Bradley Beal in his birthday toast to John Wall: “Everybody count us out, doubting us every year. That’s my brother man. I appreciate you all welcoming me.” John Wall: “Love brother.” (via 5deepjak/IG)
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A lot speculation is centered around Brad’s future and the organization has been committed to you. If something changed and for some reason, he was moved, would you be comfortable with a rebuild? John Wall: At the end of the day, nobody feels comfortable with a rebuild. I don’t like to lose. I went through that my first couple of years. Me and Brad are brothers. I tell everybody, you’ve got two young guys that’s so talented. Who ain’t going to bump heads at some time? We both want to be great. We both want to take the last shot. But we built that type of bond. Brad is so mature for his age, you wouldn’t expect for him to be the age he is, but give a lot of credit to his parents and his brothers that raised him. I feel like we need one more shot. We need one more run at it. But we’ve got to add some pieces around us, some dogs that can go to war with us. I mean, me and him together, we can go against anybody.
John Wall and Bradley Beal called out their teammates for having their “own agendas” after a 116-112 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Friday night. Washington dropped to 1-4 to start the season, with the pair of All-Star guards blasting the Wizards’ effort on the defensive end of the floor, where Washington is giving up 122.8 points a game, second-worst in the league. “Sometimes we have our own agendas on the floor, whether it’s complaining about shots, complaining about playing time, complaining about whatever it may be,” Beal said. “We’re worried about the wrong (expletive) and that’s not where our focus needs to be and it’s just going to continue to hurt us.”
Wall agreed after the Wizards committed a season-high 21 turnovers and wilted in the fourth quarter. “Everybody on their own agenda,” said Wall. “We showed glimpses when we do stuff as a team, we show how good we can be, and then we go back to trying to do it individually, and that’s mostly on the defensive end.”
Fred Katz: John Wall on if he’s surprised the team is having this convos only five games into the year: “For sure. I am, because I feel like we have a veteran team and it’s like, we go back to the same thing…Just because it’s on paper don’t mean anything,” pic.twitter.com/siQdpxRvSL
John Wall had to be the bold one, too. In 2010, a month before Wall was drafted first overall by the Wizards, he was in Los Angeles to watch the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League and to check out a high school shooter from St. Louis. After the game, Wall made a beeline through the gymnasium packed with fans trying to see him and approached Bradley Beal, saying he was a fan of his game. Two years later, Wall petitioned the Wizards’ front office to draft the quiet kid who could shoot like Ray Allen. Over time, Wizards teammates took to calling him “Baby Ray.” “I viewed [Wall] as a big brother,” Beal said.
Even now, Beal must carefully dodge potential land mines when discussing his relationship with Wall. He knows there always will be someone dissecting every word or interpreting anything he shares about the duo’s growing pains as signs of irreconcilable rancor. No, they’re not BFFs, but they like each other just fine — though Wall hasn’t come over to Beal’s McLean, Va., mansion, Beal has taken his five dogs over to Wall’s property in Potomac, Md. Beal believes they can both lead the Wizards. In doing so, healthy disagreement should be expected. “We’re not always going to be on the same page. There are times when we will get into it, we will argue. He’ll chew me out, and I’ll chew him out, but at the same time, there’s a respect factor that we have,” Beal said, before concluding, “Brothers do that.”
John Wall: Yessir !! RT @Bradley Beal: Good to have my dawg @johnwall back !! #DCFamily
Though Wall was going for laughs — several Washington Wizards teammates recognized the impression — there was a sincerity to his acknowledgment of Beal’s hot streak. “He’s already a lethal scorer,” Wall said before the Wizards faced the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, “but he’s finding ways to do it in so many other ways, getting downhill and getting to the basket and a guy like that that can score in various ways and get into a rhythm, the basket’s big.”
“No matter if you’re there or not, there’s nothing you can do about it,” Wall said about defenders against Beal. “When a guy’s making shots like that, there’s nothing you can do.”
Beal eventually will come back down to earth. But Wall doesn’t want to be the reason behind this inevitable descent. “We got to find a way to still keep him in his rhythm when I come back,” Wall said, “Keep him the same zone that he’s in.”
“It’s the same thing I went through,” Wall told The Vertical of Beal’s steady climb. “A lot of people get success later on, and a lot of us get it late. Both of us are getting it late in our career, but that doesn’t define what you did early in our career, because we still showed glimpses. We just never were healthy and never had a great team. He put in the work and is deserving of everything he’s got. All you can do is keep going up. And all we can do is keep getting better and better as a tandem.”
Marc J. Spears: “We understand how to find each other, at the same time play our game,” Wizards guard John Wall on backcourt mate Bradley Beal. “That’s where I excel a lot. I normally have the ball. I’m going to get my shot whenever I want to. But my job is to get him going. That’s where we are a better team.”
Bradley Beal: Maturing has had a big impact on how John Wall and I play together, too. We’ve both grown—in our mental approach to the game, our intellectual approach to the game, and how we relate to each other. We both understand that the team won’t be successful unless we’re on the same page, and that’s where we are now. With time, we’ve gotten better and better, and as a backcourt, we feel like we’re second to none. We know where each other’s spots are on the floor. I know where he’s going to be in the flow of the offense. He knows where I’m going to be. Everything just naturally flows, and on top of it, we’re both having career years. We’re constantly getting better, and challenging each other to be the best we can be.
