The NBA equivalent of high school drama: Silver hangs out with agency head

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All this is missing is some guy who knows this girl who saw Billy Hunter pass out at 31 Flavors last night. (It seemed pretty serious.)

Okay, so Adam Silver goes to the US Open last week, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN. No biggie. He had a long day in negotiations, wanted to unwind, attends a tennis tournament. No biggie. Except that he ran into a friend there and hung out with him. Who’s that? Oh, Casey Wasserman who is part owner of Wasserman Media Group, which among other things, represents athletes. They bought notable NBA agent Arn Tellem’s firm and all his clients. Thing is, the NBA has a strict policy regarding any NBA representative from top level executives all the way down to an assistant team video coordinator being barred from speaking with or hanging out with a player or anyone associated with the players. Which you would assume includes agents.

Now, Wasserman manages a wide array of talent with only a tiny percentage held in the NBA. But if the pairing seems a bit odd, it’s not just you. Happy Walters quietly represents a pretty stellar collection of talent, and he wasn’t exactly thrilled with the two chilling. Walters later followed up on Broussard’s reports on Twitter, saying:

Even odder… The NBA has implemented a rule that forbids all employees, NBA team employees (coaches, trainers, front office execs), from having any contact with a player, or anyone “affiliated” with a player. Agents are at the top of this list. The rules must not apply 2 the NBA executive offices as Wasserman owns the largest Basketball agency. Things that make you go hmmmmm……

Burn.

The difference of course is that Silver’s at the top of the food chain. Is it hypocritical for the NBA to make a rule regarding all its employees and then say its top people don’t have to obey them? Maybe. But it’s not like you’re concerned Silver is giving away strategies or harming his side by talking to someone whose business is marginally affected by the lockout. It’s not like Silver is compromising anything by watching  a tennis match. All this really does is show how silly the overall rule is. Neither side is going to compromise their side’s efforts. Employees don’t want to get fired, players don’t want to lose any more money than they’ll have to in this deal.

In short, people should be able to sit together at a tennis match without it being a big deal. This isn’t high school. Though if it is, Billy Hunter is totally breaking up with the agents. He’s going steady with Derek Fisher.

Kobe, LeBron, other NBA players react to President Trump’s stunning speech

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When President Donald Trump doubled-down on his support of the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who conducted a racist rally in Charlottesville, making a false moral equivalency with protestors of racism, it had television news anchors stunned, drew condemnation from both sides of the political aisle, and left most Americans queasy.

Count NBA players among those disgusted by the president’s comments.

That includes Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

(Note: As part of that press conference, Trump said he owns one of the largest wineries in the nation right near Charlottesville.)

On Monday and earlier Tuesday — before the president’s latest salvo of stupidity but after the “unite the right” rally to “protect” a statue of a man who fought to keep slavery in place, where violence the protesters courted broke out and left one woman, Heather Heyer, dead — the Bucks’ Jabari Parker took part in an anti-racism rally, and LeBron had said this about Charlotte and moving the country forward.

Chris Paul had this to say before the latest press conference.

Maybe the only good thing to come of all this, you can now own a T-shirt of vintage Team USA Vince Carter dunking over Trump.

Report: Grizzlies about to hire Tayshaun Prince for front office job

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Tayshaun Prince spent 14 years in the NBA as a long, defensive minded wing, one of the early “3&D” guys but one who, in his prime, could be more than that. He won a ring in Detroit in 2004 and was a four-time NBA All-Defense selection.

Now he’s stepping into the front office.

The Grizzlies, one of his former teams, is about to hire him, reports Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Retired forward Tayshaun Prince will soon be named special assistant to Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace, according to several NBA sources…

Prince is widely considered a big influence in NBA locker rooms and operated as a calming voice with Grizzlies players.

The Grizzlies believe Prince will bring a unique voice to front office decisions.

Prince came to the Grizzlies in the Rudy Gay trade and made a real impression there — and elsewhere — as a locker room leader and rational voice. He was in the NBA until last season.

This could and should be a good hire for a Grizzlies team transitioning out of the “grit n’ grind” era (albeit slowly, they could still bring Tony Allen back). The best GMs don’t go it alone but get information and perspectives from a lot of sources, and a high IQ former player would be a good one.

Watch LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony ball in a summer pickup game

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While a lot of you goobers have just been sitting here pining for the release of the 2017-18 NBA schedule, this is what I’ve been waiting for.

In videos posted to social media this week, trainer Chris Brickley — the guy Phil Jackson made answer just three questions in an interview for the New York Knicks — showed us what players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony look like in summer pickup games.

It’s not a full NBA game of course, but it is a game of basketball featuring NBA players. Give me that any day in mid-August.

Via Instagram:

Sweat Now, Shine Later‼️ @carmeloanthony // @academy.basketball // 📸 @victory

A post shared by Chris Brickley (@cbrickley603) on

I love summer but my Twitter feed is all NFL preseason as of late. There’s nothing that makes you miss the NBA regular season more than that.

Training camp can’t get here soon enough.

Jabari Parker at anti-racism rally: “We all came here to build, not to destroy”

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Events at a racist rally in Charlottesville, VA made national headlines this week after significant violence broke out and one woman, Heather Heyer, was killed after a car ran her over. The “Unite the Right” rally and subsequent coverage illustrated the continued rise of the alt-right and neo-Nazism in America, and the NBA has not turned a blind eye to the news. Stars like LeBron James have spoken out about the need to join together and find individual responsibility on a daily basis for bettering our world.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker is one of the NBA players that have also taken to public discourse on the subject. During an anti-racism rally in Salt Lake City on Monday, Parker spoke to the crowd about his own struggles and diverse background.

Parker said he would be doing a disservice to his own people if he didn’t come to the rally to support their cause.

In part, here’s what Parker had to say, via the Salt Lake Tribune:

“Good evening, everybody. I know a lot of you guys already know me, but I play in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks.

“I just want to give you guys a brief background on me. My mom, she’s from Tonga. My dad is [inaudible]. My best friend is Jewish. My uncle is gay. I could go on and on. I came from welfare, government cheese.

“I would be doing a disservice for my people if I didn’t come here today. So I’m here to speak for diversity. I’m diverse. It’s in my DNA. I love my culture. I love you.

It’s great to see more NBA players step out like this and support against the rise of mobilized political racism, white supremacy, and anti-American neo-Nazism. Big kudos to Parker, hopefully his example will help lead the way for his contemporaries.