How do you rank Michael Jordan’s career achievement list?
The answer: It’s nearly impossible.
The G.O.A.T., as he’s so often referred to (by those who never saw Wilt Chamberlain play) has done so much for the game that ranking his performances simply doesn’t do justice to his illustrious career.
The chatter about the Los Angeles Lakers have been non-stop for much of the summer, thanks to their huge offseason acquisitions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. Doc Rivers and Kendrick Perkins aren’t so high on focusing on the Lakers like everyone else though, and are looking forward to another possible meeting with the Miami Heat instead. See what they had to say about the Lakers and the Heat, what lesson Dwight Howard learned from his debacles as a Magic, the expectations Metta World Peace has of the Lakers and more below:
- Dwight Howard talked about the valuable lesson he learned about people, and said there were some lies about him that he didn’t appreciate (without elaborating) during his interview with Ric Bucher of ESPN: “I don’t have any regrets, you know. I think everything happened the way that it was meant to happen,” Howard said Saturday in an interview with ESPN The Magazine senior writer Ric Bucher. “I really just wish some of the lies and some of the things being said didn’t come out the way it did, you know.”… ”And it was a tug of war between my feelings and the fans and everybody else and their feelings and what happened to LeBron. And I saw him — everybody hated him for leaving Cleveland and what he did,” Howard said of LeBron James’ free-agent move from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat in 2010. “I never wanted anybody to hate me, you know. I wanted everybody to love me, you know, like me, for sticking around and doing what they wanted me to do. And making everybody else happy. And that was a valuable lesson for me, you know. ”I can’t make everybody happy.”
- Kendrick Perkins is focused on chasing after the Heat and the championship - not the Lakers, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman: “Not only is Perkins unfazed, but he also echoed several of his Thunder teammates who already have refuted the notion that the Lakers are now the team to beat in the West. “We are the Western Conference champs,” Perkins said. “So at the end of the day, we’re not chasing nobody except for the ring. We’re chasing Miami to get a championship. It’s no guarantee who is going to be where. But we earned the Western champs so we’re not chasing the Lakers, we’re chasing a championship and that’s what it’s about.”
- Perkins’ former coach Doc Rivers also touched on the subject of the Heat and why they matter a lot more than the Lakers, from Celtics Blog: “We have to get to the foul line because when you get to the foul line-that’s one of the big things now in our league-if you can get to the foul line, you can become a dominant defensive team because you get to set your defense every single time. If you keep missing shots against Miami, you’re going to let them run back and forth. I told our guys, “I’m smart enough to know that if we get in a track meet with Miami, they’re probably going to win, but if we get in a thinking meet, we will win that game.” We want them to think. We want them to play under thought, not with their instincts. Honestly, I don’t care about the Lakers…I have my eye squarely on Miami. I come up to my players during the year-they’re in the facility now-I bring up Miami every single day to them. I want them to hate them. I want them to beat them. That’s gotta be our focus.”
- How expensive is it going to be to keep the Lakers core by next season? Ben Bolch of Los Angeles Times has the answer: “It won’t be long before $128 million doesn’t buy the Lakerswhat it used to. Like, by next season. This season, that amount will cover the 2012-13 payroll and associated luxury taxes for a roster dripping with superstars Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol. A year from now, it could pay for only a portion of that same roster and maybe a pair of Bryant’s high-end sneakers. Keeping the core of the Lakers together could cost nearly $200 million.Thanks, new collective bargaining agreement.”
- Metta World Peace wants to take full advantage of the expensive Lakers roster and try to beat the Bulls regular season record, from Sekou Smith of NBA.com: “What he thinks about the team possibly not having Dwight Howard at the start of Training Camp: “We definitely want to beat the Bulls record and go 73-9, that’s definitely something that I want to do. Whoever is out there at the beginning of the season then we gotta get it. It’s as simple as that. We just have to go get it. (Host: So that Bulls record is something you’re thinking about?) No question. You try to snatch records before you leave this earth. You gotta try to do a lot of great things so it’s definitely a goal. With Dwight Howard, (Steve) Nash, Kobe (Bryant), myself, Pau (Gasol) and then (Antawn)Jamison and a lot of great additions it’s something that’s possible.”
