Storyline: Jonah Bolden Free Agency

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Philadelphia 76ers Head Coach Brett Brown announced today that the team has signed forward Jonah Bolden. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. “We have been following Jonah Bolden for a while and are very excited to bring him into our program as a young, up-and-coming prospect,” Brown said. “He experienced positive growth and development last season at Maccabi Tel Aviv, a team led by Neven Spahija, who is a friend of our program and an excellent coach. Jonah’s style of play is that of a modern-day player and we’re thrilled to grow our team with him.”
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February 21, 2020 | 4:49 am EST Update
Harris, who scored 12 points Thursday, will be a restricted free agent this summer, and due to make a raise on his team-friendly $7.6 million deal. The sweet-shooting wing played alongside Irving in Cleveland as a rookie, but he essentially grew up in Brooklyn. He blossomed into a starter and won the 3-point title last season. He’s hoping to re-sign with the Nets, with the lure of playing a full season alongside the likes of Irving and Durant on a contender a strong one. And if he has a disappointment from this season, it’s that both stars, along with LeVert and others, have been in and out of an injury-riddled Nets lineup.
Every year during that stretch, Smart has been to the playoffs, and he played in the Eastern Conference Finals twice. But in his opinion, this Celtics team has the best shot at a title since he arrived. “(Other teams were) potential contenders, but not as much of a contender as this team is,” Smart told MassLive on Wednesday. “I’ve had some where we thought, ‘Maybe we can go.’ That run that we had with Isaiah Thomas, we thought we were a pretty good team, even the two years ago team where we made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, but this year is just a different feeling. We really got that sense of ‘We really, really, really, really have a chance this year,’ and it’s very evident to us. I think it’s starting to be evident to people around the league, and it’s evident to fans around the league.”
Isaiah Thomas: But the biggest memory for me was when Kobe and I sat down after every game of my series against the Chicago Bulls in 2017 and watched film together. I had my people send the film to him and he’d look it over. Then, we’d be on speaker phone and he’d be telling me everything that he saw, breaking the game down the way he would if he was in the series. I think that’s why he started doing that Detail show with ESPN because it was basically just like that, but it was just me and him. I was going through one of the toughest times in my life with the passing of my sister and he took the time out of his day to help me. We were on the phone for about an hour-and-a-half to two hours the day after every game, looking over the film and seeing how I’d adjust for the next playoff game. It was so surreal. It didn’t seem real that Kobe Bryant was really on the phone with me, helping through playoff situations. That was probably my biggest memory of Kobe, taking the time to really be there and help me. He saw what kind of path I was going on and he saw something special in me. For him to nickname me “Mighty IT” and help me so much and to have Player-Edition Kobe shoes, it was a dream come true. I’ve always dreamed of that and it actually came true.
DeMarcus Cousins knows now that he shouldn’t have played for the Warriors in last year’s NBA Finals, but the center said Thursday that he doesn’t regret his decision to rush back from a torn left quadriceps. “I was terrible in the Finals. I was a one-legged bandit on the floor, but I wanted to be a part of it,” Cousins said on Showtime’s “All the Smoke” podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. “In the Finals, you play hurt. If you can go, you can go. That’s when you lay your body on the line. I went out there and gave it what I had. The results were unfortunate. … I wasn’t supposed to be on the floor.”
Storyline: DeMarcus Cousins Injury
Although he averaged just 8.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in the championship series, Cousins said he doesn’t regret his decision. “I had no business on the floor. None, whatsoever,” he said. “… I just kept telling myself: ‘This is what I’ve played for my entire life: to be on this stage and have this opportunity. Whatever I’ve got to do to be a part of that, I’m going to do it.’ I don’t even know how I did it, honestly.”
“I don’t make those decisions, but from my personal standpoint, dealing with him on a daily basis has been absolutely amazing while he interacts with us, how he coaches the game — everything.,” Randle said. “We’ve responded really well to him and he’s done a great job.” Since he replaced Fizdale with Dec. 7’s 104-103 loss to the Pacers, Miller is 13-20 through his first 33 games in charge of the Knicks. Over that span, Randle has been an instant beneficiary of Miller’s tweaks.
“I think, just knowing him and his personality, he doesn’t pay attention to it — he’s focused on us every day, preparing us the best way he can and I really think that’s, honestly, his focus,” Randle said of the possibility that the Knicks replace Miller. “I know, for me, as a competitor and as a player, we deal with it in a different aspect of free agency and trade rumors and all that type of stuff and I don’t focus on it, man. Just focus on the task at hand and NBA is kind of one of those things — you just go with the flow and when something happens, you adjust to it. But he’s been amazing every day, just as far as his focus and what he’s doing.”
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Search
It’s permanent, as much as the Cavs’ head coaching job is permanent. Much like with John, it’s hard to find anyone who will say a bad word about J.B. He has an impeccable reputation around the league. His dad works for the Cavs. He’s been around the NBA for 15 years. He gets it. I wish him all the best, but he has an uphill battle with this organization.
