Sprite Slam Dunk Contest

Here’s a stunner: Players not happy with McGee’s comments


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.”


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.

Stephen Curry gives high five while his shot is in air (video)

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Stephen Curry said the defending-champion Warriors would have no problem picking up where they left off.

His swagger certainly remains intact.

Knicks associate head coach: Porzingis might be combination of Gasol, Nowitzki

2015 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot

Knicks president Phil Jackson compared New York’s No. 4 overall pick, Kristaps Porzingis, to Shawn Bradley.

Porzingis resisted that comparison, but he might appreciate these ones – to Pau Gasol and Dirk Nowitzki – a little more.

Knicks associate head coach Kurt Rambis, via Marc Berman of the New York Post:

Perhaps the most successful European big men in recent times are Gasol, whom Rambis coached, and Nowitzki.

“He might be a combination of both of them,’’ Rambis said. ‘He can do so many things. You guys haven’t seen it yet. And some of it won’t come out for three, four, five years either. He’s got to grow up, mature, develop, get stronger and [get] used to the NBA game. He already understands basketball and knows what to do, and he’s an unselfish player. He makes really good decisions. It wasn’t like he was a blank slate coming here.’’

Aside from his intensive work ethic, Porzingis also has an unprecedented gift.

“He’s got 3-point range — like effortless 3-point range, too,’’ Rambis said. “It’s not even hard for him to shoot for distance.’’

I like Porzingis and think he has a bright NBA future, but is piling this level of praise on him really a good idea? Rambis adds the caveats that it could take years for Porzingis’ talent to translate, but this still sets up an incredibly high ceiling for Porzingis to reach.

Jackson and Knicks coach Derek Fisher had done a good job of keeping expectations in line, praising Porzingis’ work ethic and modest progress. Jackson might have gone too far with the Bradley comparison, but at least he limited the hype.

Rambis needs to show more perspective. Many rookies flash amazing potential before their first game. Far fewer become Hall of Famers. Ditto rookies who drill 3-pointers in practice relative to those who do it in games.

I still think Porzingis will be fine, and maybe in New York, an overhyping is inevitable. I’m just not sure Rambis is doing Porzingis any favors by contributing to it.