For struggling NBA teams (and even some not-so-bad ones) it’s pretty common to see them sell the opponent coming to town. “Come see Kobe Bryant while you still can” or “Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the high-flying Thunder are coming to town” is a pretty common pitch.
But the Timberwolves are taking it to a whole new level in trying to sell Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and the Miami Heat, as pointed out by Darren Rovell of ESPN.
Let me make the obvious point here — the Timberwolves are really fun and a good team. Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin — this is a team I like to watch play on League Pass and will go to when they come to my town. People will pay to see them.
Yes, they are 8-9 to start the season but the Timberwolves have been a bit unlucky — their expected win-loss based on their point per possession differential is 11-6. Three game swing. Those kinds of things tend to correct themselves over the course of the season, Minnesota will eventually get some lucky wins. However, things could start to look worse over the next week with the Mavericks, Thunder, Spurs and Heat as the next four games.
Maybe you do need to sell the Heat a little.
First it was Darryl Dawkins. Then it was Moses Malone.
Two all-time great players who recently died — and at t0o young an age, 58 and 60 respectively — from undiagnosed heart conditions. Even before that, recognizing the issue the NBA players union and the league itself were setting up supplemental health coverage to provide cardiac screening for retired players, something ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan recently broke.
The joint effort between union executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — at a time when there still may be potentially acrimonious labor negotiations looming for their sides — is intended to ease the health concerns of its retired players.
Roberts said action from the players’ association on providing screening for its retired players is “imminent.”
“I wish I could give you an exact timetable, but we have to make sure all the components are in place,” Roberts told ESPN recently. “I will tell you we hope to have something sooner than later.”
The Cardiologists are affiliated with the NBA already, and some of the money will come from the league, while the union is both pitching in a chunk of cash and is the one organizing this, according to the report.
It’s good to Roberts and Silver working together on this. While you’d like to think this would be the kind of no-brainer move that the league and union would work together on, in the past the relationship didn’t always facilitate this sort of cooperation even on the obvious.
I’d like to think this bodes well for future labor talks, but I’m not willing to completely draw that parallel.
Somebody is in midseason form.
Stephen Curry put up 30 on Portland in a preseason game Thursday night, hitting six threes and getting to the line 15 times over the course of his less than 26 minutes. It was quite a show.
Portland won the game 118-101 behind 25 points from Allen Crabbe and 22 from Damian Lillard. Not a lot of defense in this one but it was fun to watch.