- Josh Harrellson has been invited to the Heat’s training camp on a non-guaranteed contract, according to Ira Winderman of Sun Sentinel: “Quantity at center the Miami Heat now have. Quality? Erik Spoelstra and Pat Riley hope they can identify that during training camp. Former New York Knicks center Josh Harrellson joined the Heat’s suddenly crowded field in the middle Monday, with the team announcing him as the 18th player under contract for camp, which opens Sept. 29 at AmericanAirlines Arena. ”I’m taking my talents to South Beach! Let’s go Heat,” Harrellson posted on his Twitter account an hour later. Like Mickell Gladness and Jarvis Varnado, Harrellson was added on a non-guaranteed contract. Those three will vie with Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman for minutes in the middle, with Anthony and Pittman holding guaranteed contracts.
- Dwyane Wade discussed the importance of his relationship with 3-point shooters, including the one he developed with Shane Battier last season, from Winderman: “During the run to the 2012 championship, Wade said he began to develop a similar bond with Battier, one that developed late, with Battier’s unlikely postseason insertion into the starting lineup at power forward. ”I think I did a little bit in the Finals,” Wade said. “With the matchup problems, sometimes I drove just to get guys shots. So I knew that once I drove, that bigger guys who were guarding Shane were going to come to the rim and protect the rim. Shane had a lot of open shots.” Wade said he expects to do more of the same this time around. ”My mind frame a lot would be when I get to the paint, when I attack, sometimes I’m going just to draw the defense, knowing I’ve got the shooters and I need to get my shooters shots,” he said. “I can always get my own shot. But when I’m in the game, my mindset is, ‘OK, I need to get these guys going,’ because they’re going to get things open for everyone.”
- Eric Gordon was frustrated about being traded from the Clippers to the Hornets, but is happy now. Jorge Sierra of Hoops Hype has the interview: “How did you take the trade from the Clippers to the Hornets? EG: It was tough, a little frustrating, but as soon as I arrived to New Orleans I was just fine and ready to play basketball. How would you define those days during the summer when you were a free agent? EG: Interesting. You’re antsy to get a new contract, a new deal with someone and it worked out well for me. Was it stressful too? EG: It is because you don’t know what’s going to happen. You have to get the most for yourself. I guess that worked out well. Looking back, would you change any of the things you said after signing that offer with the Phoenix Suns? EG: Well, they came on to the table to give me this big contract, and that was a big motivation for the Hornets to step up and match. They did it and now they made me a big key of what they’re doing, so that’s what I looked forward to.”
- Anthony Davis scored 40 points in an alumni game and impressed “coach Drake”.
- Why is Hakeem Olajuwon so involved with the Knicks? It has a lot to do with his former teammate and current Knicks coach Mike Woodson, according to Howard Beck of The New York Times: “Having worked with Stoudemire for more than two weeks this summer, Olajuwon is clearly fully invested in assisting Woodson, and ultimately the Knicks, the team he beat in the N.B.A. finals with the Houston Rockets in 1994. “It was something I wanted to do for Mike,” Olajuwon said. “It’s always a joy for me to work with current players, especially for guys that you know you can help their careers.” Woodson and Olajuwon were teammates with the Rockets from 1988 to 1990. Woodson, a veteran at the time, helped the younger Olajuwon mature. Even then, Olajuwon could tell Woodson was interested in coaching once his playing career was over. The two formed a bond, and Olajuwon has watched Woodson become a respected coach in the league. “Mike showed a flash toward the last part of the season of what he can do,” Olajuwon said, referring to the Knicks’ 18-6 record after Woodson replaced Mike D’Antoni in March. “You can tell he is comfortable making the right move to succeed.”
- Adam Morrison has signed on with the Trailblazers for one season, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN:
- Want to see a tribute video called “Legacy of Oden”? Ben Golliver of Blazers Edge has the details.
- Shaquille O’Neal is now the co-owner of a movie theater in New Jersey, according to Times Online: “Shaquille O’Neal has a new kind of movie project: theater owner. O’Neal, a four-time NBA champion, grew up in Newark, and now co-owns and operates the CityPlex 12 theater near downtown. O’Neal and Newark Mayor Cory Booker formally opened the renovated, expanded theater Friday afternoon. It includes an auditorium with a 47-foot-wide screen. It partially reopened in May after being closed for renovations.”
