The Dwyane Wade media blitz has begun — his new book on fatherhood (“A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger than Basketball”) hits the shelves next week and he is going to be on a big book tour promoting it. He will be everywhere. Letterman. The View. Sports talk shows. You will turn around in line at Starbucks and swear you saw Wade talking about his book.
Early reviews are that the book has a lot more basketball in it than expected for a book about his nasty custody fight with his ex-wife (which he won) and what he learned from that experience. It should be an interesting read.
In his darkest days of a difficult youth, he turned to watching “Knight Rider” alongside his grandmother, writing, “I actually told David Hasselhoff how he helped me get through the tough times in childhood.”
Didn’t “Knight Rider” help us all through our childhood, in the way the show “Kung-Fu” did for a generation before us?
One other Wade tidbit, in case you wanted to understand how Dwight Howard felt about Stan Van Gundy, but also what he will later realize.
Of breaking into the NBA under Stan Van Gundy, he writes, “Coach Van Gundy has a voice that rings in your ears and get underneath your skin. Always on edge, he coached from a state of high alert.” But he later adds, “Because of Stan, my toughness and drive showed up early on.”
Be ready for a deluge of Wade notes and stories out of his book and book tour in the coming weeks.
Joel Embiid frustrated, wants more post touches, to play back-to-backs
He wants to be unleashed on the NBA, and he feels he’s being held back.
Part of that is not playing in back-to-backs — Embiid started Friday night against Boston but will sit out by plan Saturday night against the Raptors in Toronto. Embiid knows the plan to help protect a body that has played only 31 games in three seasons before this one and was not cleared for most of training camp, but that doesn’t mean he likes it, as he told Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
“I just want to feel like an NBA player,” Embiid said. “I feel like I’m not an NBA player because I can’t play back-to-back.”
I get his frustration, but can you blame the Sixers for treating the guy like he’s made of glass at this point? Hopefully, later in the season, he can be cleared to play on both ends.
His second frustration came from the loss to the Cavaliers on Friday — he wants more post touches. In the video above he is clear, “I didn’t get the ball enough in the post.”
He’s right here. Embiid had three post-ups all game, one in each of the game’s first three quarters (stat via Synergy Sports). Embiid is efficient in the post — he has shot 9-of-12 on those plays overall this season and the Sixers score 1.33 points per possession when he does. Especially against a team going small — the Cavaliers start Kevin Love at center — Embiid should be fed down low.
Instead, look at his shot chart from Friday night.
Part of this is on him with all the threes, but they have to utilize him better. It’s part of the Sixers growing pains that will come this season.
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.