Have you seen Chris Sheridan’s preseason 2013-14 power rankings yet? Here they are. Go do that. Personally, I think he’s got the Wizards a little too low, but maybe that’s my mid-Atlantic bias showing up.
Today’s blog is pretty full as training camps start to heat up. There’s some news of my absolute favorite variety, about a certain former Ohio State center, and also a player who missed the entire ’12-’13 season returning to action. But the best news is that training camps are here, and pretty soon I won’t have to pretend to care about football any more. What a great day that’ll be.
Now here’s the latest NBA news:
- Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has some big news out of Miami: “Two-time NBA championship coach Erik Spoelstra is finalizing a multiyear contract extension with the Miami Heat, league sources told Yahoo Sports.Spoelstra could’ve become the most sought free agent to hit the coaching market since Phil Jackson, and likely staved off a bidding war next summer by choosing to re-sign with the only franchise he’s ever known. The deal is expected to be made public before the start of the Heat’s training camp in the Bahamas this week, sources said. While most league owners and executives expected Spoelstra to ultimately remain with Miami, several franchises have intimated to Yahoo Sports they would’ve been prepared to pursue Spoelstra with the zeal of a star free agent had the Heat been unable to complete a deal to keep him.”
Sources: Competition Committee votes unanimously to return NBA Finals to 2-2-1-1-1 format. Owners’ approval to come.
— Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) September 29, 2013
- J.A. Adande of ESPN.com writes that Steve Nash isn’t ready to give up on the Lakers’ chances this season: “Let’s say Bryant returns to form. The Lakers’ media day was filled with talk that the infusion of youth (from the likes of Nick Young, Wesley Johnson and Xavier Henry) and a full training camp to implement Mike D’Antoni’s system can make up for the departures of Howard and Metta World Peace. “We may not be as talented at the top as like last year, but I think we’ve gotten younger,” Steve Nash said. “I think we’ve gotten more athletic, we’ve got more shooters, we can space the floor, we can play the way Mike wants us to play.” Although you would look at it from the outside and it looks as though we’ve gone from being a favorite to a noncontender, we still have an opportunity to build a great team, find some chemistry and find a way to be really successful.” Nash, 39, is the oldest player in the NBA. Ironically, he’s the only one of the Lakers’ main trio who is ready to go all out at the start of training camp. Pau Gasol, who had surgical procedures on his knees and back this summer, said he might need a few days before he can fully participate in practice.”
Pau says he doesn’t feel like he’ll ever be 100% again… Though much better than last year
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) September 29, 2013
- We’ve got a little tidbit of Greg Oden news today, via Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: “Greg Oden has been patient to this point. He said he isn’t about to change now, even as the Miami Heat prepare to open training camp Tuesday in the Bahamas. Out of the league since Dec. 2009 due to a series of knee issues, the 7-foot center has been working at AmericanAirlines Arena for nearly two months. In an interview with the Sun Sentinel on the eve of camp, he stressed that patience remains prudent. “Really, for me, I’m happy being on the court and playing and getting back into the thick of basketball,” he said at a promotional appearance at the offices of Shelling Orthodontics and Maye Pediatric Dentistry, an event which also served as a fundraiser for the Udonis Haslem Children’s Foundation. “I bang a little bit, still taking it slow. I’m taking steps. So I do a little bit, do a little bit of up and down, but we’re not trying to wear out the knee. We’re trying to make sure I can do a little bit and the next day I can do something, too.” “
let me rephrase that. I’ll be back next year playing for the Phx suns. I’m happy to be healthy and have a opportunity to keeping playing!
— Channing Frye (@Channing_Frye) September 29, 2013
- Doc Rivers very candidly explains why he went to the Clippers in an excellent interview with Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski: ” “The risk is all mine,” Rivers, 51, said. “To go to an organization that hasn’t won but [two] playoff series in their entire history, in a town where the other team is the best franchise in sports history – that’s risk. But the opportunity – for me – gives me life. If we get this right, it will be the story of stories to tell. At this point in my life, the gamble is worth it.” Those nine seasons with the Celtics were the best of his basketball life, and they’re forever embedded within him now. Rivers wished he could’ve been spared the criticism on his way out, but that was inevitable and he’s come to understand that better now. “It dragged out to a point where there were bound to be hurt feelings,” Rivers said. “The truth was this: I really didn’t want to go through a rebuild. I’ve been through three – when I first got to Orlando, and then when Grant Hill went down again. And I had been through one in Boston. It’s easy to say, ‘Just do it,’ but for a coach, it’s brutal. Showing up, getting your ass kicked, it’s brutal.”"It takes a lot out of you. At the end of the year, when we lost, I had full intentions of doing it. The more I kept thinking about it, I knew it wasn’t in me again. At least not there again.” “
As of now Sixers fans, James Anderson is your starting 2 guard.
— Bob Cooney (@BobCooney76) September 29, 2013