Hakeem Olajuwon has made quite a name for himself as a mentor to players that wish to improve their games in the paint over the past few years. In particular, he worked with Amare Stoudemire over the summer to refine the post moves of the power forward, and the Knicks were evidently impressed with the results because they plan on hiring the legend to teach a few things to all the big men on the team next week. See what Olajuwon had to say about the combination of Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony below, along with other important news from Friday:
- Hakeem Olajuwon could work with the Knicks frontcourt next week for several days. Here’s what “The Dream” had to say about Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire’s need to complement each, from Chris Broussard of ESPN: ”They both have to realize that the most important thing is not how great you are individually,” Olajuwon said. “You’re remembered for how many games you win. So to get to play with another great offensive player should help you. It should make your job easier. You have to work well together. You can’t be competitors with one another.” While Olajuwon has taught Stoudemire back-to-the-basket post moves, he said the Knicks’ game plan should not be simply to post up Stoudemire while Anthony dominates the perimeter. ”It shouldn’t be Amare just staying in the post because he can be a scorer in the paint and outside,” Olajuwon said. “It’s the same thing for Carmelo. He can score in the post and outside. So if Carmelo is in the post, Amare can be at the foul line and he can make that shot. If Amare’s in the post, Carmelo can make the shot from the free-throw line, too. They shouldn’t be competing against each other; they should be complementing each other. They need each other to win.”
- Tracy McGrady worked out for the Knicks, according to Ian Begley of ESPN New York: “The Knicks brought in veteran Tracy McGrady for a workout, a team source confirmed. The source said McGrady appeared to be in good health but it doesn’t appear that a signing is imminent. McGrady, who played 24 games for the Knicks in 2009-10, is among several players the team is monitoring as training camp approaches. The Knicks currently have 19 players under contract, 13 of whom are signed to guaranteed deals.”
- Upon hearing the McGrady news, J.R. Smith gave his full endorsement on the possible signing, from Tim Bontemps of New York Post: “Count J.R. Smith among those who think Tracy McGrady still has something left to give. “Definitely,” Smith told The Post when asked if McGrady could help the Knicks after Yahoo! Sports reported Thursday McGrady has worked out for the team. “T-Mac has always been an elite player in this league. “We need all the help we can get in every area. … So whenever a big name comes up that can help our team, we’ve got to get him.”
- The Knicks are very interested in acquiring Kenyon Martin, but will he play for the veteran’s minimum? Marc Stein of ESPN has the update:
- Is Brandon Roy ready to dominate the league again? He appears to believe so, from Ray Richardson of Pioneer Press: “Roy, signed by the Timberwolves as a free agent July 31 after sitting out all of last season, conceded the coaching staff has tried to “hold me back.” Roy, who averaged 19.0 points per game in five seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, is determined to prove he still can play. He has had six surgeries on his knees, but he underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy in 2011 and believes that will resurrect his career. ”I want to come in and make an impact right away,” Roy said. “I want to be ready to deliver. A lot of people think I’m going to be limited. I tell them, ‘Go ahead and think that way.’ I’m not cautious about anything. I’m confident everything will go well.”
- Chris Bosh is getting used to the idea of playing the center position, according to Justin Verrier of ESPN: “When Chris Bosh joined the Miami Heat in the summer of 2010, he told himself his days of playing center were finished. But after manning the 5 often in the Heat’s run to the title last season, Bosh is willing to reconsider. When Miami opens the 2012-13 season against the Boston Celtics on Oct. 30, Bosh said he expects to be listed as the starting center. ”It’s becoming natural to me,” Bosh told ESPN.com on Thursday. “I have a very unique opportunity to do something very special for myself and my team. I think all the time that you have to evolve and get better. This is me evolving as a player.”
- O.J. Mayo signed with the Mavericks over the summer, and the team may have Chauncey Billups to thank for it, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas: “O.J. Mayo reached out to Chauncey Billups, one of his favorite players in the league, while researching potential destinations this summer. Billups strongly recommended that Mayo play for Rick Carlisle, who played a significant role in Billups achieving his potential. “He said (Carlisle) is a great coach for me to help expand my game,” Mayo said. Billups, like Mayo now, was a No. 3 overall pick in his mid-20s who hadn’t lived up high-lottery expectations when he signed with the Carlisle-coached Pistons in the summer of 2002.”
- Dwyane Wade told Maxim that the fashion contest between the Heat and Thunder was no contest: “During the finals, it seemed like you and LeBron were having a style contest with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook of the Thunder. Who do you think won? It wasn’t even close. We’re way better dressers than they are. I dunno. Even LeBron seemed to think those “Dwayne Wayne” glasses went a bit far. I was holding that in my back pocket for a while. I’ve been called Dwayne Wayne so many times over the years, and we were all going heavy with the glasses, so I thought I would really shut it down.”
