After JaVale McGee came out and undermined the players by doing the one thing you absolutely cannot do in a lockout, give the other side any hope that you’re considering breaking (no matter how rational, reasonable, or predictable that is), the players acted stunned. “What? JaVale who? Who is that? The McGee boy, you say?” as if it was completely out of left field. They didn’t want to respond to it. Of course they did, because, well, they were pretty mad that McGee had done such a stupid thing.
But all that feigned ignorance? Yeah, not so much. From Sports Illustrated:
A union source said players learned of the comment via Twitter during the meeting and “were furious,” and it surprised no one when the message coming out was even heavier than usual on all the resolve and unity rhetoric. They all denied McGee had a clue when it came to representing the masses, then went to work explaining why this strategy isn’t nearly as futile as so many of us believe it to be.
via Billy Hunter calls out David Stern, vows players will not back down in negotiations – Sam Amick – SI.com.
Can you imagine being in that meeting?
“Uh… guys… guys… guys!”
“What, what is it (role player)?”
“Uh… JaVale apparently told reporters that some of us are ready to quit.”
“No. No he didn’t. I TOLD YOU TO MUZZLE HIM, (sub-superstar)! I TOLD YOU TO TAKE HIM OUT THE BACK ENTRANCE OR THROUGH THE SEWER.”
The odds are that JaVale will not be asked to attend the next meeting, or if he is, he needs to bring help. Ironic that JaVale McGee now needs a help defender.
Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.
There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.
Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.
“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”
Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.
Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.
That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.
And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.
MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.
Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.
Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.
Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.
Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.