It hasn’t been made official yet, but it’s been reported that Kevin Garnett will in fact return to play out the final year of his contract with the Nets next season, despite his longtime teammate Paul Pierce leaving for Washington.
But with retirement coming soon after Garnett completes his 20th NBA season, what’s next?
A position in Brooklyn’s front office, or with the team in some capacity, may be n the horizon.
From Devin Kharpertian of The Brooklyn Game:
Could Kevin Garnett be with the Brooklyn Nets beyond his playing career? One person tied in to the organization thinks so. In an interview released Saturday with CLNS Radio, Nets play-by-play announcer Ian Eagle sees Garnett having a role in the Nets organization after his retirement.
“This could be just the start of a long-term relationship,” Eagle said. “Kevin’s got a lot of interests outside of just playing basketball, as we know, and I think he saw Brooklyn as an opportunity to try to capitalize on a number of those interests. When the smoke clears, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kevin Garnett has some role moving forward beyond his basketball-playing years, whether it’s within the Nets organization, whether it’s with ownership, whether it’s within the marketing aspect of this team, whether it’s just within Brooklyn. That could be something to keep an eye on down the road. Kevin sees a bigger picture here than just playing one more year with the Nets.”
That potential opportunity, along with the $12 million remaining on his current deal are excellent reasons not to bail on the team for next season.
It’ll be interesting to see if this happens, and if so, in what capacity. Garnett has been a maniac on the court throughout his career — as intense a competitor as there is, although one that hasn’t always seemed completely mentally stable. That type of fire doesn’t exactly translate to a lot of other areas of business, but Garnett’s experience and Hall of Fame credentials may make him an interesting fit in a variety of post-basketball roles nonetheless.
It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)
With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.
President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.
“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”
There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.
It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.
The NBA now has a third female assistant coach.
The first was Becky Hammon, who has been part of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff for several years (and has coached their Summer League team). The second was Nancy Leiberman, who has been on the staff in Sacramento for a couple of seasons now.
Now the Kings have hired former Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek as an assistant coach on Dave Joerger’s staff. She will work as an assistant player development coach.
A former WNBA player in the league’s inaugural season, the past three years she has coached the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (she was fired midway through the last season), and prior to that had been the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09.
The San Antonio Spurs have been very tight lipped about how serious Kawhi Leonard‘s ongoing quadriceps issue is. He hasn’t played in the preseason or now the start of the regular season, with no timetable for his return. Part of that is the nature of the Spurs organization, but it leads to the feeling there is something more there.
Now surfaces this video of Leonard gingerly, slowly making his way up some stairs to the team plane, and it’s concerning.
To be fair, there is a real lack of context here, but according to the San Antonio Express-News, he had just come out of a rehab session. That means he might have been especially sore (and could have been iced up for the flight).
Still, this video makes one think it could be a while longer before we see Leonard back on the floor for San Antonio. (By the way over the past three seasons, including this one, the Spurs are 15-4 when Leonard sits. They will be fine short term.)
In the team’s first preseason game, the jersey of the Lakers’ Tyler Ennis was torn in the back with a tug from an opponent. Everyone made tearaway jersey jokes and moved on, thinking it was a one-off situation.
Then LeBron James‘ jersey ripped down the back on opening night, on national television.
Now Nike is looking into the issue, reports Darren Rovell of ESPN.
Nearly three days after one of its jerseys tore in the first regular-season game of its new deal with the NBA, Nike released a statement Friday expressing worry about the issue, without offering insight as to what happened or what will be done.
“The quality and performance of all our products are of utmost importance,” the company said in a statement. “We are obviously very concerned to see any game day jersey tear and are working with the NBA and teams to avoid this happening in the future.”
This is the first year Nike has the NBA apparel contract, having just taken it over from Adidas. They made the jerseys similar to what had been done for the 2016 Rio Olympics, where there were no issues, but these jerseys are lighter than the former Adidas ones. It’s unclear what, if any, changes could be coming.
Like many of the jerseys from opening night, LeBron’s ripped one is being auctioned by the NBA to raise money for hurricane relief.