Kendrick Perkins: I’ve be hearing @isaiahthomas been look really good in workouts and he’s back healthy. @LAClippers since y’all really didn’t do a damn thing in free agency might as well give him a shot! Carry on…
October 20, 2021 | 3:39 pm EDT Update
The draft-night trade? That was more difficult for Favors. He expected the first trade. He didn’t expect this one. At 30 years old, winning a championship is prevalent on his mind. As most of us know, Oklahoma City is not in win-now mode. Favors’ presence on the Thunder roster is kind of a square peg. He knows that he’s going to have to play as hard as he can and let things fall where they may. “At first, I was kind of confused,” Favors said. “I was caught off guard. But, I knew it was nothing personal. When I reflected on it from a business standpoint, I knew that something had to happen. I accepted it, and I’m in a great place. I love what the Jazz have done for me, and I love the fans there. OKC, we have a very talented team. We have a lot to learn, and a long way to go. But, we have a group of guys that work hard. It’s going to be a journey in this first year. But this is a talented group of guys.”
“I’m going to try and treat it like it’s another game,” Favors said in an interview with The Athletic. “But, I know that it’s not another game. Honestly? I just hope I don’t get emotional.” Favors will make his return to face the Utah Jazz on Wednesday as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. It will be the season-opener for both teams, and, since twice being traded away from the franchise, it will be the first time Favors makes his appearance in a visiting uniform. Many remember he was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans two years ago. Twice, he was supposed to come back to Utah with the Pels. Once, he got injured at the last minute. The other? COVID-19 hit that very week.
Lakers legend Magic Johnson wants every NBA player to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Ahead of Opening Night of the league’s 75th anniversary season, Johnson told CBS News that every player should advocate for vaccination of the general public. He also urged non-vaccinated NBA players to get vaccinated. “You have said to your teammates that you are going to be there for them, well you can’t be there if you don’t get vaccinated,” Johnson said. “You letting them down and then that hurts our chances of winning a championship, I would never do that to my teammates. Never.”
Hoops star James Johnson, who just signed with the Brooklyn Nets, has also signed a lease to rent a Tribeca pad at 57 Reade St. Johnson, 34, is a 12-year NBA veteran. “He toured the apartment in late September and signed the lease in early October. He loves the layout and the location,” a source close to the deal told Gimme. The three-bedroom, three-bathroom condo was asking $16,500 a month to rent.
October 20, 2021 | 3:09 pm EDT Update
The 2018 No. 1 overall pick — who helped lead Phoenix to the 2021 NBA Finals — was reportedly expecting an offer, but it never came. Ayton expressed his disappointment about the development. He can still re-sign with the Suns in restricted free agency after fielding offers from around the league. “My biggest advice for him is: control what you can control and that’s how you go out and hoop,” Paul said, per AZ Central’s Duane Rankin. “Things happen, the business of the game, but I know DA’s heart … and how competitive he is. At the end of the day, he wants to do a good job for our team. And I appreciate him for that. I know when we step out on the court tonight, it’s going to be all about what he’s gotta do to help our team win.”
Ball also compared his mindset as a player to those who took the court during Jordan’s dominance in the 80s and 90s as we discussed his accelerated return from a broken wrist. He could have been out of action until the summer, but with the Hornets’ postseason chances fading, he was back from the injury in just five weeks. “I feel like I still kind of got that mentality that they had back in the day,” Ball said. “Even with the switching teams and stuff, they never used to do that. You go to one team, you stay there.”
Why he brought it up, players hopping from team to team, including today by forcing a trade with multiple years and millions of dollars left on their contracts, was unclear. But at his tender age, and so early in his career, with a franchise owned by the legendary Jordan trying to build around him, Ball sounds like he wants the responsibility of helping Jordan in Charlotte. “You supposed to just go to a team and build from there — I feel like that’s how it should be,” Ball said. “Especially when you like a high pick too, most likely going to a team that wasn’t as good, so you try to make them better. I feel like that’s the whole process right there.”