Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.
• A lot of our younger readers read the headline of this story and said “who?” Back in the 1980s Jeff Ruland was a bruising center and a two-time All-Star who averaged a double-double — until the Sixers traded for him in 1986 (sending Moses Malone out). Then Ruland got injured, played just 18 games in two years and never had an impact on the Sixers. Sound familiar?
Ruland told CSNPhilly.com he hopes it is not, that he is betting on Bynum to make it back.
• Through everything, Dwight Howard has remained positive. And it’s working.
• Speaking of Lakers who believe, Metta World Peace remains convinced that he’s getting a ring this year.
• The Lakers have to catch someone to make the playoffs. Did Daryl Morey’s smart long-term play at the deadline hurt the Rockets this year?
• Speaking of the Rockets deadline acquisition, here is a Q&A with Thomas Robinson.
• Kyrie Irving just buys new underwear for every road trip then throws it out when he’s done.
• Jermaine O’Neal could be back with the suns on Monday.
• At what point will there be a backlash against how money drives sports?
• DeMarcus Cousins has had a very strange season.
• Looking at the minds of the NBA’s best players. Cousins isn’t there yet.
• Big Baby Glen Davis has gone vegan.
• Talking about how Rudy Gay and the Toronto Raptors have to learn how to win.
• And we’ll end like we began, with a Sixers note — a Q&A with Evan Turner.
In July, Carmelo Anthony was reportedly confident he’d be traded to the Rockets.
That optimism always seemed misguided. A couple months later, with Anthony still on the Knicks, it looks downright foolish.
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:
Anthony’s camp is cautiously optimistic that a deal will be struck before Monday, and trying not to think about the potential media circus that will take place if Carmelo is still with the Knicks.
It’s more likely Anthony’s confidants are hopeful than optimistic. If they’re actually optimistic, they’re very likely to be disappointed.
If Anthony hasn’t been traded by now, what will change between now and Monday? Houston still must find a taker for Ryan Anderson, and that’s no easy task – not without relinquishing sweeteners more valuable than Anthony. I suppose Anthony could waive his no-trade clause for additional teams, but it’s late for a deal to come together.
Hopefully for Anthony, his advisors aren’t pinning everything on a longshot trade and are helping him craft answers to the numerous questions he’ll face at media day next week – likely in New York.
Once an advocate of increasing the age minimum and a willing accepter of one-and-done, NBA commissioner Adam Silver sounded more open about allowing high school players to declare for the NBA draft.
The new Collective Bargaining Agreement left the issue open, but Louisville coach Rick Pitino predicts change is coming – relatively soon.
Pitino, via ESPN:
When I was at Kentucky, I had seven high school basketball players, told me they were coming, and instead, they went to the pros out of high school. And by the way, I think that rule is going to change back to that. I think high school players are going to be able to go pro again.
I think the commissioner is probably going to do it within two years.
Does Pitino know something? With decades of experience in the NBA and college, he could have many contacts with inside information. It’s certainly imperative for devising a recruiting strategy to know how this rule will change.
It’s also possible Pitino saw Silver’s comments, like any outsider could have, and is making a relatively blind guess.
But the possibility of inside information makes his comments more intriguing.
The Warriors are charging $60 million over three years for their jersey ads – about double what any other NBA team is getting.
Golden State chief marketing officer Chip Bowers, via Darren Rovell of ESPN:
“We actually had multiple finalists,” Warriors chief marketing officer Chip Bowers said. “This was not the biggest deal that we were offered.”
Bowers said the team felt it was important for the deal to be with a worldwide brand.
Light years ahead.
The Bulls hired Doug Collins as an advisor.
Is Collins, who has coached only one winning season in the last 20 years and often sounds analytically disinclined, too behind the times?
I’m old. Let me finish. But I’m not old school. I’ve got a young brain. And I think you get pigeonholed: That guy is old school because he’s old. Now, if being on time and working hard and doing all those things are old school, then yes, I’m old school. But I will match my wits with anybody in terms of young people, in terms of what’s going on now and what’s happening. So, I am woke.
Suddenly, Kyrie Irving‘s statement on ESPN – “Oh, if you’re very much woke, there’s no such thing as distractions” – has a challenger for the most awkward use of “woke” by NBA personnel this week.