You can’t completely trust what a general manager says this time of year, because even if they mean it when they say “we’re not making a trade” things could change in a couple of weeks. An offer they cannot refuse could fall in their laps.
But I believe Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak when he says the Lakers are not going to make a trade.
Kupchak (a Long Island native) spoke to Newsday and really couldn’t have been clearer about his intentions.
“We will not make a trade. We will not trade Dwight Howard. We have no intention of making a trade. It’s unlikely that we’ll make any trade with any of our principal players. To make another change at this time of the year being behind the eight-ball like we are, I think that would just make it more difficult. The talent is there. We have to find our way.”
Kupchak is right — after a season of changes the Lakers are just now starting to figure out how to get their stars to play together and make it work. Whether they can maintain it and whether they figured it out in time remain to be seen, but the last thing the team needs now is some sort of major shakeup.
And the Lakers are not trading Howard. Under no circumstances. They want to re-sign him this summer as the player who will anchor the team after Kobe leaves. Any talk of trading him has been wishful thinking and speculation from other teams. And the teams that did call the Lakers to inquire about Howard pretty much were hung up on. Kupchak is too polite to do that directly, but it’s pretty much it.
Don’t be shocked if the Lakers make a move or three this summer, including possibly a Pau Gasol trade (although that is complex and the Lakers will not want to take long-term money back). They Lakers need more athletes for the D’Antoni system but they need stability more. But for now, what you see is what the Lakers will have to try and make a push to the playoffs.
We’ve seen NBA jerseys leak accidentally in the past, and the new Nike uniforms haven’t been a well-kept secret.
The new jersey sponsor announced plans for four kits for each team, with the final one supposedly coming late in the year or early in 2018. Now, it seems we have our answer for what Nike’s “City” jerseys will look like for many clubs.
According to the guys over at SportsLogos.net, the popular video game franchise NBA 2K accidentally leaked many of the city jerseys for the teams. There is a huge group of photos for these jerseys, and many of them are absolutely terrible.
Here’s a smattering of some of the worst offenders (although “smattering” is a loose term considering there are a lot to choose from):
The Magic one is an iPhone background, Utah’s is ORANGE, Oklahoma City’s looks like an abbreviation for a regional auto parts store … it just goes on and on like this.
Out of the ones leaked thus far, I see only two universally good ones (although the staggered numbers on the New Orleans ones gives me pause):
What is happening in the NBA with these uniforms?
WASHINGTON (AP) — Leaders from the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball players associations have helped unveil a universal declaration of player rights that is designed to establish a new approach to governing sports and protecting athletes.
Among the 17 articles laid out in the declaration are rights to unionize and collectively bargain, express opinions freely and receive equal pay for equal work. Here are some of the principles set out in the Declaration:
- Every player is entitled to equality of opportunity in the pursuit of sport without distinction of any kind and free of discrimination, harassment and violence.
- Every player has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
- The rights of every child athlete must be protected.
- Every player has the right to share fairly in the economic activity and wealth of his or her sport which players have helped generate, underpinned by fair and just pay and working conditions.
- Every player has the right to organize and collectively bargain.
- Every player is entitled to have his or her name, image and performance protected. A player’s name, image and performance may only be commercially utilized with his or her consent, voluntarily given.
- Every player has the right to a private life, privacy and protection in relation to the collection, storage and transfer of personal data.
- Every player must be able to access an effective remedy when his or her human rights are not respected and upheld. This is particularly crucial given the highly skilled yet short term and precarious nature of the athletic care
Executive directors DeMaurice Smith of the NFL Players Association, Michele Roberts of the National Basketball Players Association, Don Fehr of the NHL Players’ Association and Tony Clark of the Major League Baseball Players Association are part of the group of more than 100 unions that released the declaration.
The launch of the universal declaration of player rights comes on the heels of Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players kneeling or sitting during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are good friends, they go together like peanut butter and jelly. They and their families hang out and ride banana boats together in the off-season.
They are also both incredibly competitive men.
So you had to figure they went 1-on-1 against each other at some point. It happened, once. Wade and LeBron talked about it on Channing Frye’s Road Trippin’ podcast, (transcription via the USA Today).
James: “We played 1-on-1 one time in our whole life, and it was during the finals. Eastern Conference finals 2010 (they meant the 2010-11 season, that ECF was in May 2011). Our first year.”
Wade: “It was more-so to set a precedent for our teammates because we got our ass kicked the game before, Game 1 by Chicago. They tore us.”
James: “MVP Rose tore our ass up in Chicago, and we came in the next day, we was like we need to set the tone, so we was out there killing each other playing 1-on-1.”
Wade: “We never finished.”
James: “We never finished. We got to the point where (head coach Erik Spoelstra) blew the whistle, like bring it in.”
Wade: “Everybody was just watching us. We was going at it. We competitive, we was going at it, but we was setting a tone for this is how it’s gotta go. You gotta be able to go at this. We’re two of the best players in this game. We going at each other in the Eastern Conference finals right now. We out there killing each other, and this is what ya’ll better do tomorrow. Because we got beat on the boards by 20-something and we have to come with it, and we won four in a row.”
A 2011 Heat practice? There has to be video of this somewhere.
Miami did win that Eastern Conference Finals, but LeBron and Wade should have gone at it again during the NBA Finals, where the Heat lost to Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks.
The Rockets’ rotation is excellent, and their deep bench is lacking.
That’s part of the reason Luc Richard Mbah a Moute posted a ridiculous +57 in a 30-point win earlier this season.
But Houston will miss the forward for a while after he injured his shoulder against the Hornets yesterday.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni’s first inclination might be to shorten his rotation. He should mostly resist it.
Home-court advantage is important, and P.J. Tucker and Trevor Ariza can play more power forward (with Eric Gordon absorbing more minutes at small forward). But it’s also better to play Troy Williams more now than to wear down the players Houston will rely on in the playoffs, when D’Antoni will surely keep his rotation tight.