What LeBron James did, what Carmelo Anthony did, what Dwight Howard is doing — that does not sit well with an older generation of players.
Say, for example Oscar Robertson. Mr. I averaged a triple-double for an entire season. One of the game’s 50 greatest players (easily).
Robertson — one of the trail blazers of NBA free agency — was on the radio in Orlando talking about the Dwight Howard situation with Mike Bianchi, who also writes for the Orlando Sentinel and transcribed what the Big O told him.
“Keep your mouth shut and play basketball,” said Robertson, who was a guest on our radio show Wednesday and will be in town during All-Star Weekend to raise awareness for prostate cancer. ”If he wants to be traded, he’s going to be traded. Go and talk to the owners and say, ‘I want to be traded’ and keep it a secret.’ In a situation like this, he can’t win. … Anytime they (Magic) stumble and fall and every time they get beat, they’re going to blame Dwight Howard and it’s totally unfair because it’s not all his fault. I don’t think management has done a great job in keeping certain players on the team. They had a nucleus of players that got them to the Finals and then, all of the sudden, it’s gone downhill.”
Robertson is right, everyone is culpable here. The Magic front office put themselves in this position due to poor personnel moves. Howard could have been quiet about this.
But the fact remains this is no-win for Howard. Whatever choice he makes now, wherever he plays next season, he will alienate some people. He can’t be liked by everyone anymore.
But Robertson’s advice is good for the next star whose contract comes up and wants to keep his options open — “Keep your mouth shut and play basketball.”
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.