In the latest episode of Damian Lillard’s web series “License to Lillard,” we are taken through Lillard’s journey during his first summer as an NBA player. We go through his orientation with adidas, which includes a pretty great part where he gets to sponsor the youth team he played on growing up as part of his deal.
We also get to hear Lillard’s take on his Summer League experience, where he earned MVP honors — and threw down a ridiculous dunk in traffic (at the 7:44 mark) along the way.
Lillard is likely to find himself in the Rookie of the Year conversation most of the season, both because of his court vision and athletic ability, as well as the opportunity he should receive to play on a well below-average Blazers team. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to see the journey continue as the season progresses.
After two years off court, Joel Embiid says he “probably” will have minutes restrictions
Joel Embiid could be the best player on the Philadelphia 76ers in a couple of years — many scouts had him the highest rated of all the first-round draft picks the Sixers have had in recent seasons.
But after two foot surgeries and two seasons sitting on the sidelines, we don’t know how good Embiid can be. We should find out starting in October when Embiid is part of the Sixers training camp. Embiid says he feels 100 percent, but he expects there will be restrictions on him at first, he told Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com during the Sixers Beach Bash community event this weekend.
Embiid said he'll "probably" have playing restrictions but they'll be because he hasn't played in years, not because of re-injury concern.
This is the smart move by the Sixers — they are not competing for a title, the games in November have minimal meaning long term, bring him along slowly and make sure he can make each step along the way. Let’s see what he can do, then worry about how much run he can get in games that matter.
Avery Bradley was first-team NBA All-Defensive team last season, and his coach Brad Stevens lobbied for him to get the honor. Bradley picks up guys full court, pesters, and plays physical — we can debate if he is as good defensively as his reputation, but guys like Damian Lillardthink he’s tough to go up against.
“I love the challenge,” Bradley said on Friday, making an appearance at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “I love going up against the best players. I don’t care who it is. I don’t care about getting embarrassed. I don’t care. Kyrie Irving, none of those guys scare me. I know some players in the NBA probably get butterflies before the game, but not me. I’m licking my lips. I come excited. They need to prepare for me at the end of the day. That’s how I think.”
That’s exactly the attitude you want an elite defender to have.
Bradley injured his hamstring in the first game of the playoffs last April and sat the rest of the Celtics’ one series. Then this summer his name came up in potential Jimmy Butler trade rumors (that deal never actually came close to getting off the ground). Expect Bradley to put that all behind him by the time training camp opens.
Watch highlights of LeBron James’ playoffs, Finals run
LeBron James was dominant — the clear best player on the planet — when the Cleveland Cavaliers needed him most. That’s the reason Cleveland got its first major sports title in 52 years.
It’s the dead part of the NBA season — training camps don’t even open for a month — so why not enjoy a look back at LeBron’s amazing run to a legacy-defining NBA ring. Like you don’t have 15 minutes for this. What are you going to do, watch more preseason football?
It’s Joel Embiid’s turn to swat a little kid’s shot (VIDEO)