The impact of players-only meetings are vastly overrated. Vastly.
And they are usually conducted after an ugly loss that should be the bottoming out of a streak (but rarely is, back to the vastly overrated thing).
But in what has been an unusual season for the Lakers, Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher decided to call one after a blowout win over Portland Monday night. That according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.
Their message was clear: Trade rumors do not matter; your feelings about management or the coaching staff don’t matter; all that matters is that the 14 men in that locker room support and believe in one another. If they stay together and stay on the same page, they can get to where they want to go as a team.
The trade rumor thing is obviously a message to Pau Gasol, although Andrew Bynum and others that will hear there name come up in the next three weeks should take heed.
As for being disgruntled with the coach… welcome to any basketball team anywhere. Yes Mike Brown is different in style than Phil Jackson, what did you expect? Yes Mike Brown is experimenting with lineups and rotations, every coach is doing that because of the lockout and no training camps. This season is one big Petri dish for coaches.
Being disgruntled with management is a hot new trend for the Lakers, but pretty much every player in that locker room has been there before, too.
So the “it’s us against the world” message is swell. Good for them. Keep the issues in house.
Not going to mean much, really, these meetings are overrated. And it doesn’t really solve the point guard issue that is the bigger problem. But good for them.
After missing two entire seasons, all signs are pointing to 2014 No. 3 overall pick Joel Embiid finally taking the court this season. Last week, Sixers coach Brett Brown said that Embiid has looked great in his workouts and is on track to play in the preseason, and Embiid himself echoed that sentiment over the weekend. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Marc Narducci that he feels “100 percent.”
There’s always a possibility and fear that Embiid’s recurring foot problems will come back, but for now, all indications are that he’s feeling good and will be able to contribute this season, which should make Sixers fans excited.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.