- Ivan “The Terrible” Johnson will play for the Hawks for another season, according to Chris Haynes of CSNNW: “Power forward Ivan Johnson has agreed to re-sign with the Atlanta Hawks, CSNNW.com has learned. The undrafted forward who played one season at the University of Oregon before transferring to Cal State-San Bernardino, has accepted the Hawks’ offer of one-year, $962,195. The Hawks extended a qualifying offer to Johnson in early July giving them the right to match an offer sheet signed by Johnson and the Hawks would have had three days to match.”
- Matt Barnes has officially joined the Clippers, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports:
Doug Collins is not at all concerned about maturity issues with Andrew Bynum, from Bob Cooney of Daily News: “Q: What is your concern level with the things that have been said about Bynum’s sometimes lack of maturity? DC: I have zero concern. One thing is I never judge a man from a distance. Sometimes people want to pull out one or two things . . . but you could pull out things on all the great players in the NBA. Andrew is an incredibly well-spoken young guy. He’s articulate, he’s bright, he’s smart and he knows the game. I think he’s happy to be home. He just got a place in the suburbs here and said he loves being here on the East Coast. I think he views this as a great opportunity to be viewed as a central figure on a team every single night that’s going to count on him. I think he views this as a step in his career where he really has a chance to show what he’s all about. He’s got a good sense of humor. I feel really good about him.”
- Chandler Parsons talked about his already-close relationship with Jeremy Lin, from Jason Friedman of NBA.com: “JCF: Jeremy Lin is a guy you really seemed to connect with right away – I know you both have had crazy summers but have you been able to stay in touch with him at all over the last couple months? CP: Definitely. We’ve been talking back and forth, especially about living arrangements – we’re trying to figure that out right now. We’ve stayed in touch and talked about all sorts of different things – how he’s doing, how I’m doing – and just talking about everything from a team standpoint in terms of how we can get better.”
- MarShon Brooks is looking to win the Sixth Man of the Year Award, according to Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York: “For Brooks, that means being the first man off the bench. In fact, his personal goal is to win the Sixth Man Award. Some of his motivation comes from the Thunder’s James Harden, who won the award last season and then helped lead his team to the Finals. ”I feel like the sixth man is a much more important role these days. It’s used a lot of different,” Brooks said. “I wouldn’t say there’s anything wrong with the Thunder’s perspective. I think with James Harden coming off the bench, they could run their offense through him — and that’s what I can do. I’m just going to provide that spark for the team in any way possible. I’m going to look to create opportunities for my teammates as well as score the ball.”
- Jeff Green is fully ready to go after taking a year off, from Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston: “”Fully recovered, part of the team, cleared for everything,” Green said Friday afternoon… Green knows he’ll be peppered with health questions, but having not played an NBA game in nearly 16 months, it’s clear his focus now is on what lies ahead. Which is why when he’s asked about the toughest hurdle in getting back on the floor, he smiles and declares, “Nothing.” To be certain, there is rust to shake. ”Getting in a groove, getting in a rhythm — but it’ll come,” said Green. “We still have two months until the beginning of the regular season. That stuff will come. I’ve really been able to do everything — contact, my movements, my shot is there, my lift is there. Everything is coming along.”
As the time for training camp reaches near, we will start to hear more in detail about about the mindset and the health status of players around the league. It’s a small dosage, but we have some updates on the health situations of Chauncey Billups, Earl Watson and Ronnie Brewer today. You can also dive into the mind of second year player Brandon Knight heading into the season, how Mitch Kupchak feels about his transactions over the summer, what Tyson Chandler is doing to help support his teammates and more below:
- Brandon Knight is ready to roll for the Pistons in the upcoming season, according to Keith Langlois of NBA.com: “In the broader sense, Knight is even more eager to get training camp rolling and, beyond that, his second season. “Some of the things I wish I would have been better at last year, I think I will show this year because I’ve gotten so much better at them,” he said. “That’s why I’m very excited about the season. I can’t wait. I’m going to be able to do a lot more things as far as getting guys involved. I’m looking forward to getting guys to play harder and to want the basketball and look for me as a player that is going to help them have a good game, somebody that’s making everybody around them better. “I’m visualizing getting wins, visualizing the Pistons taking strides to being a championship team like it used to be. You get tired of hearing how the Pistons used to be a good team. You take pride in bringing the Pistons back to what Pistons basketball is.”
