Tired of Tom Telling Teams What He’ll Take for the Tomball, Texas Terror. From Ameer Eldomiatti:
…Any chance Thibs gets fired in the next week?
Doubt Glen Taylor’s ready to eat the rest of the $40 million he owes Thibodeau through 2021, then go out and spend a few more million to hire a coach of a still-intriguing team, no matter whether Jimmy Butler is there this season or not. And since Taylor has reportedly told teams to contact him to get a deal done with Butler, he’s kind of already cut out his coach/middleman, so why pay off the rest of his contract?
Brooklyn in the house? From Terrence Moore:
Can see you see the Nets make a big splash in a year or two?
Yes. I think it’s inevitable. Brooklyn’s front office is too good, and its coaching staff, led by Kenny Atkinson, too promising — and, last time I checked, Brooklyn is still part of New York City, still the world’s biggest market. With billionaire Joseph Tsai poised to take over for current majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov in the next year or so, the Nets’ cash flow will be on par with any team in the league. All of those pluses are sure to entice a legit free agent, and maybe two, next summer. The Nets are a sleeping giant in the East if they can get an anchor player around which they can surround their young talent like Jarrett Allen.
Surprise, surprise. From Leticia Tosado:
At what point of the season can you see Mitchell Robinson progressing?
Maybe sooner than we all think, Leticia. Robinson has, I’m told, followed up his strong Summer League performance with reasonably good absorbing of the Knicks’ concepts and packages so far during training camp. It’s still more likely than not that his minutes will be limited early on; he’s still learning, really, to play within structure for the first time as a basketball player. And, he needs to get stronger to be able to hold his position in the paint, and he’ll have to improve as a post defender. But New York’s braintrust remains resolute that it got a steal in Robinson in the second round. There has never been much question about his athletic ability.
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BY THE NUMBERS
$45,000,000 — Additional outlay by the Cavaliers, the team told Cleveland Crain’s Business, into renovating Quicken Loans Arena. The two-year renovation will continue through 2019, will slightly reduce the seating capacity of the building, while adding five new clubs and updating 60 suites throughout the building.
18,654 — Attendance for Saturday’s exhibition game between the Raptors and Trail Blazers in Vancouver’s Rogers Arena. The weekend in Vancouver was also scheduled to include a screening of a documentary about former Vancouver center Bryant “Big Country” Reeves, one of the first to profit in the big money era of the NBA in the late 90s — to the tune of $66 million. Vancouver was one of the league’s most beautiful towns, and while the chance of the NBA returning to Vancouver is remote, rumors abound that Portland could ultimately, and finally, purchase a G-League franchise and put it there.
324 — Career NBA games for veteran forward Mirza Teletovic, who announced his retirement last week after suffering the past couple of years from blood clots, which limited him to just 10 games last season for Milwaukee. He will take a full-time job as president of the Bosnian Basketball Federation.
I’M FEELIN’ …
1) The dynasty continues. That’s a third straight World Cup gold medal, the 22nd straight win in FIBA competition and an automatic Olympic berth for the U.S. women’s national team, after dispatching Australia in the gold medal game Sunday. Sue Bird also became the all-time leader in assists in U.S. World Cup play, while Breanna Stewart added a Cup MVP to go with her WNBA Finals MVP award.
2) After a year watching her husband rehab a gruesome injury and return to the court, Robyn Hayward is not here to put up with your nonsense during the preseason, rest of NBA.
3) Very real, and very difficult when you’re in the bubble to leave it.
4) Was pulling for the U.S. team in the Ryder Cup, but real is real — they got stomped by Europe, which took the Cup back in France on Sunday with Ian Poulter, Jon Rahm and Thorbjorn Olesen beating Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth, respectively, setting Europe up to put the Cup away after Francesco Molinari crushed Phil Mickleson. That followed up European dominance in foursome and four ball on Friday. They deserved it.
NOT FEELIN’ …
1) Hate to see Lauri Markkanen’s second season delayed for up to two months. It’s often hard to recover from a slow start, and the Bulls need their young sharpshooter on the floor.
2) The laugh of The Joker just before he pushes the button that sends you hurtling to your doom in Gotham City.
3) RIP, Jack McKinney, the star-crossed former head coach of the Lakers and Pacers in the 1980s. As many have noted — most recently, Jeff Pearlman, in his book about the Showtime era lakers — the course of the NBA changed dramatically when McKinney, L.A.’s head coach in 1980, fell off his bicycle on his way to a team practice, suffering severe head injuries after his head hit the pavement. Those injuries forced him to the sideline for the rest of that season, and the Lakers promoted assistant Paul Westhead to the head coach position. Needing to fill Westhead’s spot on the bench, the Lakers promoted their radio analyst to Westhead’s assistant’s job. The radio guy — who otherwise may well have stayed a radio guy the rest of his career — was Pat Riley.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
I swear I’m the only person they do (bleep) like this to! So you mean to tell me i have to cover up my tattoo for what? You don’t make people cover up Jordan logos NIKE checks or anything…
— J.R. Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) informing the world that the NBA has threatened to fine him if he doesn’t cover up his “Supreme” tattoo on his leg during games. The skateboarding/streetwear company is worth more than $1 billion, and has collaborated with the NBA and Nike on a four-piece collection that featured Smith during its rollout last March. NBA rules pretty specifically prohibit commercial or promotional logos on a player’s body, hair or otherwise, so Smith doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on. But, some Twitterati have pointed out that the Clippers’ Marcin Gortat has a Nike Jumpman tat on his calf and has not been asked to cover it up.
THEY SAID IT
“In my eyes, I’m the best player in the game. I really feel that way. Nobody can tell me different.”
— Pelicans uber-star Anthony Davis, to the New Orleans Times Picayune, when asked what it would take for him to become the top player in the league.
“He talked about how he didn’t hear the crowd. It’s kind of the same thing. But I think, also, too, I took that as, he couldn’t wait to shut them up, and the second he would go off… you might hear a few boos, whatever it is, but the quieter they are, you’re kind of laughing inside. You’ve done what you wanted to do, and I thought that was pretty cool.”
— Brooks Koepka, the 2018 PGA Championship and two-time U.S. Open winner, on Michael Jordan’s pre-Ryder Cup address to the American team Thursday before it began play against Europe in France.
“Coach was funny on the phone. He was all about it, asking me how I saw myself in their system, things like that. And then right before we hung up, he goes, ‘You’re gonna make me have to actually coach this year, huh?’”
— DeMarcus Cousins, in The Players Tribune, on the first hours of his recruitment by Steve Kerr and the Warriors once he came to believe that the Pelicans were not interested in re-signing him.