During a taping of an ESPN interview with Dwight Howard conducted by Stephen A. Smith, apparently someone was able to watch via the satellite feed, and then record it as it happened.
What that led to was some off-camera comments that were obviously not meant for public consumption being released into the wild, and it paints James Dolan, the owner of the New York Knicks, in a less-than-flattering light where his basketball decision-making is concerned.
“And by the way, Dolan was ready to trade [Iman Shumpert] because he didn’t want to work out in the summer league,” Smith tells Howard in the video clip above. “Dolan’s talking about trading him. I said, ‘trade who? You better hold on to that boy. You better not lose Iman Shumpert.’ That boy can play.”
Shumpert participated in the Knicks first Summer League game, before heading off to China on a pre-planned promotional tour with adidas.
It’s worth keeping in mind that reporters who are plugged in around the league hear a lot of things, most of which aren’t close to actually happening. The items that are truly legit get turned into stories on the mainstream national websites fairly quickly, so the fact that this tidbit wasn’t one of these would lead us to believe it was a fleeting thought by the Knicks owner, rather than a more serious intention.
Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.
So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.
LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.
When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.
At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.
The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.
China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.
China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.
Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.
This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.
The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.