Before accepting the job, Brooks had heard of a possible rift between his two best players, Wall and Beal. The relationship dominated headlines over the summer after Wall told Chris Miller of CSN Mid-Atlantic that they had a tendency to “dislike each other” on the court. But Brooks’ concerns about how the young backcourt would mesh were alleviated before the start of training camp. “I met both of them and it confused me a little bit, because both were great guys. And I know when players can get along and I know when this is not going to work. I never felt that, from meeting both of them individually over the summer, ‘How are we going to make this work? I’m going to have to bring in some guys way above my thinking.’ But I never felt that,” Brooks told The Vertical.
“I never had a conversation with them where I had to say, ‘John, you’ve got to say nice things to Brad. Brad, can you say nice things to John? Let’s have a group hug right now.’ I’ve never done that. I don’t think I have to. I just like how they both acknowledge each other’s greatness on the floor. I think they’re one of the best backcourts in the league and could be for the next 10 years.”
In an appearance on ESPN Radio’s NBA Insiders, Beal was asked about how his relationship with Wall is after entering the season under the microscope. “I think it’s (going) well,” Beal said in the Sunday interview. “I think it’s (going) really well. It’s kind of getting old, people saying that we don’t agree and that we don’t click. We’re just going out and proving it on the floor.”
Chris Broussard: (Bradley Beal) and Wall are different people. They don’t get along. It’s not like they are going to have a fight, but they don’t like each other. I’ve just been told point-blank that they don’t like each other. Tomas Satoransky: I don’t play the point that much and it’s hard. Playing the three and the two, that’s not my game.
Talking to both of them, I think we can get there. John has the ability to impact the game without scoring, by just defending and passing.” Will he remain happy doing that? “I can’t answer that with 100 percent certainty,” Brooks admits. “If Kyrie Irving is going for 40 and he’s having a bad shooting game, is he going to worry about the game or…? We’ll see. If you’re going to be a leader, it’s about doing the things to lead your team and moving on to the next game.”
A rival Eastern Conference personnel scout wonders how much longer the Wizards can wait to find out if Wall and Beal are truly made for each other. “If they’re the building blocks, by now they should be turning the corner,” says the scout. “You look at their team, they should be pretty good. I don’t know that they blow it up, but you have to think about tinkering with it.”
“People always assumed why we weren’t connecting,” Wall says now. “People asked, ‘Well, are you mad?’ No, I’m not mad. I can’t control the CBA. It’s good timing for him. All I’m saying is let him earn it. I didn’t deserve it until I went out and made the All-Star Game and then they said, ‘All right, he earned it.’ Let him earn it. I had to earn mine.” Big Panda agrees that he has to join Wall in testing his physical limits, and he addressed the issue prior to sitting out the Wizards’ recent loss to the Cavaliers, the first of three games he missed with the strained hamstring. “No matter how our bodies might feel, no matter what we did the night before, there are no nights off,” Beal says.
“And I wouldn’t have begged him to come back,” Wall interjected. “I would’ve been, ‘Don’t come back because in two years, I ain’t coming back.’ We would’ve figured something out. … I think everybody blew it out of proportion for no reason. I mean, if you look at any two great teammates, and two young, great guys, that’s talented and want to be great, you’re going to have ups and downs. Everything is not going to be perfect.”
“My individual goal is to add [Beal] to the All-Star game with me. I feel like if he’s not there, then I didn’t do my job of leading the team,” Wall told The Vertical. “We’ve proved it. I ain’t an All-Star if he ain’t playing. Simple as that. We’ve had arguments in games. You’re going to do that. But if I can put that to the side, see him wide open and make that pass … and if I don’t make that pass and take that shot …”
Wizards head coach Scott Brooks talked about the John Wall-Bradley Beal relationship on SiriusXM NBA Radio: “I read what everybody else read. I have not talked to them about it because I don’t think it was important. I will say this… Teams that never have disagreements with one another are bad teams.”
John Wall: No bad blood this my Brother !! Let the good times roll now let’s Rock and Roll !! #WizSquad #WallWay
Andrew Sharp: Beal on his relationship with John Wall: “It’s great.” [grins] “How do you guys think it is?” #MediaDay #Wizzzzarrrrrrrrrds
On Friday afternoon, Brooks shared his thoughts for the first time since John Wall and Bradley Beal spoke of on-court chemistry issues in separate CSN interviews. Brooks has read their admissions — and he doesn’t plan on holding emergency counseling sessions before the 2016-17 season begins. “There’s a lot of things I’m worried about going into camp, and every coach in this league is worried about, that is not one of them,” Brooks said about Wall and Beal’s possible rift. “I haven’t even talked to our assistant coaches about it. Will I meet with each player individually? Yes. Will I meet with the team? Yes. Will I meet with the positions together? Yes. But I don’t see our team having a problem with chemistry.”
“Two things I noticed about both of them, they’re very competitive and they care about their teammates. When you have those two qualities, you will never have problems with me as the coach and you’ll never have problems with your teammates,” Brooks said. “With that being said, they’re like brothers and you’re going to have arguments. If you don’t have an argument as an NBA team, that’s odd.”
