Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game 6

Lance Stephenson wants to remain with Pacers, agent says

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You know what Lance Stephenson really wants this summer? To get paid. He is going to go to the team that offers him the most money. Now, if a couple teams are close on money then team quality, lifestyle, state taxes, weather and all the rest of it come into play, but it’s about the money. It’s always about the money.

Stephenson is an unrestricted free agent. Pacers’ president Larry Bird said he wants to bring his young swingman back, but the question ultimately becomes about cost — how much would you pay Stephenson? Will some GM come in over the top and really invest in Stephenson, betting on him and his game maturing.

All things being equal, Stephenson would love to return to the Pacers, his agent told Zagsblog.com.

One day after Larry Bird said he wants Lance Stephenson back with the Indiana Pacers, Stephenson’s agent told SNY.tv the two sides hope “to get a deal done.”

“They are a quality organization from the top down,” Alberto Ebanks told SNY.tv of the Pacers. “We are going to try to get a deal done. The communication has been there for the last four years with the Pacers and it has been beneficial for the Pacers and for Lance. I hope we can come to terms.”

The Pacers are already over the salary cap before they re-sign Lance Stephenson and they are not going tint the luxury tax. Which means they either need to re-sign Stephenson or find his replacement for the mid-level exception. Or get incredibly creative with a trade. The Pacers need more shot creation and Lance provides that, if inconsistently and with some antics.

Right now everything is just puppy dogs and rainbows as the Pacers and Stephenson’s representatives and the Pacers. Of course it is, there is no money on the table. We’ll see how the relationship is com July 7 or so.

LeBron James talked Justin Bieber out of performing at Donald Trump’s nominating convention

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 29: Justin Bieber drinks champagne at the podium during the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 29, 2016 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Lars Baron/Getty Images
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With the Republican National Convention being held in Cleveland, you knew there was going to be a LeBron James influence.

It apparently kept Justin Bieber away from Donald Trump and Co.

TMZ

Justin Bieber got a $5 million offer to perform at a Republican event during the GOP Convention, but turned it down after his manager considered quitting and LeBron James urged him to reject it … sources tell TMZ.

That’s a lot of money for a single gig. This either speaks to the power of LeBron’s words — or the embellishment of Bieber’s value.

Watch Bulls’ Dwyane Wade press conference live (video)

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Dwyane Wade playing for a team other than the Heat will be strange.

You can get your first glimpse of that weirdness today, when the Bulls introduce Wade at 3 p.m. Eastern.

If the above video doesn’t load, click here to watch the press conference.

Russell Westbrook laughs off Kevin Durant question (video)

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, right, gestures after scoring as forward Kevin Durant stands by during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, in Los Angeles. The Thunder won 117-113. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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How does Russell Westbrook feel about Kevin Durant leaving the Thunder for the Warriors?

Westbrook has been silent on the signing, leaving Durant and anonymous sources to speak on his behalf — and the NBA world hungry for his response.

The first glimpse:

Feel free to read way too much into that laugh.

(hat tip: reddit user esoh)

Phil Jackson: ‘Today’s players simply lack the skills to play the triangle’

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson speaks to reporters during a news conference in Greenburgh, N.Y., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. Derek Fisher was fired as New York Knicks coach Monday, with his team having lost five straight and nine of 10 to fall well back in the Eastern Conference playoff race. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
AP Photo/Seth Wenig
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See whether you can follow this timeline:

1. Knicks president Phil Jackson stated his commitment to the triangle offense entering the 2015-16 season.

2. Jackson in a December interview published today, via Charley Rosen of Today’s Fastbreak:

Today’s players simply lack the skills to play the triangle. They know how to play one-on-one, catch-and-shoot, and they’ve mastered crossover dribbles, spins, playing off of screens and step-back shots. They don’t know how to execute things like inside-reverse pivots and other basic footwork. They have no sense of timing or organization. They don’t really know how to play five-on-five basketball. It’s strictly generational.

That’s why Fish {Derek Fisher} wants to uptempo the offense. And why he spends a half-hour before practice doing lots of skills work.

3. Jackson fires coach Derek Fisher, who — according to interim coach Kurt Rambis — resisted the triangle.

4. Jackson said the Knicks would continue to run the triangle and even ran a triangle camp for New York players.

5. Jackson hired Jeff Hornacek, who has little triangle experience, and said the new coach wouldn’t have to run the triangle.

¯_(ツ)_/¯

Maybe Jackson, relying on his December thoughts, finally changed his mind about the triangle. Maybe he believes players can still be taught triangle skills and actually plans to have Hornacek use the system.

Or maybe the Knicks are just rudderless.