Melissa Rohlin: Kerr on keeping Andre Iguodala: “It never seemed like it was a serious deal because we knew the restrictions on what Houston could offer. We were offering twice as much. That usually does the trick.”
October 22, 2018 | 8:44 am EDT Update
With that in mind, keep an eye on Kevin Love as the potential first major trade chip to be moved in the non-Jimmy Butler category. Yes, Love signed a long-term extension with Cleveland this summer. But as Blake Griffin showed last year, that just means he could be more attractive to another team as a trade chip.
He tells me that the food comes from his chef, who stops by four or five times a week to drop off meals. It’s the superstar athlete’s attempt at a more carefully crafted diet, a corrective to the eating habits that became the object of scrutiny and Internet laughter a few years ago, when it was reported that Embiid consumed pitchers of Shirley Temples. Embiid used to drink one (a single Shirley Temple, not a pitcher’s worth) almost every day but has since cut back to merely “once in a while,” he tells me while grabbing a bottled water from the fridge, as if to prove his point. (Bill Self, Embiid’s coach at Kansas, tells me that Embiid was the “least mature eater” he’s ever seen: “This dude would come to the house and go right to the plate of brownies and take the plate home, and that would be all that he would eat.”) Of course, the diet is only one piece in a much larger puzzle, one that has proved to be the hinge on which Embiid’s career swings from dormant to dominant: his body.
Of course, Embiid didn’t grow up dreaming of being a volleyball player. He wanted to be… an astronaut, which he realizes now was a job not likely to be showcased at his middle school career fair. “[In] Cameroon, we don’t know shit about space,” he says. “I don’t even know if there’s a Cameroonian astronaut. That’s what I wanted to become. I wanted to become President and I wanted to become an astronaut. Because I was really good at math.”
“A lot of guys, when they have nothing to talk [trash] about, and when they know that they’re clearly not better than you, they have a tendency to talk about the past, bringing up my injury streak,” he says. “I’m really not an injury-prone player. I just had that one injury that took, like, two years.”
There are 48 stories in the luxury high-rise Joel Embiid calls home. Joel Embiid does not live on the 48th floor. “I don’t have that type of money,” he says. “All my money goes back to Africa.” (Conveniently, he just signed a new shoe deal with Under Armour, the specific details of which were not released, but it reportedly gives him gobs of money and includes charitable initiatives back in Cameroon and in Philly.)
“I don’t have trust issues but it’s kind of hard for me to, like, trust somebody,” he says. “I always analyze everybody… Some people talk to me and I act like I don’t understand or I act like I’m not listening, but I hear everything. I observe. I see everything.”
Jokic didn’t do much to celebrate his newfound wealth. Soon after signing his max contract in early July, he went back to his hometown of Sombor, a town of fewer than 100,000, two hours north of Belgrade. It was the same routine that he has done every summer since coming to the league: work in the gym, hang out with friends and family, and tend to his stable of horses.
When a reporter at media day asked Jokic whether he could buy some swagger with all his money, he claimed not to know what swagger is. When asked about LeBron James signing with the Lakers, he expressed amazement that one player could single-handedly change a franchise. People around the Nuggets think Jokic has done the same thing, but you would never hear that from him. “It’s not like that. We have the same team, same core, since I came here,” he said. “We just need a little bit of help, and I think we’ll be good.”