Vasilije Micic may not be available for Serbia’s clas…

Vasilije Micic may not be available for Serbia’s clash with Argentina, due to the passing of his mother on Monday (09/09). The player’s club, Anadolu Efes, announced the sad news earlier today. It is likely that Micic will leave China and will return to Serbia to attend the funeral of his mother.

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Joe Vardon: Greece beats the Czech Republic, which guarantees the Americans a spot in the FIBA World Cup quarterfinal. However, due to tie breaker rules, the Czechs are in good position to make it, too. Just need a win by USA over Brazil
Joel Rush: After not getting a foul call on a Marc Gasol and Juancho Hernangomez trap, Nikola Jokic yells at the ref, and gets ejected from the game. #FIBAWC #SerbiaSpain

http://twitter.com/JoelRushNBA/status/1170694935881736194
ESPN Stats: Despite the win, Team USA's 69 points today are the team's fewest in a FIBA World Cup game since 1998. It's their fewest in a FIBA World Cup victory since NBA players began participating in the FIBA World Cup in 1994.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brother Thanasis Antetokounmpo had to be separated from members of Team USA after a controversial foul triggered emotions at the FIBA World Cup on Saturday night.
The teams didn't have the traditional postgame handshake. USA coach Gregg Popovich gathered his team on the floor to allow the Greeks to leave so the two teams wouldn't meet in the tunnel. "Yeah, I said something to Giannis. Well, Giannis said something to me," Jaylen Brown said. "But we've got bigger fish to fry. So we move on."
The Americans were angered not just by the foul but also because Thanasis Antetokounmpo didn't initially apologize for the perceived cheap shot, which happened right in front of the U.S. bench. "The [no apology] escalated it," Marcus Smart said. "At that moment, you've got to take it for what it is. Regardless of whether you feel like it was wrong or right, it was wrong."
Giannis Antetokounmpo was not used in the fourth quarter of the game between the USA and Greece, but he was not benched. As Greek coach Thanasis Skourtopoulos clarified after the game: “It was a decision we took jointly with Giannis. We wanted to protect him and rest as we did with other players of our main rotation. We have a big game coming on Monday, and this is the most important thing for us now”.
Donatas Urbonas: Dainius Adomaitis when asked why three South American referees worked in a game where two great European teams played: "Thank you! Thank you for this question! You don't have to be very smart for this: just give us three European referees! But you should ask this FIBA."
Kevin O'Connor: Greece has no clue how to use Giannis Antetokounmpo nearly as well as the Bucks do. And Giannis not playing a single minute in the fourth quarter is an absolute joke. We got robbed watching Giannis on this team.
Mike Ganter: Nick Nurse with some strong words on Canada’s inability to attract available talent: “I think the biggest thing is we need an introduction, some of the guys need an introduction to the national team, right? I think the guys who are here right now have all played a little bit, continue to grow as they stay together, but some of the guys we need to see, I dunno, I guess they need to find out why or why not they’re gonna play or commit to playing.”
Australia defeated the Dominican Republic, 82-76, in 2019 FIBA World Cup Group L action at Nanjing on Saturday. Patty Mills commanded the charge once again putting up a game-high 19 points, also dished 9 assists. Chris Goulding followed with 15 points. Eloy Vargas went for 16 points, Victor Liz scored 14 and Rigoberto Mendoza had 12 for the losing side. “We were not mentally there in the first half” admitted Landale after contributing to the win with 13 points. “The boys really rallied together. Everybody knows it was just an OK performance. I think we will be ready when the time comes.”
John Schuhmann: Marcus Smart will play Saturday vs. Greece. Asked if he would have played Thursday had it been an elimination game, he said, "Definitely." He felt tightness the day after the USA's win over Turkey. "I was just taking more precaution than anything."
Emiliano Carchia: Marco Belinelli (7 points on 3/16 shooting night) takes blame for loss against Spain: I have played an awful game. I take responsibility for that. I am sorry. A big part of that bad game is on me.
Jorge Sierra: Serbia is winning games by an average of 40.7 points so far. That would be the biggest differential in World Cup history, even ahead of 1994 Team USA with Shaquille O'Neal, Dominique Wilkins, Reggie Miller, Alonzo Mourning and several other pretty decent guys.
Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura will miss Japan's final two FIBA World Cup games because of knee discomfort and general fatigue, it was announced. "While everyone had hoped for Rui to finish the World Cup with Team Japan, the Wizards and Japan Basketball believe it is best for Rui to not play the final two games and have a short period of rest before he must start NBA training camp with the Wizards which begins only three weeks from now," the Japanese Basketball Association said in a statement released through the Wizards.
The leader of the German squad Dennis Schroder got some criticism for the failure, especially for the loss against the Dominican Republic, but he doesn’t have a problem with it: “Either I play my game or I do not play at all. I try to put my teammates in the spotlight, I did that today and the last two games. There will always be criticism, I’m built for it, no problem for me”, he said, per Sport1.
Nurse said he intends on playing a bigger recruiting role. It was tough this time around, he said, because he had his hands full with the Raptors' lengthy season. "I think I have got to try and develop some relationships with some of these guys and see where they are at," Nurse said after practice. "But I need more information. I need a better understanding of why or why not? Will they or will they not participate, and why or why not?"
The United States’ matchup against Japan was always expected to be its easiest in the first round of the FIBA World Cup, but Team USA dominated defensively in a 98-45 won over Japan Thursday. The Americans head into the second round undefeated through three games. First-round points carry over into the next round of group play.
Canada’s men’s basketball team finally has a World Cup victory — and some positive momentum in a FIBA World Cup tournament that had been a non-stop narrative of disappointment. Cory Joseph will take it. "It’s always good when there’s a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, that’s always good," the Sacramento Kings guard said.
John Schuhmann: Turkey, after blowing a potential upset over the U.S., is not going to make the 2nd round. Down 12 w/ less than a minute to go vs. the Czech Republic. Those 4 missed FTs at the end of OT on Tuesday hurt more than we thought initially. Huge win for Sato & crew.
“I think we have to learn how the game is officiated,” Harrison Barnes said. “I think there are some plays that we’re kind of used to how the NBA officiates things. We get the ‘no call’ but then at the other end it just looks like we’re fouling every single time. Whether it’s post defense, whether it’s coming off screens. Whether it’s bumping a guy after driving, so there’s a learning curve we’re getting better at, but tonight it was definitely evident.”
Despite a slow start and a bad shooting night, Spain managed to get a 73-65 win over Iran in Group C of FIBA World Cup. Spain won all three of its games so far and stayed at the top of the group while Iran lost all three and finished last. Puerto Rico (2-1) got the better of Tunisia (1-2) earlier today and advanced further. Marc Gasol led the winning side with 16 points while Victor Claver and Juancho Hernangomez added 11 each. The latter also grabbed ten rebounds for a double-double.
Tommy Beer: Through Serbia's first three games in the FIBA World Cup, Nikola Jokic is shooting 83.3% from the field, and is a perfect 4-for-4 from 3-point territory. Oh and he leads his team in assists & rebounds. Serbia is undefeated. Their average margin of victory is 40 points per game
Birch sees the positives in taking part in the FIBA World Cup. And unlike most other NBA types he has no one offering up advice, wanted or not. ““I don’t have an agent as of right now, so no,” he said when asked if anyone tried to dissuade him from coming. “Like I said Khem Birch decides Khem Birch’s career. If I get hurt it’s because Khem Birch got hurt and if Khem Birch wants to do something Khem Birch is going to do it.”
“As you can see I’m doing things I have never done in the NBA that I’m getting to do right now,” he said referring to handling the ball and stepping outside to shoot. “That’s what a lot of guys don’t understand. Coach Nurse gives you the confidence and freedom to do whatever you want. Basically everything you want in the system you have here so I’m lucky.”
Mike Ganter: Khem Birch on his decision to play for Canada: “I don’t let anyone dictate my career or anything. I let Khem Birch dictate what he wants to do and Khem Birch decided to play for his country because I want to go to the Olympics.”
SLAM: Can you talk about your role as ambassador and why you wanted to be involved in the World Cup? Dirk Nowitzki: Well, you know, I’m of course sad that my competing days are done. But I still want to help grow the game internationally. I’ve had great success in FIBA competitions and it’s always been fun competing at the highest level, so when they approached me to see if I wanted to do this, of course I was on board. Growing the game internationally, growing the game here in China—there are some amazing fans here—and we have some of the best athletes [here right now for the World Cup], so it should be a fun few weeks. Hopefully we can grow the sport even more.

