Note to Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers: This is what you do with a successful GM.
Last season the Houston Rockets made a huge leap forward and it all started with shrewd moves by Daryl Morey: He jettisoned Dwight Howard, brought in Mike D’Antoni and told him to coach the system he is known for, James Harden was moved to point guard, and he went out and got shooters to go around the Beard such as Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon, who had fantastic seasons. It worked with the Rockets having the third best record in the NBA last season.
Rockets ownership decided to lock GM Morey up as he started to head into the last year of his deal, reports Marc Berman of Fox Sports 26 in Houston (and since confirmed by others).
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey signed a four-year contact extension according to NBA sources. Morey had one year left on his contract.
He is now tied to the organization through the 2021-2022 season.
Morey is not resting on what worked last year, he reportedly is aggressively looking to make trades at the deadline to clear up cap space so he can chase Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap or Kyle Lowry — another star.
Morey is the poster child for the anti-analytics holdout fans of the NBA. He’s an early adaptor and front and center promoting the ideas, but at this point bashing him is all but yelling “get off my lawn.” For one, every team uses advanced stats/analytics to varying degrees, and the heavy users include San Antonio, Golden State, and Miami — a lot of rings right there. More importantly, what do the numbers tell Morey? Get multiple
More importantly, what do the numbers tell Morey? Get multiple star players, surround them with other good players. How you get there may be different, but the end result is the same. But if it makes you feel good to be a bitter person, go at it in the comments.
LeBron James is usually the guy handing out chasedown blocks. He’s famous for them, and has carted out his signature move in the biggest moments of his career.
He’s also not used to having his own shots blocked from behind, and certainly not by opposing point guards.
Enter Elfrid Payton.
During a play halfway through the first quarter against the Orlando Magic on Thursday, LeBron was on a drive to the hole with Elfrid trailing far behind.
Thanks to a pinch by two Magic defenders, LeBron had to try and use brute force a bit deeper in the paint than he wanted to.
That allowed Payton — running at full speed — to catch up and pin The King on the glass.
Cleveland still got the best of the Magic, as Isaiah Thomas hit a clutch free throw to win the game with 11 seconds left, 104-103.
For about as long as we can remember, Joel Embiid has famously thirsted after Rihanna on Twitter. Fans have tried to boost his standing with the singer, but it apparently that has not been enough.
In 2014, Embiid mentioned on social media that a “famous girl” — presumably Rihanna — told him to “Come back when you’re an All-Star.”
Well, today is that day.
Embiid is a starter out of the Eastern Conference, and on Thursday night he had his chance to speak to Rihanna (or whomever) via national TV on TNT.
Did Embiid decide to reach out to this famous person? Apparently he’s off it.
This is like that scene from Private Parts when Howard Stern hits No. 1 and he tells Paul Giamatti’s character to get lost.
Embiid had the chance to curve Rihanna (or whomever) and took it. Long live The Process.
NBA All-Star voting is over, and now we have the results. The starters are in, and what’s left is for us to wait until they announce the teams after they are picked in double secret ceremony.
Of course, the NBA did release the full voting results via their PR website this week, and as such there are some head scratchers. My boy Patrick Redford over at Deadspin did an excellent job rounding up some of the players who got exactly one (1) vote from other players.
The gag here is that these guys presumably voted for themselves.
Of course, what I found most interesting was actually the guys who got multiple votes from their compatriots without being All-Star caliber players.
My favorite list of player-voted non-All-Stars includes: Michael Beasley (4), Gordon Hayward (2), Boban Marjanovic (2), Jahlil Okafor (4), Quincy Acy (2), Tyler Zeller (4), T.J. McConnell (2), Elfrid Payton (2), Zaza Pachulia (3), Taj Gibson (6), Zach Randolph (5), Maurice Harkless (2), Deyonta Davis (3), Lonzo Ball (9), Mike Conley (3).
There’s a whole smattering of guys in there who either didn’t play enough, aren’t stars, are injured, or who aren’t very good.
That multiple players took time to vote for these guys really speaks to the frivolity of the NBA All-Star Game. At least outside of player contract incentives.
Bring on February!
LeBron James is one of the best passers the NBA has ever seen, but even this is too hard to believe.
During Thursday’s game between the Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron through a ridiculous behind-the-back pass that nutmegged Orlando’s Aaron Gordon.
The result of the play was a bucket for Dwyane Wade.
I mean, that’s just … insane.