Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are by their nature emotional. This year’s was no different. There were memorable moments, watching Tex Winter get up to the stage, Artis Gilmore finally being recognized, Theresa Edwards’ powerful speech.
Dennis Rodman was Dennis Rodman — raw, emotional, wearing a sequin jacket with his number and saying Pistons and Bulls — and in the end powerful like few others.
“I didn’t play the game for the money. I didn’t play the game to be famous. What you see here is an illusion, that I love to be an individual that is very colorful….
“I could have been anywhere in the world. I could have been dead. I could have been a drug dealer. I could have been homeless, I was homeless. A lot of you guys here, a lot of you guys in the Hall of Fame know what I’m talking about, living in the projects. You just want to get out of the projects. And I did that, but it took a lot of hard work and a lot of bumps along the road…
“People ask if I have any regrets as a basketball player, I have one regret: I wish I was a better father.
Rodman talked about the pain of a dad who made money writing a book about him but never spoke to him. He talked about his mother, how their relationship was strained and he felt bad about that. He also talked about the four men who played the father role for him — Phil Jackson, Jerry Buss, Chuck Daly and James Rich. He thanked Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
We will get up the video soon. You need to see it (with the kids out of the room). But in the end, this was vintage Rodman. Flamboyant, raw and true.
Joel Embiid frustrated, wants more post touches, to play back-to-backs
He wants to be unleashed on the NBA, and he feels he’s being held back.
Part of that is not playing in back-to-backs — Embiid started Friday night against Boston but will sit out by plan Saturday night against the Raptors in Toronto. Embiid knows the plan to help protect a body that has played only 31 games in three seasons before this one and was not cleared for most of training camp, but that doesn’t mean he likes it, as he told Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
“I just want to feel like an NBA player,” Embiid said. “I feel like I’m not an NBA player because I can’t play back-to-back.”
I get his frustration, but can you blame the Sixers for treating the guy like he’s made of glass at this point? Hopefully, later in the season, he can be cleared to play on both ends.
His second frustration came from the loss to the Cavaliers on Friday — he wants more post touches. In the video above he is clear, “I didn’t get the ball enough in the post.”
He’s right here. Embiid had three post-ups all game, one in each of the game’s first three quarters (stat via Synergy Sports). Embiid is efficient in the post — he has shot 9-of-12 on those plays overall this season and the Sixers score 1.33 points per possession when he does. Especially against a team going small — the Cavaliers start Kevin Love at center — Embiid should be fed down low.
Instead, look at his shot chart from Friday night.
Part of this is on him with all the threes, but they have to utilize him better. It’s part of the Sixers growing pains that will come this season.
Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance
NEW YORK (AP)— The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.
Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.
NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.
Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling
This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.
After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverleyin his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.
Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).
Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.