I think of Portsmouth and I think of breakfast at Friendly Toast and the beer sampler at Portsmouth Brewery. Or getting a late snack at the Friendly Toast after having too many Portsmouth Brewery samplers. But that’s me.
For a lot of college seniors with dreams of playing in the NBA, Portsmouth means the Portsmouth Invitational and a chance to be seen by top scouts. It all starts Wednesday.
Seniors can get overlooked, or picked apart. The top of the draft is freshman (John Wall) to juniors (Evan Turner). There’s a sense that if you’re still in college as a senior, you’re not NBA material. Which is wrong.
But the Portsmouth Invitational has gone from a premiere showcase to something scouts attend because not much else is going on. Sadly, now, even the top seniors — the ones most likely to get drafted — skip the event. But as Chad Ford points out at ESPN.com John Salmons, Carl Landry, Jason Maxiell, Willie Green, Chuck Hayes and Wes Matthews have gone from Portsmouth to the NBA in recent years.
It’s a chance. The scouts will be there and be watching. Stand out and you get some workouts, or a Summer League invite. It’s a foot in the door, and that’s all you can ask. From there these guys have to earn it.
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.