Team USA and Iran basketball players nonetheless displayed sportsmanship before and after the game amid the U.S. cruising to a 120-66 victory on Wednesday. That included the teams applauding each others’ national anthems, players shaking hands, and Popovich shaking hands with Iran head coach Mehran Shahintab according to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. Players from the two teams even posed for pictures together after the game as USA guard Damien Lillard and Iran guard Saeid Davarpanah notably did that. “Well I’m not the answer man, I’m not the Secretary of State or anything like that,” Popovich told the media on Wednesday. “But in general, you know, I think people in different countries get along a whole lot better than their governments do.”
June 1, 2023 | 5:22 am EDT Update
Bob Myers to ESPN now?
ESPN has expressed an interest in hiring Bob Myers, the Golden State Warriors executive who stepped down as president and general manager on Tuesday. The talks are very early on, sources told Front Office Sports. The two-time executive of the year is likely to be barraged by offers from other NBA franchises.
Windhorst: Miami makes a lot of sense if Damian Lillard becomes available
However, if the 32-year-old were to become available, NBA insider Brian Windhorst thinks the Miami Heat would make a lot of sense as a potential landing spot. “It feels strange to me to talk about a team in the Finals, like the Miami Heat, but the Miami Heat make a lot of sense if Dame were to become available,” he said. “They have a number of future first-round picks they can trade. They have a number of interesting young players. It would be a really fascinating opportunity if he were to come to market.”
Michael Malone compared Nikola Jokic to Tim Duncan
“He’s not trying to be something he’s not. He’s not trying to create a narrative other than ‘I’m Nikola Jokic, I play for the Denver Nuggets, I’m gonna do everything I can to help my team win and I’m gonna do it with class, professionalism and I’m never gonna make it about me. That’s the rarity,” Malone said of Jokic. “I often make the comparison, I never coached Tim Duncan, but just from coaching against him and hearing stories about those that have been around him, Tim Duncan was a selfless superstar. I look at Nikola Jokic in the same vein. I think Nikola Jokic is truly selfless superstar, where it’s not about him. He’s not looking for people to ‘Look at me, tell me how great I am’. He’s almost embarrassed by the attention. He’s just wants to be one of the guys in the locker room, have fun, work hard and win.”
Malika Andrews: Why didn’t Jimmy Butler want to hold the Eastern Conference Finals trophy? “I play for Mr. O’Brien… You can take the All-Stars… You can take the All-NBA. All defensive team, don’t care. I really only want to win a championship.” pic.twitter.com/wu6fOERIOW
Clutch Points: “Out of everybody that I’ve guarded, that we’ve guarded in the playoffs, Jimmy could arguably be the most complete player.” Aaron Gordon speaks highly of Jimmy Butler 😮 Thoughts? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/dKoD3mITg6
Clutch Points: “People used to compare me to [Usher] a lot… I look like him!” Paul George says that people used to compare him to Usher when he was younger and then breaks out in song 😂 Thoughts? 🤔 (via @PodcastPShow) pic.twitter.com/0aXkHcygoC
Reporter: “How’s your ankle? You injured it against the Knicks and tweaked it in Game 7. Are you 100% or is that a look that tells me you’re gonna lie right now?” Jimmy Butler: “No, I’m not gonna lie. I’m gonna say that nobody cares. You don’t either. I’m still expected to do my job at a high level.”
The first surgery occurred during his freshman year at Missouri in 2017, in which he played just 53 minutes in three games; the second occurred before the start of his rookie year with the Denver Nuggets in 2018, causing him to miss the entire season. He had barely played basketball for two years. Now he was facing a prolonged absence again. The game he so brilliantly dominated felt like it had been stolen from him, and all he could do was helplessly wonder why. “Why?” he asked, lying on that bed a year and a half ago. “Why is this happening to me again?”