Storyline: GOAT Debate

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Jerry Reinsdorf: “In my mind, anytime anybody wants to talk to me about comparing Michael to LeBron (James), I’m going to tell them to please don’t waste my time. I’m really pleased it showed how great Michael was to people who hadn’t seen him play. I’m truly tired of people trying to compare LeBron to Michael when it’s not even close. They should try to compare LeBron with Oscar Robertson or Magic Johnson. Michael was so head and shoulders over everybody, and that really came out in this documentary. He was a phenomenon. We may never see another like him.”

Cedric Maxwell: LeBron James is the GOAT

Instead, Maxwell has put his name behind Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James in the GOAT debate. In an interview on NBC Sports Boston’s “Arbella’s Early Edition,” the former Finals MVP explained what exactly puts James above Jordan in his mind. “LeBron James is the GOAT now,” NBA legend said. “He’s the GOAT because, not only on the basketball side, but social issues: He’s been involved in every social issue that we look at.” James has been very active and vocal in humanitarian efforts, as well as social issues such as the recent protests over police brutality and racial injustice. “When somebody says, ‘Shut up and dribble’ — LeBron James has put his money where his mouth is, and that to me resonates. That’s why I think more of our players and more NBA people need to step up and find that same courage,” Maxwell added.

Appearing on The Pat McAfee Show on Monday, JR Smith explained in detail what separates LeBron from all-time greats like Jordan and the late Kobe Bryant. “He holds you accountable. One thing about Bron is he leads by example with his work ethic. His biggest attribute is being able to pull people along with his work ethic,” the 6-foot-6 shooter said. “Obviously, it’s easier for the better players to do it. But for my existence, Jordan didn’t do it. Kobe didn’t do it. A lot of players that had that “killer mentality” aren’t that type of person to do it,” he added.

“Jordan and Kobe, they did play defense but they’re scorers. They put up 50, 60, 70 points a night. When you get somebody so well-rounded, rebounding, scoring, passing, dribbling, a good teammate. It’s a totally different atmosphere. He’s a totally different person than those guys. There’s no comparison. Because you can’t compare a lion and a tiger. They’re both cats but they are not the same.” In true fashion, JR Smith finished his analogy with this hilarious quote. “The lion is the king of the jungle. Everybody bows down to the lion. But that don’t stop the tiger from saying ‘I’m a bad m———– too’”.

Not many people can say they played with Michael Jordan and LeBron James. What were the biggest similarities between the two? Larry Hughes: I think the natural ability, the attention to detail, the respect that they ; they were not going to waste their God-given talent. That stands out to me the most… They had a deeper understanding that they weren’t going to let their talent be wasted. And they were going to inspire other people. I mean, even though I played with Bron when he was younger, we still had young guys who were coming to the team that looked up to Bron. It was a situation where he took advantage of that, and I think MJ took advantage of that as well, knowing that he would impact and inspire a lot of kids through a lot of different generations.

More than 20 years after Drexler and MJ last laced it up against each other, Drexler has his own opinion on the GOAT debate. Clyde the Glide believes neither Jordan nor LeBron James should be the only two automatically pegged as the NBA’s greatest player of all time: “I have a real problem with that, because out of all the guys that played the game, for you to have a conversation of these two guys as the GOAT when you’ve got Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, two of the greatest players to ever live – I think you start with those two.”

Despite his unwillingness to engage in the debate, Anthony did concede that he agrees with the consensus that Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time but also said that shouldn’t take anything away from what LeBron has accomplished. “You know, M.J. is the GOAT. He’s the greatest ever. We all know that and we all agree to that. Why can’t we say that, but also give LeBron his flowers while he’s here too?” Anthony said. “Why can’t we say, ‘M.J. was very great, LeBron is very great, Kobe is very great.’ We’re not allowed to say those things today, because it’s always this or that, and that’s just our society — you have to choose one.”