“I just wanted to clear the air for all these people talking about how I’m watching other people’s pockets and I’m not worried about basketball and getting better,” Wall said directly to the camera. “Listen, that doesn’t matter to me. If I produce like I’m supposed to on the basketball court and take care of myself and image, I’m going to be fine with making money. That’s not why I play the game of basketball.”
“Me, talking about Bradley Beal [making] more money, I’m not mad. I’m happy. He’s my teammate,” Wall said Friday. “He came out at the right time when the contract money came up. I can’t control that.” Wall added that if he does what he’s “supposed to do and the Washington Wizards win,” he’ll get his own salary bump in the future.
Wall also addressed rumors that he was “rankled” over James Harden’s four-year, $118 million extension. “I don’t care,” Wall said of the Houston Rockets star’s deal. “I’m happy for him. That’s my guy. I’m not mad at him. … Please stop saying I’m watching money. I’m not.”
John Wall passed the ball to Bradley Beal 12.1 times and assisted him for a basket 1.1 times per game last season. Let’s take a look at the numbers of other great NBA tandems in 2015-16.
Jared Dudley: It’s all good Bruh!I rather see articles about what John Wall done for his community! DC and NC! Trust me it’s a lot
If Harden’s contract was irritating, just imagine how Wall felt when Beal signed for a five-year max contract worth $127.2 million, tied for the fourth-most-valuable contract in the NBA. An agent described it to me like this: “Whatever is public, multiply it by five and that’s how they really feel about each other. It’s probably a total disaster.”
John Wall recently said he and Bradley Beal “have a tendency to dislike each other,” which is a strange thing to publicly admit. The Wizards’ chemistry issues are apparent, and it’s not like Wall said they actually hate each other, but an inclination to get agitated is not out of his character. Wall is known to keep a close eye on what other players are making, and the paper tossed around this summer has reportedly irked him. One league source familiar with Wall’s state of mind simply put it this way: “Wall’s got jealousy issues. He’s always upset with someone who makes more money than him.” A lot of players will make more money than Wall this year. He signed a five-year, $84.8 million deal in 2013, which looks like chump change now.
A front-office executive tells The Ringer that Wall was “rankled” after Harden signed a four-year, $118 million extension with the Rockets. If Harden’s contract was irritating, just imagine how Wall felt when Beal signed for a five-year max contract worth $127.2 million, tied for the fourth-most-valuable contract in the NBA. An agent described it to me like this: “Whatever is public, multiply it by five and that’s how they really feel about each other. It’s probably a total disaster.”
Wall and Beal have never clicked for the same reason the jocks and the geeks don’t sit at the same lunch table in high school. They’re fundamentally different, I’m told. Wall likes to party, but Beal doesn’t get out much. Beal spends tons of hours in the gym, but Wall doesn’t, and is still a significantly better player, a three-time All-Star. Beal is a complementary player, a zero-time All-Star, and will be getting paid $17.1 million more over the next three seasons.
John Wall: I have every reason to smile, It’s time to shine….. Bless and Thankful !! #5Deep #WallWay #BYB pic.twitter.com/ykJmqdMJVK
Wall admitted he and Beal “have a tendency to dislike each other on the court.” Beal acknowledged he and his back-court mate “lose sight of the fact that we need each other.” With these confessions, suddenly fans’ hopes of the duo matching the dynamic of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson gave way to the fear of an unraveling more akin to Jason Kidd and Jim Jackson, Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning, Chris Paul and everyone. “They got to figure it out,” said Clippers assistant coach Sam Cassell, who was a Wizards assistant from 2009 to 2014. “I’m not going to [say] who’s wrong or who’s right, but they got to figure it out.”
But for one person who understands the Wall-Beal pairing, the latest revelations are no cause for concern. “I think both were saying that they’re just leaders and very vocal leaders, so at times both of them want the stage,” said NBA trainer Drew Hanlen, Beal’s longtime shooting coach. “I don’t think there’s any beef between them because they are friends off the court.”
On Wednesday morning, Hanlen spoke from Los Angeles and when peppered with questions about Wall and Beal’s relationship, he plainly stated: “If it was a Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook thing, I would have not commented.” “I don’t think there’s a [feuding] situation because I’m as close as anyone to Brad and he’s never said anything bad at John.”
The high temperatures outside the arena at Las Vegas summer league, where John Wall sat courtside to watch the Wizards play, were punishing. Bradley Beal walked in with his girlfriend, fresh off agreeing to $128 million max contract, and when he sat down there was a gulf of unfilled chairs between the two. The two self-described “cornerstones” of the Wizards couldn’t have been farther away from each other. It’s no secret that the Wizards’ future — and two best and highest-paid players — have work to do with builidng their relationship. It’s Wall’s seventh season and Beal’s fifth.
Since the backcourt has played together for four years, there’s a tendency to asume that they’re best friends. But they don’t spend much time together outside of Verizon Center and they have had to be separated on more than one occassion after blowups. Last season, Alan Anderson made peace after preseason game when Beal was upset. Two seasons ago it was Garrett Temple, Beal’s best friend on the team who now is with the Sacramento Kings, to restrain him. Both veterans are gone after free agency this summer.
