Denver Nuggets rookie big man Kenneth Faried got his first NBA points last night on a no-look ally-oop pass from Rudy Fernandez. It’s not only the play of the night, it’s one of the best plays of the season. Faried started the play with some hustle and finished with authority.
They love him in Denver. And with good reason.
LeBron James says he still plans on finishing his career with Cleveland
There has been significant talk around the NBA about the possibility of LeBron James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers this summer.
Specifically, there has been in a lot of chatter about James leaving his home state and heading to be in Los Angeles with the Lakers.
But during NBA media day on Monday, LeBron said that he still plans on finishing his career with Cleveland. What wasn’t explicit is whether that means he will take his next contract elsewhere, or if he simply means to return at a later date.
“It hasn’t changed,” James said, when asked. He also nodded when asked, directly, if he intended to finish his career in Cleveland.
“And that’s why I sit up here today, still in this uniform, still ready to lead this franchise to a championship, put us in a position where we can be successful.”
“Anytime I’m able to be free agent or my contract ends, I’ll approach that when the summer comes,” he said. “At the end of the day I have a contract and I will fill out that obligation, which I’ve always done.
“And if you guys know me, I don’t know if you know me as much, but I’ve always handled it in the most businesslike way. And I will do that with my team, and we’ll handle that in the summertime, as we always have.”
So you there you have it. He is definitely planning on staying. Although he isn’t going to make that plan until the summer.
Should be an interesting one in Cleveland this year.
LeBron, Gregg Popovich among NBA heavyweights to comment on Trump at Media Day
Monday was NBA Media Day and it could not get here soon enough. Yes, the offseason has been an incredible one with many players changing places. But the start of football season always means something important for the NBA diehard: basketball is coming.
Media Day comes with new questions for new players, along with hope that franchises will be able to right the wrongs of seasons past. Plus, we get to see new jerseys on stars. Yet as it always seems these days, the story of the afternoon was gathering how players had reacted to Donald Trump’s recent comments.
Specifically, Trump mentioned that he thought that players who knelt for the national anthem in the NFL were “sons of bitches”. Trump also rescinded a potential offer for a visit to the White House for the Golden State Warriors after Stephen Curry said he would vote “no” on going during a team meeting.
NBA reporters could not help but ask about the comments by Trump and the impact it had on the players, coaches, and executives during their first full scale opportunity to see players in a team setting.
We will be entering our first full season of the NBA with Trump and given how the first eight months of his tenure have gone, it will be interesting to see how the most socially conscious league in America responds moving forward.
Cavaliers expect Isaiah Thomas to play in games by January
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) Isaiah Thomas could be running the point for Cleveland by the end of the year.
The All-Star point guard, acquired from Boston this summer in a blockbuster trade, has made progress with his hip injury, and the Cavaliers expect him to be playing games by January.
Thomas has begun running and doing on-court activities as he rehabilitates the injury, which prematurely ended his postseason with the Celtics. Cleveland acquired him in a trade that sent All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to Boston, its biggest challenger in the East.
Thomas doesn’t need surgery. While the Eastern Conference champions have been encouraged by his recovery, they will not rush him back. While he gets healthy, Derrick Rose, another summer acquisition, will start at point guard.
Thomas averaged 28.9 points last season for the Celtics, who sent him along with forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and a 2018 first-round draft to Cleveland.
The Cavaliers were concerned with Thomas’ injury, so the Celtics added a second-round pick to complete the deal.
When they introduced Thomas at a news conference, the Cavaliers were vague about a timeline for his return, mainly because they hadn’t yet worked with him. It’s now possible Thomas could be back and playing by Christmas, when the Cavs visit Golden State.
Thomas is only under contract for the upcoming season and has said in the past he wants a maximum contract.
That apparently means increased championship odds now that he, Westbrook, and Paul George will occupy the same floor space in the Western Conference.
That comes as a bit of a surprise given the amount of talent that has moved out West over the course of the offseason. Anthony is the latest in a long list of big stars to switch conferences including Paul Millsap, Jimmy Butler, Brook Lopez, and others.
Could the Thunder win the championship? It seems like long odds even given Westbrook being reigning MVP. But the most recent odds released by Bovada had the Thunder taking a huge leap in that arena.
Before the Anthony trade the Thunder were at at 25 to 1 odds to win the Larry O’Brien trophy. After this weekend and the switching of states by Carmelo, the Thunder are now at 12 to 1 to win the championship.
Perhaps more curious than the new odds for the Thunder are what happened to the win totals of both the Thunder and the Knicks. Bovada’s win total for Oklahoma City didn’t change and remains at 50.5. Somehow, New York’s win projection also did not change despite Anthony switching teams.
Are the Thunder winning the championship the season? Absolutely not. But am I going to watch a bunch of OKC games this year? Absolutely.