Chauncey Billups speaks for a lot of NBA veterans.
These are guys who have been around because they can play — and with that comes some nice paydays. Billups is set to make $14.2 million next season in the last year of his deal.
He wants to get paid. He wants to play. But he told Alan Hahn of Newsday that he sees the big picture and wants to make sure the guys just coming into the league have a chance to get paid like this in a decade, too.
“I don’t want to lose that money,” Billups told Newsday by telephone from his home in suburban Denver. “Nobody wants to lose the biggest payday they are ever going to get. I’m never going to get another payday like that again.
“However, I’ve got to look at the big picture and say, ‘Is it about me, selfishly?’ Say, ‘Just strike a deal, I don’t care what it is, because I just want to get my money?’ Or do I care about all these young guys who have 10 to 15 years to play?”
Billups’ second year in the league was the last lockout, and he saw veterans take a hit for guys like him. Now he’s just trying to pay it forward. Which is why the union is not going to be so simple to decertify or for the owners to break — there are strong guys like Billups in there who are doing this on principle.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.