So, I asked Andre (Iguodala) this. He talked about the journey being better than the result, which I understand. But how do you keep the journey from becoming stale for this group going forward? BM: You’ve got to like each other. You’ve got to really like each other. You’ve got to respect each other. You’ve got to understand that some days, you don’t have it. And your teammates need to pick you up. It’s the houseguest that stays too long. Sometimes you just need space. And it’s nobody’s fault. You need to yell at each other; you have to tell each other how you’re feeling. There’s acrimony, there’s division, there’s everything. But as long as you don’t break. You have to view it almost as like a family — that no matter what happens, we’re blood, and we’re going to see it through. But that’s a challenge, because you’re really not blood, but you’re as you can get, ‘cause you’re with each other all the time. Sometimes you see people more than you do your own family. So you try to find people that are decent people in the worst moments, is all you can do. Because the worst moments come. For us, the scrutiny on our team is heightened, and that’s fine. So when you slip up, it’s documented. So who are you going to be when you make those mistakes? How are you going to react to them? And I think that that is the testament to our group. Like I said, we bend. And we really did bend this year. But we didn’t break.
October 20, 2018 | 8:20 am EDT Update
Russell Westbrook sat out Friday’s game against the LA Clippers, the second straight game he has missed as he recovers from knee surgery, but he is eyeing a possible return in Sunday’s game against the Sacramento Kings.
After going through an energetic post-shootaround workout, which included a few emphatic tomahawk dunks, Westbrook met with the Oklahoma City Thunder’s medical staff and decided to sit against the Clippers. He has been increasing his practice workload, including being cleared for basically full-contact practices and drills. “A lot of it is him and the medical staff talking to each other and him giving feedback,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “In my conversations with him, it’s always how he’s feeling the next day. And I think for him, he needs to be right because you don’t want to have something lingering. And he knows his body better than anybody else.”
Erik Horne: Donovan on Russell Westbrook: “If he was cleared to play, he’d be playing.” Donovan says Westbrook is still doing controlled contact. “Russell, the medical staff, they’re all communicating.”
Jimmy Butler encouraged the fans to boo him, and the Minnesota crowd obliged. But some appeared to quickly forget their anger. The Timberwolves’ home opener began Friday night with Butler getting heartily booed during introductions before facing the Cleveland Cavaliers. It ended with Butler on the free-throw line to seal a 131-123 victory and some of the same fans showering the disgruntled star with an “M-V-P!” chant. “I knew as soon as I made an effort play, it was going to turn into cheers,” Butler said. “I like it, though. Like I told you, it’s OK to boo me. I’m still going to play hard. I’m still going to try to my best to help win games. Boos, cheers, silence, I’ve got a job to do.”
Butler has been at the center of turmoil since demanding a trade last month. In an interview earlier this week, Butler said he anticipated a negative response from T’wolves fans but didn’t seem worried about it. “Sure. Go ahead, boo me,” Butler told The Athletic. “It ain’t going to change the way I play. That’s going to make me smile more. So please, come on with it.”
Jerebko crashed the basket and tipped in a shot against his former team with 0.3 seconds remaining to lift the Golden State Warriors to a 124-123 victory over the Jazz on Friday night. “My teammates knew this was a big game for me coming back here. I wanted to win and told them I really wanted this one,” said Jerebko, who couldn’t stop smiling after the victory.
Jonas Jerebko: What a feeling!! Felt great to be back winning in Salt Lake. I got some amazing teammates. Way to fight back and get the W! #dubnation #NBAse🇸🇪