The city of Sacramento rallied around the Kings for some reason, despite the fact that it’s one of the historically worst franchises that the NBA has ever seen.
When the threat of relocation to Seattle presented itself, former NBA player and current Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson stepped in to save the day, helping a new ownership group take control which would keep the team in Sacramento for the foreseeable future.
The tease of Seattle potentially getting an NBA team back didn’t sit well with Eddie Vedder, lead singer of the world-renowned band Pearl Jam which hails from the Emerald City. And he made sure to make his feelings known during a recent tour stop in Oklahoma City.
From Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee:
Band point man Eddie Vedder – a Seattle native – took aim at Sacramento with an expletive-filled rant during a recent show in Oklahoma City, expressing his displeasure with the NBA’s decision to deny a Kings move to the Pacific Northwest. …
A fan’s video shows Vedder saying that “the people that really (expletive) us over is Sacramento,” before adding “when you think about it, and if you’ve ever been to Sacramento, they’re already kind of (expletive).” …
“See, here’s the deal,” Vedder said. “It’s nothing to do with Oklahoma or Oklahoma City or Tulsa or this state or the people or the locals or people in this building. It’s simply what it’d be like if your girlfriend, who you were with in a long-time relationship … well, you wouldn’t like her new husband. If it was Fresno, I’d be p—-d off at Fresno.”
The members of Pearl Jam were always into basketball; there was a brief early flirtation with the band being named Mookie Blaylock that is detailed excellently in this older piece over at Deadspin by an expert at both music and basketball, Bethlehem Shoals.
Vedder’s public place in the spotlight makes his comments on the matter relevant, but the fact is that many Seattle basketball fans are going to resent their Sacramento counterparts until a team ultimately returns to play in their city.
Craig Sager couldn’t be in Rio covering the Olympics for NBC, his cancer wouldn’t allow it. That didn’t stop Team USA from reaching out to him before they left. Or from Nike designing a sweet pair of shoes for him.
Now there is good news on his battle against leukemia — he will have a third bone marrow transplant, according to his son Craig Sager II.
This is fantastic news for a man and family who have been through a lot. Hopefully, this treatment is a step forward for Sager, a man beloved by everyone around the NBA.
The Oklahoma City frontcourt is crowded. Enes Kanter and Steven Adams will start, and they will have Nick Collison, Ersan Ilyasova, Domantas Sabonis, and now Joffrey Lauvergne behind them.
Which likely means Mitch McGary‘s done as a member of the Thunder, according to Royce Young of ESPN.
McGary has battled injuries his two seasons in the league and got on the court for only 72 minutes total last season for the Thunder (he played in more games and put up solid numbers in the D-LEague). He was not part of the future there regardless. He’s an undersized five trying to play the four and what he brought as a rookie — energy — was not enough as a sophomore.
McGary will make $1.5 million this season. He may be tough to move because he’s suspended for the first five games he’s eligible to play next season for failing the league’s drug policy (five games is the standard suspension for testing positive for marijuana three times). Maybe a team looking to develop players will give him a shot, but there is little trade value for him.
If you can knock down a 19-foot shot, then a 15-footer should be easier. Right?
Apparently that — and just basic muscle memory — is the latest attempt to improve Dwight Howard‘s free throw shooting. And, he seems to be knocking down those shots.
It’s not hard to see the logic in this approach.
The challenge is form and reps are not the problems for Howard — or DeAndre Jordan or Andre Drummond or others — when it comes to hitting free throws. Anyone who says “why don’t they just practice the shot” doesn’t pay attention, these guys put in a lot of work on the shot. Pregame and in practice (I’m Los Angeles based), Jordan probably hits 65 percent from the line. At least.
The problem is mental. That can be a tougher hurdle to clear. Maybe taking 19 footers and knocking them down will have Howard feeling more confident at the stripe this season.
But we’re going to need to see it to believe it. Just like we’re going to have to see a rejuvenated Howard in Atlanta before we believe this season will be different from the last few.
Until this season, Jason Thompson had never been to the playoffs. He spent seven seasons in Sacramento before getting traded to the Warriors last offseason, and then signing with the Raptors midseason when Golden State waived him to make room on the roster for Anderson Varejao. His NBA days appear over, at least for now. International basketball reporter David Pick reports that Thompson has agreed to a deal to play in China.
Since the CBA’s season ends in March, Thompson could theoretically join an NBA team for the stretch run next year. But he didn’t appear to have much interest on the free-agent market this summer.