Carmelo Anthony thinks that type of “barbershop talk” is great for the fans, but he doesn’t much care for player comparisons — particularly between Jordan and James, two of the best to ever play. “I don’t like it. And I say that because whenever we do that, we fail to appreciate what we have in front of us,” Anthony told CBS Sports. “Any time these comparisons are made, whether it’s anybody — old school versus new school — it’s like, why can’t we just appreciate everybody for what they bring to the game?”

While Jordan seems to keep those slights with him and is intent to prove doubters wrong, Anthony takes a different approach. “It hit home, but then you also understand that at the end of the day, there’s nothing you can do if somebody wants to put a negative narrative out there about you,” Anthony said. “There’s really nothing you can do, so what I’ve learned over the years is, whatever’s gonna happen is gonna happen. Whatever people are gonna say, people are gonna say. Just don’t give them anything to talk about. You’re doing your job and working hard. If you know you’re putting your all into it, anything somebody else says doesn’t even matter to you.”

“When I was talking the GOAT for me means highschool, college, pro dominance, longevity, all of that. Kareem I don’t think lost in highschool. I think he was 85 and 2 in college, won a championship every year, was the best player every single year. They changed the rules for him. That’s why he got the sky hook. He comes to the league, obviously dominates, has the most points of all time, and things like top 5 or top 10 rebounding. He has 5 rings. His career speaks for itself. Played 20 years. “But it’s that 30-year span of just complete and utter basketball dominance in how define it is taking the big picture view. I don’t argue MJ’s pinnacle of dominance. I definitely don’t argue that. I want no smoke MJ fans. Everybody got mad, I was like ‘let me just explain myself’.”

However, one former player who had his fair share of success during his career, believes that the conversation being limited to only LeBron and Jordan is a mistake. Clyde “The Glide” Drexler was a household name during his storied career with the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets, and he thinks other players deserve to be in the “GOAT” conversation. “I really have a problem with that. Because out of all the guys that played the game, you’re only having a conversation with these two guys as the GOAT,” Drexler said in an interview on The A-Team, a Houston-area sports podcast. “When you got Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, two of the greatest players who ever lived, I think you should start with those two. You got guys like Larry Bird, Dr. J, George Gervin, Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West all of those guys are in the conversation. I love both Michael and LeBron but let’s not take something away from the other guys who played.”

However, one former player who had his fair share of success during his career, believes that the conversation being limited to only LeBron and Jordan is a mistake. Clyde “The Glide” Drexler was a household name during his storied career with the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets, and he thinks other players deserve to be in the “GOAT” conversation. “I really have a problem with that. Because out of all the guys that played the game, you’re only having a conversation with these two guys as the GOAT,” Drexler said in an interview on The A-Team, a Houston-area sports podcast. “When you got Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, two of the greatest players who ever lived, I think you should start with those two. You got guys like Larry Bird, Dr. J, George Gervin, Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West all of those guys are in the conversation. I love both Michael and LeBron but let’s not take something away from the other guys who played.”

During a recent appearance on ESPN, Johnson had some high praise for James, as he said that the Lakers forward was probably the best “all-around” player of all time. However, Johnson said that when it comes to the greatest player ever, he’s still going with Jordan. “First of all, let’s not take anything away from LeBron James,” Johnson said. “Because LeBron James is a great basketball player, one of the all-time greatest that’s ever played the game. LeBron James to me, when you think about all-around basketball players, he’s probably the best of all time. An all-around basketball player. But when you want to say ‘who’s the greatest ever’ it’s still Michael Jordan.”

While Johnson currently has Jordan ranked ahead of James on his own all-time list, he did leave the door open for James to potentially pass Jordan down the road, as James is still in the midst of his playing days. “LeBron James’ chapter is not closed yet,” Johnson added. “He still has some basketball to play, so maybe he has a chance to catch [Jordan] later on if he can get some more championships under his belt. But at the end of the day, they’re both great and they play they game the right way. They made their teammates better, they won championships, and thank god for LeBron because right now that’s what we’re watching. It’s his time. It’s his era, and he’s dominating his era.”

