For a younger generation he’s the opinionated and funny guy on the TNT broadcasts.
But for people a few years older, they remember that Charles Barkley could play. Like got into the Hall of Fame could play — he was an NBA MVP, a gold medalist on the Dream Team, an 11 time All-Star who is only one of three players to finish his career with better than 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4.000 assists (the other two are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain).
Barkley was a boorish young player, full of himself and a competitive fire that sometimes went too far (remember he tried to spit on a heckler and instead spit on an 8-year) but was jut part of who he is. The funny man on television now is just a more mature extension of the player.
But Barkley had the unfortunate luck of being born three days after Michael Jordan. So while television specials and a HUGE party in Houston All-Star weekend celebrated all things MJ, Barkley will get overshadowed. It happened the same way in his career — Barkley got the Suns to the NBA finals only to run into the Bulls buzz saw. And Jordan.
I called my good friend Luke. I told him if he needed any help, veteran leadership, in that capacity – Lakers – with an ability to coach at the end of my deal, then that was something I would be looking forward to. He utterly declined, and I respect him for that.
Gotta love a guy who announces to the world his pitch of providing veteran leadership was “utterly declined.”
Oklahoma City already had 15 players – the regular-season roster limit – with guaranteed salaries plus Semaj Christon (who’s likely headed to the D-League). Lauvergne’s salary is only partially guaranteed, but given his ability and cost, the Thunder surely plan to keep him.
The 6-foot-11 Lauvergne runs the floor well, and he can score in the pick-and-roll and on post-ups. He’s an impressive passer for his size, and he crashes the glass hard. But he’s not much of a rim-protector defensively. At age 24, he should produce well over the next several years – though he’s headed toward restricted free agency next summer.
Depending on the second-round picks, this might have just been a value play by the Thunder. They can figure out the rest later.
Henry – the No. 12 pick in the 2010 draft – never found his footing in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Hornets or Los Angeles Lakers. He made some strides with the Lakers in 2013-14, but he tore his Achilles early the following season. That compounded the knee injuries that made Scott doubt Henry could meet the expectations placed on him coming out of Kansas.
Milwaukee now has 15 players, the regular-season roster limit. If Henry’s deal is unguaranteed, he’s obviously not a lock to stick. But the Bucks could use another wing. I’m guessing they’ll add more players to compete with Henry for that final spot.
He’ll compete with recently signedZach Auguste for a regular-season-roster opening that doesn’t exist – until the Lakers ditch Nick Young. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lakers add more players to the mix.
Both Wear and Auguste are eligible to have their D-League rights assigned to the Lakers’ affiliate if they’re waived before the season.
The 6-foot-10 Wear went undrafted out of UCLA in 2014. He has the makings of a stretch four, but he must become more comfortable beyond the arc rather than just in the mid-range.