Bradley Beal: “Our first meeting wasn’t about basketball, it was about life. It wasn’t about hoops at all. It was about him respecting us and what we did as players, what we continue to do and what we continue to embody and the fact we’re still trying to come out and win a gold medal regardless of what’s happened and what’s been going on. That spoke volumes. That spoke volumes. Pop, he’s a legend and he will always be a legend. Yeah, so ask him. He’ll be the one to ask about what’s going on in the world.”
January 16, 2022 | 5:46 am EST Update
The Mavericks still haven’t afforded former Villanova point guard Jalen Brunson a contract extension and he has made another leap this season. As The Post has reported multiple times, the Knicks have had Brunson on their radar. Brunson’s father is Rick Brunson — Leon Rose’s initial client when he started his sports agency business out of Cherry Hill, N.J. Thibodeau has had the elder Brunson on his staff for years before he rejoined the Knicks. With “T-Day’’ approaching in 3 ¹/2 weeks, the Mavericks are certainly capable of moving Brunson before the 2018 second-round pick becomes an unrestricted free agent. The Knicks already contacted the Mavericks sometime in the past about Brunson, an NBA source said. “They want him bad,’’ the NBA source said.
One league source also said Atlanta power forward John Collins, despite signing a new long-term teal after a protracted negotiate, also could be made available in the future if the Hawks don’t start jelling.
According to multiple sources, Rose and adviser William Wesley have played it very conservatively since after acquiring Derrick Rose from the Pistons nearly a year ago. The Knicks’ brass loved the team’s camaraderie, chemistry and record and didn’t want to mess with what they had built. They were all but silent at the trade deadline last season.
The veteran center made his decision after a successful journey in the NBA, where he spent 13 seasons. Gasol confessed in an interview with Marca that he does not miss it yet. “The door was not closed. If I had liked to continue there, I would be there now. It was not my priority. I am not nostalgic. I do not usually miss things. I really enjoyed my time in the NBA”, explained Gasol.
Asked if he is in the last year of his career, Gasol preferred not to think in the long term. “I want to enjoy every single day. We are always thinking about tomorrow. Let’s see. It depends on how you feel. It is not necessary to make decisions about things that will happen in two or three months,” he concluded.
After the Los Angeles Lakers’ 37-point loss to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, the second-biggest defeat of LeBron James’ 19-year career, another franchise great weighed in with his disgust. “We as Lakers fans can accept being outplayed but we deserve more than a lack of effort and no sense of urgency,” Magic Johnson tweeted to his 5.1 million followers. “Owner Jeanie Buss, you deserve better.”
“I do not have a reaction,” said Westbrook, who scored 19 points on 7-for-15 shooting, an improvement from his recent shooting slump. “Everybody is entitled, in this world, to their opinion. Regardless of what that it is. You can either take it and run with it or you can take it and put it in one ear and out the other or you cannot respond to it.
“Magic’s entitled to his opinion. And he’s not here every day. He’s not around us every day. He’s not aware of what’s going on internally with us and trying to figure things out. But I have no response to that. … Like I said, everyone in this world is entitled to their opinion and that’s that.”