“I think a lot of times we have a tendency to dislike each other on the court. … We got to be able to put that to the side. If you miss somebody on one play or don’t have something go right … as long as you come to each other and talk. If I starting arguing with somebody I’m cool. I’m just playing basketball,” Wall said in a sitdown interview with CSN’s Chris Miller that airs tonight, Wizards Central: Offseason Grind, at 7:30 p.m. ET. “Now that you have your money you got to go out there and improve your game. I want you to be an All-Star just as much as I’m an All-Star. If we were playing well as a tandem like the other two superstars that play together as a backcourt, play as a tandem, one night it’s going to be his night, one night it’s going to be mine, some nights it might be both of us. Those are nights it’s going to be tough to beat us.”
“It’s tough because we’re both alphas. It’s always tough when you have two guys who firmly believe in themselves, who will bet on themselves against anybody else, who want to be that guy. We both can be that guy,” Beal said. “Sometimes I think we both lose sight of the fact that we need each other. I wouldn’t be in the situation I’m in without John. John wouldn’t be in the situation he’s in without me, without the rest of the team. It goes hand-in-hand so it’s kind of a pride thing. We got to (hash) out our pride, fiigure out what our goals are individually, help each other achieve those goals, figure out what our team goal is, where do we see ourselves five years from now, 10 years from now and go from there.”
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September 15, 2019 | 1:07 pm EDT Update
“I’m looking forward to playing point guard this season,” said Justise Winslow, whose Robin’s House Family Foundation teamed up Carnival Cruise Line to host more than 25 underprivileged kids for a day of fun Sunday aboard Carnival Horizon while the ship was docked at PortMiami. “We’ll see how that works out, but that’s my plan, is to play point guard and be the point guard for this team.”
“But everyone has ideas of what they want their role to be, and for most people it never fits what they want,” Winslow added after saying he wants to play as a point guard this season. “Everyone always wants a bigger role, whatever team you’re on. So you just have to understand that as a basketball player — everyone wants the ball late in the games, everyone wants the ball in their hands, everybody wants every play to be run for them.”
With the Heat trading Josh Richardson to the 76ers as part of the Butler deal this offseason, Winslow said of the departure of his close friend and fellow member of the Heat’s 2015 draft class: “Just the emotional standpoint, that’s someone I grew close to. So even more than just having him as a teammate, just having him around the city, being able to go to his house, go out to eat, having that just easy communication, I’ll always have by my side. As a competitor, it won’t be too hard. It’s part of the business, but the emotional part is a little hard, but we’ll be Rook 1 and Rook 2 forever.”
The signature shot in Mavericks history – and one of the most copied and influential moves in NBA history – will be emblazoned on the American Airlines Center court this season, and beyond. Dirk Nowitzki’s iconic one-legged fadeway jump shot will be silhouetted on both ends of the AAC court, replacing the Mavericks’ alternate logo that was there last season.
“That’s super-sweet,” Nowitzki said Sunday at his Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic on the SMU campus. “That was a surprise to me. It’s of course an honor. I don’t think anybody else has done that before. I’m super, super thankful to Mark (Cuban). I think it was actually his idea for the Mavericks to execute that. It’s going to be surreal going to games and seeing that right there. It’s definitely special.”
He’s the NBA’s sixth-leading all-time scorer and will have a stretch of Olive Street in front of AAC renamed Nowitzki Way. While no word has come yet about when a statue will be erected in front of the building, it’s fair to say that the day will come sooner than later. “Yeah, it’s a lot, but of course, that will be something I’ll always be proud of,” Nowitzki said of all the honors. “If I take my kids to the game in 10 years and driving on Nowitzki Way, I mean, it doesn’t get much better than that. It’s been a beautiful summer, I got to say. Getting honored everywhere. All the sports teams here and went to all sorts of galas and they honored me. It’s been special.”
September 15, 2019 | 11:40 am EDT Update
When asked on if the Gasol brothers will be in Tokyo, Japan for the 2020 Olympics, Gasol didn’t make any promises: “At this point in your career, you don’t know. You want to be there, you hope to be there, but you’re not gonna make any promises. Potentially this could be my last World Cup”.
“It’s been a good three months”, he said jokingly. “I’m very happy and fortunate. I’m blessed to be in this position.” Gasol, 34 was also voted in the All-Star five, but still, he said: “the sun will come up again, the world will keep going, but we get to be world champions”.
Tim Reynolds: Ricky Rubio: ““We weren’t the most talented team. We weren’t the bigger team. Put anything you want, but we were the team with the biggest heart and we showed it tonight and we showed it during the whole tournament.”
Tim Reynolds: More from MVP Ricky Rubio: “I lost my mom three years ago and I know she was behind me, pushing me every day to get the best out of me. There’s nobody in this world who loved me more than her and she’s still driving me every day. She’s not here, but I feel it.”
September 15, 2019 | 11:23 am EDT Update
The Toronto Raptors center becomes the second player to win an NBA title and a FIBA world gold medal in the same year, joining Lamar Odom — who did it for the Los Angeles Lakers and USA Basketball in 2010. Gasol also became the 19th to win either an NBA or WNBA crown along with a gold medal, either of the Olympic or World Cup variety, in the same year. The first 18 all did it for the U.S. This time, Vamos España! “NBA champion and a World Cup champion as well,” Gasol said. “What can I say? How does it sound to you? I feel very fortunate to be in this position and be able to play this game and help these guys be part of history of Spanish basketball.”
