Brandon Roy says he’s not in any pain. And he’s pretty excited about it.

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Brandon Roy had that one fleeting moment. He was back on top, leading the Blazers to a huge comeback playoff win over a higher seed, making good on all that promise,  and showing everyone he can overcome his injuries. It was a great day for Roy, for the Blazers, and their fans.

Then reality came back, Roy couldn’t put in significant minutes because of his injury issues and the Mavericks womped them on the way to a championship.

But Roy’s not done with his career and is using the lockout to get healthy. In an interview with CBSSports.com, Roy did drop one interesting bit of knowledge. He’s pain free. From CBSSports.com:

“I’m doing good, I’m doing great,” Roy said. “Working out, keeping my weight down. And starting to play a little basketball this week. Enjoying the summer, really trying to take my time and keep improving. I’m healthy. I’m in a position where I’m not battling any soreness or anything, so I feel like I can start improving, getting better with my game. I’m excited.”

Roy said he is lifting weights, getting shots up and playing in some light games, with plans to increase that workload like usual as the summer progresses.

“I’ll start turning it up more, playing more competitively, as we get into August,” Roy said. “Really no room for it now. Really just trying to fine-tune some things and just get better. I’m excited that I’m not in any pain and I can just play and not have any pressure in having to deal with the knees, just go out there and hoop.”

via Healthy, hopeful Roy sits out charity game – CBSSports.com.

Roy’s health is a big question mark, and will continue to be for the rest of his career. But decisions like not playing in the Seattle exhibition he attended yesterday will help him to extend his career. There is only so much that can be done, but Roy’s at least shown that he’s not going down without a fight. A lengthy offseason during the lockout will help him to rest up and strengthen what he needs to. He’s got to keep the weight off to limit the strain on his knees, but with the right regimen he can make some serious progress.

You would hate to see Roy end up as one of those players constantly trying to cling to when they were healthy, in denial of who they are and what they can do. If the new CBA grants an amnesty clause to the teams allowing them to ditch a contract, Roy’s a pretty likely target given the length and size of his deal. He needs to make sure he makes it worth it to the Blazers or whatever team he winds up with by limiting the friction with his coach over playing time. Crying may make him popular, but accepting reality will make him a better player. It’s still good to hear that his pain’s limited and he’s doing better.

He still has those moments, after all.

Report: Knicks to interview Kenny Smith for head-coaching job

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The Knicks are casting a wide net in their coaching search.

It’ll apparently include a familiar, though surprising, name.

ESPN:

TNT analyst Kenny Smith will interview for the New York Knicks’ head-coaching job on Friday, a source told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

A quality organization, the Rockets, interviewed Smith (in 2016, before hiring Mike D’Antoni). So, this isn’t proof of the Knicks’ oddball thinking. (There are plenty of better examples, if you wish).

Steve Kerr opened the door for former players to go straight from TV to being an NBA head coach without having any coaching experience. He’s been a smash hit with the Warriors.

But Kerr was also the Suns’ general manager before Golden State hired him. Smith has no front-office experience.

So, it’s tough to judge Smith, whose role on television is more to entertain than inform (though he does both). He’ll have to really wow in his interview to get the job.

But at least he has that opportunity.

Pacers coach Nate McMillan slips and falls while arguing call (video)

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Nate McMillan slipped up in his handling of Victor Oladipo‘s early fouls during the Pacers’ Game 2 loss to the Cavaliers last night.

Then, the Indiana coach literally slipped while arguing that LeBron James should have been called for offensively fouling Lance Stephenson.

LeBron James: Reporter warned me about question on Gregg Popovich’s wife before live TV interview

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In her on-court interview with LeBron James following the Cavaliers’ Game 2 win over the Pacers last night, TNT sideline reporter Allie LaForce asked him about the death of Gregg Popovich’s wife.

LeBron appeared emotional as he gathered his thoughts.

That prompted some to criticize LaForce for ambushing LeBron on a sensitive subject on live TV. But that’s not what happened.

Uninterrupted:

LeBron:

I’m not on social media right now, but I was made aware through some friends through texts that a question was asked to me postgame, and a lot of people feel I was blindsided. That is absolutely false. Allie LaForce told me that she was going to ask the question and if it was OK.

And once I started talking about it, once we were on air, actually my emotions kind of took over. And that was just my emotions coming straight from my heart about the late Erin Popovich.

It’s unfortunate. It’s a tragic loss. My thoughts, my prayers, once again goes out to the Popovich family, to Gregg, to the Spurs family, to the whole Spurs fan base.

And also guys, please get off Allie LaForce’ back, because she followed the proper protocol and she warned me. So, get off her back, man. She’s very professional, and she does a great job at her work.

Like I said, thoughts and prayers to the heavens above. We all know the man above never makes mistakes, even when we question it. But it’s a sad, tragic time right now for the NBA family, and we’re all praying and hoping for the best.

It would have been surprising if LaForce hadn’t done that. Somewhere between nearly nobody and absolutely nobody in her position is trying to embarrass players.

PBT Extra: If Portland is going to turn series around it starts with Damian Lillard

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This was the year the Trail Blazers were going to break through. They were defending better as a team. There was some depth on offense. And Damian Lillard was playing at a level that will get him on many voters’ MVP ballots.

Instead, they are down 0-2 to Anthony Davis and New Orleans, having dropped both games at home to open the series. Portland is on the verge of being bounced in the first round for the third time in four years.

If Portland is going to turn this series around, it starts with Lillard, something I discuss in this latest PBT Extra. C.J. McCollum needs to get more buckets, Jusuf Nurkic needs to contribute more on both ends, but for Portland it all begins and ends with Lillard and it’s on him to start the turnaround.