LeBron and his coaches have been a storyline at each of his stops, and not always in a pleasant way. What do you anticipate? Frank Vogel: I only know how he’s been with me. That’s the only measuring stick I’m going to use. I’m not going to look at how it’s been with his past coaches. That really doesn’t concern me. I want to shape my own opinion of him as a person and one of the greatest ever. I’m going to take my approach and work together with him to hopefully do something special.
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Vogel won’t reveal much about his private conversations with James. He will say he believes he has James’s support. “I did feel support right from the start from LeBron,” Vogel said. “He’s always shown me a great deal of respect dating back to our battles when I was in Indiana and competing with the Heat in the conference finals, and coaching him in the All-Star Game. He’s always shown me a great deal of respect, so I felt like there would be a lot of support, and there was immediately and that’s continued on through up to this point. Hopefully we can work together to build something special.”
The Lakers coach specifically spoke about what he believes is different about LeBron now as a player as opposed to who he was earlier on in his career. He also talked about James’ shot-making ability and contrasted that with the time he spent battling LeBron and the Miami Heat as the head coach of the Indiana Pacers. Vogel provided the following commentary to Lakers.com who shared the video interview on Twitter. “In terms of what’s different about LeBron James now versus then is players like that grow throughout their career,” Vogel told Lakers.com. “They develop a wisdom on the basketball court where everything is a little slower for them mentally than it is for everyone else who’s speeding up and frenetic, and you can see that with his game.
“At this point in his career, he just recognizes things before they even happen and is a step above everyone else. His shot-making has really grown. It’s probably much stronger now than it was in Miami in terms of shooting with range and he’s going to be poised for a great bounce-back year.”
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September 18, 2019 | 8:25 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: The Lakers have been granted a disabled player exception worth $1.75M from the NBA for the expected season-ending ACL injury to DeMarcus Cousins, league sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium. It expires on March 10, 2020.
Antigravity treadmills, light therapy lasers and 3D movement analysis services are just a few of the high-tech rehabilitation gizmos for injured athletes inside Henry Ford Health System’s new and soon-to-open William Clay Ford Center for Athletic Medicine. The three-story, $37-million sports medicine center at 690 Amsterdam in Midtown Detroit is expected to open by Oct. 15.
On Wednesday, some members of the Pistons organization joined Henry Ford for the sports medicine center’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. Detroit Lions team owner Martha Ford, 94, the widow of William Clay Ford, was in attendance. (The Lions also use Henry Ford for their team’s doctors.). “Our move to Detroit would not have happened without our partnership with Henry Ford,” said Arn Tellem, vice chairman of the Pistons. “Our organizations have worked side by side to create one of the best developments in medicine and sports, not in the region, in the world. This is a true game-changer for our team, franchise and the community.”
September 18, 2019 | 7:05 pm EDT Update
Rick Bonnell: Nothing new if @Charlotte Hornets 2nd-round pick Jalen McDaniels will be signed for training camp, per agent @Nima Namakian. Hornets are at maximum 20 camp slots for now, but that is far from set in stone. GM Mitch Kupchak told me he’d like to have McDaniels in team’s development system.
Bitadze arrived in Indiana just days after Summer League ended. With high-profile players like No. 1 pick Zion Williamson and No. 3 pick R.J. Barrett making brief appearances in Vegas before getting shut down, Bitadze said he was aware of the optics surrounding his absence. “It looked like I didn’t want to play or something,” he said.
Pacers coach Nate McMillan echoed Bitadze’s disappointment in missing Summer League, adding the rookie would’ve played if he was able to. “We tried to do everything we could to try to speed up that visa,” McMillan said. “As soon as we drafted him, we talked about it that night. To try to get it, put a rush on it and get it so he could get back and play. I would’ve loved to see him play in Vegas. It didn’t work out, but it was good to see him in some runs in the month of August and September.”