UCLA’s Lonzo Ball is going to go in the top three in the upcoming NBA draft (probably second, but the lottery results could have a say in that).
The fact that his father LaVar Ball is talking out of his… er, saying ridiculous crap — that he would’ve beaten Michael Jordan one-on-one, Lonzo will be better than Stephen Curry, that Lonzo will play only for the Lakers, that his sons combined deserve a $1 billion shoe deal, plus LaVar is beefing with Charles Barkley — is not going to impact Ball’s draft status. Talent wins out, and Ball has it. Teams see the father as a distraction that can be dealt with (although some organizations are better at that than others).
However, LaVar’s ramblings are not helping his sons either, if you ask Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who was on ESPN Chicago Radio’s “Waddle & Silvy” show Thursday (hat tip to The Sporting News for the transcription).
“The fact that everybody keeps talking about him, he seems to be accomplishing whatever he’s trying to accomplish, because the things he says are so outlandish. But he keeps getting headlines, and I guess that’s what he wants.
“I don’t think it’s helping his kids,” Kerr continued. “I think it’d be better for them if they can just play and have fun and not have to hear that every day, but whatever. It’s all part of him.”
LaVar is trying to accomplish pushing his clothing line brand (named after his sons, and Lonzo is not projected as the best of the three). At least that’s how it appears from the outside (I have not met the man). The father apparently sees marketing opportunities based off of his sons and is starting to try to capitalize on that. In an unprofessional and sloppy way, but that’s what it looks like.
LaVar’s rantings are not going to impact the draft status of elite players, but you can be sure the teams thinking about taking him will have a plan with the PR/marketing/basketball sides to deal with LaVar and not let him become a distraction.
There’s so much money floating around the Bay Area right now thanks to another tech boom, this price almost seems low.
If you have a suite for the Golden State Warriors home games this season — and those are pretty much sold out, the Warriors draw big from the Silicon Valley crowd — you can have the NBA championship Larry O’Brien Trophy visit your suite. All for just a couple grand. From Gilbert Lee, via ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
The best part is it includes champagne… do you get to spray each other with it as you hold up the trophy? Now that would be perfect (goggles included, of course).
Have an issue with this? Why? To the victor goes the spoils. The Warriors may be able to sell this package for years.
First, the Sixers nailed the Nike “statement” jersey.
Now, they have announced a new “Spirit of 76” promotion, with seven tribute nights this season honoring the history of the franchise and of the Philadelphia area (and there is plenty of history to honor).
The best part — the “Spirit of 76” court with the bell logo.
Here is the promo vid
I just hope the Sixers team can live up to all the hype.
When the Washington Wizards open training camp next Tuesday, starting forward Markieff Morris will not be on the court.
That’s because he will have surgery to repair a sports hernia, a story broken by Candice Buckner of the Washington Post and since confirmed by Chase Hughes at CSNMidAtlantic.com.
While we don’t have details on the surgery, often recovery time for this is just a few weeks, and Morris could well be ready for the start of the season.
Morris averaged 14 points and 6.5 rebounds a game last season, and the Wizards offense was 5.7 points per 100 possessions better when he was on the court last season. With him out, coach Scott Brooks can lean on Jason Smith or Mike Scott for traditional lineups, but don’t be shocked if he tries a little small ball with Otto Porter and/or Kelly Oubre at the three or four.
Morris also is in the midst of a felony assault trial in Arizona (one where he does not need to attend).
This is the season the 76ers make the leap from team with potential to playoff team fast on the rise.
That’s the plan in Philly, but there are a lot of questions for this team to answer. While a couple of these issues are answered already — Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz are cleared to play and practice with teammates — a couple big ones still hang around. At the top of the list is “how healthy is Joel Embiid?” Coach Brett Brown doesn’t even have that answer yet, reports Derek Bodner of The Athletic.
It’s this simple: The Sixers outscored opponents by 3.3 points per 100 possessions when Embiid was on the court last season, he was a dominant force defensively who scored 20.2 points a game. When he was off the court the Sixers were 11.5 points per 100 possessions worse. They need him to play and play consistently if the Sixers have playoff dreams. It’s unclear when Embiid will return, but know that the Sixers will be cautious with his minutes again when he does get cleared (he has played just 31 games in three seasons).
Does that mean more Jahlil Okafor? Maybe not, the Sixers are still willing to trade him.
The Sixers have shopped Okafor for most of a year and found no deal they like. Okafor battled knee issues last season and, after a summer working to get healthy, other teams will want to see him play a little before talking trade. If he comes to camp slimmed down and his knee looks right, it could revive trade talks. Using a back-to-the-basket game, he averaged 11.8 points a night shooting 51 percent last season, he’s efficient, and some teams could use what he does (off the bench).
It’s going to be an interesting season in Philly. Are they playoff bound?