Julian Wright refuses to enter game for Raptors, apologizes

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Julian Wright never seems to have understood that the problems he’s faced in his NBA career are not the work of the bogeyman. He’s not the victim of a conspiracy to keep him off the floor. He struggles with basic flow on both sides of the ball and has never been able to apply his considerable athleticism in a meaningful way.

A fresh start in Toronto was supposed to mean that for him. It was a chance to get out of the doghouse in New Orleans and start over. But instead, he’s vanished from sight again. And on Friday, he wound up disappearing on purpose.

Wright was told by head coach Jay Triano to enter the game during a blowout to the Warriors Friday night, and Wright responded by staying on the bench, according to Triano. On Saturday, he apologized to his coach and the team:

Wright addressed the coaches and his teammates in a game-day meeting earlier today.  He apologized for his actions but said “everyone understood” his frustration.

“The best way to put it is this was not characteristic of me,” said Wright.  “That’s why I think this is (now) a thing of the past.”

Wright, who is the Raptors union rep, wouldn’t say whether or not he regretted his decision, simply saying that things have been handled internally and the team is just going to “finish strong”.

He has not been suspended … he is at the arena and is getting set to get dressed for the game.

Whether or not Wright has been fined by the Raptors is being kept internal as well.

via FAN590 – Blogs – The Rap » Blog Archive » Wright Apologizes.

Wright pulling a stunt like this, regardless of circumstances, isn’t going to sit well with Raptors’ management. They took a chance on Wright to turn around his career which has been underwhelming in every aspect. It’s one thing for established veterans to pull stunts like this, like the situation in Detroit, and even then it draws criticism. Wright is flirting with ruining what may be his last chance for a productive career with an attitude like that.

(HT: HoopsHype)

Watch the 10 best plays from Andrew Wiggins’ 2016-17 season (VIDEO)

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This upcoming season will be a huge test for Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins.

After a couple years of steady improvement, it appeared that Wiggins started to level off in his third season. Yes, he increased his 3-point shooting percentage but dips in his free-throw rate and VORP were a tad disappointing considering his usage even as he contributed more points per-game. Many in Minnesota expected him to be a superstar, and now it’s possible he ends up simply as a perennial rotation guy.

Still, the new season for the Timberwolves should be pretty interesting as they have added new pieces to the roster, including former Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler.

The video above includes 10 of Wiggins’s best plays from the 2016-17 NBA season. Hopefully Wiggins will be able to build on this type of play as the roster around him and gets better and expectations rise.

Report: Clippers to offer GM job to Thunder assistant Michael Winger

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Doc Rivers no longer has the hammer on trades and player moves in Los Angeles, that has been wisely handed over to Lawrence Frank, the team’s new president of basketball operations. He has Jerry West as a consultant — who will have the owner’s ear — working with him.

Frank now has a new right-hand guy, one of the better respected, up-and-coming front office people in the league, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The LA Clippers have offered Oklahoma City Thunder executive Michael Winger its general manager’s job, league sources told ESPN. A deal could be finalized soon, league sources said…

Winger, 37, has spent the past seven years with Oklahoma City, working closely with Executive Vice President and GM Sam Presti.

ESPN’s Thunder reporter Royce Young chipped in with this.

This is a good hire by the Clippers, bringing a smart young executive from a well-respected organization into the fold to help energize their front office.

This past summer the Clippers lost Chris Paul (traded to Houston, because he was leaving as a free agent otherwise), locked up Blake Griffin long-term, and now have to decide on a future direction. DeAndre Jordan has a player option next summer, do the Clippers want to max him out or move another direction? The Clippers need to inject some younger, more athletic players into their roster and move out of the win-now, trade youth for vets mode Rivers had them in. The Clippers have done a poor job developing young talent and using that to supplement their stars (something teams like the Warriors and Spurs have done well over the years).

Winger should help change that dynamic.

LeBron James’ best play from every game in 2016-17 (VIDEO)

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I’m not sure it’s possible to argue that LeBron James is not the most important player in the NBA, even in 2016-17.

Yes, others have won the MVP award in years past, but each and every postseason you understand just how important LeBron is to every roster he is on. NBA players even voted him as the player they would most secretly want on their team.

That’s why it’s pretty easy to galvanize that opinion when you watch a 20-minute highlight video of LeBron’s best plays from each game of the past season.

Summer is upon us and even preseason seems like a long way off. Thankfully, we will be able to get to see plays like this here in what feels like the near future.

C.J. McCollum’s cab driver had some hilarious opinions on today’s NBA

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I think we’ve all been in the situation that C.J. McCollum found himself in recently.

Whether you are a hardcore NBA fan, a blogger, a professional writer, or a basketball player, when folks interested in the league find out about your passion, they often try to connect with you about it. Which is great! Especially as sometimes you get cats like the one who was driving the Portland Trail Blazers star guard in the video below.

Now, I have to warn you about some NSFW language, but what the guy had to say was pretty great. Hilarious, even.

The topics ranged from superstars being on the same team, to hating the Golden State Warriors, to the future success of the Blazers themselves.

Again, some extremely NSFW language ahead but also some serious laughs to be had.

Via Instagram:

CJ McCollum's drive to the airport was something. 😂 (via @3jmccollum)

A post shared by Sports Videos (@houseofhighlights) on

I’m dying. This guy is the best.