It’s one of NBA-heads’ favorite times of the year. The release of the schedule. And this year, the NBA is capitalizing on that level of interest and making it into a bit of an event.
Tuesday night, August 3rd, NBATV will host a one-hour special to announce its opening night, Christmas Day, and Martin Luther King. Jr. Day schedules.
It’s a move that touches on how the NBA is learning to harness every conceivable opportunity to market itself. The challenge, naturally, will be containing any of the games, which annually have been leaked to multiple beat writers around the globe. There’s always a staffer or management source willing to let a reporter know his fall schedule. The NBA will have its hands full trying to contain it.
In fact, NBCSports.com has acquired an advance copy of what the league is trying to schedule for opening night, though they are having some logistic problems.
7:00 EST: LA Lakers at Miami Heat
9:30 EST: Miami Heat at LA Lakers
3:00 EST: LA Lakers at Boston Celtics
5:30 EST: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat
8:00 EST: Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat vs. LA Lakers (and Orlando if they can throw them in)
Now, you may think there’s A. no way that teams can play multiple times in a day and that B. the time-space continuum prevents teams from traveling several hours instantaneously, but we live in a world where Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James have teamed up. Anything can happen in this zany NBA!
We’ll have details on the actual schedule release for you throughout the week.
The No. 28 pick, R.J. Hunter became the first first-rounder from last year’s draft to fall out of the NBA when the Celtics waived him.
He won’t be out of the league for long.
The Bulls, the only team with an open roster spot, appear close to adding him.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Hunter belongs in the league. Though he must knock down shots far more reliably than he has, Hunter has potential as an outside shooter with complementary ball skills to provide value. Boston just had more NBA-caliber players than roster spots.
He’s far from a lock to succeed in the NBA, but I value Hunter about as much as Tony Snell – whom the Bulls just traded for an upgrade at backup point guard in Michael Carter-Williams. That they could so cheaply replace Snell makes that deal look even better.
Gerald Green was drafted by the Celtics and spent two seasons with them before being traded (in the Kevin Garnett deal).
After stints with the Timberwolves, Rockets, Mavericks, Nets, Pacers, Suns and Heat, he signed with Boston this summer.
Think he’s happy to be back?
Abby Chin of CSN Mid-Atlantic:
Joel Embiid couldn’t endear himself by playing in an NBA game, because he’s been too injured to do that in two pro seasons.
He’s had to resort to witty nicknames, practice-gym dunks, fun-loving stunts, attention-seeking tweets and self-deprecating humor.
Embiid is scheduled to make his NBA debut tonight, when the 76ers play the Thunder. Soon, we’ll judge him more for what he does on the court.
But, first, Embiid went out with one last bang of a quote.
Embiid, via Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated:
“You know how I learned to shoot?” Embiid says. “I watched white people. Just regular white people. They really put their elbow in and finish up top. You can find videos of them online.”
LeBron James might be the greatest athlete in NBA history.
But even he has shown signs of decline at age 31.
He has gotten multiple back injections and even took a break during the season to rehabilitate in Miami. The forward has treated the last two regular-seasons as glorified warmups for the playoffs.
Just where does LeBron stand physically?
Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue gave quite the answer.
Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:
Lue said James, at 31, “had a chance to get tested this summer and they said he had a body of a 19-year old. Maybe he’s getting younger. Benjamin Button.”
It was a little perplexing because neither James, nor his personal trainer, Mike Mancias, nor general manager David Griffin had any real idea what test Lue was talking about.
This reminds me of Derrick Rose attributing the Knicks and Warriors being super teams to “They’re saying.” Who is they, and what are they smoking?
That LeBron, Mancias and Griffin won’t cop to knowing is quite revealing.
LeBron does not have the body of a 19-year-old. Years of other-worldly play and long playoff runs has taken a toll.
Because he’s declining from such a high peak, LeBron should remain elite for a while. His athleticism might even fluctuate as it trends downward overall.
But Father Time is undefeated, and LeBron didn’t just get a mid-career reset to his rookie physical form.