But the Blake Griffin aerial show was in full effect in Phoenix. Personally, the second one of those is the only classic Griffin power dunk, but the other two are not bad. Griffin was relatively quiet in the game — 12 points of 5-of-9 shooting.
And now for my usual disclaimer: If you’re going to say “but three of his five makes were just dunks” I’m going to say “so what?” Last time I checked dunks count and are the most efficient shot in the game. Griffin has a good post game now, he’s working on the midrange which has improved, and he’s only in his third NBA season at age 23. I don’t expect him to be Pau Gasol with an arsenal of moves — play to your strengths, and if your strengths are you are one of the most athletic big men in the game then throw down some monster dunks and get your points that way. If you can get six to 10 points a night on dunks, there isn’t a coach in the league that will not take it.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar speaks at Democratic National Convention (VIDEO)
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
Kevin Durant denies report he told Russell Westbrook he was returning to Oklahoma City
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
Report: Spurs agree to two-year deal with free agent forward David Lee
One of the last notable free agents on the market, veteran forward David Lee, has agreed to a two-year minimum deal with the Spurs, according to The Vertical‘s Shams Charania, who reports from agent Mark Bartelstein that he turned down bigger offers from other teams.
Free agent forward David Lee has signed a two-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs, agent Mark Bartelstein told The Vertical.
Lee will have a player option in the second year of his deal, which will be worth the veteran’s minimum.
Lee, 33, considered more lucrative deals elsewhere, but committed to the Spurs’ opportunity to win a championship and play a backup role to LaMarcus Aldridge andPau Gasol.
General manager “R.C [Buford] and coach [Gregg] Popovich put a lot of time and energy to give David a visual of how much they wanted him and would use him,” Bartelstein told The Vertical. “A lot of people talk about taking less money, and not many people do it, so the Spurs get a lot of credit for selling David on joining their organization.”
After winning a championship with the Warriors in 2015, Lee was dealt to Boston last offseason, where he fell out of the rotation quickly. He was bought out midseason and signed with the Mavericks. He was solid in Dallas, but at his age and with almost no defensive ability, he didn’t draw much interest on the market. In San Antonio, he likely won’t have a big role, but he’s a solid veteran scorer in the frontcourt off the bench in limited minutes.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.