Emeka Okafor last played in the NBA in the 2012-2013 season. He missed all of 2013-14 with a neck injury. During the 2014-15 season, a reportedly “healthy” Okafor chose to delay his return another year. But the 2015-16 season came and went without a deal.
Now, Okafor is talking comeback yet again.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN:
Emeka Okafor, the former No. 2 overall pick who has been out of the NBA for three seasons, has decided to attempt a comeback with an eye toward joining a “contending team” in December or January.
League sources said last season he spoke with Cleveland, Miami and Golden State before deciding to delay his return.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers, whose club lost big men Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli and Marreese Speights in the purge to make room for free agent Kevin Durant, said he had “a conversation” with Okafor a couple of months ago and will monitor the big man’s progress.
Okafor turns 34 in September, and he has missed three seasons. I’m skeptical to say the least.
The three teams linked to him last season have plenty of players who can play center:
Working in Okafor’s favor: The center market in free agency has largely dried up. Working against him: That’s because teams have nearly completely filled their center needs.
But players will get hurt, and maybe someone could use Okafor by winter, when he’s attempting to return.
The most-anticipated game of the 2016-17 NBA regular season is Warriors at Thunder.
More specifically, it’s Kevin Durant at Oklahoma City.
The date is set.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
There’s some tension between Durant and:
Should be fun.
Ready for Matthew Dellavedova in a bigger role?
After escaping Kyrie Irving‘s shadow with the Cavaliers, Dellavedova could start as a quasi-point guard with Giannis Antetokounmpo for the Bucks this season.
Dellavedova might have previewed what’s in store for Milwaukee – and Irving and Team USA – with 23 points and 13 assists in Australia’s 95-80 win over Serbia on Monday.
Australia’s next game is Wednesday against the Americans, who will first thump Venezuela at 6 p.m. today. Australia might not be a huge test for Team USA either, but the team from Down Under could be the U.S.’s top opponent in Rio.
Australia is the first men’s basketball team with two wins in the 2016 Olympics, beating France – which entered the Games favored to medal – by 21 in their opener. Serbia, which beat Venezuela by 24 in its opener, was also no slouch.
But Australia relied on its point guards to pull away late. Not only did Dellavedova excel, the Spurs’ Patty Mills led Australia with 26 points.
Serbia just had nowhere to hide Milos Teodosic, who scored 17 points but was a big liability defensively. For any NBA team considering signing Teodosic, a talented offensive point guard, this game should provide serious reservations.
Miroslav Raduljica, who played for the Bucks and Timberwolves, made a better case for an NBA return with 25 points. Aggressive and physical, the center was difficult to stop inside.
But Australia held its ground in the middle with a couple proven NBAers, Andrew Bogut and Aron Baynes, and staked its claim as a medal contender.
Hakeem Olajuwon made the Basketball Hall of Fame. He won an NBA MVP and two championships. He earned a spot on 12 All-NBA and 12 All-Star teams. He even recorded a quadruple-double.
He also ate a lot of chicken nuggets.
Houston Chronicle online sports editor Greg Rajan:
That’s a lot of chicken nuggets, but this was over five hours, and Olajuwon had a 7-foot frame to fill out.
We rate this claim: plausible.
(hat tip: Darren Yuvan of The Dream Shake)
In one corner, Stephen Curry defends his shoes as “fire.”
In the other corner, everyone else is mocking the dad shoes.
The blowout continues.
Peter King of Monday Morning Quarterback:
Sunday was punter Shane Lechler’s 40th birthday. On Sunday night, O’Brien and players Vince Wilfork, Brian Cushing and Johnathan Joseph called Lechler to the front of the team auditorium, gave him a cake shaped like the number 40, and also got him a walker, some Rogaine, and those Steph Curry sneakers people think look old-fashioned.
Old NFL people like the shoes – which pretty much proves the point.