Mark Woods: The All Star Five for the World Cup: Bogdan Bogdanovic (Serbia) – the leading scorer in the tournament – Evan Fournier (France), Ricky Rubio (Spain), Luis Scola (Argentina), Marc Gasol (Spain)
September 15, 2019 | 9:55 am EDT Update
Nikos Varlas: Asia favors Spain! World Champions in 2006 and 2019 #FIBAWC pic.twitter.com/m2ytKONV2h
Donatas Urbonas: Bogdan Bogdanovic and Evan Fournier share the first row in the World Cup final, which might indicate that they’re going to make the all-tournament team. 2-3 other players likely share the floor right now.
September 15, 2019 | 7:18 am EDT Update
France are the winners of FIBA Basketball World Cup bronze medal. The team coached by Vincent Collet beat Australia 67-59 with a comeback in the second half. France was led defensively by Nicolas Batum while offensively Nando De Colo paced the team with 19 points.
Tim Reynolds: Jazz center @Rudy Gobert on the bronze: “It means everything. Obviously it’s not the one we wanted. We all know that. But being able to come back _ we’re the only team that was on the podium five years ago and on the podium now. So it shows our heart.”
Globally, there has been a lot of talk about Team USA’s absences, and the 32 players who withdraw their names from the preliminary roster. Fournier, 26 was critical of his competitors in the NBA: “It does [bother me]. To be honest, when you look at LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and all these guys… they came here already and won, so it’s fine. But for friends of mine like Tobias [Harris], I thought it was a great opportunity for him to see something different and compete. I think they don’t realize how beneficial this is for their career. It’s a great tournament, great basketball, super intense. I know you have to work on your game, but this is way better.”
Tim Reynolds: Magic G @EvanFourmizz after France win: “It feels good to finish on a good note. When you see Australia, the players, Bogut, Dellavedova, I know those guys and it’s awful for them. But that’s definitely what we didn’t want, to finish the tournament feeling like (crap) like that.”
September 15, 2019 | 5:35 am EDT Update
SiriusXM NBA Radio: While speaking with @TheFrankIsola Pacers Center Myles Turner (@Original_Turner) was very optimistic about Victor Oladipo’s (@VicOladipo) return from injury. “He [Victor Oladipo] will be back a lot sooner than people think”.
Of course, everyone in Milwaukee wants Giannis to stick around until the day he calls it a career. If he were to sign the deal, it would prevent him from entering free agency in July of 2021, when his current contract is set to expire. It’s long been assumed that the Bucks will give him anything he wants, and on Saturday, it was confirmed by general manager Jon Horst at a town hall with fans of the team. “First of all, the answer for it, right now, is we can’t talk and negotiate anything,” Horst said. “So Giannis, basically a year from now, will be eligible for a supermax extension. At that time, of course, he will be offered a supermax extension.”
LiAngelo entered the G League player pool last season and went unsigned, without a peep of interest from teams the entirety of the season. During a recent radio interview with Big Boy, Lonzo Ball gave some interesting thoughts on LiAngelo’s game and whether he could hang in the NBA. “I think he can make it. He’s 6-foot-6, he can shoot, he’s 240 pounds, so he’s strong enough to guard anybody. I mean, as long he gets healthy and works on his handle, he should be alright.”
If the U.S. wanted to be a defensive-minded, versatile and small team, there were no players in the roster pool that fit that definition more than Gordon. By all accounts, Gordon would have taken the call if the U.S. called him up to the roster. There was no reporting to suggest he even got an invitation to the tryout or specifically declined an invitation.
Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Lamar Odom, LeBron James, and Kyrie Irving. Those are the only five players to win an NBA title and a gold medal in the same year, whether it was in FIBA or Olympic competition, with Pippen doing it twice. It is an exclusive club – one that Marc Gasol is on the cusp of joining.
A mere three months after helping the Toronto Raptors win the NBA Finals, Gasol has led Spain to the gold medal game at the World Cup. It’ll be Spain against Argentina on Sunday, with both nations looking for their second title. Spain won the world championship in 2006 when Gasol was a 21-year-old backup, and Argentina won the inaugural tournament in 1950. “I’m so deep in the rabbit hole right now that I don’t get to see much light,” Gasol said. “You’re so focused on your opponent, your next rival, recovering, doing whatever’s necessary to win games that you don’t look at the big picture. It’s been great. I’m very fortunate. “I knew that committing to the national team this summer would not be easy physically. But it’s so worth it, and not just because we’re in the final game.”
Nick DePaula: Derrick Rose officially launched his Adidas DRose 10 sneaker in China this week, becoming just the 8th player in NBA history to have a signature series with more than 10 consecutive models. His shirt crosses out “DONE DONE DONE” and reads: “NOT DONE YET” pic.twitter.com/tPTitT0UCy
Sanders was asked during an appearance on “The Kyle Kulinski Show” who he’d pick between James and Jordan, and unsurprisingly this is another area where his opinion differs from the current president: Kulinski: Last question: Michael Jordan or LeBron James? Sanders: LeBron James. Kulinski: Is that because of the policy he just supported with you? Sanders: Well actually, yes, I think LeBron has been willing to do what a lot of athletes are not and get involved in the political process, put money into education, and I respect that.
