George Karl should be happy about the distraction being gone.
Ty Lawson — the young Nuggets starting point guard — tweeted that he has reached a deal with the Denver Nuggets. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Network tweeted that the deal was four years at $48 million.
While $12 million a year for Lawson is not getting him at a steal, it’s not really overpaying either. It’s at the top end of his range, but within it (compared to other NBA point guards). With this the Nuggets have locked down Danilo Galinari, JaVale McGee, Wilson Chandler and Lawson. Andre Iguodala can become a free agent next summer (he has an early termination option) and the Nuggets are going to have to pony up if they want to keep him as well. So you better like that young core, Nuggets fans.
They should like Lawson and that he has been extended. Lawson is about as quick a point guard as there is in the league, which is good on a team that will be near the top of the league in pace. Last season he averaged 16.4 points per game, shot 36.5 percent from thee and had 6.6 assists per game. He was inconsistent, but I’ll chalk that up to him being 24 at this point. He showed a lot in the playoffs last season, taking over games, and that shows a lot more to me than some regular season foibles.
Of all the guys Denver has locked down, this is the smallest risk and best fit. In a West with Oklahoma City and the Lakers I’m not sold Denver is a contender, but they are going to be very good and very entertaining for years to come now.
Sevyn Streeter said the 76ers prevented her from singing the national anthem at tonight’s game because she was wearing a “WE MATTER” jersey:
“The Philadelphia 76ers organization encourages meaningful actions to drive social change. We use our games to bring people together, to build trust and to strengthen our communities. As we move from symbolic gestures to action, we will continue to leverage our platform to positively impact our community.”
This is a continuation of Carmelo Anthony‘s argument: The emphasis should be on action in communities and there’s no longer a place for gestures like Colin Kaepernick kneeling.
But this needn’t be an either/or discussion. Community-based action is obviously important (though don’t assign responsibility to NBA players to fix racism). Recognizing the width and depth of the problem is necessary – which is why symbols matter, too.
Take Street’s shirt at face value. “We matter.” “Black lives matter.” What’s so offensive about that? There is no implicit “more” attached.
Yet, the 76ers found it antithetical to their brand.
This is why the widespread “unity” message preached by arm-locking NBA players left so much to be desired.
To the 76ers, unity meant silencing Streeter.
Is that what players were demonstrating on behalf of during the preseason? I’m sure that arena was much more united with a 76ers dancer singing the anthem than it would have been with Streeter spotlighted. But sometimes divisiveness is necessary to advance a cause.
If the 76ers don’t want Streeter using their platform to say “WE MATTER,” that’s their right. Not everyone has to support that choice, though.
No NBA players followed Colin Kaepernick’s lead by kneeling during the national anthem in the preseason.
But that courageous form of protest still found its way onto NBA courts.
A national-anthem singer knelt before a Kings game, and other did at a Heat game.
Another singer wanted to take a bold stance for the 76ers’ regular-season opener against the Thunder tonight by wearing a “WE MATTER” jersey, but she said the team stopped her.
A 76ers dancer performed the anthem instead:
The 76ers deserve some latitude to choose how someone uses their platform. But what about claiming black lives matter is antithetical to the 76ers’ brand?
The team did not immediately respond to request for comment. I will update if it does.
The Russell Westbrook era didn’t get off to the fastest start for the Thunder, who fell behind the 76ers early.
This Philadelphia fan got way ahead of himself (and any reasonable standard of decency).
Via Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report:
Oklahoma City responded with a 5-0 run, Westbrook scoring three points himself and assisting another basket.
The No. 28 pick, R.J. Hunter became the first first-rounder from last year’s draft to fall out of the NBA when the Celtics waived him.
He won’t be out of the league for long.
The Bulls, the only team with an open roster spot, appear close to adding him.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Hunter belongs in the league. Though he must knock down shots far more reliably than he has, Hunter has potential as an outside shooter with complementary ball skills to provide value. Boston just had more NBA-caliber players than roster spots.
He’s far from a lock to succeed in the NBA, but I value Hunter about as much as Tony Snell – whom the Bulls just traded for an upgrade at backup point guard in Michael Carter-Williams. That they could so cheaply replace Snell makes that deal look even better.