Pat Riley suggested the other day that if a free agent superstar would be swayed to come to Miami if he would coach, then he’d likely do it.
Somebody forgot to ask the current superstar.
Well, not the New York Post, they asked Dwyane Wade what he thought, and Riley the coach did not exactly get a ringing endorsement.
“Let me say it like this, I’ve won a championship with Coach Riley and I’ve won 15 games with Coach Riley,” Wade told The Post. “So it all depends on what year it is. We’ve had success. We’ve had turmoil. So it all depends.”
“If you know coach, you know he’s never lost the passion,” Wade said. “He stepped aside to run the organization, but he never lost the passion to coach. I wasn’t surprised at all. I understand where his mindset is, but at the same time Erik Spoelstra is still our coach, so I’m not putting much into it.”
Riley has a lot of rings, but is an old-school, slave-driver of a coach. He has success but he wears on teams (sort of like Byron Scott today, a guy who came into the league playing under Riley). Spoelstra runs a lot of the same sets as Riley did (although with some twists and variations), on the court his teams look Rileyesque. But his style is not quite as abrasive to the players.
But if Riley were to return, and won, Wade could live with the personality, we’d bet. As for Spoelstra, the last coach that Riley kicked to the curb so he could return to the bench — Stan Van Gundy — has landed in a very good spot. That could well happen to him, too, as a lot of other teams have noticed the job he has dome.
The NBA has unveiled its top 100 plays of the 2015-16 season, and there’s no mystery as to what were the top two.
No. 2: Stephen Curry‘s halfcourt buzzer-beater in overtime against the Thunder in Oklahoma City during the season.
No. 1: “The Block” by LeBron James on Andre Iguodala in the final stretch of Game 7 of the Finals.
There’s plenty more, too, and if you have 25 minutes to kill, you can and should watch all of them above.
Tyler Zeller is one of the few restricted free agents left on the market who could make an actual impact next season, and on Saturday morning, he’s come off the board. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports that the fourth-year big man has agreed to a deal to stay with the Celtics. It’s for two years and $16 million, with the second season being a team option.
Zeller isn’t a starter, but he’s a nice rotation big man, especially at that price. He can play minutes off the bench for Boston, and his contract is also very movable with the second season being unguaranteed. He played just 11.8 minutes per game last season, but averaged 18.5 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes.
The Toronto Raptors were good last season, second best team in the East. That means the guys on Inside the NBA on TNT had to talk about them.
Which means Charles Barkley had to say “Jonas Valanciunas” a lot. Which is high comedy. While a lot of people struggle to say his name the guy is a solid NBA center who, with a little practice, you can say (and spell) his name pretty easily.
This comes from a YouTube user, via Reddit, with a hat tip to Eye on Basketball.
Argentina isn’t considered a medal contender heading into the Rio Olympics. Their golden generation — led by Manu Ginobili — has picked up a lot of speed on the downhill side of their careers at this point.
They didn’t provide much of a challenge for Team USA in an exhibition game Friday night in Las Vegas, one won by the USA 111-74. Kevin Durant impressed playing with his new teammates in dropping 23 points, Paul George had 18, and the Americans had their way in the game.
Which is what we’re going to see a lot of in Rio — the USA’s talent level is just steps above any other team in the tournament.