September 14, 2019 | 6:36 pm EDT Update
A USA Basketball spokesman responded Saturday to comments made on ESPN suggesting Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox would not be allowed to represent Team USA in the future because he withdrew from consideration for this summer’s FIBA World Cup team.
Conley spent 12 seasons with the Grizzlies, more than a third of his life, and so “this is still home,” the 31-year-old said. “It’s all I know.” Still, he arrived in Memphis for the first time since being traded to the Utah Jazz in June, and even the flight Thursday night felt strange. He went to the house he still owns here, where half the furniture has already been moved to Utah and thought, “this doesn’t even feel like my home anymore.”
“Not a lot of players get that connection with the team or the organization. Like I really did care about how the team would fare after I left if I got traded, who they got in the trade,” Conley said. “It was almost like I was negotiating the deal for them, like make sure you get this, that and the other because you want to have more picks or more people, and I’m just thrilled to see the guys they got. They got a heck of a future in front of them because of the trades they were able to make for Marc, or myself, or Chandler (Parsons), and just really turned it over well.”
They were talking about his decision to switch to No. 10 with the Jazz, instead of wearing the No. 11 he had throughout his Grizzlies career. That number, like Conley, ultimately belongs to Memphis. “If I ever play (for) Memphis again, that’s the number I’ll wear,” said Conley, whose first game in Memphis with the Jazz will be Nov. 15. “I’m not wearing it anywhere else.”
Hornets Sports & Entertainment Chairman Michael Jordan today announced that Gabe Plotkin, Founder and Chief Investment Officer, Melvin Capital, and Daniel Sundheim, Founder and Chief Investment Officer of D1 Capital, will join HSE as partners. The transaction is subject to NBA approval.
“I’m excited to welcome Gabe and Dan as my partners in Hornets Sports & Entertainment,” said Michael Jordan. “While I will continue to run the Charlotte Hornets, make all decisions related to the team and organization, and remain the team’s NBA Governor, Gabe and Dan’s investment in the franchise is invaluable, as we continue to modernize, add new technology and strive to compete with the best in the NBA. Both Gabe and Dan are industry standard-setters and proven leaders, with a belief in philanthropy and a passion for the game of basketball. They share my commitment to Charlotte and the Carolinas, and I look forward to working with and learning from them.”
September 14, 2019 | 5:03 pm EDT Update
Michael Jordan has agreed to sell a large piece of the Charlotte Hornets to two New York-based investors, the Charlotte Observer has learned.
Jordan is bringing in Gabe Plotkin, a founder of Melvin Captal, and Daniel Sundheim, a founder of DI Capital. Both prospective owners must be approved by the NBA, but that is already in process and the sale is expected to close in the next couple of weeks, a league source confirmed.
Jordan controls about a 97 percent stake in the Hornets. This agreement has no provision for him to give up majority control of the team or its operation. A source familiar with Jordan’s thinking said he plans to own and run the Hornets “a good, long time.”
Mark Leonard was the owner of a car wash here Compton. Witnesses say he was shot and killed after an argument with an associate. Investigators are hoping Kawhi’s NBA fame and his return to Los Angeles may jog some memories about the murder and may bring some clues to who was behind it. “Now they are finding out this was Kawhi’s father and they may not have known that back then. Although it may be risky to get involved, they may be compelled to come forward, Lt. Shaun McCarthy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
September 14, 2019 | 4:56 pm EDT Update
In case you had any doubts, the Milwaukee Bucks want to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo around. During a recent event, Bucks GM Jon Horst confirmed what everyone already assumed, which is that the Bucks are going to offer the reigning MVP a supermax extension next summer when he’s eligible for the huge deal.
Horst’s response: “First of all, the answer for now is that we can’t talk and negotiate anything. So Giannis, basically, a year from now will be eligible for a supermax extension. At that time, of course, he will be offered a supermax extension.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: The NBA’s agents have signed a letter that informs the NCAA that player agents will not register for the NCAA’s proposed agent certification process, according to the letter obtained by ESPN. The @TheNBPA will transmit letter to the NCAA soon, per sources.
Adrian Wojnarowski: NBPA has been talking with the NCAA on finding common ground on behalf of the agents, sources said. In letter, agents are willing to take bi-annual online seminar on protecting players amateurism. Entire discussion has been centered on players “testing the waters” of NBA Draft.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Contents of signed letter the NBPA will send to NCAA on behalf of player agents refusing to be a part of NCAA certification process to advise undergrads testing draft waters.
September 14, 2019 | 2:49 pm EDT Update
Popovich said it’s too early to think about what USA Basketball needs to do before getting ready for the Tokyo Games. But he warned — just as two-time gold medalist Kobe Bryant did on Friday — that the days of American romps to gold are done. “There are a lot of great teams in the world,” Popovich said. “It’s not written in stone that the United States is supposed to walk to a championship. That’s pretty old-school thinking. Even the teams that have won in the past had a lot of close calls.”
Serbia guard Bogdan Bogdanovic finished the 2019 World Cup with some phenomenal stats, including the number of 3-pointers he made in the tournament. In fact, Bogdanovic hit more 3-pointers by his own than seven national teams that participated in the World Cup.