https://twitter.com/BillSimmons/status/1168898801765093377

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Coach Aleksandar Petrovic was very proud of his guys including the 39-year-old Alex Garcia who played terrific defense on Giannis Antetokounmpo: “Why this sport is wonderful? On the other side, you have a guy who won the MVP, he’s 23 years old and who stops him tonight?! The guy who is 40 years old and kicks his a** on the court! That’s basketball!”, the coach said while slapping his hand on the table euphorically.
Petrovic also mentioned that he wasn’t worried at all about Giannis, he was afraid of Kostas Sloukas and Georgios Printezis might do: “We showed that we have several players who can stop Antetokounmpo. But yesterday I was more occupied with Sloukas and Printezis and that’s what happened today. When I was preparing this game, a lot of people talked and joked about how to stop Antetokounmpo. I had for six months in my head, since the semifinals between Toronto and Milwaukee, how to stop Antetokounmpo.”
It was expected Team USA was going to face some real tests in the FIBA World Cup, but it wasn't expected they'd have so much trouble passing their first one. A confident and high-energy Turkey, the No. 17-ranked team in the world, gave the Americans a series of heart palpitations before they yanked away a 93-92 victory in overtime.
Khris Middleton gets credit as the hero as he made two free throws with 2.1 seconds left to provide the winning points, the last of his team-high 15 points. It wasn't possible until Turkey missed four consecutive free throws (two by Cedi Osman and two by Dogus Balbay) with nine seconds left that could won the game.
The short term is that the Americans advance to the second round of the World Cup, which will start this weekend in Shenzhen. Their 44-game winning streak in World Cup and Olympic play continues.
Tim Bontemps: Jayson Tatum hurt his left ankle in the final seconds of Team USA's win, after making a really nice play to drop the ball off to Khris Middleton on a break for what wound up being a game-winning play. Hopefully it looked worse than it winds up being.

https://twitter.com/ChrisForsberg_/status/1168899883371307011
Marc J. Spears: USA Basketball holds on to beat Turkey 93–92 in overtime preliminary action at the @FIBAWC. Celtics forward Jayson Tatum leaves with injury. Respect to Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman and Turkey, who missed some costly free throws late.
Canada's hopes of advancing at the FIBA World Cup died with a 92-69 loss to Lithuania on Tuesday in Dongguan, China. Kyle Wiltjer had 24 points, while Cory Joseph had 15, but the seventh-ranked Lithuanians — who'd routed Senegal by 54 points two nights earlier — were too much for the undermanned Canadians, who are missing all but two of their NBA players in Joseph and Khem Birch.
Former longtime Toronto Raptors forward Jonas Valanciunas had 13 points and eight rebounds, while Edgaras Ulanovas led Lithuania with 15 points.
Donatas Urbonas: Jonas Valanciunas on surviving in the group of death: "It's a delicious victory. We feel a relief, but we came here not only to advance. We have to keep this focus and fight for the game vs Australia."
The Dominican Republic came in with quite an upset for the Germans and with their 70-68 victory, they can rest on top of Group G (2-0) and with a ticket to the second round of FIBA World Cup in their hands.
Rui Hachimura scored 21 points with 8/11 two-pointers, but was not enough. Yuta Watanabe had 11 at halftime and ended up with 15, Nick Fazekas notched a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double.
Let’s entertain a conspiracy theory, an old one that usually surfaces at least once a summer during international competition when American NBA players are involved. If Team USA has an off night shooting or gets into a bit of a shooting slump, it’s because of the ball, or so the theory goes. Literally, the ball used in the FIBA World Cup looks and feels different than the one used nightly in the NBA. Joining us to discuss this is the highly qualified Team USA sharpshooter Joe Harris, the reigning NBA 3-point champion who not only led the league with a .473 3-point shooting percentage last season but also won the annual shooting competition over All-Star weekend.
Like a quarterback who fusses over the air pressure of a football, to the point where he might ask the equipment manager to artificially deflate one or two before a game, or a pitcher who balks at a baseball with seams that aren’t raised enough to throw a good curveball, surely Harris will say that, yes, it’s harder to make 3s with one kind of ball for a few weeks after shooting with something totally different all season? “Uh, no. I wouldn’t put anything on the ball,” Harris said.
