Kevin Garnett is a private person. Not unreasonable, but on a team that now has Nate Robinson and Shaquille O’Neal, it stands as a stark contrast.
The KG we see is the one on the court — focused and intense. He makes no apologies for that. And if you want to use another, more direct (and not printable on this site) word for it, he told WEEI in Boston that he is fine with that (via Sports Radio Interviews).
“I’d think I was an ass%&@$, because I’m misunderstood. I’m serious. I’m not out on the court making friends. I’m not out there patting guys on the back. I’m trying to bust yo’ ass, period, point blank. When I hit the floor, I’m a certain kind of way, and I never have any excuses for that.”
The intensely competitive Garnett also talked about losing Game 7 and where he went emotionally after that.
“Very dark, to be honest, dark. ‘Just leave me alone, let me be my myself. I don’t want to deal with anything right now. Let me just be in a dark place.’ Just the way I replay the game over and over in my mind, trying to get a resolution to some type of place to where you can settle with it. I never found it, but that’s what it is. I say it’s fuel to the fire.
This season plenty of people have the Heat getting in the way of the Celtics getting back to or winning the Finals. KG says he doesn’t know because he hasn’t seen how the Heat come together yet.
“I don’t know. We haven’t seen them play so we don’t know what their style is. We don’t know what they look like. When they go through something we don’t know how they’re going to react. When they lose or when someone gets hurt or when someone goes down, or when someone didn’t get their shots their night, there’s a ton of stuff that you can point at. But the true essence in a team is when, can you bring something else to the table vs. what you’re known for. Can you impact the game a different way? Are you actually enjoying the experience? Sometimes you get caught up in the bigger picture that you need to get some small detail that makes your team in the first place. You know, I’ve known Paul since I was 15 and I’ve known Ray since I was 14 and we’ve known each other and I felt like for the most part we had all been established in what we had been doing. And the time when we met up it was perfect, I felt like we were more established players. Everybody coming to Boston at the time we were coming was focused on one thing. It wasn’t about all the stars. It wasn’t about placement over here, first team, second team. We just came to Boston to win.”
Well played Stephen Curry, well played.
He was joking around with Justin Timberlake at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe this weekend (you can watch it on NBC, check your local listings) when Curry poked a little fun at himself by throwing his mouthguard.
Last time he did that he got a $25,000 fine. This time he got some laughs.
LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and a number of Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets players wore “I can’t breathe” T-shirts in warmups after the death of Eric Garner in New York. LeBron and his then Heat teammates wore hoodies for a photo shoot after the Travon Martin shooting. NBA players have made other protest fashion statements, with no repercussions from the league.
But when WNBA players wore black warmup shirts in support of Black Lives Matter and other anti-violence protests, the WNBA came down with fines for the Indiana Fever, New York Liberty and Phoenix Mercury ($5,000) and players involved ($500) for uniform violations. That led to a lot of backlash — including among WNBA players. Some refused to answer basketball questions with the media after recent games.
Saturday, the WNBA rescinded the fines. As they should have.
The women’s players’ union supported the move, via a statement from the director of operations Terri Jackson.
“We are pleased that the WNBA has made the decision to rescind the fines the league handed down to the players on the Fever, Liberty, and Mercury. We look forward to engaging in constructive dialogue with the league to ensure that the players’ desire to express themselves will continue to be supported.”
I want a league — for men or women — where player’s individuality and statements can be made — I don’t want the NBA to be the button-down, cookie cutter NFL. Let the players be themselves. And if players want to weigh in on the biggest social issue of our time, they should. Without fear of repercussion.
Good on the WNBA for coming around to that.
Meyers Leonard could be poised for a big season in Portland. His minutes jumped last season because he provided spacing. With Portland adding Evan Turner on the wing to go with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, any big who can stretch the floor is going to get run, and Leonard has turned himself into a stretch four.
Leonard just hopes he can show what he can do at the start of the season — he’s still recovering from shoulder surgery. Here is what he told the Associated Press.
“My hope is to be ready right around the start of the season,” he said. “It’s a progression, first introducing rebounding, grabbing stuff overhead, then one-on-one, three-on-three, extending to the full court. We’ll see. You just never know.”
Leonard had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder in April (they could have used him in the playoffs), and the timeline then was to have him back around the start of the season. Before he was shut down, he proved enough to get a four-year, $41 million contract extension with the Trail Blazers this summer.
The Trail Blazers will start Al-Farouq Aminu at the four, and Moe Harkless can certainly play there too (I’m far less sold on the future of Noah Vonleh). Leonard wants to get back before someone starts to steal any of his minutes.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) The New Orleans Pelicans say they have signed free-agent forward Terrence Jones and re-signed guard Tim Frazier.
A person familiar with the negotiations says Jones, a four-year veteran, signed a one-year deal Friday for the NBA minimum of about $1.14 million, while Frazier has signed a two-year deal worth about $4.1 million. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Pelicans have not released contract terms.
The 6-foot-9 Jones, who was Anthony Davis‘ teammates on Kentucky’s 2012 national championship team, has spent his first four NBA seasons with Houston, posting career averages of 10.4 points and 5.8 rebounds.
Frazier played in 16 games for New Orleans late last season, averaging 13.1 points, 7.5 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 29.3 minutes per game.