Things remain pretty quiet in the NBA today, as everyone in the sports world is focused on London and the Olympics. For coverage of all the basketball that will be going down over there, check out Chris Sheridan’s predictions, as well as the odds for basically everything you could possibly bet on.
For more NBA-centric news, we’ve got Moke Hamilton’s list of the five biggest winners in NBA free agency, and Chris Bernucca’s preview of what could happen if the Magic keep Dwight Howard for another year.
And as always, here’s all the latest news from around the NBA:
- The Magic have a new head coach, and it’s former Spurs assistant Jacque Vaughn. Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel writes: “Vaughn learned from some of the best coaches in basketball. He played for Roy Williams, Jerry Sloan, Doc Rivers and Gregg Popovich. He also apprenticed under Popovich as an assistant coach. The Orlando Magic hope Vaughn produces the same results as his mentors. ‘We really wanted to find a coach who embodies the type of culture and identity that we’re trying to build here in Orlando,’ Magic general manager Rob Hennigan told the Orlando Sentinel. ‘We feel that Jacque’s toughness, humility and attention to detail personifies the types of values that will help define our program. We were just really impressed throughout the interview process with his presence and his intellect and his passion for preparation.’ “
- Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic has some comments from James Harden that have to be encouraging for the rebuilding Suns and their fans: “Former Arizona State star James Harden would consider signing with the Suns if his contract expires after next season. ‘Yeah,’ he said. ‘Of course. I love it there. My mom lives there still. So that’s definitely my second home as far as my comfort level and going to school there. But obviously, I’m with the Thunder right now and what we have is special.’ … Harden would become a restricted free agent after next season. A team such as the Suns could then make it hard on Oklahoma City by signing him to a lucrative offer sheet. ‘That’s out of my hands,” Harden said. “That’s not my decision. That’s the front office. I’ll let them decide that.’ “
- Here’s a piece from Tom Withers of the Associated Press on Tony Parker, who will wear a protective mask during the Olympics due to an eye injury he got in a New York club. Some highlights: “The accident has altered him, made him cautious — but unafraid. ‘It’s so funny, because I just had my best year in the NBA and in one night it can change,’ said Parker, who will wear protective glasses during the Olympics. ‘It just puts life in perspective and you think, “OK, next time I have to be careful,” but at the same time you can’t stop living because then you don’t even cross the street.’ ” … “Parker got caught in the crossfire during the brawl and wound up with a piece of glass embedded in his cornea. Doctors later told him that he came within ‘two millimeters away of losing my eye.’”
- Andre Iguodala’s father is Nigerian, and so he qualifies to represent Nigeria in the Olympics. But he hasn’t, and now he’s going to London as part of the heavily favored American team. In this interview with Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer, he explains why he never chose to play for Nigeria: ” ‘It was always my dream to play for the USA team,’ Iguodala said. ‘That’s where I grew up. I never gave it any serious thought. It didn’t feel right to me. I’ve never been there. I’ve never really had a chance to experience their culture, only from the outside looking in because of my father.’ “
- Deron Williams and Carmelo Anthony are both looking forward to opening the season in Brooklyn, where the Nets will move into the brand-new Barclays Center on November 1.Frank Isola of the New York Daily Newshas comments from both of them. “‘When we come to the Garden there are going to be Nets fans there,’ the Nets’ point guard said on Friday. ‘So it’s going to be different.’ A Knicks-Nets game in New Jersey was essentially a home game for the Knicks considering how many of their supporters filled both the Meadowlands and most recently the Rock in Newark. … ‘It’s going to be great,’ Williams added. ‘It’s going to be special. Number one, just to open the arena is going to be a great experience. And playing against the Knicks just gives it that much more meaning.’” Anthony says he “can’t wait” for the game either, putting it above a Christmas Day matchup with the Lakers and a game in London in January.
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 on weekends for SheridanHoops this summer.