BJ Armstrong Rumors
Biyombo’s agent, former Hornets guard B.J. Armstrong, said Biyombo not participating is simply that he’s months from unrestricted free-agency. “Biz loves Charlotte, and he has a great relationship with his coach (James Borrego) and Mitch” Kupchak, the Hornets’ general manager, Armstrong said. “Short answer: He’s a free agent.” Biyombo’s contract expires after the NBA playoffs conclude. He has said he’d like to stay in Charlotte and Kupchak praised his play in a mid-season appraisal in January.
Marc Stein: To follow The Last Dance, I’m told that the league will soon announce a new 10-part podcast series — Beyond The Last Dance — co-hosted by former Bulls beat writer @jadande and Michael Jordan’s former teammate @BJ Armstrong for NBA Entertainment and @audible_com
It might not look like much now, but St. Cecilia’s is famous for having been compared to legendary Rucker Park of New York because of all the big names who came through. Isiah. Magic. Gervin. Also, David Bing. That’s four of the greatest players in NBA history. Joe Dumars, Rick Mahorn and Dennis Rodman of “Bad Boys” Pistons fame. B.J. Armstrong. Chris Webber. Jalen Rose. Derrick Coleman. Steve Smith. Shane Battier. Jimmy Walker and Spencer Haywood and Ralph Simpson and Campy Russell. Dick Vitale (awesome with a capital “A,” baby). Dozens of others.
BJ Armstrong: For the last five weeks, for two hours every Sunday night, Michael finally showed us what his life was like in “The Last Dance” series from ESPN and Netflix. He made the game look easy. But being Michael Jordan, and all that came with it, that wasn’t easy. It all happened gradually and really took off around 1992 when he went to the Olympics and we had won our second championship. He had just exploded on the scene. Suddenly, he just couldn’t do the things that we could do. And he never made excuses for it. I remember the little things, now — he stopped shooting before games, stopped warming up, because he thought it could be disruptive to the team. He was like, “I don’t want to interfere with the team.” He always knew our routines and had respect for them. He always made sure that everyone had their space within the group.
BJ Armstrong: This guy was incredible, yet he was most comfortable being one of the guys. We hadn’t seen a player like him. He could score, he could defend, he could rebound. He was so confident. But underneath that, behind the scenes, I knew Michael Jordan was a country kid from North Carolina, and it was that simple to him. He was a young man, at heart, who wanted to be one of the guys who loved to play and was willing to do whatever was necessary. Now, did he evolve? Yes. But regardless of all the other things, basketball was always first and foremost. To me, that was the most impressive thing about watching him on this journey. It was that way in 1984 and it was that way in 1998. Losing, winning, making movies, whatever, he was always committed, no matter what. That is an amazing, amazing accomplishment because it is so difficult.
If he forgot how that exercise went, he got a reminder in 2014. Jordan was in Los Angeles and dinner with Armstrong was arranged. Armstrong got to the restaurant and found a third seat at the table, asked Jordan if a guest was coming and was told that Bryant would be joining them for the meal. Armstrong and Bryant knew each other; they shared an agent, Arn Tellem, at one time. Bryant arrived and before long, he and Jordan were dissecting every nuance of each other’s game. In the end, they decided that Jordan would have a slight edge because his hands were bigger than Bryant’s. “They were playing a virtual game of 1-on-1 at dinner,” Armstrong said. “I just sat there and listened to them talk about the love they had for the game. They were so sophisticated; they were talking about footwork, how they conditioned themselves, how they would box out. The detail that they had, the respect that they had for the game … I wish I could have seen them play in their prime.”
“The Jordan Rules worked as long as Michael played a traditional way,” Armstrong says. “But he made an adjustment. … He figured out he had to catch the ball in position to score. So he learned to operate from the post and on the weak side and play the game with three dribbles or less. Now when he caught it, because his footwork was so good, he could score in a multitude of ways. He was skilled enough to adapt to any situation.