So when Harris walked into the room, I handed him the two balls. “It looks like it, but it doesn’t feel like an NBA ball,” Harris said about the ball I bought, further deflating me. “This one feels closer to a FIBA ball. … If you’re going to put these basketballs out and guys are going to grab one and shoot around, I would say more people are going to gravitate toward how this one (the FIBA ball) feels.”
“I always try to get my fingers on the seams, if you can or if you have time,” Harris said. “But, for (the FIBA ball), you catch it, even though there are more seams to it, I’m not getting lost on the ball trying to find it.” There are some differences that matter, Harris added. “An NBA ball, when it gets a little bit wet, it gets a little stickier in your hands,” he said. “Whereas this one is more like the ball you might play with in college, where they’re spongier.”
Serbia advanced to the Second Round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 on Monday after trouncing Philippines 126-67 in Foshan. Nemanja Bjelica led seven Serbian players who scored 10 points or more, while the Philippines' most important player Andray Blatche had a night to forget, finishing with 5 points, 5 rebounds before fouling out.
Spain put Saturday’s triumph over Tunisia behind when they stepped foot on the floor on Monday against Puerto Rico, as they sealed a 73-63 victory, their second in Group C of the tournament that helps them qualify to the second round. Marc Gasol’s experience and dominance helped Sergio Scariolo’s squad get over the tough moments of the game, and the big man finished the game with 19 points, seven rebounds, and two assists.
The Philippines provided no serious challenge to red-hot Serbia. Sasha Djordjevic’s side strolled to the 126-67 win in 2019 FIBA World Cup Group D action at Foshan on Monday to secure a spot in the second round. Nemanja Bjelica saw action after missing the first game and made 7/7 from the field for 20 points. Bogdan Bogdanovic put up 17 points to include himself among seven players scoring in double digits. Nikola Jokic tallied 11 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists in just 18:45.
Luis Scola moved up to the second spot on the FIBA Basketball World Cup all-time scoring list, overtaking Australia's great Andrew Gaze and trailing only the legendary Brazilian Oscar Schmidt.
Donatas Urbonas: Nick Nurse on Jonas Valanciunas: “More Jonas stories... I obviously love Jonas. But I’m gonna try to kick his ass tomorrow (laughs). I don’t know if there was a guy that I spent as much time with and had a strong long relationship like him.”
When asked after the game about a potential second-round matchup against Team USA since he is the NBA MVP, Giannis gave the following answer: “We don’t think about the USA team today. We have focused on the great win that we had, what can we do better. Our next opponent is Brazil. We got to focus on that game. Team USA is really far away. We got to take it game by game.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo: “And yeah, for the MVP? As I said I don’t want to be called that way, that’s in the past now. Just respect the guys who go out there and play as hard as they can and do what I do since day one. That’s helping my teammates get wins. Do whatever it takes. If that’s playing defense, or rebound the ball, or do whatever the coach asks me to do… dive for the ball? That’s what I do. That’s why I was named the MVP”.
Tim Reynolds: 18 FIBA world championship/World Cup tournaments. 18 appearances by the US. 18 consecutive 1-0 starts by the US.
John Schuhmann: USA starters: Walker, Mitchell, Tatum, Barnes & Turner. Same as the last exhibition game vs. Canada.
Lithuania kicked off its FIBA World Cup journey with lots of energy and speed, grabbing their biggest win ever in the tournament with 101-47 against Senegal, in the second game of the game for Group H in the city of Dongguan. Jonas Valanciunas dominated the paint, pacing Lithuania with 13 points and 11 rebounds
Two nations that know each other very well after their multiple games in the preparation period clashed in the city of Dongguan, as Australia beat Canada with a 108-92 victory in the FIBA World Cup Group H opener. Despite a shaky start in the second half, Boomers had an incredible Matthew Dellavedova taking charge, with 24 points (with 6/10 from the three-point line), five assists and three rebounds, as Australia made an impressive run (35-12) in the final period.
