Shams Charania: The Detroit Pistons have waived guard Zhaire Smith, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA Stadium.
February 25, 2021 | 5:34 pm EST Update
He joined the Nuggets in July 2018 on a one-year, $2 million deal, and the Wizards a year later on a similar pact, delaying the inevitable with every short-term gain. “I just didn’t feel I had the time to sit,” Thomas says. “That’s the scary part about being 5′ 9″ in the best league in the world. You have to be exceptional every time you play. I was just trying to find ways to stay healthy, stay on the court and show that I was capable of playing at a good enough level.” At his lowest moments, Thomas says, “I fell out of love with the game, because I was in pain every day.”
He lasted just half of a season with the Cavaliers before being traded to the Lakers, who wanted nothing but his expiring contract. “If I could do it over again, I would have got the surgery and sat out that season, and then bet on myself in free agency,” Thomas says now. “I was afraid of, I guess, having to sit so long going into my contract. At the end of the day, I was trying to get paid.”
Thomas says he holds no grudge against the Celtics, though he contends to this day that the club should have been more forthcoming with him about the extent of his injury and the risks of playing through it. “They could have gone into more detail on what could possibly happen if I continued to play,” he says.
Adam Silver wishes he could make his words go away and regrets even saying them. The forward-thinking NBA commissioner recognizes that comments he made during an interview with HBO in 2019 regarding what was then an alleged assault by Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri on a police officer working security after Game 6 of the NBA Finals were poorly chosen at the time and more so given everything that has come out since.
“When I watch that last bit of the interview, in light of what we now know, I would love to take those words back,” Silver told Sportsnet during a recent phone interview. “[Masai] and I at this point have probably talked about that night 100 times since then. He has my full and unequivocal support. But I apologize to Masai for what I said in that interview…. Believe me, when I look at that now, I cringe when I watch it.”
Going forward, the NBA will have its own security staff at access points for key league events and during the NBA Finals, in particular, to make sure that something like what happened to Ujiri won’t happen again. “It’s my responsibility, at least in terms of these kinds of incidences, that I put in place practices so something like what happened to Masai doesn’t happen to other Black executives in our arena or an any NBA event,” said Silver. “We should have had our own security person standing there who knows who to let centre court for the ceremony…. It’s on me, not [Ujiri], that similar situations like that don’t happen in the future.”