Vince Carter: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, then LeBron James

Vince Carter gives his NBA goat rankings between Michael Jordan, Lebron, and Kobe. He also talks with Matt and Stak about what is left for Lebron to accomplish in his career. Matt Barnes: So for the record, you’ve got MJ, then Kobe, then LeBron? Vince Carter: Yes. Barnes: Does LeBron have the opportunity in your mind to possibly jump Kobe? Carter: He has an opportunity based on what he gets done. If he gets to the Finals again… You’re just gonna give him more credit. Now, ten times in the Finals?! That’s insane if he can get to the Finals double-digit. Wait until it’s all said and done, then it’s fair to have a real debate. Let’s see what LeBron does and then we’ll go from there.

James, often compared to Jordan in the best-of-all-time debate, later tweeted that his excitement about playing with MJ didn’t mean he preferred it over competing against him. “I didn’t say I envisioned MJ as a teammate not an adversary,” James tweeted Monday night. “A question was asked ‘Do I think I could have been a teammate of his and compliment his game.’ I love the greats and would have loved to play with them all during their runs because I (am) a historian of the game but I also would die to compete vs every single one of them too! Don’t ever get it twisted!”

“Me personally, the way I play the game – team first – I feel like my best assets work perfectly with Mike,” James said. “Mike is an assassin. When it comes to playing the game of basketball, scoring the way he scored the ball, (then) my ability to pass, my ability to read the game plays and plays and plays in advance.” James grew up a Bulls fan watching Jordan in Akron, Ohio, and paid respect to Jordan in his tweet: “Nevertheless MJ Thank You for being my angel, inspiration, superhero!!”

Meanwhile, Kanter also shared his reflections on The Last Dance, the 10-part documentary chronicling the journey of NBA superstar Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls when they won six titles in the 90s. “I feel like MJ is the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) now,” Kanter happily shared. Kanter bared he was able to personally meet Jordan when he was 16 years old, but he more appreciated the former Bulls star’ dedication to the game after watching the documentary that inspired him to be a better basketball player in the court. “It’s amazing to see how dedicated he was, how amazing that he go out there and win every game and how competitive he was. His love and passion of the game is amazing to see,” said Kanter.

How do you rank Jordan, Kobe and LeBron in terms of greatness? Matt Barnes: Those are the top three players in the history of the game. It bothers when I see the disrespect. ESPN just came out with a list, and they had Kobe at nine. When you ask players, they’ll tell you, but it’s always the ‘experts’ that make these lists. My list would be Jordan at number one, Kobe number two and LeBron number three. LeBron can pass Kobe if he can capture another title. That would be a title with three different teams. He’s moving up the scoring list, he’s on the assist list and as far as all-around, he’s one of the greatest we’ve ever seen. Right now, it’s Mike number one, Kobe number two and LeBron three, but depending on how long he sticks around, LeBron can pass Kobe and he’ll definitely be in the discussion with Jordan.

ESPN Stats: Michael Jordan averaged 33.7 points in Game 7s. That is the second-most all-time among players to play in at least 3 Game 7s. LeBron James is the only player to have averaged more. #TheLastDance

NBA Central: “He only had really one job. And that was to just score. And he did that at an amazing, amazing rate. But I don’t feel like his way of winning then would translate to what it is now. Guys wouldn’t want to play with him.” -Channing Frye on Michael Jordan (NBC Sports North West). Evan Fournier: @channingfrye bro you bugging for real. Lol. Channing Frye: Boris Biaw is the best French player of all time. Evan Fournier: Lol na you aint getting away from that statement with this s—.

