Danny Granger signed a massive extension before last season. He hadn’t been to the playoffs, but the Pacers had drafted well, had a good core in place, and it was, you know, a ton of money. An epic load of money.
And that money? Still good. Still buying batcaves. But the rest of the team has fallen apart. Roy Hibbert’s turning into a good, but not great, center. Brandon Rush is getting there, but not getting to the top. A.J. Price? Again, pretty good. Tyler Hansbrough? Ear infection.Okay, freak accident, whatever.
But the team is horrible. Some people toss out the Nets as the worst franchise, because they’re not winning games. Just so we’re clear, winning games is a good indicator of a good franchise, it gets more complicated in determining bad ones. Others dish the Bobcats as the worst, because they’re not shedding salary and planning for five years in the future, and instead trying to win now and trusting their ability to get out of it in the future.
But the Pacers? They’ve been mediocre and getting worse for the last four years. They rely on Granger to save them every game. Larry Bird has done a valiant thing in taking the time to rehab the Pacers’ image, but they’re still waiting on either Granger to become a real superstar or to draft/sign one. As far as Granger’s concerned though, he has no regrets about putting his lot with the Pacers.
Granger told the Indianapolis Star that not only does he not regret the extension, but that it was a “no-brainer.” It’s a good thing, since his contract is big and long enough to make a deal for him tricky, and that’s before you factor in the fact that he’s the Pacers’ best player. It’s also just good to see a player loyal to his team. It says something for the Pacers’ organization that he has faith in them, even if the on-court results aren’t particularly confidence inspiring.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.