Mike Dunleavy, Taj Gibson, Carlos Boozer

Taj Gibson, on a New York City subway, learned how ‘gangster’ Mike Dunleavy is


Taj Gibson grew up in Brooklyn and attended USC.

Mike Dunleavy graduated from a college-prep school in Oregon and attended Duke.

They didn’t exactly have the same upbringings, but the Bulls teammates formed a bond years ago. On the New York City subway. Late at night. Once Dunleavy was already in the NBA.

Gibson on Dunleavy, via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

“He takes hard fouls on guys,” Gibson said. “I love that about him. He’s not afraid.”

Gibson’s opinion of Dunleavy the person had been formed positively by an anecdote Gibson hilariously shared earlier this season. A high school-aged Gibson ran into Dunleavy riding the New York subway alone at night. Gibson said Dunleavy, already in the NBA, gave him a head nod.

“You don’t really see NBA players on the train, especially at night,” Gibson said in early January. “That’s how gangster he was.”

First, I need to hear Dunleavy’s version of this story. Does he remember this? Where was he going? What did he think of Gibson, presumably a really tall kid?

Second of all, the perception of Dunleavy as a finesse player should probably change. He’s tangled with Tyler Hansbrough and DeMarcus Cousins and come back for more.

Gangster indeed.

Lucky? Klay Thompson reminds Doc Rivers which team lost to Rockets

1 Comment

There’s this overplayed angle talked about by some fans and pundits suggesting the Warriors just got lucky last season — for example, they faced a banged-up Rockets’ team in the conference finals then a Cavaliers’ squad without two of their big three through the Finals. Then there was Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers saying the Warriors were lucky not having to play the Clippers or Spurs in the postseason.

The Warriors are sick of hearing they were lucky.

Friday Klay Thompson fired back at Rivers, via CSNBayArea.com.

– “I wanted to play the Clippers last year, but they couldn’t handle their business.”
– “If we got lucky, look at our record against them last year (Warriors 3-1). I’m pretty sure we smacked them.”
– “Didn’t they lose to the Rockets? Exactly. So haha. That just makes me laugh. That’s funny. Weren’t they up 3-1 too?”
– “Yeah, tell them I said that. That’s funny. That’s funny.”

Warriors big man Andrew Bogut phrased it differently.

If you think the Warriors just won because they were lucky — you are dead wrong.

They were the best team in the NBA last season, bar none. They won 67 regular season games in a tough conference, then beat everyone in their path to win a title. Did they catch some breaks along the way, particularly with health? You bet. Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant didn’t win a title without catching some breaks along the way, either. Nobody does. Luck plays a role, but it was not the primary factor in why the Warriors are champs.

All this talk of them getting lucky is fuel for the fire they needed not to be complacent this season. Way to give the defending champs bulletin board material, Doc.

Dwyane Wade serious as mentor, teaching Justise Winslow post moves

Third day of Miami Heat camp 10/1/2015
1 Comment

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.