Golden State’s Jordan Poole, Eric Paschall, Marquese Chriss and others grew up debating who was the best player of all time — Jordan or James? — in their school cafeterias during lunch. Poole always sided with Jordan. His father, a Chicago native, had told him stories about Jordan’s greatness. But for Paschall and Chriss, James deserved the nod. They didn’t feel comfortable arguing in favor of someone they hadn’t witnessed in person. “I mean, I didn’t get to experience what other guys got to experience as far as seeing MJ or the early Kobe years,” said Paschall, who, at 23, is older than five of his teammates. “However, I legit saw every aspect of LeBron’s legacy. That goes a long way.”

Golden State’s Jordan Poole, Eric Paschall, Marquese Chriss and others grew up debating who was the best player of all time — Jordan or James? — in their school cafeterias during lunch. Poole always sided with Jordan. His father, a Chicago native, had long told him stories about Jordan’s greatness. But for Paschall and Chriss, James deserved the nod. They didn’t feel comfortable arguing in favor of someone they hadn’t witnessed in person. “I mean, I didn’t get to experience what other guys got to experience as far as seeing MJ or the early Kobe years,” said Paschall, who, at 23, is older than five of his teammates. “However, I legit saw every aspect of LeBron’s legacy. That goes a long way.”

Kendrick Perkins: Numbers like this is what makes this Bron/MJ thing up for debate. It’s not open and shut like people try it make it. When you look at numbers like this, it makes the ring talk clearly more about TEAM than individuals! Bron is my GOAT and I’m standing on it, carry on!

Channing Frye, alongside NBC Sports Northwest radio host Dan Sheldon, entertained the thought of how Jordan’s lack of transferable skills to this modern-day, 3-point-happy NBA should penalize him in the greatest of all-time debates. The talented former stretch-four offered this take: “He only had really one job. And that was to just score. And he did that at an amazing, amazing rate. But I don’t feel like his way of winning then would translate to what it is now. Guys wouldn’t want to play with him. Right? I think you have to adjust and adapt, and to say that Jordan would average 50? No, he wouldn’t. Everyone would double team him.”

he said he also believed that, as it strictly relates to Jordan, people would view his score-first mentality in the same unfairly-negative light in the same way they view James Harden’s style of play. “James Harden averaged 50 (actually 43.6 points per game) for a month and nobody cared. Like, everyone’s like ‘Oh, those are bad shots.’ But like, people like to argue without looking at the two eras respectively. Like, Jordan was the greatest of his era. He took down some of the greatest teams in the history of the game, but he could not translate into this game.”

“All I know about Michael Jordan is through YouTube videos and the stories from old heads,” said former Vanderbilt star Aaron Nesmith, who was born in 1999 and is projected as a top-15 pick in the 2020 NBA draft. “I was actually arguing with my high school coach the other day [over] why Michael Jordan is the GOAT. “For my generation, LeBron [James] is the GOAT. And he was arguing that Michael Jordan is the clear-cut GOAT — there is no ifs, ands or buts.”

Jason Williams: THE G.O.A.T!!! 🐐👀 Ima start off by saying right off the bat that I got nothing but love and respect for everyone in this discussion! Anyone who knows me knows I always paid my respects to my OGs!! 🙏🏼 But I get asked all the time who the GOAT is to me when it comes down to MJ, Kobe, and LeBron! Ima let y’all know right now that in my humble opinion… KING JAMES IS THE 🐐🐐🐐!!!

