Isaiah Thomas was and is beloved by fans in Sacramento. With good reason — he was the ultimate underdog, a guy we can all relate to. He was the last guy taken in the draft (60th pick, last in the second round) and is 5’9” in a league full of guys who won the genetic lottery. He played hard and fast every time on the court. He was the guy you saw on ads during timeouts in Kings games pitching Pizza Guy. And he got buckets — he averaged 20.7 points a game last season. Every time the Kings brought in a guy to take over the starting point guard spot he just beat them out.
But Thomas was never a management favorite in Sacramento.
The Kings went out this summer and brought in Daren Collison and Thomas told Sactown Royalty he felt disrespected when that happened and he knew his stay in California’s capital was over.
“When they did that, I knew I wasn’t coming back. Going into my fourth year, I felt like I kind of proved myself to be a starter, especially on the Sacramento Kings…
“So when I say I felt disrespected, I just felt like the way I played the game of basketball wasn’t appreciated. So they always say you don’t know what you got until it’s gone, and I feel like that’s going to happen.”
Thomas makes it clear that coach Mike Malone was great and was a big supporter of his, but it was up the ladder of management that there was no love. That matches the buzz I heard, that this was really out of GM Pete D’Alessandro’s office, but he denies that.
Whatever is the case, Thomas said he loved Sacramento but he’s going to make them pay for letting him go.
I tell everybody I love Sacramento, I always will love Sacramento, but when we play them I’m going to kill Sacramento.
Darren Collison can’t guard Thomas. And whenever Thomas has put his mind to something in the NBA, he’s done it.
Now his mind is set on destroying the Kings when they play. Mark that on your calendar.
Gregg Popovich seems like a nice, considerate dude with a good head on his shoulders. The San Antonio Spurs coach made headlines this season as a leading advocate against many of the political changes occurring since the election of Donald Trump. He’s a thoughtful guy.
Popovich is also apparently a big tipper. A photo recently surfaced via Reddit and MySA.com that showed Popovich’s signature on a bill that had a $5,000 tip on it.
Nope, not a typo. $5,000.
If you’re ever waiting on Pop, be sure to come back to refill his water as much as you can. It looks like it might be worth it for you.
So you’re saying there’s a chance….
The Bulls have been lost at the once since Rajon Rondo went out with a fractured thumb — Jerian Grant and Michael Carter-Williams have been abject disasters to the point Isaiah Canaan was brought out of mothballs (and played fairly well in Game 4). The smart play would be a no point guard lineup with Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler as the ball handlers, but that will wear those guys down and will only work for stretches.
What the Bulls need is Rondo back. And that could happen for Game 5 Wednesday, if not maybe for Game 6, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports, and Marc Stein of ESPN.
Rondo is tough, he might be able to play through this, although it likely would limit his effectiveness, particularly when he has the ball.
The Bulls will take whatever he can give. The Celtics woke up the last two games, and it’s going to be difficult to turn the tide without better play at the point.
The Houston Rockets are in control of their series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and were up 3-1 heading into Tuesday night’s Game 5 in Texas.
That did not stop what appeared to be Rockets owner Leslie Alexander from complaining to NBA referees. During gameplay. While standing directly next to an official, some 20 feet from his courtside seat.
Congratulations are in order to Bill Kennedy, the official in question, for keeping his cool. Or perhaps he just was so surprised by some dude yelling in his ear from right next to him he didn’t know how to react.
Come June 26, Drake will be on stage in New York City, handing out the NBA’s awards — Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and so on. (We need to set an under/over on the number of players Drake hugs that night.)
The NFL does it. The NHL does it. And the NBA has decided to follow suit with a broadcast awards ceremony where everything — except the All-NBA Team — will be announced that night. It’s happening because the broadcast partners want it.
Brandon Jennings is not a fan. Here is what the Wizards’ point guard Tweeted:
Jennings took down a Tweet that said if he had won the award he would have wanted to get it with the organization and his teammates around him. (And no, he knows he’s not winning the award. If you were going to put that in the comments be more creative.)
There’s something to what Jennings is saying. The NBA award roll out was awkward at times in previous years, but it gave the fans a chance to celebrate the awards with their favorite player. Now, everyone will watch it unfold on television from a ballroom in NYC. That feels a little colder. Also, we will get to see the reaction of those who don’t win (particularly this season, where several players can make a strong case for MVP).
It will be interesting to see how this first year goes, and how the league tweaks it going forward. The more than two month gap between the end of the regular season and the awards could feel a bit awkward. But we’re not going to knock the idea until we’ve seen it in action.