As we all continue social distancing practices to combat spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re absolutely missing the games, but there’s still plenty of quality content flowing from various social media channels and outlets around the NBA.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry joined “The Rory & Carson Podcast” on Tuesday hosted by Rory McIlroy and Carson Daly for a wide-ranging interview that included discussions of his quarantine home-schooling efforts, ordering a hoop from Amazon to practice on during self-isolation, golf, and the potential return of the NBA.
Perhaps what stood out most from the chat is that the two-time Kia MVP and three-time NBA champion continues to look for ways to improve as a player. That’s the gist taken from Curry sharing his opinion on “The Last Dance” documentary.
“So, I’m actually learning a lot about leadership, and just really another appreciation for the demands that are put on us as professional athletes,” Curry said, later adding, “So, with what M.J. is sharing with the world right now – and I know he said not a lot of people are gonna like him after watching this documentary because his personality was so strong, and he just wanted to be great – I love that stuff because that’s what that championship is all about, and no better person to tell that story than him.”
Here’s a quick rundown of more of the content generated by players around the NBA as they await clearance to resume the season:
LeBron James teases new Space Jam film
LeBron James’ Instagram page is a must-follow if you’re interested in the day to day of arguably the NBA’s top superstar.
James dropped a tease Thursday of what appears to be the actual title of the new “Space Jam” movie, which is a sequel to the original 1996 Looney Tunes film starring Michael Jordan. James posted a boomerang of himself wearing a black hat with the logo of “Space Jam: A New Legacy.”
The new film, which stars James and Don Cheadle along with several stars of the NBA and WNBA, is set to release on July 16, 2021.
John Wall itching to make comeback
Washington Wizards five-time All-Star point guard John Wall hasn’t competed in an NBA game since December of 2018 due to suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon, and it’s clear he’s ready to show the world that he’s still got it.
Wall joined the “All the Smoke” podcast on Thursday and discussed his challenging rehabilitation process, while pointing out that perhaps the best is yet to come.
John Wall sends a warning shot to the NBA:
“I’m gonna be better than what I was before and that’s the scary part…they ain’t even get the best of John Wall yet.”
(🎥 ALL THE SMOKE ) pic.twitter.com/h4MnDvtB87
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) April 30, 2020
“I’m like, I can’t wait to show them what I got, what I’m about,” Wall said. “I’m gonna be better than I was before, and that’s the scary part about it because damn near my whole five years I was an All-Star. But I played with two bone spurs in my knee and my hip. People don’t know that. They ain’t even get the best of John Wall yet. They just got a clip of him.”
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New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson chopped it up Monday with TNT’s Ernie Johnson on NBA Together, and they delved into a variety of subjects, including the Kia Rookie of the Year race.
Williamson paid Morant his due.
“Ja being a brother of mine, I’m happy for Ja,” Williamson said of his former AAU teammate. “Ja has worked for it. He’s earned it. I give respect when it’s due. But you know, as a competitor, I want to win at everything. I’m not going to sit here and say I don’t want to win. I want to win at everything. So, my goal was if I could rally my team into the playoffs, hopefully I could make a run for [Rookie of the Year]. It’s just God’s plan at this point.”
Morant appears to be the runaway favorite to capture the award, having played in 59 games to lead his team to the eighth spot in the West prior to the league suspending the season. Williamson, meanwhile, played in just 19 games. But you can’t deny his impact.
Williamson (23.6 points per game on 58.9% from the floor and 46.2% from deep) seemed poised to lead the Pelicans to a serious postseason push. New Orleans ranked 10th in the West when the NBA shut down the season.
Aaron Gordon drops Dwyane Wade diss track
Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon released a track called “9 OUT OF 10,” and it’s clear he’s still not over losing the 2020 NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest to Derrick Jones Jr. in a second-round dunkoff.
Gordon racked up five consecutive dunks that earned perfect scores, but his final jam in the dunkoff – a slam over 7-foot-5 center Tacko Fall to close the show – didn’t merit a score of 50. Wade served as one of the judges who scored Gordon’s final dunk with a lower score (9) than Jones’ last jam from just inside the free-throw line.
Gordon scored a 47 on his final dunk, while Jones received a 48 for the win.
While you could technically call Gordon’s new song a diss directed at Wade, it’s clear the track was done in jest.
In fact, Gordon told The Athletic in a phone interview that Wade liked the song.
“He said he liked my song, and I told him I liked his wine, and it’s really not that big of a deal,” Gordon said. “It’s not that deep. It’s for fun. It’s for entertainment. It’s what the people wanted. I was just expressing another side of myself, showing people creativity, the talent, and keep[ing] people entertained and kind of light and something to take their minds off of the serious of the situation that’s going on around us.”
ESPN’s Michael Wilbon actually bit former TNT analyst David Aldridge
You didn’t read that wrong. Wilbon actually took a bite out of Aldridge, according to this funny story the ESPN commentator shared Tuesday on Twitter from a moment in Game 2 of the 1991 NBA Finals between the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers.
Sports journalists all over the country understand the unwritten rule that there’s no cheering, yelling or strong reactions allowed from press row. So, when Michael Jordan launched for an apparent dunk, before switching hands in mid-air for a layup off the glass, Wilbon could hardly contain himself. His first reaction was to turn and bite colleague Aldridge on the shoulder. After the game, Aldridge slid off his suit jacket to reveal indentations of the bite mark Wilbon left on his shoulder.
You're not supposed to scream on press row, even for a spectacular move by Michael Jordan. This story is funny now, but very embarrassing then (I'm sorry again, @davidaldridgedc!)
— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) April 28, 2020
Aldridge totally confirmed Wilbon’s story was true.
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