Victor Oladipo is a lot of fun.
Everywhere he’s gone, his teammates love playing with him, and it’s easy to see why. He’s an explosive athlete who plays with a ton of passion – an awesome combination.
The Orlando Magic are 10-29 as we reach the time of year when bad teams fall into ruts. It can get miserable playing out the rest of the season when you know the playoffs are virtually impossible.
But Oladipo is still providing joy, even to a veteran teammate who once helped the Magic reach heights he surely knows this edition has no chance of even nearing.
Jameer Nelson, via Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:
“One thing about Vic: He’s faster than a hiccup, man!” Nelson said after the game. “Did you see how fast he gets to that basket? When you blink, he’s gone. He just takes advantage of the seams, and he’s doing a better job of recognizing what’s going on, how teams are playing him. He made some good shots and some good plays for us tonight.
“He has to stay in attack mode, whether it’s for himself or for the rest of the team. We believe in him. He’s a guy [for whom] we put the ball in his hands a lot. He’s going to have his growing pains, just like anybody else. But that’s what it’s about. It’s about us, when he does have those growing pains, picking him up and not getting discouraged.”
That’s quite the simile and definitely one I’ll put in my back pocket. But former Negro League player/manager Buck O’Neil still has my all-time favorite description of a speedy player. Joe Posnanski:
I think of Buck O’Neil and what he used to say whenever someone would ask him: How fast WAS Cool Papa Bell anyway? Buck would smile and say: “Faster than that.”
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.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.