The horrific leg fracture suffered by Paul George at Friday night’s USA Basketball Showcase in Las Vegas has raised questions as to the future of the NBA allowing its stars to participate in international competition.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban thinks it’s insane for league owners to risk their investments like that, and has felt that way for many years. While teams and owners may use George’s injury as a catalyst to have a serious dialogue on the subject, it remains to be seen whether or not the players themselves will have a change of heart.
Damian Lillard, who is participating in USA Basketball this summer, says that we can count him among those who have no intention of abandoning the international competition anytime soon.
From Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com:
“Any time you have superstar in this league go down like that, it’s something you don’t ever want to see again,” Lillard said to CSNNW.com via phone Saturday night. “It was tough to see, very emotional. Unreal, but out of respect for P.G. and his family, I think we just need to stay away from that topic. We don’t want them reliving that terrible incident.” …
Despite George’s gruesome leg fracture that will likely keep him out the entire 2014-15 season, Lillard says he has given thought of removing himself from consideration for Team USA’s 12-man roster headed to the World Cup in Spain at the end of the month.
“Nah, It’s a part of the game unfortunately,” he said. “It’s a risk any time you step out on the basketball court. I haven’t thought about stepping away [from Team USA]. I’ll stay in.”
Lillard’s response is extremely level-headed, especially coming so quickly after the incident that he was on the court to see happen in person.
But as Cuban and others have noted, players have nothing to risk because their NBA contracts are 100 percent guaranteed against injury — whether it happens in international play, or in a pickup game somewhere else.
Until that part changes, the majority of players already involved with USA Basketball will likely share Lillard’s stance. The only thing that might change that is players choosing to value their NBA legacies above all else.
Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki had a huge $25 million team option on his contract for the upcoming 2017-18 NBA season. It now appears that the team will not exercise that option, and will instead try to re-sign their star player for an additional few years.
Given the context of the Mavericks roster, it makes sense that the team would want to allocate its resources as the NBA salary cap goes even further up the scale. Nowitzki’s salary would have remained a huge chunk of change as the Mavericks yet again try to go after free agents this summer.
While a restructuring of his contract to, say, half the amount it would have been originally would not give Dallas room for a max-level free agent, it could at least give them the capacity to go after mid-level exception type of players.
Meanwhile, it’s not clear what kind of contract the Mavericks will try to sign Nowitzki to. Reports at this point say that a two-year deal for Nowitzki Is one of the options are being considered.
The question now will be what kind of deal will Mark Cuban offer his favorite player, And how low Nowitzki Is willing to go.
Nowitzki’s advanced statistics were down from prior seasons, particularly affecting his offensive efficiency thanks to dips in both field goal percentage and free-throw rate. He also only played and 54 games last year, a real concern as the Dallas roster looks to be carried by a player going into his age 39 season.
Rumors spread on social media this week as moving trucks were found outside of Indiana Pacers star forward Paul George‘s house. But were they really his?
The user posted photos of giant moving trucks outside of a house in George’s neighborhood to Snapchat. People began speculating wildly that George, the subject of trade rumors for the last few weeks, could be on the move.
Now, the Pacers start has taken to Twitter to dispute the moving trucks as his. So whose were they?
According to George, they were there to move his neighbors.
Well I guess that settles that.
The other obvious answer is that they were George’s and NBA players simply move to new locations during the summer. Half of the NBA it seems lives in the Los Angeles area come the off-season, or at least train there, so seeing moving trucks outside of his house would not have been an anomaly if you ask me.
We are past the 2017 NBA Draft and still we have no deal for George. But the NBA off-season is long, and free agency is just around the corner. I am sure that we will see a new landing spot for George in the coming months.
Then we can send somebody on over to see if there are moving trucks at his house.
It’s a slip that would have made Freud proud.
Charlotte had a good draft night. In the first round, Kentucky shooter Malik Monk fell to them at 11 and they grabbed him. In the second round, they took a smart risk with Florida State wing Dwayne Bacon.
Friday came the usual team press conference with the GM introducing his players and Charlotte GM Rich Cho made a mistake, introducing Bacon as “Dwyane Wade.”
I love Bacon’s reaction.
Cho instantly realized his mistake and laughed it off, then later said: “Actually, I think they have some similarities.” Hornets fans can only hope.
Back when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were breaking into the NBA together and learning how to win together, one of their veteran mentors was tough guy Kendrick Perkins. When Perkins thought someone was acting soft, he called that player a “cupcake.”
When news broke on the Fourth of July last summer that Durant was leaving OKC for Golden State, the NBA world freaked out. Except for Westbrook. He just posted one Instagram photo that day — a tiered tray of red, white, and blue cupcakes. It was meant as a subtle jab at Durant, but when word got out (via Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated) what it meant, Thunder fans embraced it and had cupcake signs and clothing made for Durant’s return to Oklahoma City.
Durant had the last laugh — he’s got a new hat with a cupcake on it, topped by a ring.
Well played Durant. Well played.