How far in advance did you know that story was going to…

How far in advance did you know that story was going to come out? Did you know it was going to come out? Thon Maker: “No, no. I’ve been focused on the game, like every single game all year just like I always do. I’m a winner. I focus on the games and that’s all that matters to me. I’ve never just said things recklessly without thinking about it or talking to people about it. I always go back to my people and talk to them about it. I just focus on the game; that’s all I’ve done so far.”

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How frustrating has it been this year to not get as much playing time as maybe you thought you were going to get and seeing a vet like Brook Lopez come in and scoop up minutes, even as well as he’s playing? Has this year gone a bit differently than you expected? Thon Maker: "I’m a competitive guy, very. I don’t like saying that about myself but people in the locker room say that about me. But I’m a competitive person and the GM, the coaches, those guys, they wouldn’t like it if I was happy not to be playing. They’ve wouldn’t like that. For me, as a competitor, I’ve got to stay locked in. I’ve always been a winner since the first time I started playing basketball. In high school, you can check my record, I played to win no matter what. There were media, articles and stuff talking about me I’m a YouTube guy, this and that. I’ve always focused on playing the game the right way and the real basketball fans when they saw that they actually loved that more than the highlights I produced. The highlights just happen within the game. I’m trying to win the game. I’ve always been that same person."
In the end, do you feel like getting traded would be best for you? Do you think that would be best? Thon Maker: Like I said, I really love the city. It's where I live. The fans have supported me. The Bucks took a historic pick in the lottery with a guy coming straight out of high school. For me, I really appreciated that. And the fans, everything like that. I've been down to earth with this organization because they picked me straight out of high school, a historic pick. For me, I just go out there and play as hard as I can every time I'm out there to repay that. This is where I live. This is where I live.
Do you feel like the message of wanting to play more was already clear to the front office before the story came out? Thon Maker: Yeah. I've always had conversations with Coach. He would let me know these guys are playing really well. When we had John (Henson), he was playing really well early in the season. Ersan (Ilyasova), before he got hurt. And we just have our regular day-to-day conversations as well.
You obviously talk with the front office – you talk to general manager Jon Horst, you talk to assistant general manager Milt Newton. In general, what are those conversations like? Thon Maker: We’re always laughing, joking around, talking just as usual like every single day. At practice, when they’re there, they come and check up on every player, see how everybody’s doing and catch up as usual.
The representative for Milwaukee Bucks center Thon Maker has told management that he'd prefer the franchise find a trade to a team that would provide a larger role for the former lottery pick, league sources told ESPN.
As Maker's playing time has diminished under new coach Mike Budenholzer in the Bucks' surge to the NBA's best record, agent Mike George and Milwaukee general manager Jon Horst have discussed trade scenarios in recent weeks that would potentially make sense for both the player and team, league sources said.
League sources said Thon Maker, who makes $2.8 million this season, D.J. Wilson, who makes $2.5 million, or Christian Wood, who makes $1.5 million. would be potential candidates in a Korver-Dellavedova deal. Like Dellavedova, Maker, Wilson and Wood are buried on the Bucks’ depth chart. The Bucks aren’t the only team interested in Korver’s services. Sources said Philadelphia, Oklahoma City and Los Angeles Lakers are also among the Korver suitors.
Storyline: Thon Maker Trade?
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June 15, 2021 | 11:37 am EDT Update

Draymond Green and Damian Lillard to play for Team USA

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green are among the initial commitments to Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics this summer, sources tell The Athletic. Lillard, who turns 31 on July 15, will be playing in his first Olympics after dropping out of consideration for the 2016 Rio Games, where the U.S. men’s team won its third consecutive gold medal. Green, 31, was a part of the 2016 team, which finished the tournament 8-0.
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Stevens interviewed Celtics assistants Jay Larranaga, Scott Morrison and Jerome Allen and plans to broaden the search to include Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham and Billups, a person with knowledge of the process told USA TODAY Sports. ESPN reported the Celtics wanted to interview Nets assistant Ime Udoka, Dallas assistant Jamahl Mosley and Bucks assistant Charles Lee. Coaching insiders indicate the Celtics will hire externally rather than promoting from within.
Lillard, a six-time All-Star and face of the franchise, may not have the final say in who is chosen. But it’s prudent for Olshey to get his input as the Blazers make an important hire as Lillard enters the first year of his four-year extension in 2021-22. Allen wanted the list to include women candidates, and San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon will interview for the job, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about candidates. The Blazers also received permission to speak with South Carolina women’s coach Dawn Staley.
Storyline: Becky Hammon Head Coach?
For the past few seasons, people from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to former WNBA and G League coach and NBA assistant coach Nancy Lieberman said a woman will be hired as a head coach soon. How soon is soon? In an interview last season with USA TODAY Sports, NBA president of league operations Byron Spurell said, “We want it to happen organically, and when the right opportunity matches the right person, this will happen. We just feel we’re so well positioned. If it happens tomorrow or the next day or this season or a few seasons away, we’re really close. But we’re not putting a timetable on it.” Lieberman told USA TODAY Sports: “It’s right in front of us. It’s going to happen.”
Hammon has put in the work. She runs portions of practices, writes game plans and scouting reports for opponents and delivers the intel to the team and works with players on individual development. “Becky’s in a spot now where she’s in a position of power,” Spurs guard Patty Mills told USA TODAY Sports. “She’s able to direct guys on what to do and that all comes from work ethic and what she does behind the scenes and getting herself and our team ready for games. She is an NBA coach who knows her (expletive) and gets it done.”
Storyline: Becky Hammon Head Coach?
During an appearance on 106.7 The Fan’s “Grant and Danny” show with Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on Monday, Barkley discussed how “politically correct people” are trying to ruin TNT’s “Inside the NBA.” The 58-year-old said he is only planning to work for two more years because of it. “You can’t even have fun nowadays without these jackas-es trying to get you canceled and things like that,” Barkley said, as transcribed by Edward Sutelan of Sporting News. “Just having fun, talking about sports. I’m trying to hang on for another couple years until I’m 60, and then they can kiss my ass. I’m only working until 60. I’ve already told them that. … We can’t even have fun anymore. We’ve had fun all these years, and now all of a sudden in the last year and a half, everybody’s trying to get everybody fired, and it really sucks.”