Almost as soon as news got out yesterday evening that the Toronto Raptors had let go of Jay Triano as coach, the rumors started in New York. Particularly from the anti Mike D’Antoni factions.
Maybe the Raptors would come after him and steal him. After all, Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo was the Suns GM when D’Antoni was leading that franchise deep into the playoffs, so…
No. Not going to happen.
For one, Colangelo talked about switching to a more defensive focus. Nobody, not even D’Antoni’s supporters, think he’s a defensive first coach. Secondly, D’Antoni’s agent told the New York Post it’s not happening.
“There’s absolutely no truth to [Mike wanting to go to Toronto],” (Warren) LeGarie said. “It’s amusing.”
According to a Raptors source late last night, Colangelo has no plans to ask the Knicks for permission to speak with D’Antoni.
D’Antoni has not had a lot of talent to work with in New York, and when he finally got some (and had the team playing well) the roster was shook up dramatically mid-season to get Carmelo Anthony.
But next season the pressure is on him — he has talent and it is the last year of his contract. Either he proves he can win with this roster or the Donnie Walsh and the Knicks will look at their options. (No, Phil Jackson is not one of those options.)
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.