A week earlier, just after 11 a.m. on July 1, the Nets arrived at the IMG building in downtown Cleveland as the first of six teams to meet with James. Out of one side of a Lincoln Town Car emerged Mikhail Prokhorov, the billionaire Russian oligarch who had bought the Nets less than two months prior. Out of the other side emerged Jay-Z. “It was a circus show,” said Avery Johnson, who had been hired to coach the team. “We were very excited. But in all honesty, we weren’t ready as an organization. And we were playing in Newark for the next two years — not New York. But Jay-Z really gave a great pitch. He appealed to their friendship and sold New York.”
May 29, 2022 | 4:16 am EDT Update
I think everyone knows they kind of have to trade Russell Westbrook, that is partially why they are now entertaining keeping him. I do think, from what I’ve heard, there’s a segment within the franchise that does believe Russ could be utilized better, that this could work that they could, you know, with the right head coach with the right supporting cast, they can figure that out.
“I think the biggest thing I learned is that the League, the media, nobody will care until you’re winning,” he tells SLAM. “I could feel bad for myself all I want about [how] people didn’t respect or appreciate the season I had, or anything, but I didn’t win a lot of games. So, I think that’s been the biggest thing that I’ve locked in on and I decided within. I have to win games if I want people to respect my name, and if not, then I can’t be mad at people not watching enough games and how I really play. That’s the challenge that I’ve tried to take on. I’ve talked to teammates [and] we’re all trying to take that challenge on. I think that’s the next step for us.”
Tony Jones: The Utah Jazz will work out BYU small forward Gideon George on Sunday morning, I’m told…..
The Orlando Magic have hosted G League Ignite prospect and Filipino National Team center Kai Sotto for a pre-draft workout. Sotto was one of the first prospects to sign with the G League straight out of high school and was projected to join Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga among others in the 2021 G League bubble. However, after committing to the Philippines national team, he was unable to play for the team.
Patrick Baldwin Jr.: I plan on staying in. I think the feedback I’ve been getting is pretty good. Typically, a lot of the teams haven’t even mentioned the testing as a factor for me. A lot of what I do is shooting, spacing the floor, making the correct play and being a heady basketball player. That’s something I’ll bank on going into this process. I’ve gotten some pretty good feedback so far.
The news of Ham’s hiring — which still hasn’t been announced by the Lakers — has been met with endorsements from those who crossed paths with Ham during his career: former coaches, teammates and colleagues lauding the Lakers for handing things over to a first-time coach. “He’s going to be honest as a coach of the Lakers, which is what I think you need in the NBA today — somebody that’s going to be honest but know how to be honest without actually just tearing you down,” former teammate Chauncey Billups, now the coach in Portland said Saturday. “What can you say? He’s won as a player. He’s won as a coach. I mean, this dude is more than qualified for the task at hand. I’m so happy and proud of him. I spoke to him last night and he was so excited.”
Years later, Billups experienced the same things with Ham as a teammate with the Pistons, one of Ham’s six NBA homes. “I’m sure if you talked to the guys that he played with, he was probably their favorite-teammate type dude. He was always so competitive,” Billups said. “He brought the heat to practice every day. Every time he got in the game, he just raised the level of play. He’s the man. Not one person would say anything bad about him. “He’s that guy.”
Looking into how he normally spends the offseason and even where he received the 2022 NBA MVP trophy, Nikola Jokic predictably would like to train horses following his playing days. He revealed his plans to Peter Andersson of TV4. “My dream is to move back to Serbia and become a trotting coach after my basketball career,” said the Joker, “My country is, unfortunately, the worst in Europe on trotting and there are maybe 150 starting horses and it is very complicated to start abroad. But it’s still great fun.”