Jordan smiled, then decided to have a little fun. “He was really into coaching Gigi,” MJ explains, “so I hit him up about that.” “Happy holidays,” Jordan texted back, “and hope to catch up soon. Coach Kobe??!” “I added that little crying/laughing emoji,” Jordan chuckles. “Ah, back at you, man,” Kobe wrote. “Hey, coach, I’m sitting on the bench right now, and we’re blowing this team out. 45-8.” Eleven days following that exchange, Bryant learned he had been officially nominated for the Hall of Fame as a first-ballot entry. Forty-nine days later, he was gone. “I just love that text,” Jordan says, “because it shows Kobe’s competitive nature.”
July 4, 2022 | 11:21 am EDT Update
The Nets officially signed Alondes Williams to a two-way contract Monday morning. Williams, who will play for the Nets in the NBA Summer League this week, is coming off a big senior season with Wake Forest — a season he upped his scoring average from 6.7 to 18.5 points per game to pair with his 5.2 assists and 6.4 rebounds. He was viewed as one of the most dynamic players in college basketball with elite court vision and a playmaking niche. After leading the Deacons to a 25-10 record, he was named ACC Player of the Year — the 11th Wake Forest product to do so.
The stoic reaction did not just capture Keegan Murray’s apathy toward the various NBA mock drafts that did not project him as the Sacramento Kings’ No. 4 pick, it also captured why the Kings became enamored with what makes him tick. “My motivation comes from within. I’m not really worried about other guys and things like that,” Keegan told NBA.com. “It’s just me trying to get better and trying to be the best version of myself.” Through two games of the 2022 California Classic at Chase Center, Murray showed two different versions of himself. In the Kings’ 86-68 win against the Warriors on Saturday, Murray showcased himself as an efficient scorer (26 points) both from the field (10-for-14) and from deep (4-for-5 on 3-pointers). In Sacramento’s 81-64 victory against the Heat on Sunday, Murray struggled with both his shooting stroke overall (4-for-15 overall, 1-for-7 from deep) and ball handling (six turnovers).
July 4, 2022 | 9:15 am EDT Update
Free agents left on the Wolves radar: Frank Kaminsky, Gorgui Dieng… and maybe Boogie Cousins? I’m waiting to hear a little bit more information on that. Also, I was told they may wait out the KD and Kyrie situations that when those two players are traded, likely separate trades, that other players could hit the market. Maybe somebody ends up in Brooklyn, Brooklyn buys out that player. So the Wolves may wait out those situations before adding another free agent.
Adrian Wojnarowski on Kevin Durant’s potential trade: “The market is still taking shape, and I think it’s incumbent on some of the other teams to be creative and start bringing to Brooklyn ideas, going out and seeing if they can get players, picks that would put the kind of package it would take to get Kevin Durant. Brooklyn’s got time on its side. They have a lot of time left in the offseason and they have a player in KD who has four years left on his contract. They don’t have to rush into a deal.”
The Wolves spoke with the Spurs a number of times about DeJounte Murray, he has a number of fans here. The Wolves were very, very interested in bringing Dejounte Murray to Minnesota, just not at the price that Atlanta paid.