The NBA Development League Showcase is designed to allow its top players a chance to show NBA decision makers that they’ve developed enough to make in the NBA. Erie BayHawks point guard Mike James came into the league without much developing left, but he took full advantage of having NBA decision makers witness his comeback attempt this week.
The 36-year-old James needed just three games in the D-League to show that he was in shape enough to deserve another opportunity — an opportunity he got on Wednesday when the Chicago Bulls decided they needed to insurance after Derrick Rose was injured on Tuesday evening. Pro Basketball Talk has confirmed the transaction that ESPN’s Marc Stein first reported.
James played great on Monday for the BayHawks by scoring 23 points and dishing five assists while leading them to a victory over the Idaho Stampede. Despite not attending an NBA training camp, James clearly outperformed Portland Trail Blazers assignee Armon Johnson in just his second D-League game, showing he still has the skills that made him a 20 point per game scorer not all that long ago in the NBA. The eight-year NBA veteran regressed a bit in his second game as he scored just six points while turning the ball over five times, but it’s likely his familiarity With NBA offenses made it an easy decision for Chicago to call him up just in case he’s needed while Rose is out.
The Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in DeMarcus Cousins took its most direct public turn before the season, when Dallas signed Cousins’ brother, Jaleel Cousins. Jaleel is now on the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, and I bet he will remain there as DeMarcus approaches 2018 free agency.
So, DeMarcus Cousins, what do you think about the Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in acquiring you?
“It’s flattering,” Cousins told me, with a laugh, after the Kings’ Wednesday shootaround at AAC. Then, turning serious, he added of the Mavericks, “I respect them.”
“But,” I said, “I’ve also heard that you like it in Sacramento.”
“No,” Cousins corrected, “I love Sacramento.”
Cousins is getting good at this, toeing the line between appreciating another team’s interest and expressing his satisfaction with the Kings.
And give Cousins credit. He keeps producing at a star level for a team that hasn’t provided him with the proper support. Sacramento again appears headed toward the lottery, even as Cousins averages 29-10.
Questions remain, though: How much of Cousins’ attitude is him trying to make the best of an inescapable situation, and will expanded options in the summer of 2018 test his loyalty?
LeBron James dunks, struts past camerapeople and toward crowd, spooks fan (video)
NEW YORK (AP) — Derrick Rose is missing the New York Knicks’ game against Cleveland because of lower back pain.
Rose left the Knicks’ victory over Miami on Tuesday in the third quarter with back spasms. Coach Jeff Hornacek says Rose still felt sore on Wednesday when he came in and met with team doctors, so they sent him for an MRI exam to make sure there was no structural damage.
Rose is averaging 16.7 points and this is the first game he’s missed this season.