Storyline: Justin Patton Free Agency

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May 24, 2020 | 7:24 pm EDT Update
We were able to get our hands on a few minutes of Rivers’ presentation to the Colts team, which you can watch in its entirety above. But here’s what he had to say in full about what he’s learned over the years about championship teams: » “I don’t think people understand that … I think people think champions don’t get hit. Like, you know, I always use boxing, because boxing, for whatever reason, my dad was a big boxing fan, and so I grew up watching boxing matches, and the biggest misnomer is that champions only hit. It’s just not true. Champions get hit all the time. And then it comes to a point — how many times are you willing to get hit and keep moving forward and still punch, so you can win? That’s what it’s gonna come down to: you are going to get hit. You just are. Alright? But you have to be willing to take the punches, you have to be willing to keep moving forward and keep going.”
May 24, 2020 | 5:32 pm EDT Update
After the Warriors moved on from Mark Jackson as head coach in 2014, the search narrowed on two final candidates: former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy and then-TNT broadcaster Steve Kerr. Former Warriors assistant general manager Travis Schlenk was part of the team that interviewed both contenders and says the front office at one point wasn’t sure they’d even get a chance to sit down with Kerr during the process.
“Steve was being courted very hard by Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks,” Schlenk said on 95.7 The Game last week. “And at one point during the process, it felt like that’s where he was going to go. And so we didn’t think that we were going to even have an opportunity to really sit down and talk with Steve. And I believe it was while we were meeting with Stan down in Orlando, that Steve called Bob and said he kinda had a change of heart and he wanted to meet with us.”
While most of the responses have been incredibly positive, Michael’s 27-year-old daughter, Jasmine Jordan, exclusively tells ET that her dad “hasn’t paid any attention” to what people are saying about it on social media, including “all the new memes/gifs being created.” In addition to Jasmine, Michael shares two sons, Jeffrey, 31, and Marcus, 29, with ex-wife Juanita Vanoy, and 6-year-old twins Victoria and Isabel with Yvette Prieto, whom he married in 2013.
Storyline: Michael Jordan Documentary
“We are all very happy to see how successful the doc has been and to see athletes, fans, new fans etcetera,” Jasmine says. “Obviously with the coronavirus, we all watched separately versus watching together, but we had a running group text thread.” “We would talk about what was happening, laugh at seeing our younger selves in some of the episodes and ask my dad any questions we might’ve had,” she adds.
One person that was noticeably absent from the 10-part docuseries was Jasmine’s mother, Juanita. Jasmine tells ET that her mom was not in it “simply because she already lived it, of course.” “The doc’s focus was on the team as a whole and their last season,” she said, referencing her dad’s sixth NBA championship with the Bulls in 1998. “My dad is a major focal point, obviously, but it still was about the team as a whole in their final run together, so that’s why she wasn’t in it.”
May 24, 2020 | 4:28 pm EDT Update
Storyline: Season Resuming?
May 24, 2020 | 1:01 pm EDT Update
Caboclo admits he used Fraschila’s quote as motivation for a period, but ESPN’s international basketball guru wasn’t exactly wrong. Caboclo spent most of the next four years developing with Toronto’s D League affiliate, helping that squad win a D League title in ’17 but playing just 25 games for an ascending Raptors team over the course of his rookie contract. “When I got on the Raptors, Coach [Dwane] Casey was playing 7 or 8 players a game. They weren’t looking to me very much,” Caboclo told Sports Illustrated over a recent Zoom call. “They said I was going to play every season, but I really didn’t play most of the time. I could see how it was going.”
After Memphis signed him away from Rio Grande in January, Caboclo played in 34 games (19 starts) and averaged 8.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists while shooting 36.9% from three-point range in 23.5 minutes per contest—all career-high marks. “They welcomed me from the first day. Marc Gasol was there, he treated me very well before he was traded,” Caboclo said. “The coaches were amazing and always supported players with everything we needed. Memphis was a great place for me.”
“With my journey, not everyone can understand how it’s been,” Caboclo said. “The first time I played in the NBA, I felt good. I felt like I belonged there. But you need to gain respect. They don’t pass to you very much at first. But after you start making some buckets, they start to give it to you more. … In my first Summer League, I was playing maybe 30 minutes and got the ball in my hand four times. The thing I learned was to be patient and not change how I play even if I’m not getting the ball—to always play hard.”
“Starting today, all the New York professional sports leagues will be able to begin training camps,” Cuomo said. “I believe sports that can come back without having people in the stadium, without having people in the arena, do it! Do it! Work out the economics if you can. We want you up. We want people to be able to watch sports to the extent people are still staying home. It gives people something to do. It’s a return to normalcy. So we are working and encouraging all sports teams to start their training camps as soon as possible, and we’ll work with them to make sure that can happen.”
May 24, 2020 | 12:47 pm EDT Update
In his “All the Smoke” podcast last week, Barnes revealed (around the 1:09:00 mark) the ring is still sitting in the office of Golden State vice president of communications Raymond Ridder. “I came in when (Kevin Durant) went down, playing a consistent 20-25 minutes. The game KD comes back, I get hurt maybe a week before the playoffs and I’m out of it,” Barnes said. “I got a free ride, I got a free ring.”
Barnes averaged 5.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 20.5 minutes per game in the 20 regular-season games he played with the Warriors that year. But it was a different story in the playoffs. “I didn’t sweat … I didn’t get to guard LeBron (James),” he said. With Durant fully recovered, Barnes played just 61 minutes in 12 playoff games. And for that reason, he concluded: “I don’t count that as a championship.”
When Chucky Atkins retired after 11 seasons in the NBA, he found himself directionless. He was accustomed to the regimented schedule that comes with being a professional athlete, jostling nonstop between games, practices, workouts, flights and other engagements. With more time on his hands than he knew what to do with, he found himself playing golf and drinking every day in retirement. Eventually, his drinking became problematic. “I decided the best thing for me to do at that particular time was to step away from it and get myself together, because at the end of the day I did realize I was a role model, and that I was doing the wrong thing,” Atkins said.
After paying his legal fees, finishing his DUI classes and completing his community service, Atkins landed a new head coaching job in the AAU ranks. Now, he’s hoping to climb the coaching ladder once again. Atkins, who played for the Pistons from 2000-04 and in 2009-10, is one of 14 members in the NBA’s Assistant Coaches Program. Since 1988, the program has assisted former players in developing the tools to enter the NBA, G League and college coaching ranks. His goal is to “go to the top,” and become a head coach.
Atkins played for several coaches who have reputations as being among the best in the NBA — Doc Rivers, Mike Fratello and former Pistons coaches Rick Carlisle and Larry Brown. His goal is to take a little bit from each and mix it with his own style. “Ultimately, a coach is only as good as the guys on his team,” Atkins said. “It would be my job to guide and direct them. But ultimately, each guy would have to be a personal contractor to get themselves as good as they can possibly be, but also put it in a team concept. … I would take a little bit from all of those guys’ style and come up with my own formula that would be successful.”
May 24, 2020 | 11:27 am EDT Update
Hall of Fame CEO John Doleva emphasized they are not just going to roll this class into the 2021 class (which has yet to be elected). “I do want to make it very clear we will have a separate event for the class of 2020 because of the notoriety of that class and, frankly, every class deserves its own recognition,” Doleva said. “There is a potential next calendar year that we could have two enshrinements.”
After eliminating the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the 2007 NBA playoffs, the “We Believe” Warriors etched their names into Golden State lore. The underdog band of Warriors could be getting treatment similar to The Last Dance. Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes recently joined The Bill Simmons Podcast to talk about the 2006-07 Warriors. While the rest of the details are still unclear, Barnes mentioned a documentary about the We Believe group could be on the way.
May 24, 2020 | 8:05 am EDT Update

