Let’s put it kindly — there is great skepticism around the league that Andrew Bynum can or will contribute much as an NBA player this season or ever again in the future. Yes, his knees that have been a chronic problem and kept him out all of last season. More than that, however, are questions about Bynum’s passion for the game or willingness to really work and fight through the injuries to bounce back. Former teammates of his are not sold.
That doesn’t mean the risk Cleveland took in signing him was a bad one — the $6 million guaranteed with incentives and the second season at a team option makes this a fair gamble. The upside is worth the risk.
I’m just saying Cavaliers fans should not get their hopes up.
Look at what Bynum’s agent David Lee told the Cleveland Plain Dealer about Bynum’s choice not to work out for teams during free agency.
“There was no reason to have him work out,” Lee said. “His skill level’s not in question, so there’s no reason to work out. The reality is he has not picked up the ball in some time and he has to get his weight down. He’s got to lose probably about 15 pounds, which is not a big deal. But to get on the floor you’ve got to reduce your weight, otherwise you risk injury.”
Lee said Bynum will be back for training camp. I wouldn’t bet the rent money on that. I wouldn’t bet the price of a can of warm Pabst Blue Ribbon on him being ready for camp.
This is a good gamble for the Cavaliers — Bynum when last healthy was an All-Star who averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds a game. If they get production anywhere near that, even half that, there is value.
Just don’t expect much.
NEW YORK (AP) — Craig Sager’s fight with leukemia will prevent the basketball sideline reporter form covering the Rio Olympics for NBC.
NBC said Thursday in a statement that the 65-year-old Sager is preparing for a third bone marrow transplant at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Sager was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2014 and announced in March that he was no longer in remission.
The Rio Games would have been Sager’s fifth Olympics.
Sager has worked for Turner Sports for 34 years. At the ESPY Awards this month, Vice President Joe Biden presented Sager with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.
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:
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.