There is, of course, the old adage that titles are not won in July (the Heat in 2010 being the clear exception) but several moves were made on Tuesday that could quietly alter the regular season standings out west next season. We’ve also seen shooters get large contracts this week like, it seems, never before. Those are the main two storylines from the July 2, but there’s a whole lot to get to before we all take a nice break for the holiday weekend.
Welcome to the summer of “The Dwecision,” which is speeding along faster that LeBron’s “Decision.”
Dwight Howard has alread met with the Rockets, Mavericks, Hawks and Warriors, and the Los Angeles Lakers get the last shot at him today. El Lay can construct a helluva team around him in 2014-15 if they amnesty Kobe Bryant. No, really.
Howard has waited his entire NBA career to be in this position, and he is relishing it.
He was jealous of LeBron James and Chris Bosh in 2010; he never got traded to the one team he most wanted to join – the Brooklyn Nets – and he is faced with the choice of re-signing with the Los Angeles Lakers as they try to rebuild while Bryant recovers from a torn Achilles.
Or he could take his talents to Texas.
He is the top domino, and secondary big things won’t start to fall into place until he has made his Dwecision. But there are an awful lot of dominoes lined up behind him.
SH Blog: Jerry West says blame on D’Antoni is unfair, wants Curry and Thompson to be greatest backcourt ever
For that, most want to blame Mike D’Antoni for his inability to make better use of the talent he has. Any time you have four Hall of Fame-level players on the same team (which doesn’t happen very often), you have the responsibility of doing big things. If you don’t, the blame goes on you. It’s as simple as that.
Or is it?
Jerry West – the NBA great and now a consultant for the Golden State Warriors - doesn’t think D’Antoni deserves half the amount of criticism he has gotten over the course of the season.
When Deron Williams was first traded to the New Jersey Nets two seasons ago, he really didn’t have a whole lot of nice things to say about the situation. The team had no direction and Williams had no interest in being part of a rebuilding project, but fast forward to this preseason and the tone has completely changed. He is more than content with the teammates he now has, and seems to carry a certain level of pride about being the leader of the Brooklyn Nets.
Playing a preseason game in front of the home crowd for the first time in a brand new arena, Williams uttered the words “it’s my home now” during an altercation with A.J. Price towards the end of the game. See what other messed up things Williams said, along with other news around the league from Tuesday:
- Deron Williams took a personal jab against seldom used guard A.J. Price after the Nets’ win on Monday. Tim Bontemps of New York Post has the story: “Price, who is from Amityville, LI., and gave out 20 tickets for last night’s game, said the whole thing was a miscommunication on both sides. “In the heat of the moment,” he said, “guys say things all the time and one thing led to another, but all in all, it’s part of the game.” Williams, on the other hand, saw things a bit differently. “He started talking for no reason,” Williams said. “I didn’t do anything. He said, ‘I’m home.’ I don’t know what that means. “I guess he had some boys in the crowd that he wanted to impress or something like that while he can with the little minutes he’s going to get this year. “[I told him] it’s my home now.”
- Here is a clip of the altercation between Williams and Price:
- Avery Johnson inserted Williams back into the game against the Wizards, which was an invite for trouble, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports: “And so here it was, opening night of the preseason and Avery Johnson had gone the unnecessary step of reinserting Williams into the game’s late minutes to ensure the Nets coach wouldn’t be burdened with the blame of losing a lousy exhibition to the Washington Wizards. Between Williams checking back into the game and the final buzzer, Johnson had invited the trouble of Washington guard A.J. Price, a native son of New York’s Long Island who bumped Williams on a breakaway drive to the basket and pushed into Williams’ mug declaring, “I’M HOME… I’M HOME…” Williams rolled his eyes, laughed and blurted back to Price something that Nets general manager Billy King had worked so relentlessly to hear Williams declare within Barclays: “This is my home now.”
- Despite the fact that it was just a preseason game, Johnson felt the importance of winning the team’s first game in Barclays Center. Stefan Bondy of Daily News described the chaos of Monday night: “NBA basketball in the outer borough debuted with the combination of pomp and logistical growing pains, with a large crowd that grew louder as the game progressed, and a mad scramble from the arena staff to get Barclays Center ready for tipoff. In the end, though, it was a night devoid of any major snafus, and a victory Avery Johnson wanted so badly, the coach played his All-Star backcourt of Williams and Joe Johnson for a combined 69 minutes – including as the Nets closed the victory in the fourth quarter. “I thought it was important,” Avery Johnson said. “Our fans were terrific. So we just thought it was nice that our fans would go home with a good feeling about our team.”
- Williams had a little fun with instagram on Tuesday, comparing teammate C.J. Watson to an “actor”. It’s actually pretty mean:
- Delonte West was suspended for his outburst in the locker room, from Dwain Price of Star-Telegram: “Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said he suspended guard Delonte West after Monday night’s home game against the Houston Rockets for “conduct detrimental to the team.” West apparently was involved in an ugly outburst in the locker room after the Mavs’ 123-104 win over Houston. West played 17 minutes and scored two points in the game.”
- Jeremy Lin explained to Will Leitch of GQ why he wanted to be Knick for life and never expected to play the way he did: “He misses New York, its people, its fans. “You can’t ask for a city or a fan base to embrace somebody more than they embraced me,” he says. “I know it’s kind of silly to talk about it with only two years under my belt in the league, but going in before free agency, I was like, ‘I want to play in front of these fans for the rest of my career.’ I really did.