The Raptors-branded sports hijab, the first of its kind in the NBA, has been in the works since the playoffs this past spring, said Jerry Ferguson, senior director of marketing at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. The inspiration to release the hijab came from the Hijabi Ballers, Ferguson said, referring to a group of young Muslim women in Toronto who play basketball every Sunday, and advocate for increased participation of Muslim women in sports.
Hijabi Ballers helped to design the black hijab — which will be priced at $39.99 at Scotiabank Arena — and the group was featured front and centre in Friday’s launch video. The founder of Hijabi Ballers, Amreen Kadwa, said she’s happy with the end product, adding the Raptors were “amazing” in showcasing what the group was about.
September 14, 2019 | 12:04 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: In an effort to prevent tampering, NBA sent memo to teams about improving compliance, @TheAthletic @Stadium has learned. Memo proposes that a lead team ops member certify annually that it didn’t engage in impermissible free agency talks; max fine amounts raised significantly.
Shams Charania: Proposed increases in NBA’s maximum fine penalties for tampering and cap circumvention, @TheAthletic @Stadium has learned: – Tampering with player/team personnel: $10M, up from $5M. – Unauthorized agreements: $6M for team; $250K for player.
September 14, 2019 | 9:58 am EDT Update
“People want to play the blame game, there’s no blame to be placed anywhere,” Popovich said. “They want to play the shame game, like we should be ashamed because we didn’t win a gold medal? That’s a ridiculous attitude. It’s immature, it’s arrogant, and it shows that whoever thinks that doesn’t respect all the other teams in the world and doesn’t respect that these guys did the best they could.”
“I don’t fault anybody that decided not to come — everybody’s got a life,” Popovich said. “Things happen in people’s families. People have things going on. Could be injuries, could be personal commitments that they have. Whoever came, came. “This group I couldn’t have been happier with any other group no matter who would’ve come. They wouldn’t have worked any harder this group.”
Tim Reynolds: Donovan Mitchell, world-class good dude, was the last American to leave the court in the pre-warmup period. He took off his sneakers and tossed them into the crowd — making sure a young fan he was pointing to got them.
September 14, 2019 | 2:22 am EDT Update
Sebastian Telfair is FREEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! … for now. The ex-NBA star and former H.S. prodigy is out of prison just days after he was sentenced to 3.5 years in his gun case … but there’s a chance Telfair could end up back behind bars. Here’s the deal … 34-year-old Telfair was convicted of possessing an illegal firearm stemming from a June 2017 incident where he was caught with an arsenal of weapons during a traffic stop.
According to court docs obtained by TMZ Sports … Telfair was released on $500,000 bail. As part of his agreement with the court, Telfair must surrender his passports and remain in New York City. Telfair also agreed to be confined to house arrest from 7 PM to 7 AM daily while also wearing an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet.
Livingston found as much value in being a good teammate as he did in unleashing his own game. That was his game, too. It does make you wonder what is happening to the league. The fact he is just announcing this suggests, as the behind-the-scenes chatter said, he was trying to keep playing. It seems he couldn’t find a home. If so, what does that say about the league?
Steve Kerr: It’s hard to express how thankful I am to have coached this man the past 5 years. What an amazing combination of talent, grace, & character. I will miss his calm leadership,his presence, his passing & his turnaround jumpers in the post. Nothing but great things ahead!
“Dot’s a legend,” David West said via text. Livingston’s teammates called him Dot, a spinoff of S-Dot, as in S. Livingston. Jay-Z, whose government name is Sean Carter, made it a popular nickname for “S” names with his 1999 song “S. Carter.” “He came back from an injury that would have sealed the fate of most players,” West said. “He had a determination that should be admired for years to come. Great teammate and even better person. Proud to call him a friend.”
He really appreciated winning. He really liked being around the guys. He really liked good conversation. I’ve seen him pull a reporter aside and compliment a piece. I’ve also seen him politely chastise a reporter about a piece in defense of his teammates. I’ve heard him be critical about himself and I’ve heard him break down what a teammate needs to work on. I’ve seen him give that look-you-in-the-eye thank you to the workers most others overlook.
Australia and Bogut — if he plays — will face the wrath of much of the Beijing arena when they take on France for the bronze medal. The footage of Bogut swearing repeatedly and making accusations of favouritism was widely featured in Chinese media. Many reports called for FIBA to ban him.
Baynes was typically staunch when leaving training, delivering his message as he breezed by journalists to the bus. “I’ve got three words for you; nothing else, no questions, nothing,” he said. “Regroup. Refocus. Reinvigorate.”
The loose ball foul against Andrew Bogut is the one most will point to – he sure did – with the centre apparently making contact with Marc Gasol, who would hit a pair of free throws to give Spain a one-point lead. Patty Mills would split a pair on the other end, sending the game to overtime. “They’re furious. They’re crushed and furious,” Longley said. “Where their fury is directed, I can’t tell you. Probably all over the place. It’s very quiet in there. That’s the team we lost to in Rio, but we felt like we deserved to win it. We felt like we played well enough to win it. Yeah, it’s pretty quiet in there.”
