Just once I ‘d like to find someone who doesn’t look great working out with Hakeem Olajuwon. OK, I probably wouldn’t look great working out with Hakeem Olajuwon. But stick any NBA big man with arguably the best overall center of all time for a few hours in his gym and you’re going to walk away looking pretty sharp.
Man, does JaVale McGee’s game look good here.
The fluidity of motion that Olajuwon talked about this week when McGee visited his training facility is apparent, but more notable is the way he’s working on establishing position with his back, and, ahem, hind quarters. Masai Ujiri said on Denver radio this week that Olajuwon stressed to McGee keeping his hand high on the release on his hook shot. There’s a pattern here.
When Dwight Howard went to work with Hakeem, all he brought back was a face-up jumper. If McGee manages to legitimately implement the basics of post work, not The Shake, not the dizzying array, just the basics, it will help him tremendously on the offensive end.
But the big key for him still needs to be to absorb what he can from Olajuwon’s defensive principles. That needs to be the focus, and yet it’s not known how much of Olajuwon’s skills can translate given the modern NBA’s reliance on rotation and help defense.
But still, he looks pretty good, right?
Larry Nance Jr. to wear father’s retired No. 22 Cavaliers jersey
Larry Nance Jr. took on the 2018 NBA Dunk Contest in his dad’s old Phoenix Suns jersey, which was a nice nod to the father-son NBA duo. But Nance Jr. wanted to be able to wear his pop’s No. 22 jersey in Ohio despite the team retiring those digits some time ago.
Now, he has his wish.
According to the team, Nance Jr. will get to wear No. 22 the rest of the season. Nance Sr.’s banner will still hang at The Q in honor of his contribution to the franchise.
Larry Nance Jr. just announced before the game that he’ll start wearing his dad’s No. 22 starting next week. Nance Sr.’s No. 22 banner will still hang in The Q when he wears it. Tonight he’ll still be in No. 24.
Will this spur a new round of jersey sales like the one prompted by Dwyane Wade‘s return to the Miami Heat? Probably not, although folks do dig those late-’80s and early-’90s Cavs uniforms. Perhaps the team should do a re-issue?
Shouts to the team for making a special accommodation for the Nance family. It’s nice to see a team not be so stiff about something this cool.
Report: NBA setting up confidential hotline for team employees to report workplace issues
In the Dallas Mavericks organization, women who were being sexually harassed by the CEO and others did exactly what they were supposed to do — they reported the incidents to their supervisors and the head of Human Relations in the organization. Nothing happened. The men kept their jobs, the women kept on being harassed — some had their jobs threatened if they spoke out — and the old boys networked thrived.
The NBA is giving future employees in that situation another option. From Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The NBA is launching a confidential hotline to report workplace issues, including sexual harassment, according to a memo commissioner Adam SIlver sent to the 30 teams minutes ago.
Silver sent a memo to teams titled "Respect in the Workplace," and reaffirmed the league's commitment to "a safe and inclusive work environment," according to memo obtained by ESPN. The hotline will be available to all league and team employees. It'll be up and running next week.
The NBA is a league that prides itself on being progressive, promoting equality, and this Mavericks scandal is a black eye for the league on this front. While they will wait for the hired team of lawyers to finish their investigation before any punishment is handed out — and there will be punishment — the league needs to take proactive steps now. This is a good one. There needs to be more.
Already? Giannis Antetokounmpo says Joel Embiid tried to recruit him to Sixers
The Greek Freak (now trademarked) Giannis Antetokounmpo is going to be a Buck for a while — he has three fully guaranteed years on his contract after this one, taking him until at least the summer of 2021. At that point, Milwaukee almost certainly will be able to offer him the designated player super max contract that will be hard to turn down. The Greek Freak is going to be in Milwaukee for a long time.
“LeBron wants to be in charge of everything, which is what puts him at odds with Dan,” one source said. “Dan wants to be in charge of everything.”
The belief is that Gilbert, having reasserted control after chasing out Griffin, will rebuff James’ request for a no-trade clause, or any other measures that give him leverage. And that will be enough to drive James away.
“Dan Gilbert’s not going to do what it takes to keep him,” the same source predicted. “Not a chance in hell he’s going to give him a no-trade clause, or let him dictate contract terms.”
LeBron’s no-trade clause might have been useful this season. When things got particularly bad in Cleveland, he affirmed he wouldn’t waive it. I doubt the Cavs would have dealt him regardless, but he made it a certainty.
But a no-trade clause was relevant only because LeBron signed a multi-year contract due to salary-cap rules relevant in 2016. With those no longer pertinent, he might go back to the 1+1 deals he first signed in his return to Cleveland. That’d give him an implicit no-trade clause, as those contracts are treated as one-year deals until the option is exercised, and players on one-year contracts who’d have early or full Bird Rights after can veto any trade.
Still, Gilbert taking this stance would matter if LeBron wants to sign long-term. An official no-trade clause would also carry over to LeBron’s next team if he approves a trade or in the second year of a 1+1 if he opts in. The implicit no-trade would not.
That could be enough for LeBron to demand the official no-trade clause – not just for the possibility it’s useful, but to show he can get it. He seems unwilling to give an inch. It’s about respect.
It also might be about stubbornness – both LeBron’s and Gilbert’s. This would be a ridiculous battleground for LeBron’s Cavaliers tenure to end on – just give LeBron whatever contract he wants – but it wouldn’t be the first ridiculous showdown between Gilbert and LeBron.