Joe Johnson just received one of the biggest contracts in the NBA. (Quick side note, here’s a list of all the people who think that deal was fair and equitable: Joe Johnson, the Hawks organization, Joe Johnson’s mom. That’s it.) And he received that contract for shooting a whole lot (and not that efficiently). But he’s taking his role as a leader on the Hawks seriously.
The Atlanta-Journal Constitution spoke with Jeff Teague, who said that Johnson has talked to him about being more aggressive. Teague says Johnson told him:
“‘Play your game. Don’t just defer to me a lot.’ ” Teague said J.J. told
him the other day on the court. “When he said that, that helped me a
lot. I’m going to be a lot more aggressive.”
Johnson confirmed that to the AJC, saying he told Teague he has to be more aggressive, as well as a leader for the Hawks. The second charge will likely be quite a bit more difficult as Teague is still a second year player trying to take the starting job at point from Mike Bibby who’s been entrenched as a starter in his career for a decade. But the winds of change are coming, and Teague showed a lot in Las Vegas for summer league to suggest he’s ready to make that jump.
With Johnson in his corner, he could make the jump, and that might help the Hawks stay near the top of the Eastern Conference, which everyone forgets they landed the third seed in last season.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.
Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.
Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.
Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.
The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.
BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.
The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.
In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.
Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.
New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.
That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.
First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.
The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.
Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.
That seemed odd.
In fact, it’s unprecedented.
That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron James‘ cachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.
Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.