2019 Media Day
2019 Media Day roundup: Eastern Conference
From NBA.com Staff
The NBA preseason officially begins tonight (8 ET, NBA TV) and the start of the 2019-20 NBA regular season is a little more than three weeks away. But before we get into all of that, it’s media day for 23 teams across the NBA!
As such, we’re keeping tabs of all the moments, photos and more from Eastern teams in case you miss something.
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Late last season, John Wall wasn’t sure if he would be able to suit up for the 2019-20 season. As the Washington Wizards opened media day on Monday, coach Scott Brooks made it clear the team is not looking to speed up the timeline for its All-Star guard to return.
“There’s a good chance he misses most of the season — if not all the season,” Brook said, per Fred Katz of The Athletic. “We’re gonna be patient. … He’s not gonna play until he’s ready 100 percent, and he understands that, but what I love about John is he’s gonna fight us over it.”
Wall, for his part, isn’t about to race back to the lineup unnecessarily, either. “I’m in no rush (to come back),” Wall said, via Katz. “Only me can know how my body feels.
“It’s tough to just sit and watch, but my job is to make sure I’m fully healthy and not compensating for anything when I do come back.”
Wall’s absence leaves much of the Wizards’ starting lineup in flux. All-Star guard Bradley Beal and big man Thomas Bryant are the only sure-fire starters for Washington once 2019-20 opens, per Brooks.
Shoulder injuries have kept Markelle Fultz, the former No. 1 overall pick of the 2017 Draft, from steady playing time in the NBA. He’s been limited to 33 games in his two seasons and, last season, was dealt by the Philadelphia 76ers to the Orlando Magic at the trade deadline.
Fultz has put in a lot of work to recover from that injury and has his eyes on playing his first game with the Magic come this weekend. When asked at the team’s media day if his goal was to play in the preseason opener on Saturday vs. the San Antonio Spurs, Fultz confirmed that was the case.
His shoulder problems – first called a scapular muscle imbalance, a fancy way of saying the joints in the shoulder weren’t working together properly – took him out of the lineup for the first time after just four games of his rookie season with Philadelphia. He missed 68 games that year before returning for the final few weeks.
Fultz started Philadelphia’s first 15 games last season before things went bad again. He double-clutched a free throw in a game at Miami and was widely mocked on social media afterward. Before long, he was diagnosed with a new problem – neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, a condition where blood vessels or nerves around the collarbone and first rib are compressed.
Walker ready to lead in Boston
For the first eight seasons of his career, Kemba Walker was the face of the franchise for the Charlotte Hornets. He moved on over the summer, though, landing in Boston via a sign-and-trade deal. On Monday, he spoke with NBA TV’s Kristen Ledlow on that transition, being a leader for the Celtics, his Team USA experience last month and more …
In the offseason, the Charlotte Hornets said farewell to the Kemba Walker era as he went to the Boston Celtics via a sign-and-trade deal. In return, the Hornets got young point guard Terry Rozier from the Celtics, who has shown flashes of leading guard potential throughout his career.
In his first comments as a Hornet, Rozier made it clear he wants to forge his own path with the team and not be compared to the player he is replacing.
The Boston Celtics were a changed group in the offseason, saying goodbye to All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Al Horford as well as fan favorites like Aron Baynes, Marcus Morris, Terry Rozier and others.
Gone, too, is a familiar look for one of the players still sporting a Boston uniform come 2019-20. Forward Jaylen Brown has parted with his trademark flattop hair cut in favor of a much shorter hairdo …