With all the movings and goings on in free agency, every team has had concerns about their star moving on. The Magic are trying to get ahead of that speeding train by locking up Dwight Howard to a longterm extension. In years past, the only question about stars re-signing was if the team was willing to commit to the max money. But the Miami Heat, even as they struggle through the first ten games, have changed things.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Dwight Howard is “not automatic” to sign an extension this summer. Their sources say he might wait, possibly until he enters free agency, simply based on his desire to win a championship. Howard apparently wants to see whether or not he’ll determine he needs further help than what the Magic have. The Magic’s playoff performance this spring will also impact the situation. The Magic have money coming off the books with Vince Carter, and Rashard Lewis’ contract is at least within sight of ending, even if it’s still unmovable. Jameer Nelson has shown he can be a terrific complimentary player, but no one on the Magic is in the level of what the Heat have, of what Boston or LA has. He doesn’t have that dominant partner to draw attention.
So Howard will wait and see if he needs to seek the possibility of going elsewhere. Losing Howard would of course be devastating, as devastating as losing Shaq was in the previous decade. Of course, if the Heat were to fall flat on their face, that might send the kind of message needed that superstars that handcuff your team can’t get you to the promised land. Either way, it’s another sign that we’ve entered an era where stars not only want the best, they want the best on their terms. They want their championship cake and to eat it with a golden fork.
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.