Of course, over the two-plus weeks since the season ended, daunting projections about the spread of the coronavirus this winter have led to rising pessimism about the league’s ability to admit even small crowds anytime soon. Multiple teams thus began to whisper last week that momentum was building to start the new season around Dec. 25 to preserve the ability to broadcast five games on Christmas Day.
June 3, 2023 | 9:09 pm EDT Update
Michael Malone on team's success: 'We haven't done a damn thing'
Barely prompted, Malone turned his attention to the fourth quarter where the Nuggets were outscored 30-20 and saw a sizable double-digit lead shrink to just nine as the Heat found its 3-point stroke. Think Malone, with a chance to do something no other team in Nuggets history has done, would allow for even an ounce of complacency? Think again. No one’s getting fat with success right now. Not on his watch. “I told our players today, don’t read the paper, don’t listen to the folks on the radio and TV saying that this series is over and that we’ve done something, because we haven’t done a (dang) thing,” Malone said with his trademark fire.
Aaron Gordon admitted it’s hard not to let the outside chatter filter into his headspace. “It’s difficult because the people around you get excited, as well,” Gordon said. “So, you have to keep like a calmness. You have to keep a poise to you, like an intense energy but calm, while the rest of everybody else is really frenetic. It’s important to just make the main thing the main thing and just be focused on what the task is at hand.”
Gordon began to get out of his seat at the podium before he decided to make one more point. “Still reading the newspaper and the news around the world is important and not being consumed with kind of the bubble that is the NBA, even though it expands during the Finals,” he said. “But still, being aware of the other things that are going on outside of the media, the NBA, and the things that are going on outside of the world and reading world news is still really important.”
Ira Winderman: The Heat are listing Tyler Herro (hand) as out for Sunday’s Game 2 in Denver. But that does not mean he is definitively out. That status can be changed up until game time. Martin (illness) and Zeller (foot sprain) are listed as questionable. Vincent (ankle) listed as available.
June 3, 2023 | 7:24 pm EDT Update
Terry Stotts heads back to Milwaukee as assistant
Adrian Wojnarowski: Terry Stotts is finalizing a deal to join Adrian Griffin’s new coaching staff with the Milwaukee Bucks, sources tell ESPN. Stotts won 402 games and made eight straight playoff trips as Portland’s coach. He was the Bucks’ coach for 146 games, ending in 2007.
Phoenix Suns associate head coach Kevin Young is staying with the franchise on a new $2 million annual deal that’ll make him the NBA’s highest-paid assistant coach, sources told ESPN on Saturday. The Suns were determined to keep Young on new coach Frank Vogel’s staff and made a significant commitment to keep him from following former coach Monty Williams to the Detroit Pistons, sources said.
Fast-forward four years, and they’re teammates on a No. 8-seed Heat team that has clawed its way to the NBA Finals. Highsmith still remembers the lessons Butler imparted to him in Philadelphia. “Working out twice a day, three times a day, which he would do sometimes,” he says. “Also understanding your body, not pushing it too far where you’re feeling not the best. Maintaining good diet as well.”