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THE G.O.A.T!!! 🐐👀 Ima start off by saying right off the bat that I got nothing but love and respect for everyone in this discussion! Anyone who knows me knows I always paid my respects to my OGs!! 🙏🏼 But I get asked all the time who the GOAT is to me when it comes down to MJ, Kobe, and LeBron! Ima let y’all know right now that in my humble opinion… KING JAMES IS THE 🐐🐐🐐!!! Before I get into let me make it clear: there was never a badder human being to step foot on a basketball court than Michael Jordan!!! His intensity and competitive fire and six rings speaks for itself!! Baddest dude to ever lace em up PERIOD!!!!! 🔥 As for Kobe, the dude was for real a genius, a savant, he studied and dissected the game like a surgeon and then worked harder than everybody else!! The blood sweat and tears were SACRED to Bean, he just wanted it more than anybody else!!! 🙏🏼🙏🏼 But when it comes to Bron, all I gotta say is that if we’re talking PURELY BASKETBALL… he’s the GOAT!! Bro could lead the league in 5 statistical categories if he wanted to and MJ just couldn’t have done that!! Bron got the perfect body/IQ/raw ability for the game of basketball and that’s just a fact! UNSTOPPABLE!! If you’re building a basketball player, you’re going to build Lebron‘s body/mind/skillset every time over anyone else who’s ever played the game!!! 👀💪🏼 Everyone gonna talk about who has the most rings and I understand that the game is about winning but to me: LBJ is the best basketball player of all time!!!! Also, how about this: Lebron’s shoes are WAY more comfortable to hoop in than Air Jordan’s and that’s just a fact!! 😂🙌🏼 You won’t catch me hooping without my Lebron 17s and that’s all I got left to say on the matter!!! 🏀 What y’all think??! Who’s your GOAT?! Convince me in the comments, I’ll be reading!!! 👀🧐 [Shout out to @tripp for the dope artwork!!! 💯🔥] #GOAT #kingjames

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So why does MJ come out on top? There are two obvious reasons. One is that Jordan’s teams were much better than LeBron’s. Jordan’s Bulls averaged more than 58 wins a season with a net rating of +7.29, while James’s average club won 55 games. Jordan’s Bulls were also the Vegas betting favorite in 91 percent of their series beginning in 1988, the first year those odds are available,2 compared with just 76 percent for LeBron’s. You’ll never believe this, but better teams tend to win more in the playoffs than worse teams.

Get Up: .@JalenRose doesn’t think LeBron has done enough to be ranked No. 2 all-time. “In this era of basketball, LeBron ain’t stopping the great players from winning championships. They’re getting their turn. There was no turn in [MJ’s era].”

Both agreed that LeBron James is the greatest athlete of all time. “I really believe if LeBron James had to play football, he may have been the greatest football player ever,” Doc Rivers even said that. “I don’t think there’s ever been a better, and Michael [Jordan] was a super athlete, so was Kobe [Bryant], so is Kawhi [Leonard], I don’t know if there has ever been an athlete in our league like LeBron James,” he added, per Jonathan Sherman of Lakers Daily. His son agreed, saying that there has never been someone with the abilities of LeBron. “I don’t think in sports,” he said. “I don’t think in sports we’ve seen anything like LeBron James,” the Rockets guard said, per Jonathan Sherman of Lakers Daily.

According to Hamilton, Bryant was the only player he was ever scared to play against. Here are his full comments: First of all, whoever voted and put Kobe [at 10] just flat out disrespected him. I feel like Kobe Bryant is the closest guy to Michael Jordan that we have ever seen. When you look at his stats and see, yes, he was an 18-time All-Star, he was a 15-time All-NBA player, tied with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but when Magic Johnson comes out and says Kobe Bryant is the best Laker of all time, that means better than him, and better than the guy Magic played with, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

According to Hamilton, Bryant was the only player he was ever scared to play against. Here are his full comments: First of all, whoever voted and put Kobe [at 10] just flat out disrespected him. I feel like Kobe Bryant is the closest guy to Michael Jordan that we have ever seen. When you look at his stats and see, yes, he was an 18-time All-Star, he was a 15-time All-NBA player, tied with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but when Magic Johnson comes out and says Kobe Bryant is the best Laker of all time, that means better than him, and better than the guy Magic played with, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.


The latest was MJ’s former teammate Dennis Rodman, who described what he feels is the biggest difference between the two basketball superstars. “He [LeBron James] wasn’t bought up this way. I had that desire to win, I didn’t give a s**t what it took. I’ll do the dirty work, I don’t give a s**t. At the end of the day that ring is more important. For Mike [Michael Jordan] when he came up he had one thing in doing – I’m going if I didn’t beat your a** and do my job,” the ex-NBA champion said.

