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.
Our man Ira Winderman at the Sun-Sentinel has a good look at the Sun Sentinel (hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie), breaking out some of the best basketball tidbits, but this leaps off the page as my favorite:
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.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.
After a bumpy season where the he fought with Suns coaches, then a summer where he and his twin Marcus felt they were blindsided by a trade, Markieff Morris has been plenty vocal about his unhappiness in Phoenix. To the point it has cost him some serious cash.
So what should we expect from Markieff Morris’ upcoming season?
Relative calm, I tell Jenna Corrado of NBCSports in this latest edition of PBT Extra previewing the NBA season.
The reasons are twofold. First, he has to realize the Suns aren’t trading him anyway (especially not while he publicly demands a trade, lowering his trade value). Second, can you imagine how new locker room leader Tyson Chandler is going to react to that? Chandler was brought in to fill a leadership void in the locker room, and you can bet he will make his displeasure at such team-disrupting antics known.
Still not sure if that’s enough to get the Suns to the playoffs.