Turkey made an early statement in Group E with a convincing 86-67 victory over Japan in their opening test of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. Playing without the injured Scottie Wilbekin, Turkey stormed out to an early double-digit lead and were never seriously threatened. It was a balanced effort with Ersan Ilyasova leading the charge with 17 points and 9 rebounds.
Storyline: World Cup
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July 13, 2020 | 3:40 pm EDT Update
The Knicks are continuing to work through the process of the search for a head coach and have completed second interviews with all candidates. Knicks president Leon Rose described his process on MSG Network last month of conducting informal talks and then formal interviews with the 11 confirmed candidates. The Knicks completed the second round last week, holding talks with the candidates who are not headed into the bubble for the restart of the NBA season.
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Search
Memphis Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant called out those players that took issue with the conditions, saying that he wasn’t a “silver spoon guy” and that the options have been fine. Redick agreed with that assessment on Sunday during his media availability with reporters. “Getting outside and golfing yesterday was key. The bubble life has been fine. I think Ja Morant said it best: The hotel is fine, the food is fine, everything is fine. We’re here to play basketball, to further our mission. We have a responsibility and a job to do. It’s fine.”
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Craig Robinson, who served as the Knicks’ vice president of player development and general manager of the G League’s Westchester Knicks since 2017, has accepted a position as executive director for the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Robinson was not expected to remain with the Knicks, having been brought on by Steve Mills, who was dismissed earlier this year. The contracts of Robinson and most of the front-office personnel are expiring shortly.
July 13, 2020 | 2:32 pm EDT Update
His path from experiencing poverty in Greece to becoming a multimillionaire MVP included sacrifice, which he refuses to lose sight of despite his current status. “I’m in a situation where I’m extremely blessed and I cannot complain. Obviously, it doesn’t matter where you are in life, there’s always something to complain, there’s always a problem and an issue,” Antetokounmpo said. “But I try to kind of not focus on that. So as I said, my apartment in Greece, when I was younger, with my four brothers, was way smaller than the suite that I have in the hotel, so I’m just trying to enjoy the moment.
“This is something special,” he continued. “Hopefully, this pandemic never happens again so we never are able to come back in the campus, but at the end of the day, this is part of history, so just being able to be here, participate in this, I’m just trying to be in the moment, trying to enjoy every moment, trying to enjoy basketball. I’m happy that we’re back playing basketball, something that I love doing, so there’s nothing really to complain about.” Even before entering the NBA’s campus at Walt Disney World, Antetokounmpo said he thought “this is gonna be the toughest championship you could ever win” because of the circumstances. He jokingly admitted that he “sucked” during the Bucks’ first five-on-five scrimmage at Monday’s practice but thinks everyone will shake the initial rust once the ball is tipped for real competition.
Rodriguez, who last starred with the Yankees, and fiancée Lopez have put $300 million of their own money toward the bid. Other investors include future Hall of Fame offensive lineman Joe Thomas, who spent his entire career with the Cleveland Browns, two-time NBA All-Star Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards, and Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee. “Being a former athlete and having a chance to be a part of a group trying to purchase a professional team, it’s pretty cool,” Urlacher told ESPN on Monday. “It’s especially cool to be involved with Alex. Alex is the man. You’ve got Kelce, Joe Thomas, DeMarco Murray. It’s great to be in a group with them.”
July 13, 2020 | 1:31 pm EDT Update

Russell Westbrook tests positive for COVID-19

Houston Rockets star Russell Westbrook says he has tested positive for coronavirus. Westbrook tweeted Monday that he tested positive before his Rockets teammates were scheduled to travel to Walt Disney World for the resumption of the NBA season Westbrook tweeted he is “currently feeling well, quarantined, and looking forward to rejoining my teammates when I am cleared.”
3 hours ago via ESPN
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Houston Rockets' Bruno Caboclo breaks quarantine

Houston Rockets forward Bruno Caboclo unintentionally broke quarantine, making him subject to an extended quarantine period and enhanced coronavirus testing, league sources told ESPN. After players entered the league’s bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort last week, anyone who either is caught leaving for an unauthorized reason or who broke the initial quarantine period (which covered being confined to your hotel room until passing multiple coronavirus tests in a longer-than 24-hour span) will be subject to the league’s re-entry protocols.
This means having to undergo enhanced coronavirus-19 testing – meaning the ones with the long swab up the nose, as opposed to the less invasive ones players are getting during their time in the bubble — in addition to a 10-day quarantine period in their hotel room. Caboclo left his room during the initial quarantine period, a source said. He was unaware that he was not allowed to do so, despite the league informing all players and staff of the protocol. “He should’ve known,” the source said. “It was no secret.”
Sources told ESPN that Caboclo’s time in quarantine is now down to eight days. He is expected to rejoin the team once his quarantine is complete. The Rockets are still awaiting the arrival of stars James Harden and Russell Westbrook in Orlando, as well as forward Luc Mbah a Moute. Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said Sunday that all three are likely to rejoin the team sometime this week.
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Since the G League season was officially ended during the league’s stoppage of play and NBA team rosters were expanded for the remaining seeding games and playoffs, Bol has joined the Nuggets in the bubble and has been practicing with the team. “He (Bol) only practiced with us in Denver a few times during the season,” Malone said Saturday. “To see him out there playing and doing things that a lot of people can’t do, it’s really remarkable. I have to remind myself how young he is. He is extremely talented and skilled.”
The Los Angeles Lakers trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Quinn Cook tried to get some 2K action going to pass the time in the bubble, and the results turned out to be catastrophic. Things did not really go as planned, with the servers crashing even before they could get a game in. As it turns out, there were too many spectators on the feed, so the 2K servers were unable to cope.
July 13, 2020 | 11:39 am EDT Update
Rivers: If he was in an era 10 years ago, Boban would be a big-time player. He’s just in an era where he’s 10 years too late. And he’s still in the league doing his thing, but make no mistake about it, if he was in 2003, 2006, Boban would be a force to be reckoned with. Van Gundy: I’ve always wondered if I, you know, should’ve played him more. You get so concerned with the defensive end of the floor, but with what he can do offensively, I’m not sure we wouldn’t have been better off playing him more and dealing with whatever defensive problems came up.
Van Gundy: The guy gets no privacy, yet the way he responds to people is so good and with such generosity and such kindness to people. You would think at some point you would get really, really tired of it, and he may, but he certainly never shows that and I never even heard him convey that. It’s genuine. He’s not out there faking it, and then walking around saying, “I’m really tired of this s— with everybody bugging me.” I think he genuinely enjoys being around people.
Kaminsky: The first time I ever played against Boban, we were playing in San Antonio. Tyler Hansbrough was on my team at the time. … And Boban checks into the game, and he’s standing next to him at the free-throw line, and I’m trying to talk to him, but Tyler’s standing there staring up at him, like, This is the biggest guy I’ve ever seen in my life. Literally, there’s a video, I’m standing on that side of the lane trying to get his attention, he’s just standing there, like, [Kaminsky pauses, leans back, looks upwards, mouth agape, miming what Hansbrough looked like].
The league’s first crack at sponsored entertainment for the players fell flat. On Saturday night, the NBA brought in three disc jockeys to spin records at poolside parties at each of the three Disney hotels housing players. Almost no one showed. “The first time I heard about the DJ thing was (Sunday),” Davis said. “Dwight (Howard) told me he was the only one there. I think, quite frankly, a lot of guys didn’t know about it. I know the NBA is trying to make this as comfortable as possible and as relaxing as possible for us, and just make everyone feel as home as possible.”
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Another African American senior league executive, speaking anonymously, asked why Eversley didn’t get interviewed for the top job. “With all due respect, I am delighted that Marc Eversley is the GM of the Bulls,” the league executive said. “But why wasn’t Marc Eversley interviewed to be the president of basketball operations? Why was there no one of color interviewed for that position? You mean to tell me that there was nobody in the mind of the leadership of the Bulls qualified to take on that job as president? Or was it just that they don’t know anybody? “So the question I’m asking is what took them so long. Somebody needs to ask the question. That question needs to be asked more and more league-wide.”
As in any industry, connectivity is imperative, and often times cultural perspective can get ignored. But that perspective is pivotal in every aspect of NBA business, from scouting to coaching to negotiations. “It’s a relationship business,” the Western Conference exec said. “You’ve got to have relationships with the players and coaches. For all of us to be connected in some form or fashion it only bodes well. There should be no separation. Everyone should be working together to push the franchise forward and win.”