For many it’s unequivocally Jordan, as he’s gone 6-for-6 in the NBA Finals, compared to LeBron’s 3-for-6 record in the Finals. Morey views it much differently, however, but he added a minor detail change to help him make his pick. The Rockets general manager was on ESPN LA’s Mason and Ireland talk radio show and shared his take. “People love to talk about this. For sure LeBron is the greatest human to play basketball. That’s not even a question, but it’s not even fair to Michael Jordan to say that. LeBron is years later and the game has evolved. And every athlete is pretty much better than the athletes were 30 years ago. If you put MJ in the league now, that would be an interesting discussion but if you just want to say who is the best human to ever play basketball, I think it’s pretty obvious.”
2 months ago via SLAM

What would Michael Jordan be if he played in the game today? Shaq: “He would average 45 [points], and the League would be complaining about two players. They’d be like, Mike is too good. And the kid down in Orlando is too dominant. What are we going to do?” Who is the greatest player ever? Shaq: “I’m going to have to say Michael Jordan because Michael paved the way for all the great guys that we have now. And 6-0 in the Finals without a legitimate big man. Went through a lot. Took a year off. Came back and won three in a row. He’s definitely the greatest player.”

NBA Central: Shaq says Michael Jordan is the greatest player of all time “You can’t say ‘I’m the greatest player,’ you have to let your peers and everyone else say who the greatest player is.” 👀 (🎥 @GetUpESPN ) pic.twitter.com/TxYrJrP5Bf

Here is what NBA legend Isiah Thomas had to say on who is the GOAT for him on the latest ‘Inside The Green Room’ podcast: “My GOAT is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. There is no person in the history of all sports, from grade to school to high school, to college, to the NBA that had a better basketball playing career than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. And then when you take into account what he’d done in terms of social justice during that period of time, the stance he took outside off the playing field, those are big things in my mind in terms of what the GOAT was,” he said.

Charles Barkley isn’t putting LeBron James and Kobe Bryant into the elite of the elite in NBA history. The Hall of Famer left the two modern-era stars out of his top 5 NBA players of all-time when asked what his list would be during an appearance on Kentucky coach John Calipari’s “Coffee with Cal” show this week. “Michael’s [Jordan] one, Oscar Robertson’s two,” Barkley said. “[Bill] Russell, Wilt [Chamberlain] and Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar], no particular order after Michael.”

Miami Heat president Pat Riley recently gave high praise to Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James. While reminiscing on the formation of the Heat’s Big 3, the former head coach revealed he believes James is arguably the best player ever. “After July the first, I just laid it out on the table,” Riley recalled. “LeBron and Chris [Bosh], two of the greatest players in our game. And LeBron, maybe the greatest player of all time, with Dwyane [Wade]. All you have to do is put it on the table.”

Worthy voiced his opinions on Danny Green’s podcast Inside the Green Room, not surprisingly opting for Jordan who he was able to actually play against. “It’s tough man, I’m winning with either one. We’ve never seen a physical physique like LeBron James. LeBron James had it since he came into the league, I mean he could go play middle linebacker or tight end for the Dallas Cowboys right now…. If I had to make my choice, I’m going with MJ because I played with him. I know he’s deadly, and I don’t think there’s anybody in the league today that has the tenacity that he had. Michael’s not nice. I don’t know man, I love LeBron. I’m going to have to go with my boy, cuz he chose me.”

First, on Jordan, Falk went on and on about how he would not only dominate today’s NBA if he were in his prime, he would basically be twice as good as he was. “With virtually zero defense, no hand-checking, I think if Jordan played today; if he was in his prime in today’s rules, I think he’d average between 50 and 60 a game. I think he’d shoot 75% from the floor. If you couldn’t hand-check him, he would be completely unstoppable,” Falk said. “Now that I watch [the documentary], I realize that, unless you’re legally blind, you can’t possibly think that there’s another player who ever played the game that’s remotely in the league that he’s in. Nobody.”

