And the NBA draft combine continues its evolution into the NFL combine. Complete with the top players not really doing anything.
Kyrie Irving, the presumptive No. 1 overall pick out of Duke, will skip all the athletic testing and drills at the NBA Combine, according to a tweet from ESPN’s Chad Ford. That combine is taking place now and for the next few days in Chicago (and can be seen on ESPNU and NBA TV).
This is new for the NBA. Guys have skipped out on the drills done on Thursday but John Wall did the Friday athletic testing, as did Blake Griffin a couple years ago. But the best players not risking their draft status and only working out in very controlled environments for teams is a staple of the NFL draft process and you’re starting to see that more and more in the NBA. As much as the agents can control that, anyway.
It’s not going to matter, in this draft Irving should go No. 1 and Cleveland wants a point guard. So it’s done, basically.
But expect the trend of top prospects skipping the drills to grow, if the NFL combine is any example.
I like the Knicks’ offseason moves. Well, not blowing the meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge before it ever started — you say the right things and take him to a nice dinner because that is the kind of elite player you need to try to land. Take the meeting.
However, bringing in Robin Lopez and Arron Afflalo were smart pickups, and I like the Kristaps Porzingis draft pick more than many (although we need a couple of years to see how good he will really be). Combine that with a healthy Carmelo Anthony and…
The Knicks suck less. They aren’t good, but they aren’t embarrassing. And that is step one, as I discuss with Jenna Corrado in this latest PBT Extra.
So far, the only substantive accounts of the Matt Barnes-Derek Fisher altercation have come from anonymous sources.
The Knicks coach has deflected questions.
But Barnes is giving his account, at least of the lead-up.
Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
It’s completely understandable that Barnes would act to ensure his children’s welfare.
And let’s say everything he said is true. It still leaves important questions unanswered.
Did Barnes – as he reportedly texted a friend he did – beat up Fisher and spit on his estranged wife, Gloria Govan? If so, why did Barnes deem that necessary to protect kids?