September 30, 2020 | 1:54 am EDT Update
Kevin Durant admitted it on Tuesday on his new podcast “The ETCs” on The Boardroom. At the 36:30 mark of the podcast, Irving is explaining how he and Durant both arrived in Brooklyn and how much of a surprise it was. And Durant interjects with this point. “The All-Star game video where they caught us in the hallway. That’s when it was solidified that we were going somewhere. They didn’t know for a fact where it was, but it was somewhere.”
The 20-year-old has been motivated all season long by those doubts and he said on Tuesday that being selected 13th overall by the Heat has even motivated him. Channeling his inner Draymond Green, Herro said he can even recite each player drafted ahead of him last year. I think being drafted 13 definitely motivates me, but I love where I was drafted. I mean, I love the opportunity I was drafted into, the situation. But the 12 guys ahead of me definitely are in the back of my head all the time, and I know every last one that was drafted ahead of me. And I mean, it definitely does fuel me.
But it’s a start for the face of the Knicks franchise who never saw his rookie season completed. Just as Barrett was coming on strong, the pandemic canceled the Knicks’ season on March 11 in Atlanta. It may have cost him any chance of all-rookie honors — as he was left off both teams. Sources say Barrett, the third pick in last year’s draft who turned 20 in June, was itching to get back onto the practice court more than any Knick after a six-month hiatus.
The closest that the Warriors’ trusty trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green will get to the finals is watching their former teammate Andre Iguodala, now with the Miami Heat, match up against a rival familiar to them all: LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers. “As a competitor, you always want to be there,” Green said, “but when people ask me if I miss basketball right now, I tell them in a heartbeat, ‘No, I don’t.’ We’ve done it at the highest level that you can possibly do it for five straight years. “What I do miss,” Green continued, “is competing at the absolute highest level. I will miss playing in the finals and knowing that every basketball player in the world is watching me play — performing on that stage.”
Said Johnson: “I told Draymond one night after a show, as everyone was putting masks on and walking to their corners: ‘Hey, life’s good for you right now. I don’t know how much longer you’re going to play, but you know right now that the day you hang them up, everybody’s going to want you to work for them if this is what you want to do.’ ”
There is a plan, and a time and a place for everything, and Larry Tanenbaum and Raptors president Masai Ujiri are working at their own pace on all of it. The long-term future of Ujiri, whose contract runs out at the end of next season, is a growing concern among the team’s fans but Tanenbaum knows there is no need to rush. There are other priorities, as Ujiri spelled out last week. “Our fans, they love Masai for all that he’s contributed to the Raptors franchise and to our community and to our country — and our appreciation for him, that can’t be measured,” Tanenbaum, the chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, said in an interview Tuesday. “But it was his and my game plan to secure his management team extension before his own.”
Despite all the speculation about what one of the most connected insiders in the NBA media would do with his contact expiring right in the middle of the playoffs, it turns out that Shams Charania isn’t going anywhere. He is sticking with Stadium. The new deal also includes an expanded role on television thanks to Stadium’s deal with Sinclair, which acquired most of the FOX regional sports networks in 2019. “The Sinclair Broadcast Group regional sports networks and Stadium couldn’t be more thrilled to keep Shams Charania as a part of our family and broadcasting community. Throughout our work together, we’ve watched Shams quickly excel as one of the premier journalists in our industry,” Sinclair Broadcast Group President of Local Sports Steve Rosenberg said in a press release. “We have big plans for Shams across our sports portfolio and we’re excited to start that process immediately.”