Worthy voiced his opinions on Danny Green’s podcast Inside the Green Room, not surprisingly opting for Jordan who he was able to actually play against. “It’s tough man, I’m winning with either one. We’ve never seen a physical physique like LeBron James. LeBron James had it since he came into the league, I mean he could go play middle linebacker or tight end for the Dallas Cowboys right now…. If I had to make my choice, I’m going with MJ because I played with him. I know he’s deadly, and I don’t think there’s anybody in the league today that has the tenacity that he had. Michael’s not nice. I don’t know man, I love LeBron. I’m going to have to go with my boy, cuz he chose me.”

First, on Jordan, Falk went on and on about how he would not only dominate today’s NBA if he were in his prime, he would basically be twice as good as he was. “With virtually zero defense, no hand-checking, I think if Jordan played today; if he was in his prime in today’s rules, I think he’d average between 50 and 60 a game. I think he’d shoot 75% from the floor. If you couldn’t hand-check him, he would be completely unstoppable,” Falk said. “Now that I watch [the documentary], I realize that, unless you’re legally blind, you can’t possibly think that there’s another player who ever played the game that’s remotely in the league that he’s in. Nobody.”
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July 12, 2020 | 8:31 pm EDT Update
With limited apparel flexibility, face masks will also serve as one of the few opportunities for self-expression en route to games. Some players planned ahead, creating customized masks with social justice messages, personal brand logos or hometown area codes. The league has already provided all players and team personnel with face coverings as part of their arrival package in Orlando. A batch of ten co-designed NBA x Stance masks with different prints, logo executions and graphics were waiting for players in their hotel rooms. When arriving for games, players will have the option to wear the league-provided masks, their team-issued face coverings or a face covering of their own choosing.
July 12, 2020 | 8:27 pm EDT Update
July 12, 2020 | 8:16 pm EDT Update

July 12, 2020 | 7:23 pm EDT Update
Orlando Magic second-year center Mo Bamba was on a mission during the NBA coronavirus shutdown. He came into the league as a slender 7-footer with athleticism that enabled him to block shots and pop out on the perimeter for occasional 3-point attempts. Bamba, however, wanted to add more to his game, so he focused on adding weight to his 230-pound frame. He figured adding bulk and muscle to his already athletic body would give him even more of an advantage in the paint going up against bigger NBA players.
“My mentality the whole entire time we were quarantined was to gain an inch every day and it really took, literally, every day going through it to get to where I am,” Bamba said Sunday. “It took changing my diet, it took intense workouts and it took leaning on the Magic’s strength and conditioning staff to provide a plan for me.” Bamba said a personal chef, a strict diet of five to six meals a day and constant workouts with weights were the key to his three-month transformation.
“Initially the goal was to get to 240 and that happened really quick with the change of diet,” Bamba said. “Then I started to approach the 250 mark and I was like, ‘All right, this is around the weight that I feel comfortable at,’ and once I got a little bit past 250, I was like, ‘OK, this is where I’m gonna try to cap it.’ “I feel really good right now jumping-wise … I just feel really good, man.”
July 12, 2020 | 6:59 pm EDT Update
July 12, 2020 | 6:27 pm EDT Update
Darren Wolfson: The #Timberwolves had a good group in for workouts last week, more guys coming in this week. It’s an important summer from a developmental perspective for so many. By the way, the wrap on Russell’s right ankle is normal post-workout taping. Nothing to worry about.

July 12, 2020 | 4:42 pm EDT Update
Fred Katz: Disney logistics since we’re all learning: The NBA gives 3-hr practice windows to each team since they’re sharing facilities. If a team wants to have a day off, that might be reflected in their schedule but it’s not like the NBA knows when it tells them the time they have the gym . These are boring logistics. But that’s why the language was misleading with the Wizards technically “canceling” a practice they were never scheduled to have. They’ll be back on the court tomorrow
Storyline: Orlando Bubble