Jamal Crawford knows how to get buckets.
He does it against NBA level defenders, so put him in a free-flowing pro-am — let’s say the Seattle pro-am in his hometown — and he barely breaks a sweat dropping 44. And nailing the game winner.
Doc Rivers hopes to see a lot of that next season.
The biggest restricted free agent left on the market is now off the board. Moe Harkless, who had a solid season in his first year in Portland, has agreed to a deal to return to the Blazers for four years, and $40 million, according to a report from The Vertical‘s Shams Charania:
It’s been an expensive offseason for the Blazers, who signed Evan Turner to a four-year, $70 million deal and Festus Ezeli for two years and $16 million, as well as re-signing two more of their own free agents, Allen Crabbe (matching a four-year, $75 million offer sheet from Brooklyn) and Meyers Leonard (four years, $41 million). On Monday, they agreed to a four-year, $106 million max extension with C.J. McCollum that begins in the 2017-18 season.
They’re going to be in the luxury tax now, but after last year’s unexpected playoff run, Blazers GM Neil Olshey has decided to go all-in on this group and see if that success can be replicated. The fit of Turner is still a bit of a question mark, but the Blazers have kept their core together and should still be a playoff team in the Western Conference. If Paul Allen is willing to pay the luxury tax, and there’s nothing to indicate that he’s not, it’s worth it.
When Amar’e Stoudemire signed with the Knicks in 2010, it was supposed to precede bigger things — both for New York and Stoudemire.
But it wasn’t to be.
LeBron and Wade picked the Heat. Stoudemire had only one monster season in New York before being overcome by injuries. After teaming up with Carmelo Anthony, Stoudemire won just one playoff series with the Knicks.
Stoudemire returns to New York, but this time, there are no grand expectations. Just a quiet ending.
NBA great Amar’e Stoudemire announced his retirement as a player in the National Basketball Association today, after signing with the New York Knickerbockers for his final contract in the league.
“I want to thank Mr. Dolan, Phil [Jackson] and Steve [Mills] for signing me so that I can officially retire as a New York Knick,” Stoudemire said. “I came to New York in 2010 to help revitalize this franchise and we did just that. Carmelo [Anthony], Phil and Steve have continued this quest, and with this year’s acquisitions, the team looks playoff-bound once again. Although my career has taken me to other places around the country, my heart had always remained in the Big Apple. Once a Knick, Always a Knick.”
Stoudemire might think of himself as a Knick, but many of us will remember him with the Suns. He spent eight — and most of his best seasons — in Phoenix.
Entering the NBA straight from high school, Stoudemire faced numerous questions about his maturity and readiness. He answered those by winning Rookie of the Year.
Eventually, Stoudemire became the center for Mike D’Antoni’s seven-seconds-or-less Suns, thrashing opponents inside with Steve Nash as a pick-and-roll partner. Stoudemire got a bigger stage in New York, but his body broke down, and he became known for his albatross contract.
He spent the last couple seasons with the Mavericks and Heat, seemingly erasing memories of his early dominance.
Stoudemire has a decently strong Hall of Fame case. At his peak, he was in the running for the league’s best center behind Shaquille O’Neal. Retiring at age 33 won’t give Stoudemire many longevity points, but because he jumped straight from high school, he still played 14 pro seasons.
As distance grows between Stoudemire’s career and the present, we’ll gain perspective and think more about his prime than his decline. History will treat Stoudemire well.
Former NBA commissioner David Stern pitted Sacramento and Seattle against each other. Sacramento made a more lucrative offer, so it kept the Kings.
For that, the Kings are honoring Stern.
The Kings will announce Tuesday that they are naming the street leading to the front door of the new downtown arena in honor of former NBA Commissioner David Stern, whose persistent, decades-long efforts helped keep the franchise in Sacramento.
Officially, the address of the Golden 1 Center – to be submitted to the city Tuesday for approval – is 500 David J. Stern Walk.
“When I learned we would have the option of naming the road, it was a no-brainer for me,” Kings principal owner Vivek Ranadive told The Sacramento Bee on Monday. “There were no other names on my list. David took the NBA to the global level and started the WNBA, but he is about so much more than basketball. He is one of the greatest leaders in the world, and on top of that, the team would not be in Sacramento without David Stern.”