Boris Diaw went from being the guy who won the “Shawn Kemp Award for most weight gained during the lockout” to a guy waived by the woeful Charlotte Bobcats to a guy who put up quality numbers for the San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs. Diaw had a 16-point game against the Clippers it the second round.
It’s a testament to the power of organization, to understanding what a player can do and not do then putting him in position to play to those strengths and succeed.
Had the Spurs advanced to the Finals, then maybe another team would have wanted to steal a healthy 30-year-old with his kind of versatility. Anything beyond the mid-level exception will be out of reach of the Spurs… Were other teams still thinking he was worth, say, a $35 million deal? What happened in Charlotte will leave doubt, too.
Five years, $35 million is the full mid-level exception, but Who would give the full mid-level to Diaw? Unless you think you can use him as the Spurs did, it’s not worth it, and even then you’d wonder. I’d expect he will get more like half the mid-level (three years, $10 million?), but the way teams overpay bigs it will be interesting to watch.
Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance
NEW YORK (AP)— The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.
Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.
NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.
Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling
This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.
After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverleyin his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.
Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).
Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.
LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim