And the struggles became more acute as Irving and the Celtics excelled. The grumbling got louder as the Cavs’ losses piled up. James privately began to complain about how other all-time greats in the tail end of their primes played for franchises that added Hall of Fame-level talent to support their championship aspirations. The Chicago Bulls got Dennis Rodman for Michael Jordan. The Los Angeles Lakers got Pau Gasol for Kobe Bryant. The San Antonio Spurs got Kawhi Leonard for Tim Duncan. The All-Star whom the Cavs got for James wasn’t impressing him. Or other players on the team. As one team source put it, when asked about Thomas in the week leading up to the trade deadline: “I’m all for an underdog story, but you usually expect some humility to be a part of that story.”
September 22, 2021 | 4:19 am EDT Update
Ian Begley: Frank Ntilikina’s 2-year deal with the Mavericks is fully guaranteed in Year 1 and nonguaranteed in Year 2. The second year of Ntilikina’s deal becomes fully guaranteed if he’s on the Mavs roster past 7/4/22, per sources. The ex-Knick’s contract is for $3.8 million in total.
Zach Lowe: Now they’re investigating teams for announcing deals at 6:01 pm so that we could talk about it on our television show. That investigation by the way is still going on. There are rumblings that penalties are coming.
Jon Krawczynski: Coming into this year, people who have talked to (Karl-Anthony Towns) say he is much more focused, he’s got a clear head. And so there is the potential for him to come in and have this monster offensive start to the season again.
Perkins claimed that Harden disappeared in the series after the games went to the South Beach in Miami. OKC won the first game, but the Heat was able to equalize. “We get to Miami and South Beach get a hold to us, right? James Harden disappeared. Completely off the face of the Earth. When we needed him the most, his numbers that I mean his numbers in the finals were mind-boggling. I don’t know what it was but i just know he wasn’t there.”
The NBA entered the 2020-21 season with seven African American coaches among its 30 teams despite the league being about 75% Black. Brown told The Undefeated that he told the Celtics ownership and front office last offseason that it was important to hire a Black head coach after Brad Stevens was promoted to president of basketball operations. The Celtics seemingly listened, hiring former NBA player Ime Udoka, who was a Brooklyn Nets assistant last season and has nine years of coaching experience, on June 28. “They were on board with it. They talked about it. It wasn’t like it was just about being African American. [Udoka is] more than qualified,” said Brown.
A huge LAPD police union is going scorched earth on the Los Angeles District Attorney after he decided NOT to charge Jaxson Hayes with a felony, following the arrest of the New Orleans Pelicans star in July. “George Gascon’s latest criminal’s first airball puts a target on the back of every police officer in Los Angeles,” the Los Angeles Police Protective League tells TMZ Sports.