What do LaMarcus Aldridge and a hula hoop have in common?
They both need great hips to work correctly.
Blazers assistant coach Bill Bayno spoke with The Oregonian about Aldridge’s offseason development plan. In the interview, Bayno spoke about the work Aldridge has put into his game, including adding muscle without losing quickness, post-moves and the importance to put the inside shoulder into the defender, and counter-moves to create space for his pull-up jumper (one of the stronger parts of his game). Of course, he also mentioned the importance for Aldridge to work on his physical, ahem, assets in the post. From the Oregonian:
“I think it’s not so much — he plays in the post, it’s just adding some
more moves to that post game. It’s all predicated on being physical and
using his body. In the post ups, I call it ass-hips. Where he’s
stepping into the defense and really putting his butt and his hips on
the defender to get him to either react or commit one way or the other.”
It makes sense. You’ll notice that Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal, all the dominant post-players played using their lower half to dominate the opponent. But it’s most notable that Aldridge has put this kind of work in to his game. With Greg Oden a gigantic, neon, flaming question mark and Brandon Roy taking a step back last season, if the Blazers are going to return to being considered a rising contender, they need Aldridge to take a step forward and become a higher-level player.
All of that starts with working on the physical tests he has to overcome. And to do that he needs to pass hips first.
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.