Falk: From the very beginning Billy Hunter was very, very opaque. He did not provide much information. He didn’t communicate much. I told my clients, “Listen, this is your livelihood and if I can’t access Billy, then you have to get involved and know what’s going on and sit down and plan out strategies on how to protect your interests.” They’re intelligent people. Patrick is a very intelligent man. Juwan Howard is a very intelligent man. Alonzo is a very intelligent man. Dikembe Mutombo is a very intelligent man. People accused me of trying to hijack the union—you couldn’t pay me a billion dollars a year to run the union. I have zero interest in doing that. But I think if I’m going to do my job for my clients, it’s important that I understand the dynamics of what’s going on. And so that’s why I had to get involved.
June 16, 2021 | 7:40 pm EDT Update
Sarah K. Spencer: As expected, Trae Young (right shoulder soreness) is officially available to play tonight. Also: Brandon Goodwin (minor respiratory condition) is out. De’Andre Hunter (right meniscus tear) is out. Cam Reddish (right Achilles soreness) is out.
Marc Stein: NBA spokesman Mike Bass after criticism of the league schedule from LeBron James: “Injury rates were virtually the same this season as they were during 2019-20 while starter-level and All-Star players missed games due to injury at similar rates as the last three seasons. While injuries are an unfortunate reality of our game, we recognize the enormous sacrifices NBA players and teams have made to play through this pandemic.”
The Orlando Magic have awarded $17 million in design and construction contracts for their AdventHealth Training Center to 33 local minority- and women-owned business enterprises. That amount is significant in that it represents nearly 32% of awarded opportunities, which is above the city’s recommended 24% level for minority- and women-owned business enterprises participation.
The 130,000-square-foot facility will serve as the Magic’s practice and training site. It will be on a nearly 4-acre site at South Division Avenue and West Central Boulevard, one block from Amway Center. Construction began in September and the $70 million facility is scheduled to open in the spring of 2022. It was delayed about one year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
June 16, 2021 | 6:58 pm EDT Update
Warriors assistant coach Leandro Barbosa said coach Steve Kerr approached him about playing this season and doesn’t know why the opportunity never materialized. Barbosa, who specializes on the Warriors staff in mentoring players, acknowledged that the idea of him returning as a player after three years away from the NBA “wasn’t a joke at all” when injuries decimated the team’s rotation while the Warriors were in the playoff hunt.