Brook Lopez is not a terrible rebounder. He’s just a terrible rebounder for a guy who is 7-feet tall and spends his time hanging out near the basket. He’s averaging an uninspiring 8.6 rebounds per game.
Or, look at it this way: so far this season, Lopez is bringing down about 10.4 percent of the available rebounds when he is on the floor. Which is down from previous years (he was at a solid 15.4 percent as a rookie). For comparison, Kevin Love is at 23.5 percent and most traditional starting centers are in the upper teens.
In a fit of either honesty or Phil Jackson style through-the-media motivation, New Jersey Nets general manager Billy King said he never expects Lopez to average 10 rebounds a game because he doesn’t have the desire, as reported by the New York Daily News.
“I don’t think Brook is ever going to be a 10-rebound guy. Rik Smits, I think, at his best was a seven-rebound guy. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, as great a scorer as he was, he wasn’t a great rebounder. Some guys have a knack for it. Some guys don’t,” King said. “I think he could get better at it, I just don’t think it’s something where he’s going to be a 10-, 12-rebound guy a night. I just don’t think it’s in him.”
You don’t see Smits and Abdul-Jabbar in the same sentence all that often. King tried to soften the blow by saying every team still wants Lopez.
“If you do your polls and talk to 29 other GMs, I guarantee you 29 of them that would say, ‘If you don’t want him, we’ll take him.”
NEW YORK (AP) — Craig Sager’s fight with leukemia will prevent the basketball sideline reporter form covering the Rio Olympics for NBC.
NBC said Thursday in a statement that the 65-year-old Sager is preparing for a third bone marrow transplant at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Sager was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2014 and announced in March that he was no longer in remission.
The Rio Games would have been Sager’s fifth Olympics.
Sager has worked for Turner Sports for 34 years. At the ESPY Awards this month, Vice President Joe Biden presented Sager with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.
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.