2014 NBA Draft

adidas announces signings of Joel Embiid and Marcus Smart


adidas had already locked up two of the top five picks in this summer’s draft when they signed Andrew Wiggins and Dante Exum, and now have added two additional lottery picks to their team as brand endorsers.

Joel Embiid, who the Sixers selected with the third overall pick, and Marcus Smart, taken by the Celtics at six, are now a part of the adidas family.

From the official release:

“I couldn’t be happier to make it official, I am now a member of the adidas family,” said Marcus Smart.

Embiid and Smart join the ranks of an adidas Basketball roster highlighted by first-time NBA All-Stars Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers and John Wall of the Washington Wizards, 2011 NBA Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets and Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls.

“adidas is a brand I’ve always admired, I’m very happy to join their team as I start my NBA career,” said Joel Embiid.

Jeff Goodman of ESPN reports that Embiid will receive $1.5 million over four years, and Smart will receive $1.2 million.

By comparison, Wiggins will receive $2 million per year for the next four years. Being the No. 1 overall pick apparently has its advantages.

Looks like Donovan to keep Andre Roberson, Steven Adams as starters

Los Angeles Clippers v Oklahoma City Thunder
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Billy Donovan was given the head coaching job in Oklahoma City to bring their offense into modern times — and it seems to be working, Russell Westbrook said he feels a lot more space in the system.

But if the Thunder are going to contend for a title, they need a top 10 defense as well — and to do that Donovan is going to keep a Scott Brooks move and continue to start  Andre Roberson and Steven Adams. Check out the starting lineup for their first preseason game Wednesday.

There also was this report via Anthony Slater in the Oklahoman yesterday about a scrimmage at practice.

Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson all started for the White team. Nick Collison joined them, but that was only because Steven Adams sat out with back soreness….

Donovan said the teams weren’t split by accident. That’s how they’ve been divided in practice. So at this point, it seems Roberson is this team’s starting shooting guard and Adams is the team’s starting center.

This is the smart move. Last season the lineup of Westbrook, Roberson, Durant, Ibaka and Adams was +13.4 points per 100 possessions over their opponents. Roberson and Adams are there for defense — neither brings much offensive game to the floor, but when you have Westbrook and Durant and only one ball between them, you don’t need more offensive threats. You’re going to get plenty of points.

If they can just stay healthy, Oklahoma City is a team to be feared.

Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88

Harry Gallatin
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The Hall of Fame player behind the original iron man streak is with us no more.

Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88, the team confirmed Wednesday.

Gallatin led the Knicks of the late 1940s and into the 1950s, when he set a then record playing in 610 consecutive games. Nicknamed “The Horse,” he was a beast on the boards who averaged 15.3 rebounds a game one season and averaged 11.9 boards and 13 points per game over the course of his 10-year career. He’s still fourth all time in total rebounds in Knicks franchise history.

Gallatin was a seven-time All-Star and twice All-NBA selection. After his playing days, he spent many years as the athletic director at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.