The man who was the general manager when the Miami Heat won the NBA title — meaning the man who drafted Dwyane Wade — is the guy Portland is targeting to be their next GM.
Randy Pfund is next up on the clock, according to multiplereports. The Blazers had first interviewed and talked to Danny Ferry, but that didn’t work (Ferry comes out of the Spurs system where owners are seen and not heard, and that is not Portland).
On one side, a lot of very good things happened while Pfund was general manager of the Heat. He traded for Shaquille O’Neal (back when that was still a smart move). He drafted Wade and Caron Butler and Bruce Bowen. They won a title, which is what Portland wants.
But as it was when he was an assistant coach for the Showtime Lakers, Pfund works in Pat Riley’s shadow. And you can legitimately question how much those smart moves were Pfund and how much were Riley.
Portland will have to decide that for themselves.
Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance
NEW YORK (AP)— The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.
Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.
NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.
Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling
This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.
After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverleyin his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.
Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).
Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.
LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim