We told you the other day how Charles Oakley piled on LeBron James, joining a long line of former players and fans who do that (Charles Barkley is their front man).
But that was just part of a whole interview of Oakley being Oakley, which you can find at SLAM.
One other part of interest was Oakley on his former team, the Knicks. Which he says can’t win right now, not with Mike D’Antoni’s style of play.
“I don’t think so, but that’s his coaching style. They knew when they signed him — When you go buy a Bentley, you know it’s not a Volkswagen. When they signed him, they knew what they were getting. That conversation should be dead, because it’s a West Coast offense playing in a hard-nosed city. You always give somebody a chance to prove themselves. I mean, this is his fourth year. He’s had a lot of time. I think it’s just more half-court offense, and they need the big, tough guy. He don’t want to play that way, but finesse, it’s not gonna work.”
About Amare Stoudemire:
“Amar’e is good, he’s good in his way. He’s a West Coast player trying to translate to the East Coast. And the longer he plays in the East, the more his body’s gonna get damaged, because he’s got to take a beating now.”
That’s part of why Mike Woodson was brought in — to change the team’s defense and perceptions, and to find a way to make D’Antoni’s successful offense win in New York. Of course, it won pretty well in Phoenix, they were one Robert Horry hip check away from the NBA finals. But then again, the Suns had really good personnel around their star point guard, so the system worked. It’s more about the players than the system. Always has been, always will be.
Craig Sager couldn’t be in Rio covering the Olympics for NBC, his cancer wouldn’t allow it. That didn’t stop Team USA from reaching out to him before they left. Or from Nike designing a sweet pair of shoes for him.
Now there is good news on his battle against leukemia — he will have a third bone marrow transplant, according to his son Craig Sager II.
This is fantastic news for a man and family who have been through a lot. Hopefully, this treatment is a step forward for Sager, a man beloved by everyone around the NBA.
The Oklahoma City frontcourt is crowded. Enes Kanter and Steven Adams will start, and they will have Nick Collison, Ersan Ilyasova, Domantas Sabonis, and now Joffrey Lauvergne behind them.
Which likely means Mitch McGary‘s done as a member of the Thunder, according to Royce Young of ESPN.
McGary has battled injuries his two seasons in the league and got on the court for only 72 minutes total last season for the Thunder (he played in more games and put up solid numbers in the D-LEague). He was not part of the future there regardless. He’s an undersized five trying to play the four and what he brought as a rookie — energy — was not enough as a sophomore.
McGary will make $1.5 million this season. He may be tough to move because he’s suspended for the first five games he’s eligible to play next season for failing the league’s drug policy (five games is the standard suspension for testing positive for marijuana three times). Maybe a team looking to develop players will give him a shot, but there is little trade value for him.
If you can knock down a 19-foot shot, then a 15-footer should be easier. Right?
Apparently that — and just basic muscle memory — is the latest attempt to improve Dwight Howard‘s free throw shooting. And, he seems to be knocking down those shots.
It’s not hard to see the logic in this approach.
The challenge is form and reps are not the problems for Howard — or DeAndre Jordan or Andre Drummond or others — when it comes to hitting free throws. Anyone who says “why don’t they just practice the shot” doesn’t pay attention, these guys put in a lot of work on the shot. Pregame and in practice (I’m Los Angeles based), Jordan probably hits 65 percent from the line. At least.
The problem is mental. That can be a tougher hurdle to clear. Maybe taking 19 footers and knocking them down will have Howard feeling more confident at the stripe this season.
But we’re going to need to see it to believe it. Just like we’re going to have to see a rejuvenated Howard in Atlanta before we believe this season will be different from the last few.
Until this season, Jason Thompson had never been to the playoffs. He spent seven seasons in Sacramento before getting traded to the Warriors last offseason, and then signing with the Raptors midseason when Golden State waived him to make room on the roster for Anderson Varejao. His NBA days appear over, at least for now. International basketball reporter David Pick reports that Thompson has agreed to a deal to play in China.
Since the CBA’s season ends in March, Thompson could theoretically join an NBA team for the stretch run next year. But he didn’t appear to have much interest on the free-agent market this summer.