was the only thing that was going to help me out. I played until I literally couldn’t play anymore. And that was not a good business decision if I was looking in the long term, but I was looking in the ‘right now.’ That’s just what it was.