paul george

Paul George says he’ll sign a contract extension with Pacers before the season begins


Back in July, Paul George did in fact say that “it would be tough to say no to Kobe” if the Lakers came calling when he potentially entered the summer of 2014 as a restricted free agent.

There was no panic in PacerLand, however, because George qualified that statement by saying how happy he is playing in Indiana, and later made it clear that he has no intention of leaving the team any time soon.

George could let this season play out before becoming a restricted free agent next summer, but the Pacers would simply match any offer he would receive. Or, he could avoid all that by signing a long-term extension to stay with the team before the October 31 deadline to do so.

From Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star:

“(A long-term contract) is going to get done,” George told The Indianapolis Star. “There will be a deal signed and sealed on the table before the season. We’re (George and Pacers management) on the same page.” …

Pacers President Larry Bird said earlier this week he hopes to reach a deal before the season because it would remove a potential distraction and give George a sense of security that many players crave — including Bird himself during his Hall of Fame career with the Boston Celtics.

“We are working on it now,” Bird said. “We’ve got a way set up where we definitely think we can get something done, but it’s going to have to work for both parties.”

The Pacers, of course, are coming off of a season that saw them push the eventual champion Miami Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals.

George was a big part of that, and even received mid-game, on-court dap from LeBron James during a particularly competitive sequence between the two teams’ respective stars.

The Pacers are on the rise, and added depth this offseason. Roy Hibbert might be the team’s most dominant presence, but George is its star player, capable of spectacular things. It’s wise for the Pacers to lock him up with a long-term deal as soon as he’ll sign, and it’s great for the franchise that he doesn’t want to play anywhere else.

Dwyane Wade serious as mentor, teaching Justise Winslow post moves

Third day of Miami Heat camp 10/1/2015
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Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.

Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.

Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.

“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.

“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”

This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.

It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.

NBA All-Star, champion Bill Bridges dies at age 76

ATLANTA - 1968:  Bill Bridges#10 of the Atlanta Hawks poses for a portrait circa 1968 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1968 NBAE (Photo by NBA Photo Library/NBAE via Getty Images)

Bill Bridges, a star as a Kansas Jayhawk who went on to have a 12-year NBA career that included being part of the 1975 Golden State Warriors championship team, has passed away, according to the University of Kansas.

Bridges was an undersized power forward at 6’6″ but he was a beast on the boards who averaged 11.9 rebounds a game for his career and more than 13 a game for six straight years at the peak of his career. That 11.9 per game average is still 27th all-time in NBA history.

A New Mexico native, Bridges was a three-time All-Star (all as a member of the Hawks), two-time All-NBA Defensive team, and was part of the 1975 Warriors title team. Besides the Hawks (St. Louis and Atlanta) and Warriors, Bridges played for the Sixers and Lakers.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.