Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.
• New Orleans is known for great seafood, though sushi is not the first thing to come to mind. But Anthony Davis as a sushi chef is what Boost Mobile thought would sell phones.
• Russell Westbrook has targeted making the All-Defensive team.
• It’s official, the Cavaliers have interviewed Vinny Del Negro, who is also in the running for the Timberwolves job.
• Patrick Ewing would love to coach the Knicks. Somebody should give him a shot before recycling Vinny Del Negro.
• I am sick of former Jordan era Bulls (or Showtime Lakers or 80s Celtics) coming out and saying “our teams could beat the Heat” or some variant of that. The Lakers said that about the Bulls, the 50s Celtics probably said that about everybody. Anyway, Horace Grant said the Bulls could beat the Heat. Different teams from different eras and different rule sets, kind of a pointless argument. But we Americans love pointless arguments.
• Greg Oden said he’ll be ready if Eric Spoelstra calls on him. Don’t bet on it.
• First round pick to be Rodney Hood is working on getting stronger.
• The Spanish language voice of the Lakers (the team broadcasts its games in three languages) is suing the team for discrimination and harassment.
• Andrei Kirilenko has not ruled out returning to play overseas next season.
• We close with Sasha Vujacic hitting a lot of jumpers in a row in an empty gym. His ability to shoot the rock was never really the question.
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.