Today there were some guys with really nice stat lines that just get an honorable mention. There was Paul Pierce (24 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists), who was one of the only Celtics to show up. For the Knicks Carmelo Anthony (24 points, 10 rebounds) had a good line but it was really Raymond Felton that drove New York to a win. So we’ll go a different direction.
Third Star: Kyrie Irving(31 points, 6 assists)
It was very good to see Irving back on the court and we saw flashes of what makes him great — early on he had a sweet between-the-legs dish to Tristan Thompson, he was hitting shots in traffic and at one point just embarrassed Lou Amundson. He had limited minutes in his first game back from a shoulder injury and still put up big numbers. It just wasn’t near enough for a Cavs team that got blown out by the Hornets.
Second Star: Chris Bosh(23 points, 9 rebounds)
No LeBron James, no Dwyane Wade and the guy who people seemed to forget used to carry Toronto stepped up and carried the Heat for a day. He can do that folks, he’s good. His numbers are good, but it was his aggressiveness and energy from the start that kept the Heat going in a game they could have just rolled over and lost. And of course, there’s that sweet game-winning three.
First Star: Luol Deng(28 points, 9 rebounds)
The last couple years Deng has gotten voted in as an All-Star reserve by the coaches and a lot of fans have questioned that, but he has shown the coaches know what they are talking about. He was fantastic against the Heat and now against the Pistons on Sunday he had 14 of his points in the fourth quarter. We saw an aggressive and attacking Deng who got to the line for 17 free throw attempts (making 11), the one the Bulls are going to need in the playoffs.
Kings GM Vlade Divac on Rudy Gay’s communication complaints: ‘He has my number’
“He has my number,” Divac told CSN California. “If I do something, I will call him. Obviously, if I didn’t call him, we didn’t do anything.”
“Look, I was a player, 16-17 years in the league, nobody called me everyday and tell me what management is doing,” Divac said. “Management was doing their job. If something big happened, they called and told me. Obviously, nothing big happened (so) I’m not going to call anybody.”
I suppose Divac can take that tack. He’s obviously not obligated to provide Gay regular updates.
But the Kings already have a reputation for putting their players in bleak positions. This doesn’t help.
Even if Divac feels calling Gay is going out of his way, so what? The alternative — Gay either coming to training camp unhappy or spreading word of Sacramento’s mistreatment of players to his new teammates after a trade — is far worse.
The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced today that its player representatives have voted unanimously to fund health insurance for all retired NBA players with at least three years of service in the league. This program is the first of its kind among North American professional sports. It also exemplifies the NBPA’s focus on the health and welfare of its current, retired and future members.
“The game has never before been more popular, and all the players in our league today recognize that we’re only in this position because of the hard work and dedication of the men who came before us,” said Chris Paul, NBPA President and nine-time All-Star. “It’s important that we take care of our entire extended NBA family, and I’m proud of my fellow players for taking this unprecedented step to ensure the health and well-being of our predecessors.”
The unanimous vote – which took place during the NBPA Summer Meeting in New York on June 26 – established a multi-faceted health insurance program through UnitedHealthcare, the country’s leading health benefits provider. The current proposal includes:
Retired players with between three and six years of NBA service time but who are not yet eligible for Medicare would be offered a plan that includes medical, hospital and prescription drug coverage with modest out-of-pocket costs for deductibles and co-pays;
Those with between seven and nine years of service would be offered the same coverage with even lower out-of-pocket costs;
Retired players with at least 10 years of service would be offered the same coverage as the seven-to-nine year players, and would include coverage for their entire family;
Retired players with three-nine years of service who are eligible for Medicare would be offered a $0 deductible and $0 co-pay plan along with a low-cost prescription drug plan; those with 10+ years of service to receive this coverage for themselves and their spouse.
The open enrollment period for retired players would begin this fall, with coverage beginning on January 1, 2017.
This is a good thing.
It also could become a bargaining point in Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations. Should current players face the entire burden of insuring retired players, or should owners split the cost? (The fact that the question is even being posed paints players in a positive light.)
But back to the bigger point: This is a good thing. It’ll help retired players who need it, retired players who helped position the current generation to afford this. Kudos to the union for stepping up.
Report: Bulls’ Cristiano Felicio ‘strong favorite’ to replace Anderson Varejao on Brazilian Olympic team
The L.A. Clippers equipment staffer who was punched in the face by Blake Griffin during a fight in Toronto earlier this year is off the team — and will NOT be back for the ’16/’17 season … TMZ Sports has learned.
We spoke with a rep for the Clippers who confirmed Matias Testi “no longer works for the team.”