The NBA has been interested in tinkering with its jerseys in one form or another in recent seasons, and while some of the plans for the upcoming year aren’t as drastic as they’ve been in the recent past, we can expect some additional tweaks nonetheless.
One of them will be the appearance of gold patches on the backs of jerseys, which is intended to commemorate championship seasons.
It actually seems like a cool idea — until you realize that the plan is to have it in place for every team that has ever won a championship in NBA history.
[Photo via Ben Golliver, SI.com]
This is a look at the jersey for the Pistons, which features the Larry O’Brien trophy along with a 3X designation for each the team’s historical titles.
Once it becomes clear that there are more franchises that have won NBA titles than those that have not, however, the idea becomes far less interesting.
A good use of this patch would be to include it on the jerseys of the 15 players who were on the roster of the previous year’s championship team each season, regardless of whether or not they switch teams via trade or free agency the following year. (For example, Mike Miller would have had one on his Memphis Grizzlies jersey last season, thanks to being a part of the Heat’s title team in 2013.)
Simply putting the patch on the jerseys of the reigning champs each year would seem odd for the players who were newcomers, and didn’t contribute to the championship effort of the previous season — like Greg Oden in Miami, for instance.
Either way, a patch like this should commemorate something special and unique. Since it will be displayed by more than half of the teams in the league next season, its overall effect will be minimized.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.
General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.
McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.
In the Pacers first exhibition game of the season Saturday against the Pelicans, Paul George started at the power forward spot and looked healthy — that should be the big takeaway. He also showed off his offensive game in the first quarter, eventually finishing the night with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting. He forced some shots in the second half and had some defensive challenges, but it was a solid outing for a first preseason game.
George did not see it that way, and that will end up being the big takeaway.
He complained about playing power forward during training camp and given the chance after this one game he did it again, as reported by Candace Buckner of the Indy Star.
“I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot,” George said after the Pacers’ 110-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, a game in which he started matched up against 6-foot-11 All-Star Anthony Davis.
“I don’t know if this is my position. We’ll sit and watch tape and I’m sure I’ll talk with coach (Frank Vogel). I’ll talk with Larry (Bird) as well to get both their inputs on how the first game went but…I’m still not comfortable with it regardless of the situation. It’s still something I have to adjust to or maybe not. Or maybe it’s something we can go away from.”
George sees himself as a wing, where he has played his entire career. He doesn’t like defending traditional fours, as a scorer he doesn’t like expending all that energy defending pick-and-rolls and banging with bigger bodies. He’s been clear about that.
He still needs to be open to the idea. How much time George gets at the four on any given night should depend on the matchup — and Anthony Davis is about as rough a matchup as he is going to see. Davis scored 18 points in 15 minutes, and the Pelicans controlled the paint against the small-ball Pacers. George had a hard time defending Davis — welcome to a rather large club, PG. That said, George scored 12 points in the first quarter mostly with Davis on him, he pulled the big out in space and got what he wanted.
Back to the matchups point, George will struggle defensively against the best fours in the game (most of whom are in the West). But what about the nights in the East when George would be matched up on Thaddeus Young from Brooklyn, Jared Sullinger (or David Lee, or whoever) from Boston, or Aaron Gordon with the Magic, or Carmelo Anthony with the Knicks when they play small? There are a lot of lineups the Pacers will see where George at the four makes sense.
The Pacers are transitioning from a plodding and defensive-minded squad to a more up-tempo style, and that’s going to take time— a lot more than one preseason game. However, if George is throwing cold water on the plan after this one effort, it might take a lot longer and be a lot bumpier to make that transition than we pictured.