“I told the guys to [appreciate Lamar Odom being given the Sixth Man of the Year award], because this might be his last game in front of the home fans this year.”
– A smiling Phil Jackson, who never lets a disappointing loss and 1-0 deficit dampen his wry sense of humor. Apart from that, Jackson said he liked his team’s focus coming into game two better than he liked it in game one, that he doesn’t expect a returning Steve Blake to be limited in any way, and that their main defensive priority will be defending the pick-and-roll better. Jackson is also wearing a different one of his 13 championships to each game (with the exception of his Knicks ring, which no longer fits him), and said that he hopes to be able to wear them all “before the Lakers get eliminated.”
According to Jackson, the Hornets ran over 70 screen-rolls in Sunday’s win, and the Lakers defended “more than half” of them incorrectly. The Lakers are Hornets are set to begin the second game of their series at 10:30 EST/7:30 PST.
First it was Darryl Dawkins. Then it was Moses Malone.
Two all-time great players who recently died — and at t0o young an age, 58 and 60 respectively — from undiagnosed heart conditions. Even before that, recognizing the issue the NBA players union and the league itself were setting up supplemental health coverage to provide cardiac screening for retired players, something ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan recently broke.
The joint effort between union executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — at a time when there still may be potentially acrimonious labor negotiations looming for their sides — is intended to ease the health concerns of its retired players.
Roberts said action from the players’ association on providing screening for its retired players is “imminent.”
“I wish I could give you an exact timetable, but we have to make sure all the components are in place,” Roberts told ESPN recently. “I will tell you we hope to have something sooner than later.”
The Cardiologists are affiliated with the NBA already, and some of the money will come from the league, while the union is both pitching in a chunk of cash and is the one organizing this, according to the report.
It’s good to Roberts and Silver working together on this. While you’d like to think this would be the kind of no-brainer move that the league and union would work together on, in the past the relationship didn’t always facilitate this sort of cooperation even on the obvious.
I’d like to think this bodes well for future labor talks, but I’m not willing to completely draw that parallel.
Somebody is in midseason form.
Stephen Curry put up 30 on Portland in a preseason game Thursday night, hitting six threes and getting to the line 15 times over the course of his less than 26 minutes. It was quite a show.
Portland won the game 118-101 behind 25 points from Allen Crabbe and 22 from Damian Lillard. Not a lot of defense in this one but it was fun to watch.