Rose and Noah were teammates on the Bulls and New York Knicks. Rose says Noah is a free spirit, loving guy and wants his son — PJ — to grow up like Noah. The closest teammate I’ve had—other than Randall Hampton in high school—was Joakim Noah, and that’s where Arthur Ashe comes in again. A lot of people don’t mess with Joakim because they think there’s some bad shit that comes with him or just how outspoken he is or whatever. For me, I can respect that, knowing everything about him, like for him to be who he is and act the way he is. It’s an amazing story behind it. I actually want my son PJ to grow up to be like Joakim. You know, a free spirit, a loving guy. Joakim loves people. He’s just a great role model. And his story is special. And think of Jo. To be this silver-spoon kid, his dad is a big star, rich and famous, and he don’t want nothing to do with that. Like, “Nah, I’m doing my own thing.” Gets multiple contracts by himself when he easily could have lived off of his pops forever. His pops could’ve got him jobs. But he didn’t want that. He’s got his own individuality. That’s what I love about Jo, how he created something on his own.
Charles Barkley wasn’t playing to the crowd when talking about how much he believes in the current 76ers. On the day that he became the eighth former Sixer to have a sculpture unveiled in his honor at the team’s practice facility, Barkley let it be known that he has the highest expectations for this coming season. “I already picked the 76ers to win the championship next year, so no pressure,” he said during a stirring acceptance speech before the unveiling of his statue. “I mean that sincerely.”
Former German national team and NBA superstar Dirk Nowitzki has been appointed as Chair of the Players Commission on Saturday at the first FIBA Central Board meeting for the new term. With this appointment, he also becomes a member of the 25-member FIBA Central Board. Nowitzki has had an illustrious playing career for Germany and consistently was a star performer at numerous FIBA tournaments for more than 15 years. He led his country to its best-ever result at a FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2002, finishing in third place, the nation’s only podium finish at the world level. He also led Germany’s run to the Final of FIBA EuroBasket in 2005, finishing in second place.
Klay Thompson: These past few weeks have been so unimaginably hard for Bahamians, especially on the islands of Abaco and Freeport. People have lost everything- loved ones, family, possessions, homes. Whatever you cherish it’s gone for these communities. This is far from a quick fix, it will take years and years of rebuilding. The @thompsonfamilyfoundation will do everything in its power to help with relief efforts right now and for many years to come. All contributions no matter how big or small will go long way and are greatly appreciated.
Klay Thompson: Secondly, shame on our current administration for not welcoming our Bahamian neighbors in their greatest time of need. I’ve been so lucky to visit my family in Nassau since childhood, and in those times I’ve seen countless Americans use the Bahamian islands as their playground for letting loose and vacationing. And now we turn our back on the people who welcomed us with open arms, when they’ve lost everything !? There’s no excuse for this… and if you have one your a real piece of 💩 Bahamians will persevere, but help along the way is greatly appreciated. Thank you ❤️ 🇧🇸
NBA star James Harden is being sued by a man who claims he lied about the use of a $30 million mansion in Beverly Hills according to TMZ. The man, George Santo Pietro, owns the mansion which includes 8 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a gym, a spa and a pool. TMZ said Harden signed a contract to use the mansion for one week and he paid over $82,000. One of the things Santo Pietro said that there were details in the contract that stated Harden could not have more than seven adults on the property at any time.
September 13, 2019 | 9:00 pm EDT Update
Bob Rule, one of the original Sonics whose promising NBA career was cut by short by a devastating Achilles injury, died last week. Rule, who lived in Minnesee, Calif., passed away in his sleep at his sister’s Sherry Randle’s home in nearby Riverside. He was 75 years old.
During the 1969-70 season, Rule gained national prominence while averaging 24.6 points and 10.6 rebounds. He garnered a spot in the 1970 NBA All-Star Game and became the third Sonics All-Star following Walt Hazzard (1968) and Wilkens (1969). Four games into the 1970-71 season, Rule’s season ended after tearing his Achilles’ tendon and was never the same again. He averaged 29.8 points that season.
The New Orleans Pelicans announced today the additions and changes to Head Coach Alvin Gentry’s coaching staff. Chris Finch has been named Associate Head Coach, Offense. Jeff Bzdelik (Associate Head Coach, Defense) and Jamelle McMillan (Assistant Coach) join Fred Vinson on the coaching staff. Joe Boylan has been elevated to Assistant Coach/Director of Player Development, while Michael Ruffin has been promoted to Assistant coach/Player Development.
More than five months after Virginia won its first basketball national championship, the school hosted a celebration Friday night, raising a banner to the rafters of John Paul Jones Arena as thousands of boosters and fans showered the players and coaches that made it happen with cheers and adoration.
Among the players in attendance were De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy, all of whom left with eligibility remaining for the NBA. Jerome and Guy met with the media before the celebration and agreed that the reality of their accomplishment has still not set in, with Jerome surmising ”I don’t think it ever will.”
What everyone really wants to know is how top draft pick Zion Williamson looked on the course. The answer: not bad. His swing was reasonably fluid, with a nice clean takeaway and good rotation in his hips. There’s just one problem. He’s such a mountain of a man that he snapped the club with a single swing. The head of the club was eventually found some distance away.
Robin Lopez: In my 1st offseason in PHX I was in the weight room. Diana Taurasi (who is awesome) was there, as were a box of candy bars. Me: “Oh man you guys get Snickers??” Diana: “Yeah, we get all the good stuff 🙄” She was probably way nicer bout it than she should’ve been #WNBAPlayoffs