May 15, 2021 | 10:45 am EDT Update
Marc J. Spears: Ex-Detroit Pistons and HBCU Virginia Union star Ben Wallace will be inducted into the Class of 2021 for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, a source told @TheUndefeated. The 2004 NBA champion was a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and a four-time All-Star.
The expectation in the wake of the procedure is that Oladipo would not be ready to return to court work until November or possibly even later, likely limiting his 2021-22 action to the second half of the season, if that. The chances of Oladipo returning to the Heat could come down to whether the team attempts to maximize salary-cap space to sign an outside free agent, such as Kyle Lowry or, possibly, Kawhi Leonard, or instead opts to operate above the salary cap and prioritize retaining the current roster.
Brady Hawk: Jimmy Butler is currently shooting 86% from the line. That would rank third in Miami Heat history (min. 140 attempts), only behind Ray Allen and Glen Rice according to Heat game notes. He also has the longest streak in team history shooting 80% from the line in 14 straight games
Center Jarrett Allen said Friday he was surprised at Okoro’s workload — he led all NBA rookies in minutes per game as of Thursday. “It’s awesome to see. It’s been a great rookie season for him,” Allen said of Okoro’s progress. “He’s been through a lot, just seeing trades, how much he’s been playing. “I saw he’s played the most minutes out of every single rookie. That’s a tough job coming in at how old he is and he’s handled it like a real professional. Just going down the line, I think that’s going to help him in the long run, make him have a good and lasting career.”
Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges has been cleared from the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols and will be available to play against the New York Knicks on Saturday, the team announced. He missed six games while in the COVID-19 protocols, with the Hornets going 2-4 in his absence while trying to hold on to the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference with just two games to go before the league’s play-in tournament next week.
Those that knew Bryant well believed his Hall of Fame speech would have been as unique as his on-court performances. And though he admired Jordan for how he played basketball, sought any competitive edge and maximized his business earnings, Bryant would not have wanted to be like Mike with his Hall of Fame speech. For all the endless comparisons on whether Jordan or Bryant finished with a better NBA career, Bryant’s Hall-of-Fame speech would have been more uplifting and classier than Jordan’s. “When MJ said his speech, it was like he still had an axe to grind with certain folks. I don’t think Kobe would’ve gone that route,” former Lakers guard Brian Shaw told USA TODAY Sports. “I think it would’ve been more in terms of making his message something that everybody could get better at in light of the present-day situation.”
Jordan called out Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas and George Gervin for the alleged freezeout in the NBA All-Star game during his rookie season. Jordan ridiculed former New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy for calling him “a conman” and arguing he befriends his opponents so he can soften their competitiveness. Jordan chastised former Utah Jazz guard Byron Russell for believing he could defend him in the 1998 NBA Finals. In Bryant’s case? During the final years of his NBA career and the four years in his post-retirement life, Bryant seemed too at peace to be settling scores. He became more focused on ensuring a successful second act of his life than remaining stuck on the accomplishments and shortcomings of his first one. “It would’ve been a very heartfelt talk,” Clippers executive and former Lakers general manager Jerry West told USA TODAY Sports. “He would’ve been very humble in his speech. He would’ve talked about his experiences in his life, and the people that he respected and admired.”
“Kobe Bryant was like a little bro to me, man,” Garnett said. “I got to see Kob. He was very young and not as polished as everybody got to see him. He was very vulnerable. We were both vulnerable. We were both young. And we used to always interact with each other with that youthfulness, with that kid. That kid persona. “We always talked the game, cracked a lot of jokes on each other, but at the end, it was two very fierce competitors. And there was our parallel. As much as he wanted to win, I want to win at the same time. As much as he thought he was the best, I thought I was the best. So I would always crack on him and tell him he was too small to play. He used to always crack on me and tell me I was too slow to guard him. It was great conversation, great back and forth and great competition.”