Jared Weiss: Al Horford said after a bad year in Phily & getting traded, it was a “very low point for me.” “I can either cave in, or make the most of this opportunity.” But OKC welcomed him with open arms & now “There’s a lot of satisfaction being back here and playing at a high level.”
January 17, 2022 | 8:31 am EST Update
Following a brief NBA stint, Gabriel Deck is back for Real Madrid, head coach Pablo Laso confirmed Sunday. “We are talking about a player who has been determinant in each team he has already played. He will help us a lot. He will give us a lot of options on both sides of the court,” noted the experienced tactician after the ACB Regular Season Round 18 home win opposite Casademont Zaragoza, “The first time he came, we knew he would grow with us. He understands the game, he can play in and out, and his versatility is useful.”
For years, Robertson would be shunned from a league that never attempted to find a place for him. But the players, the owners and the game won because Robertson demanded more. His fight delayed the merger of the NBA and the ABA for six years, and the 1976 settlement resulted in the Oscar Robertson Rule, which pushed players toward free agency and helped establish the modern NBA. “People tried to pooh-pooh that,” Robertson said of the rule that bears his name, “like it didn’t change basketball. It changed basketball forever. How could a player make $50 million a year playing basketball? I took a lot of heat for it. I’m still taking heat for it, I guess. But I think the Oscar Robertson Rule is really what propelled basketball to where it is today. Can you imagine guys sitting on the bench, averaging three or four points a game, making $10 million? I’m happy for them because I think it was on my watch that all these things happened. I just want people to know it.”
Robertson spoke to The Washington Post in advance of the NBA’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration and near the anniversary of one of the most pivotal nights in league history: Jan. 14, 1964. That was when players locked arms inside a locker room at Boston Garden and threatened to strike during the first live-televised All-Star Game unless the league’s owners recognized their union and provided basic necessities, such as a trainer on every staff. Negotiations between the players and the owners, barricaded on the other side of the locker room, were contentious. “They received some real vile language while they were in there,” Robertson said with a laugh of the owners. They conceded to the players’ requests, and the game was played, with Robertson earning MVP honors. “From that point on, the association went forward. It elevated the players from being sandlot players to being real pros.”
During the discovery process of the trial, Paul Snyder, the owner of the Buffalo Braves, called Robertson an “adversary of the NBA,” which Robertson believes led to his dismissal. “It affected me quite a bit,” Robertson said. “It was very difficult when I came up to be able to say anything at all. I had to believe that some of the owners, through their meetings, were upset about [the suit] and rightly so. They were giving up a little power, but look what they gained out of it. They gained so much it was unbelievable.”
January 17, 2022 | 5:20 am EST Update
Indiana has endured an underwhelming season due partly to injuries and COVID outbreaks leading rival executives to believe the Pacers could be in for a roster shakeup as the deadline approaches. The Pacers are seeking two first-round picks or a promising young player and a first-round pick in exchange for Myles Turner, the NBA’s top shot blocker, league sources told HoopsHype.
Eric Gordon, 33, is shooting career-highs from the field (.505) and three-point range (.455) after two injury-riddled seasons. With Gordon healthy and adding a needed veteran presence to a rebuilding Rockets team, Houston is seeking a first-round pick in trade talks for the veteran scoring guard, league sources told HoopsHype.