Pocius went on to play for Real Madrid and Galatasaray — a team in Istanbul — with two more stints with Zalgiris Kaunas sandwiched in between. Seven years into his playing carer, Pocius initially had no intention of stopping. However, his body had a different idea. “Since I played at Duke, I had had seven surgeries,” Pocius said. “It took a toll on my body and I was in this cycle of getting injured, having surgery, trying rehab, all to come back and then have it happen all over again … I was reaching a point where I wasn’t enjoying basketball as much as I used to. I was a gym rat and I loved the gym, and it wasn’t fun being there anymore.”
Connelly looked at Pocius and said, “Well, if you just want to retire and come join us, we’ll make that happen.” Pocius thought it was a joke. And at that time, retiring seemed far-fetched. But after he made the decision to stop playing Pocius reached out to Connelly to see if the offer was still on the table. “I flew out to Las Vegas for Summer League and I met with Tim and all the other guys and one thing led to another,” Pocius said. “I’m truly happy that I decided to retire when I did.”
July 13, 2020 | 9:17 am EDT Update
Alex Poythress joined Zenit Saint-Petersburg on a one-year deal, the Russian club announced on Monday. Eurohoops previously reported on the deal between the two parties. “I am very pleased to join Zenit, an organization that plans to make a breakthrough in EuroLeague this season,” he noted upon signing per the official site of his new team, “I heard a lot of amazing things about Saint-Petersburg and can’t wait to join the team.”
Storyline: Alex Poythress Free Agency
Three weeks ahead of the NBA’s planned resumption of the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World Resort, the league’s Global Innovation Group is considering several scenarios for next season, including one that would begin in March and run through October 2021. An internal planning document obtained by Morning Consult outlines four scheduling scenarios the league is considering for next season, including one in which it would push the start of next season back to March if there is a path to a coronavirus vaccine or therapeutic treatment that increases the likelihood that its teams could host fans in their home arenas over the course of an 82-game schedule.
The document spells out a wide variety of “levers” the league could pull in developing its plans for next season depending on the state of the pandemic. These include holding a play-in tournament for the playoffs, playing with the timing of a potential All-Star Game, rolling schedule releases, increasing game density, building in buffers for canceled or rescheduled games and potentially using alternate sites like neutral markets or practice and G League facilities. One plan, which is contingent on an improving COVID-19 situation, would essentially involve the league putting on a traditional 82-game regular season, just bumped back from its usual October start date. It would feature a traditional schedule release and standard matchups (16 games against divisional opponents, 36 nondivisional intraconference games and 30 interconference games).
“Ron Adams is our resident – is oenophile correct?”Kerr asked on this week’s “Hoops, Adjacent” podcast. “In fact, when I interviewed Ron to come aboard with the Warriors in 2014, my assistant Nick U’Ren and I took Ron out to dinner to interview him. We ordered a bottle of wine. It was an Italian restaurant. They didn’t have any California Pinots, which is what we were looking for. And the waiter said, ‘You know, if you want, I’ll bring you kind of the Italian version of a Pinot.’ We said great. “So he brings back the wine, he opens it up, he gives Ron the taste – you know, how you swish it around (in your mouth)? Well, Ron became the first person I’ve ever been to dinner with who sent the wine back. On a job interview!”
The Detroit opportunity comes with a pretty dismal short-term outlook, but it also could be more promising in the longer term. Sources tell me owner Tom Gores has been willing to spend money on the things fans don’t see (staff, scouting, training resources) that make life a lot easier for a rebuilding team. Additionally, the team is at a pretty clear transition point for Weaver to put his stamp on the team. The post-Blake Griffin-trade delusions of grandeur have been replaced by the grim acknowledgment that this team needs to rebuild and it could take a while.
July 13, 2020 | 9:15 am EDT Update
Alex Poythress joined Zenit Saint-Petersburg on a one-year deal, the Russian club announced on Monday. Eurohoops previously reported on the deal between the two parties. “I am very pleased to join Zenit, an organization that plans to make a breakthrough in EuroLeague this season,” he noted upon signing per the official site of his new team, “I heard a lot of amazing things about Saint-Petersburg and can’t wait to join the team.”
Storyline: Alex Poythress Free Agency
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