Miami Heat center Kelly Olynyk can now be mentioned in the same sentence as legend Dwyane Wade. Olynk scored all 20 of his points in the fourth quarter in Saturday’s 125-105 victory against the Denver Nuggets in Orlando. Wade is the only other Heat player to accomplish the feat. He did it five times in his career, the last coming in 2009. “He brings us a skill level at the center position that’s unique to this league,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “His training camp has been very good. He’s had a lot of moments like this where he’s played some of the best basketball. On any given particular day, he’s been one of the top three players.”
“This is the part of Andre that’s so impressive,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on “The Woj Pod.” “He says to Steve ‘All right, if that’s what you think is best for the team.’ Not only does he say that, he doesn’t then call a reporter off the record and say, ‘This is B.S., this guy has never coached a game in his life and he’s telling me to come off the bench? And I’m an Olympic champion and I’m an All-Star?’ And then goes to practice and mopes, he doesn’t do any of that. He authentically says and believes this is best for the team. “For people to really understand that, I say picture you were the VP in your franchise or organization, you were deserving of the role you had, you had the corner office, and they said, ‘Hey John, look you deserve this office, you deserve this title, but we’re gonna knock you down to kind of an assistant or director, and by the way, it’ll probably be on SportsCenter tonight and just have a good attitude, all right, see you later.’
“In any event, Andre comes off the bench and it’s harder and people interview him after the game and they say, ‘Andre how does it feel to come off the bench?’ And he says, ‘I think this is what’s best for the team.’ And then the reporter turns off his microphone and says, ‘Really, this kinda sucks right, you don’t want to do this?’ And Andre says, ‘No, I will do this.’ ” Iguodala accepted his role without complaint and didn’t do anything to divide the Warriors’ locker room. Not only did Iguodala cede his starting spot to the 22-year-old Barnes, he became the de facto veteran leader for the youthful roster, becoming especially tight with the eventual two-time NBA MVP Curry.
Wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt over a jersey that he ordered to say “Equality,” and as all other coaches and players around him knelt, Leonard stood for the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” on Saturday before the Heat re-opened their season by facing the Denver Nuggets at Walt Disney World. “Some of the conversations I’ve had over the past three days, quite literally, have been the most difficult,” Leonard told The Associated Press prior to the game. “I am with the Black Lives Matter movement and I love and support the military and my brother and the people who have fought to defend our rights in this country.”
Marc Stein: NBA spokesman on Jimmy Butler: “Displaying no name or message on the back of a player’s jersey was not an option among the social justice messages agreed upon by the Players Association and the NBA as modifications to the rules regarding uniforms.” NBA spokesman (continued) on Miami’s Jimmy Butler being asked to take off a jersey with no name and replace it with a jersey bearing BUTLER: ”Per league rules, the uniform may not be otherwise altered and anyone wearing an altered jersey will not be permitted to enter the game.”
Storyline: Social Justice Messages
LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid are among at least 15 NBA players who have decided not to put a social justice message on their jersey. Paul, who is close friends with James, is supportive of those players’ decisions. “That’s exactly why we have a league where you get a chance to make a choice,” Paul said. “And I respect any of those guys’ decisions. They may have their reasons why or not. For me … I was excited about the opportunity to speak on ‘Equality’ because I was asked about it. And also, for me, I envisioned my kids watching the game, my homies back home who go to the barbershops and talk about us and whatnot.”
With millions of people watching on television, the last thing any GM wants to see is the players’ message muddled by a staff member’s blocking mistake. But avoiding any sort of optics mishap — like, say, someone walking in front of a camera at a powerful moment out of sheer confusion — requires clear communication with staff about how this should go. Sources say Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and Orlando president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman were vocal on the call, as was Miami senior vice president of basketball operations Andy Elisburg. Weltman and Pelinka, in particular, expressed a desire to be on the court with their teams.
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Aerial Powers: We deal with disrespect on the daily so for someone like you @andre to tweet that off the same device u could have looked me up on is unacceptable. Mind you commentator said my name. Would it have been the same if I was a guy?Look at the pic. I didn’t forget . I SAID WHAT I SAID!

Amid discussion of the NBA potentially having to play next season in a bubble setting similar to what is ongoing at Disney World, Miami Heat President Eric Woolworth has an optimistically contrasting perspective on 2020-21. “We plan on playing next season in front of fans, and plan on having a sold-out facility, just like we’ve had since going back to 2009, for all our games,” Woolworth said in an interview shown during the broadcast of the team’s Tuesday exhibition scrimmage finale.
“We’re going to keep doing all the things we would do in an offseason. And we’ve been selling tickets right along,” Woolworth said. “And I think it speaks volumes to the amount of interest that people in Miami have in our team, but also in the commitment that we have in the community, and to make sure we do play next year in front of our fans and figure out how to do it safely.” The Heat have not played at AmericanAirlines Arena since March 11, when the NBA shut down due to the new coronavirus pandemic. The league has since resumed activity in a quarantine-like setting at Disney as a means to avoid COVID-19 infection. The Heat resume their regular season with a 1 p.m. Saturday “seeding” game against the Denver Nuggets, to be played without fans at the Wide World of Sports complex.
In Adebayo’s case, the focus centers on the killing of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black emergency medical technician in Louisville shot to death when three plain-clothes police officers executed a no-knock warrant. No charges have been filed by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. “All my answers will be about Daniel Cameron making a response to us about the injustice for Breonna Taylor and arresting those cops and holding them accountable,” Adebayo said ahead of his debut in the Heat’s scrimmage schedule, having missed the first two of the three scrimmages due to positive COVID-19 tests.
Bam Adebayo is eligible for a contract extension this offseason as part of the 2017 draft class, but that is highly unlikely to happen due to the plans of the Miami Heat to preserve cap space for 2021. The Heat have interest in pursuing Giannis Antetokounmpo and Victor Oladipo during the 2021 offseason. “He’s not going to get a max contract in the offseason,” said Brian Windhorst on his podcast. “Even though I think he should, because the Heat are going to save money for the 2021 summer. That’s a storyline that I can almost guarantee for you: Bam Adebayo will not sign a contract extension this offseason.
Storyline: Bam Adebayo Extension

No Adebayo extension for now?

The Heat have the second-highest payroll in the NBA this season with several key players such as Goran Dragic, Jae Crowder and Meyers Leonard headed for free agency. While they expect to save cap room to chase free-agent stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2021 and might not extend young All-Star Bam Adebayo this year to help facilitate that plan, their spending for next year could be impacted by these financial factors.
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