The eyes of the basketball world shift their focus now to Miami, the site of Game 3 Sunday night between the Heat and the Thunder, after the Heat picked up the win in Game 2 to even the series at one game apiece.
We’ve got some Finals news and the latest from everywhere else in the NBA.
- Russell Westbrook says he is not changing his game, no matter how hard folks are on him: “I’m not making no adjustments. Regardless of what anybody says or regardless of what you guys say about how I play, it doesn’t matter. I’m going to play my game regardless of what happens. I’m going to go out and give 110 percent, and try to find a way to help us win the game.”
- Coach Nick at BBall Breakdown has an awesome breakdown of every single play Russell Westbrook made in Game 2. He ends up giving him more good plays than bad, but feel free to decide for yourself.
- Phil Jackson says there “might be” a head coaching job in the NBA that he’d accept. Jackson also called the Knicks’ roster “clumsy” because their players “don’t fit will together” and said he thinks the Magic job would be a very good one, but he won’t take it because he’d rather live in the West.
- Alex Kennedy at HoopsWorld has a list of draft picks that may available for trade. Lots of rumors are flying, some with more substance than others, but the biggest (and most plausible) is that the Bobcats are shopping the #2 pick: “In recent weeks, Charlotte has been in contact with a number of teams and they’ve made it clear that the No. 2 pick is available. However, multiple league sources have said that the Bobcats are looking for a lot in return. They would like to add a face of the franchise player, which is why they’ve reportedly expressed interest in young stars like Rudy Gay and James Harden. If the Bobcats can’t use the pick to make a splashy move, they’ll likely draft Thomas Robinson. However, Charlotte continues to hold out hope that they can move the pick and bring in a player who can make an impact right away.”
- Again from Kennedy: Brandon Roy’s comeback is confirmed to be happening. “It sounds like Brandon Roy will attempt to make an NBA comeback next season. After months of rumors and speculation, he confirmed the news last night on Twitter. Last night, Roy took to Twitter to answer questions from fans. Since he doesn’t have an account on the social media website, he used the account of his close friend and fellow Seattle player Will Conroy to interact with fans and comment on the rumors. “Lord willing, I will play again soon,” Roy wrote in a series of tweets. “Yes, I’m preparing for a comeback. I’m training daily. I’m preparing for a return next year. I appreciate the love. Hopefully I’ll be back on the floor soon. Health is good.” … Sources close to Roy say that his training is going well and he’s feeling great. He’ll likely work out in Seattle as he prepares for the upcoming season.”
- The Bucks are working out French guard Evan Fournier, according to Charles Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Fournier impressed at the Adidas Eurocamp recently and won’t turn 20 until October 29. He’s projected as a mid-to-late first round pick. Check out our own Mock Draft 3.0 by Joe Kotoch.
- Tom Benson is officially the owner of the New Orleans Hornets as the $338 million sale of the team is now final, reports Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “Benson released a statement Friday expressing his elation at the finalization of the transaction, and a hope for the same kind of success his football team has recently enjoyed. ‘I’m thrilled to have become the owner of the Hornets,’ Benson said in a statement released by the club. ‘There is a lot of excitement in the region about the franchise, especially after winning the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. We have been successful with the Saints, and I know we can translate that success to our NBA team as well,’” writes Smith. As part of the sale agreement, the Hornets will be staying in New Orleans through at least 2024.
- Some really cool stuff from Steve Aschburner’s Twitter. He spoke with a former pilot of NBA charter flights who had some interesting behind-the-scenes looks at what goes on aboard NBA flights. One highlight: “Former pilot of NBA charters said he flew OKC to N’Awlins game. Later he & co-pilot go to same restaurant as team. Players say, “join us.”"
- Just in time for Father’s Day, here’s a nice piece from Adena Andrews of espnW on Shelden Williams, Candace Parker, and their daughter Lailaa. ” ‘I don’t know how people did this before technology,’ Williams said. ‘Lailaa and I like to play hide-and-seek on Skype, but she doesn’t really understand the concept and will hide behind the couch with her legs hanging out or pop out when I ask her to.’ Due to the distance and 12-hour time difference, Williams doesn’t live life in the NBA fast lane. He isn’t one to go clubbing, opting instead to check in with his girls. After most games, he knows he has only 90 minutes to get to a computer and talk to Lailaa before Parker goes to practice at the gym.”
Dan Malone just completed his sophomore year at University of Kings College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and is spending the summer in Baltimore, where he covers the Single-A minor-league baseball team the Aberdeen IronBirds for OriolesHangout.com. He will be blogging for SheridanHoops this summer.