- Chauncey Billups is “way ahead of schedule” to return from left Achilles tendon injury, from Helene Elliott of Los Angeles Times: ”Expected to need at least eight months’ healing time after tearing his left Achilles’ tendon on Feb. 6, the veteran guard is back on the court, though he hasn’t played five-on-five yet and wouldn’t declare a target for his return. When my body feels right, that’s when I’ll be back,” he said. “That being said, I’m far ahead of schedule. ”It’s not even like I had a summer. I’ve been on the whole time, doing rehabbing and other work every day. I’m looking forward to getting back to playing and being with the guys and resuming my normal life as a player.”
- Manu Ginobili is still feeling the disappointment of losing out on the Bronze medal during the Olympics, and also touched on the uncertainty of his status for FIBA Basketball World Cup, from FIBA.com: “Now back home in Bahia Blanca, before returning to San Antonio for the new NBA season with the Spurs, Ginobili is reflecting on the summer with the national team. ”I still have mixed emotions about London,” he said. ”We were among the top four, we played well, I played well and that is why I am satisfied. ”On the other hand, I still feel pity and anger with the fact that we let the bronze medal go by a small margin.” Russia were deserving winners of the bronze, yet they claimed it by the skin of their teeth by beating Argentina, 81-77. ”It’s like as if it had been decided by a coin flip,” Ginobili said. ”But what can I say? This happens and we left a good image. We did what we had to do and I don’t have any regrets.” The next big event that Argentina expect to play in will be the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain. That sporting spectacle will take place in 2014. ”I never said I would continue, and I never said I would quit,” Ginobili said. ”There are still two years, it’s a long time. ”I don’t know how I will be and everything will depend on that. ”But I do know that I will be 37 and it’s not the same at that age as another age.”
- The Pacers have signed three players, probably as an invite to training camp, from Insidehoops: “The Indiana Pacers announced Thursday they have signed free agents Sam Young, Sundiata Gaines and Blake Ahearn to contracts. Until reported otherwise, we assume these are training camp signings, and these players must still fight to earn a regular season contract. We will update this page when new info arrives.”
- Earl Watson had an update on the status of his rehab, from Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribuen: “Jazz point guard Earl Watson told The Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday he continues to make progress during his rehabilitation from April 17 right knee surgery that repaired a torn medial meniscus. ”Rehab is rehab!” Watson joked. He acknowledged, though, he may not be cleared for full action by the time training camp starts in October. ”At this point, I’d say no,” Watson said. Referring to September as a “big month” during his rehab, Watson is attempting to return to full health in time for the 2012-13 season.”
- Don Nelson explained why he doesn’t feel like he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, from Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports: “Don Nelson will officially enter the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday. But there is one notable person that thinks the NBA’s all-time leader in coaching victories should not be inducted. Nellie himself. ”I don’t really feel deserving to be in the Hall of Fame, but I am in and I’m happy about that,” Nelson told Yahoo! Sports. “It’s a great, great honor. There are a lot of guys who deserve it more than me that haven’t got in yet like Al Attles, Bill [Fitch], [Dick] Motta and those guys. They were real coaches. Man, did they ever coach. ”So I feel a little undeserving. But anyway, here I am. Here I come.” Nelson walks into the Hall of Fame with one thing that can’t be questioned. His record win total.”
- Reggie Miller gave a touching speech during his induction into the Naismith Hall of Fame about how inspirational his sister Cheryl Miller has been in his life. Ben Golliver of CBS Sports has the video.
- The Nuggets have signed Quincy Miller to a contract, according to Spears:
- Tyson Chandler will help Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony organize a “pre-training camp”, from Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York: “Tyson Chandler knows what it’s like to be a part of a great team. He won a championship with the Mavericks in 2011. That’s why he wanted to help organize, along with the Knicks’ two other key veterans — Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire — the team’s “pre-training camp,” which starts on Monday and includes most of the players. He told a small group of reporters at the new Knicks jersey unveiling on Thursday that’s what great teams need to do. ”I’m proud of the guys for being willing to come back early and come together to bond as a team,” Chandler said. “It’s a sign of maturity and that guys are willing to give up a month of their summer and come back and train and get to know one another. I think it’s only going to help us down the road.”
