Rajon Rondo was back on a basketball court being swarmed by defenders Tuesday.
It wasn’t exactly the same as the last time we saw him — this time it was the public court at Malcolm X Park in Boston and the defenders were kids who use the park, swarming around their Celtic hero. Last season Red Bull donated $500 for every steal Rondo made to refurbish courts at parks in the city. Rondo’s thefts generated $76,500.
Tuesday he was out for a dedication and talked about a few issues with A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. Starting with his elbow, which suffered a gruesome injury in the playoff series against the Heat.
“I had a check-up today (Tuesday),” Rondo said. “It’s getting there. It’s still a little swollen, but other than that, no problem. I’ll continue to work on it.”
Rondo added that he’s able to fully extend the arm now, “so right now I’m fine.” He added, “I can play a little bit. Not too much contact. I did three push-ups today. I’m starting back to working out.”
That’s good news. The question is come the fall will Rondo and his elbow be in Boston getting ready for the season or in Kentucky, where he will re-enroll and work towards his degree (and workout with the Wildcats team) if the lockout drags out and games are missed. Like you and me, Rondo isn’t sure how it will all break out, but he’s not optimistic.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Rondo said. “I obviously can’t speak too much on it. It’s quiet right now. So [I] don’t know.”
At least we know Boston youth are getting to play on a nice new court thanks in part to Rondo.
The second round was supposed to be when things got exciting. Instead, the San Antonio Spurs put on an absolute clinic at home, blowing out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 124-92 to take a 1-0 series lead.
Just about everything went in for San Antonio, particularly for LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, who combined for 63 points. How dominant were they?
Aldridge in particular got anything he wanted against the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s stars were quiet, with Kevin Durant scoring just 16 points and Russell Westbrook 14. San Antonio controlled the game from the start and Oklahoma City never recovered from the opening punch.
It’s hard to imagine Durant and Westbrook are this ineffective again, and hopefully the rest of this series will be a little more competitive. But the Spurs did what the Spurs do, and did nothing to shake the feeling that they’re the favorites to win the west, now that Stephen Curry‘s status is unknown.
ATLANTA (AP) A year ago, Atlanta’s magical season ended with a resounding sweep by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final.
Now, the Hawks have another shot at LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Feeling confident after an opening-round victory over Boston, the Hawks returned to practice Saturday to begin preparations for the best-of-seven series.
Game 1 is Monday night in Cleveland.
The Hawks were the top-seeded team in the East last season after a record 60-win campaign. It didn’t do them much good against the Cavaliers, who steamrolled Atlanta in four straight games.
Even though they slipped to 48 wins and fourth in the conference, the Hawks actually sound a bit more confident heading into this matchup, largely because of their improved defense and rebounding.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.