Because of luxury-tax concerns, the feeling around the league is the Pelicans may pass on matching any offer over $20 million per season with rookie lottery-pick point guard Kira Lewis and combo guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker in the fold. The Post reported Ball has the Knicks on his radar. His father, LaVar, had hoped Ball’s youngest brother, LaMelo, would be drafted by the Knicks last November — wanting him to play amid the bright lights of New York City.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle recently said that “watching him is like a breathtaking experience” — as if Shaquille O’Neal had point-guard skills. “It’s probably a good word to describe him — unique,” said Tom Thibodeau said in advance of the Pelicans matchup, “It’s unusual because it’s power and speed. And usually when you have the power, you don’t have the speed or if you have the speed, you don’t have the power and he has both. Very skilled, puts a lot of pressure on you, dynamic play-maker.”
While Thibodeau gave Williamson his proper kudos, the Knicks coach mentioned Barrett has more than earned his keep as the third pick in that draft. “I love the guy we got, I know that,” Thibodeau said. “RJ’s had a terrific season for us. He’s great to be around, great teammate, great to coach. He’s gotten better each and every day, gives you everything he has, puts the team first – you can’t ask for anything more than that. And I think he’s got a huge upside.”
Apparently, Bryant told a young Randle that the proper way to do things was to go to a gym and work out as soon as you land in the city you’re about to play a game in. That’s something Randle took to heart. And this season, it all came full circle. “It was Bryant who taught him that whenever you land in the next city for the next game, you hit the gym to put up shots before you go to the hotel no matter how late or how inconvenient that may be. It’s the game and it’s the work that comes first.”
That’s not all. Here’s the kicker. “Last spring, not long after Bryant’s passing, Randle landed in Detroit. The Knicks found a local high school that agreed to stay open super late so Randle could get that work in. When he arrived, the athletic director at the high school was waiting for him and said ‘It’s good to see you. Guys don’t really show up here for that work anymore. Matter of fact, the last guy to come in and shoot late like this? It was Kobe.”