“I am extremely grateful to the Bucks and the incredible fans of Milwaukee for showing me so much love and encouragement,” Parker said. “Specifically, I’d like to thank Jon, Marc, Wes and Jamie for giving me my start in the NBA and supporting me throughout my career. Thank you to my teammates for being like brothers to me. Also, the medical and performance staff led by Troy Flanagan and Suki Hobson deserve my unending thanks for their dedication in helping me get stronger and healthier every day.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver says Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan is uniquely qualified to be the chairman of the league’s labor relations committee. That’s because Jordan has the gravitas to credibly translate the owners’ viewpoint to the players and the players’ viewpoint to the owners. Silver specifically mentioned Jordan Tuesday when talking about the issues facing the league that would require compromise with the players association. Among those: competitive balance, as it relates to free agency and the salary cap, and the possibility of changing the draft-entry age for U.S. players from 19 to 18.
Jordan, a hall-of-famer, was a five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and won six championships with the Chicago Bulls. “There’s no doubt that so many players look up to him. Many in our current class of superstars look across the table and think, ‘That’s where I want to be one day,'” Silver said in response to an Observer question. “He brings unique credibility to the table when we’re having discussions (with the players) and even just among the owners, he’s able to represent a player point of view. When owners are going into discussions with players, Michael can say, ‘Well, look, this is how I looked at it when I was a player, and these are the kind of issues we need to address if we’re going to convince players that something is in everyone’s interest.”
Trade imminent? “We’re working every day,’’ Josh Harris said. “The trade window is open. If we can find a player — and there’s ones being written about — that can help our program to another level, we’re going to do that.”
Discretion was of the utmost importance. Only a few people in the organization — Jeanie Buss, Pelinka and Johnson — knew Johnson was going to meet with James on the first night of free agency. Keeping the meeting quiet was seen by the Lakers as something of a loyalty test for James, the same way it was for James’ inner circle. If he couldn’t trust them with that, how could he trust them with his career? “We were not going to jeopardize any of our position for any mistake or overreach,” Buss said.
Mike Bresnahan: Magic on LeBron joining the Lakers: “When you have the greatest player in the world come join your organization, it raises everybody’s level of play. Rob and I. Jeanie Buss as the owner. And then it trickles down. So we’ve all got to raise our game to another level and we will.”