Israel an option for Ante Zizic?

Ante Zizic will be emerging as a candidate for Maccabi Tel Aviv if the player decides to leave the NBA and return to Europe, according to Israeli website One. The Croatian center will hit the upcoming offseason as an unrestricted free agent since the Cleveland Cavaliers have declined the 2020-2021 option in his contract. Another reason why Maccabi is reported to be quite interested in Zizic is the recent departure of center Tarik Black. From the frontline players of the Israeli powerhouse, only center Othello Hunter is bound with a contract for the next season.
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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.”
Storyline: GOAT Debate
On Wireside Chat with Houston Rockets broadcaster Craig Ackerman, seven-time champion Robert Horry said The Last Dance documentary reminded him how much Bryant mimicked His Airness: “It’s so weird, getting a chance to really watch Michael Jordan in The Last Dance and hear the words that he used, it’s almost like Kobe just took everything he said and did — his mannerisms, his language, his lingo — and just copied it. “It’s like watching a ghost now. I hate to use those terms, but to watch Michael Jordan, it’s like ‘Man, how did Kobe learn everything this dude did to a T?’ And then he made it a little better in some areas.”
Kobe Bryant’s tragic death in a helicopter crash last January was a devastating blow for one of his main business partners, BodyArmor founder Mike Repole, who cites the NBA legend’s early investment and creative vision as critical factors in the sports drink brand’s current success. At the time of his death, Bryant was BodyArmor’s fourth-largest shareholder. Only Repole, Coca-Cola and Keurig Dr. Pepper owned larger equity shares. Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, and his children inherited control over his stake, the BodyArmor founder told FOX Business.
Bryant’s early belief in the BodyArmor brand paid off in 2018, when Repole sold a significant equity stake to Coca-Cola in a deal that valued his company at $2 billion. When the transaction closed, Bryant’s stake was worth $200 million – a massive increase compared to his initial investment. “For me, this has always been a journey, the last seven or eight years, with Kobe, and now I feel like this is a journey for Kobe,” Repole added.