Joe Vardon: A Team Australia update. Even if the Jazz reach the Finals — and it goes seven games, meaning it ends July 22, a day before Olympic opening ceremony — Joe Ingles is playing for the Boomers. ‘I’ll get on a plane the next day and I’ll make my way over to Japan.’ @The Athletic
January 18, 2022 | 1:09 pm EST Update
Marc Stein: The Mavericks have been frequently linked to a trade pursuit of Indiana’s Myles Turner, but league sources say Dallas had already backed off on its interest even before Turner’s foot injury and with its team defense already flourishing at No. 5 overall in defensive efficiency.
Julius Erving: Those of us who played in the NBA in the 1980s definitely played a role in what the league has become today. And I think that in communicating with the next generation of players, they gave a lot of credit to myself and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. If you start in 1980, and you look at the guys who were the All-Pro players, the MVPs or whatever, there was an acceptance, and there was the crossing-over between the different ethnicities that created a pretty good melting pot.
Julius Erving: I look at the commercial success that happened with myself, with Larry Bird, with Converse and Spalding as an example, and the next wave with Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. It didn’t just happen. There were shoulders we were standing on. There was Bill Russell, who’s been a dear friend for many, many years. Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, and even the lesser-celebrated guys like Walt Bellamy, Lou Hudson, Pete Maravich. We were just trying to kind of give them credit and understand their struggle. They were always taking commercial flights. Before that, I mean, there were guys taking trains and buses. It is so much different now.
Former basketball star Yao Ming on Monday invited staunch Beijing critic Enes Kanter Freedom to visit China after the Boston Celtics player urged athletes to boycott the Winter Olympics in the capital. Kanter has emerged as one of China’s most vocal critics in the sporting world, a rare athlete willing to forgo lucrative endorsements to speak on issues such as Beijing’s treatment of its Uyghur Muslim and Tibetan minorities.
Yao, China’s most famous basketball star and one of its Olympic bid ambassadors, was asked about Kanter’s politics at a press gathering in Beijing on Monday. “I’ve heard of him, but I can’t really judge him because I don’t know him,” the retired Houston Rockets player and current president of the China Basketball Association said. “If there is an opportunity, I would like to invite him to visit China… Then he may have a more comprehensive understanding of us.”
The letter is perhaps the most outspoken the most successful coach in modern college football has ever been regarding politics, though Saban and West have been longtime supporters of Manchin, a Democratic senator in a state that former president Donald Trump won by nearly 40 points in 2020.
January 18, 2022 | 12:59 pm EST Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: Pacers center Myles Turner is expected to be sidelined beyond the February 10 NBA trade deadline, sources tell ESPN. Team says he will be re-examined in two weeks, but teams interested in trading for Turner will have to do due diligence on injury as they weigh offers.