Kevin Durant dropped 44 in the Drew-Goodman showdown Saturday and the Drew League won 135-134. But, as is custom for exhibition games in which the players are not making much if anything at all in a hastily organized game versus an NBA game for which the players get paid millions and which drives the emotions of millions of fans, the players really care. Immediately afterwards, Brandon Jennings tweeted the game ended on a bad call, and demanded a rematch.
And naturally, Durant, never one to back down, immediately said he was up for it. So did John Wall.
There’s talk of an L.A. rematch September 10th. More interesting than that? TruthAboutIt.Net reports that Dino Smiley, Drew League commissioner, said after the game that Kobe Bryant might be joining the festivities for the rematch. That would ramp things up to a whole other level. The hype for that game would be out of control, to the point where it’s probably not a good idea for Bryant to commit to it before the day of the game.
If Bryant does agree, Smiley needs to get a better media distribution deal, some sponsors, and actually make this thing professional. It’s too big of an opportunity. Use the money on the park, use the money on the community, but people are desperate for basketball with the lockout almost definitely going to cost games. Taking advantage of an opportunity like that is key, even if Bryant doesn’t show up.
Hey, maybe this time there won’t be a massive over-selling of tickets or huge problems with the live stream. We can hope, right?
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.
For two decades, Kobe Bryant saw everyone and everything as an obstacle to overcome: The Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic, Celtics, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Smush Parker, a torn Achilles. It didn’t matter. Kobe’s work ethic and drive had him rising above it all.
His focus hasn’t changed now. Kobe was on the Jim Rome show, and the topic of the new-look Warriors with Kevin Durant came up, along with the “woe is me” attitude of some players (and plenty of owners and GMs).
“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” he said. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”
Easier said than done to make that happen, but that attitude is the only one to have if you think you have a chance. You can be sure LeBron James is thinking that way and telling his Cavaliers teammates the same.
We’re going to miss Kobe.
This news is just sickening. In a world with just too much sickening news.
According to NBC 5 in Chicago (which spoke to police), Dwyane Wade‘s first cousin Nykea Aldridge was pushing a stroller down the street when she was shot and killed as an innocent in the crossfire of a gang shooting.
The 32-year-old woman, whom family identified as Nykea Aldridge, was apparently the unintended victim of a gang shooting, police said. She was walking around 3:30 p.m. in the 6300 block of South Calumet when two males approached another male and opened fire, police said.
Wade tweeted this.
Aldridge was on her way to a local school to register her kids (they had just moved) when the shooting took place. There has been a rash of gang and gun violence in Chicago in the past year, and Dwyane’s mother Jolinda Wade had just been on a panel on ESPN’s Undefeated talking about it.
Wade is coming to play for his hometown Chicago Bulls this season.
Our thoughts are with Nykea Aldridge’s family and friends.