There has been some discussion this spring about whether basketball might one day overtake hockey as the primary sport in Toronto: I’d love to know your thoughts on that. Russ Granik: (laughs) That’s too big a question for me. You’d have to ask Adam Silver that one. And I’m not sure he’d want to offer an opinion, either. I think we always did — and I’m sure in the NBA, they still do — respect hockey’s place in the social structure in Canada. … I think the NBA can thrive whether it can someday reach that zenith or not in Canada.
September 21, 2021 | 12:47 pm EDT Update
Michael Grange: Raptors have made official multi-year deal for Shi Mykailiuk and signed Reggie Perry to bring their roster of camp invites to 20.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Simmons is clearly aware of sanctions available to organization to fine and suspend him, including withholding of salary. But so far, Simmons appears willing to carry out a plan of forcing his way to a new team. Sixers have yet to find a a trade they’re willing to make for him.
Right now, the Rockets have 14 fully guaranteed contracts for the season. Khryi Thomas, Armoni Brooks, Dante Exum and Daishen Nix are on non-guaranteed contracts. Matthew Hurt and Anthony Lamb are Houston’s designated two-way players. So how will the depth chart look like when camp officially opens next week? Before we dive in, there are a few things to note. This year’s group will spend time both in Houston and Galveston for camp, sources tell The Athletic. In past seasons, the Rockets have traveled to areas like Lake Charles, La., the Bahamas and Las Vegas.
Silas should have no trouble with ballhandling and half-court execution with names like Porter, Green and House on the floor together — Tate and Wood aren’t scrubs in that department, either. House also improved defensively last season even while taking a step back offensively (statistically speaking). He already has the upper hand heading into camp. Recently, he’s been developing on-court chemistry with Green. The Rockets have been hosting intra-roster scrimmages for the past few weeks, and sources say the Green-House-Sengun-Lamb team has been dominating. Green and House have played well off each other, which bodes well for the weeks ahead.
What have you done to improve your game this summer? Or what have you worked on mostly? Jaylen Brown: Mostly just trying to heal, and playmaking is one thing. I’ll definitely be more of a playmaker this season, for sure. Just making the right plays and empowering my teammates. I just want to win games, man. So, every year I just approach the season as just trying to get better. My body feels a lot better. I’m more athletic than I was last season. I had knee problems last year that were lingering and I hope that I won’t have this season. Somebody told me I had 12, probably like, 15 dunks in 58 games, or something like that. I’m like, ‘That’s not me.’ So, getting back to being athletic, running, just going having fun, being a playmaker, and having more responsibility. Different coach, so I’m looking forward to that journey and that process as well.
Will you be ready and participating at the beginning of Celtics training camp? Jaylen Brown: Yeah, that’s the goal. My wrist has been healing. Some days it’s better than others. I got to continue to push and work, but I’m excited to be there for camp. And I’m excited to be there with my teammates, and start to build, and start this journey, man. I missed a lot of time, so I’m looking at the season like I’m ready. I want to play. I’m ready. We started back so quickly [last season]. I didn’t really have an [offseason]. I was dreading coming into training camp, like, ‘Oh, man.’ I was already hurting. I had a good season, but my body barely kept up. So, this year I think I’ll be a lot better in that category.
Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown was ecstatic to see seven new African American head coaches, including one for his own franchise, get hired in the NBA this offseason regardless of what the true motive may have been. “Whether it was because they were just trying to shut us up, or because they actually believed it was the right thing to do, it don’t matter to me. That representation is important,” Brown, a 24-year-old African American, told The Undefeated. “And that’s giving people access and resources that they need and deserve to have, especially former players. They deserve to have a seat at the table too, especially in coaching positions, as well as in-office positions, ownership positions. Those are important as well, especially if they’re qualified.
“That’s my argument. People may disagree, like, ‘They’re not qualified. They’re just getting the job because they’re African American.’ You’ve seen people say that in the media. And things like that. That’s some [expletive]. There’s plenty of qualified African Americans and Black people that can do their job. And they deserve to have a seat at the table.”