Did you see that Drummond said he never wanted out if Beilein stayed? Jason Lloyd: I did. And I can appreciate and respect Andre defending himself. However, we stand by every word of our reporting and retract nothing. I’m not getting into a social media fight with a player. That serves no one well. I’d be happy to talk to him privately about our reporting when the opportunity presents itself.
Storyline: Andre Drummond Free Agency
NBA star Carmelo Anthony just listed his luxury Manhattan property overlooking New York City’s High Line park. The former New York Knicks player, 35 — who left the team to play for the Oklahoma City Thunder, briefly the Houston Rockets, and now, the Portland Trail Blazers — is asking for $12.85 million for the five-bedroom, four-bathroom condo located in the Chelsea neighborhood. Kevin Mallen and Michael Graves of Compass hold the listing.
I don’t think the NBA is concerned, but I believe the league and other owners had a lot of questions about the stability of ownership following Dan Gilbert’s stroke. Dan is on the mend and is scheduled to make a speaking appearance Friday in Detroit. That’s wonderful to hear. I’ve been extremely critical of his ownership style over the years, but I’m thrilled to know he’s doing better physically. But he still has a long, LONG way to go.
The 10-year veteran addressed the criminal charges that have since been dropped stemming from an audio recording in which Cousins’ ex-girlfriend alleges he threatened to shoot her in the head when it became apparent their child was not going to be present for Cousins’ wedding. “It’s an unfortunate situation. So, you know, I had a special moment in my life. I wanted all my family to be there. A little piece of happiness going through whatever I’m going through. Things didn’t work out the way I wanted it to for my day. I was little upset. So I said some things I shouldn’t have said but that person knew where it was coming from,” Cousins said on the podcast. “I mean, I’ve seen a lot of things, heard a lot of stuff — don’t get me wrong, I’m 100 percent against domestic violence. Like, 100 percent. I watched my mother go through that as a child. So when it comes to that, I’m the first advocate for that. But with that being said, I said the wrong thing. Heat of the moment. We’ve all done it. … We’ve all done it. … “My mama’s said way worse, you know what I’m saying? But when it comes to your kids, it’s a whole other situation and I’m pretty sure anybody with kids can speak on that. But it was still wrong.”
Storyline: Los Angeles Lakers Turmoil?
A youth org. claims LeBron James straight-up jacked their “More Than An Athlete” slogan for his Uninterrupted brand … and now they want more than $33 MIL to make things right! Game Plan — a Maryland based nonprofit, which guides young athletes to achieve professional success in an out of sports — claims they’ve been using the slogan “I Am More Than an Athlete” since 2016 and they obtained the trademark in 2018.
Ben Gordon: This was right after my last year in the league, and I was living in a brownstone up in Harlem. I had lost my career, my identity, and my family all pretty much simultaneously. I was manic-depressive. I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t sleeping. And when I say I wasn’t sleeping, it was like a whole different level of insomnia. Every night, I’d wake up at the same time, like clockwork. And that’s when the demons would come out. When you’re up all night and it’s quiet and it’s just you alone with your deepest thoughts — that’s when the darkness really starts to take over your whole psyche.
Ben Gordon: So the only thing left to do was to get out of purgatory. I was obsessed with killing myself. It’s all I researched, all I thought about. One night my panic attacks got so bad that all I could think about was escape. Man, I’m telling you….. you become like an animal. It’s instinctive. Escape, escape, escape, escape. I took one of those heavyweight jump ropes — the thick rubber ones — and I tied it around my neck. Got a chair. And I hung myself, for real.
Ben Gordon: It got so bad that they had me committed to a mental hospital, and the problem was that I didn’t even understand why it was happening. It was like in the movies. I’m in some white room, and I got doctors and nurses strapping me down on a bed. They got the scrubs on and the gloves on, and they’re sticking needles in my arms, and cutting my pants off at the waist. It was terrifying. I just remember begging them not to hurt me, and really believing that this was all happening for no reason. Really believing that this was all some misunderstanding, and they had the wrong person.
Storyline: Mental Health
Ben Gordon: And that’s when I started disassociating myself completely from Ben Gordon. I was convinced that I was a clone. That this body I’m in is not my real body. It can’t be. My spirit is trapped inside this clone body that’s bugging right now. I created a whole different name for this person. I had a different email address and phone number for him. I was emailing people telling them that I had a different name, like, “Yo — it’s really me. Don’t tell nobody!”
At first, I thought it was useless. What’s some older white lady gonna know about what I’m going through? How’s she going to tell me anything? She can’t tell me NOTHING! Well … she didn’t. She barely said a word as a matter of fact. But I got to sit in my chair and just talk my shit. And you know what? It felt pretty good. I ended up doing an extra six months of therapy, all on my own. Not because I had to. But just because I thought, “You know what? I’m actually fucking with this!”
February 20, 2020 | 9:03 pm EST Update
February 20, 2020 | 8:09 pm EST Update

Giannis likely to stay in Milwaukee?

There’s little doubt that Giannis Antetokounmpo, reigning and likely repeat MVP, has every reason to stick around in Milwaukee over the long term. The Bucks have a sparkling new downtown arena and a state-of-the-art practice facility, a long way from the state of play when Antetokounmpo arrived—back then, the Bucks were in the mostly moribund Bradley Center and practiced on the grounds of a Catholic Diocese headquarters in St. Francis, a few miles south of Milwaukee.
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February 20, 2020 | 7:09 pm EST Update