- Hakeem Olajuwon discussed how he feels badly for the Rockets’ situation and the pain of losing Yao Ming, from Yannis Koutroupis of Hoopsworld: “It is tough (to see them struggle),” Olajuwon said to HOOPSWORLD. “I know management especially is trying to get back to the glory days, having a championship caliber team. It’s very difficult when you’re in the middle, where you don’t get a chance to pick the best (in the draft). We have an average team, maybe get in the playoffs or first round. Being in the middle is very difficult. How can you end that cycle where you stand in the middle of the pack all the time? That’s been their challenge.”…“That was tough especially knowing Yao and how bad he really wanted to play,” Olajuwon said. “I could see the disappointment in his will. It was like a joke. I thought maybe ‘ok that’s not true I’m not reading that right’. To really realize that was like ‘wow, that’s it’. I felt for Yao. He responded positively. He took it very well, moved on. It was tough for the Houston Rockets, especially the owner with all the investments in China and Asia and how that put the popularity of Rockets in Asia. Just to see it for so short, then that was it. Just for the NBA as a whole, I think it was a huge loss for the league and especially the Rockets.”
- Dwyane Wade is leaving the Nike Jordan Brand for Chinese shoe company Li-Ning, from David Astramskas of Ball is Life: “During that time in 2009, a shoe company in China was unknown to most in the US despite having Shaquille O’Neal on their roster who signed in 2006 after ex teammate Damon Jones convinced him of the potential. For the next few years, Li-Ning quietly built up it’s roster full of NBA players including Baron Davis, Evan Turner and Chuck Hayes – yes Chuck Hayes. The days of Chuck Hayes popularity is dead with the signing of marketing machine & future hall of famer Dwyane Wade. Details about the deal have not been released yet. It will be real interesting to hear what Nike/Jordan Brand has to say.”
- Ronnie Brewer will be sidelined for a while after undergoing arthroscopic surgery, according to Zwerling: “The New York Knicks announced Friday that newly acquired shooting guard Ronnie Brewer underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and is expected to be sidelined approximately six weeks. Brewer tweeted on Friday that he will be ready for the season opener, Nov. 1 against the Nets in Brooklyn. ”If y’all haven’t already heard I had successful meniscus surgery. Started rehab this morning. Minor setback for a major comeback,” he tweeted. “I appreciate the prayers and get well soons from everyone. Much appreciated. Will for sure be 100 (percent) for season opener.” The team said Brewer had suffered a medial meniscus tear in the past two weeks.”
- Andray Blatche will definitely sign with the Nets, according to Michael Lee of Washington Post: “Nearly two months after the Wizards gave him $23 million to go away,Andray Blatche has found his second NBA home with the Brooklyn Nets. Blatche’s agent, Andy Miller, confirmed on Friday that his client will sign a contract with Brooklyn some time next week. Blatche told Hoops World on Wednesday that he had hoped to soon get back on an NBA roster and he chose the Nets over theMiami Heat. Miller said the decision came down to the opportunity for playing time in Brooklyn, where the Nets plan to use the 6-foot-11 big man at power forward and center.”
- Mitch Kupchak kept it modest when talking about the revamped roster of the Lakers with Sam Amick of SI: “SI.com: The curiosity about your team is obviously through the roof even more than in most years, which is saying something for a franchise that’s always front and center. I wanted to hit the rewind button and go back to last December, when the trade for Chris Paul didn’t happen and then things were tough from there. To go from that to this is pretty remarkable, no? Kupchak: On paper, we’ve made what we think are improvements. I think we’re going to be in the hunt. I don’t know if we’ll lead the pack or be second in the pack or be fourth in the pack or fifth, but I think that we’ll be in the hunt and we’re better than we were a year ago. Is it time to celebrate? Absolutely not. You’re going to have to wait a year and see how it all plays out. Last year was a difficult year for everybody associated with the NBA. If you had your coaching staff in place, and you had your team in place, you had an advantage. Teams that made coaching changes, or made personnel changes, with the shortened season, it became difficult to play your best basketball. And then without getting into great detail, the way we started the season with the trade that had to be undone and a lot of feelings were hurt. That didn’t help our coaches, who were new to Los Angeles in a strike-shortened season. But that shortened season applied to everybody.
- Courtney Lee dunked on a big man during scrimmage and was pretty happy about it, from Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston.