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.”
June 23, 2021 | 8:34 pm EDT Update
June 23, 2021 | 7:44 pm EDT Update
Spoelstra has accepted an invitation to join the USA Basketball coaching staff for its Olympic preparations in Las Vegas next month. The Miami Heat coach, who went head-to-head against Popovich and San Antonio in the 2013 and 2014 NBA Finals, will be involved coaching the U.S. select team — a group of players that will be brought in to practice and scrimmage against the Olympic roster.
“I really just want to be a part of the program,” Spoelstra said. “I’m always pushing myself to get better in the offseasons; I go visit people and all that stuff. This is going to be a basketball immersion. I mean, the dinners, the team meetings … for where I am right now in my career, I think this is the perfect thing for a summer of development.”