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March 28, 2023 | 6:29 am EDT Update
Ja Morant as a pitchman? 'There's going to be a wait-and-see approach with him'
The message of this new ad seemed just as obvious, given the controversy that swirled around Morant earlier this month: His recent off-court issues have cast doubt on his ability to be a corporate spokesperson. “There’s going to be a wait-and-see approach with him,” said Doug Shabelman, CEO of Burns Entertainment. “I don’t anticipate him signing with new companies in the next year, because people want to see is he going to rehabilitate himself, get himself to a better place, and then, how is it going to go? The hope for Ja is that nobody talks about this in 6-to-12 months.”
Most experts believe Morant has all the makings of a redemption story with a sweet ending, but the process will need to be calculated and strategic. “Right now, he is young enough and in a good enough position that he can rehabilitate his whole image based in how he comes out of these next few weeks,” Shabelman said. “Nothing has been decided, and the public is very forgiving when people are willing to do the work.”
Andrew Greif: Ty Lue: “It was nothing Marcus did wrong, just trying something different. And when you’re not playing well you want to try something different and a Marcus was all for it. We have to sacrifice if we want to win at a high level.”
“Always just been blessed,” Bridges told The Athletic. “I think my body might get hurt, heals a little faster. Everybody’s body is a little different, but my body will hurt and next day the swelling will go way down. And every time I did get hurt it’s been in the preseason or offseason, I was like in high school or stuff so that kind of helps as well.”
March 28, 2023 | 3:27 am EDT Update
Nikola Jokic on Joel Embiid: 'He's gonna be remembered as one of the most dominant players'
The Sixers sat both Embiid and James Harden (sore left Achilles) as Jokic compiled 25 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists. Afterward, Jokic dished out nothing but high praise for the Sixers superstar looking to win his own MVP crown. “I think he’s a great player,” Jokic said of Embiid. “I think he’s gonna be remembered as one of the most dominant players in the league. The guy’s a beast, and he’s so talented. “He can affect [the game] many ways on the floor. He can post up, he can face up, he can shoot 3s. He can defend really well. He can, in some situations, guard 1 through 5. So he’s a really, really good player.”
Michael Singer: Bruce Brown said he got into it with MPJ after missing open guys on a possession. “That’s happens with every great team.” Said Jokic got mad at Bruce for lobbing him and it led to a turnover. Bruce said the team has grown most in its accountability.
Sixers coach Doc Rivers, when asked about the discourse surrounding the MVP race, said people should appreciate Embiid and Jokic. “It’s like we can’t celebrate people,” Rivers said before the game. “The league is in a great place. It’s in an amazing place. You’ve got Joel Embiid and Joker, two centers, in a non-center league, dominating the league. You’ve got Giannis, and I always put him as a whatever, because we don’t know what [position] Giannis is, but he’s one of the best players in the league. Jayson Tatum is playing unbelievable. Kevin Durant, if he wasn’t hurt, you can just keep going.
Andrew Greif: The Clippers and Pat Beverley were in touch last month quite a bit as the team was deciding how to fill their final roster spot. Was there a point where Pat thought he would reunite with the Clippers? “I thought I was gonna be everywhere,” Beverley said, with a grin.