Dan Feldman

MIAMI, FL - MAY 09:  Chris Bosh #1  of the Miami Heat looks on during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2016 NBA Playoffs against the Toronto Raptors at American Airlines Arena on May 9, 2016 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Report: Heat expect Chris Bosh to play next season


The Heat reportedly fear Chris Bosh will never play again.

Or not.

Dan Le Batard of ESPN:

What I know of private medical history, which is to say I have partial information because so much of this is private and guarded and protected, I don’t know what’s going to be different in six months about what’s so right now. Bosh is going to think, six months from now, he’s also going to be able to play. And the recurrence of clots is still going to be something that’s problematic and that doctors might not clear him on. And so I’m sitting here looking at this, and everything that was the wrestling match during the postseason about getting Bosh back out there, I think it’s going to exist and then, later on down the road, this is going to get messy where the Heat, I think – now, keep in mind, I’m saying this with partial information – but I think this is going to end up in a place where they’re fighting over whether or not he retires.

I just got a text saying that Bosh should be able to play next season. So, the Heat expect Bosh to be able to play next season.

What I’m telling you is that Bosh is committed to getting back, and the Heat are hopeful that that can be so

That’s a pretty interesting about-face from Le Batard, who went from predicting the Heat would push into Bosh retirement to reporting they expect him to play next season. Le Batard is plugged in, so it’s definitely possible he received more current information and updated his evaluation accordingly.

But before getting that text, Le Batard was making good points about how the Heat have little option but to publicly toe the company line: “The HEAT, Chris, the doctors and medical team have been working together throughout this process and will continue to do so to return Chris to playing basketball as soon as possible.” Even if the Heat believe Bosh’s career is over, it would be unbecoming to say so at this point. He wants to play again, and they should help him try.

So, either Le Batard got a text from someone reliable or he got duped by the same propaganda he was just warning against. I don’t know which is the case, but there’s plenty of conflicting information floating around.

The Heat and Bosh came together to bury this issue for the rest of the playoffs. But it’s not going away.

Klay Thompson quietly helping Warriors through playoff run

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 16:  Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors handles the ball during game one of the NBA Western Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder at ORACLE Arena on May 16, 2016 in Oakland, California. The Thunder defeated the Warriors 108-102. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A far cry from his brash, former basketball-playing father, Klay Thompson is perfectly content to be the soft-spoken, second superstar behind MVP Stephen Curry. He is more than happy to let Draymond Green do the arguing, arm flexing and trash talking.

Yet Thompson’s hard-nosed performances on both ends of the court all postseason are arguably the biggest reason the defending champion Warriors are back in the Western Conference finals and one step closer to a repeat title.

“He doesn’t say a lot, but he absorbs a lot. He’s all over it, he kind of sends off this vibe that he’s a little out there, but it’s the old expression `still waters run deep,’ something like that,” coach Steve Kerr said. “There’s a lot more in there than you think.”

Thompson, he just wants to play.

“We’ve got a huge fan base, but it’s not No. 1 on my list,” Thompson said of engaging with supporters and the media. “I just enjoy, I love playing the game.”

After he carried Golden State for much of the first two rounds, Thompson’s teammates took the pressure off with a balanced performance in Wednesday night’s 118-91 Game 2 win against the Thunder that notched the Western Conference finals at one game apiece.

Earlier in the playoffs, Thompson shared how Kerr challenged him to “channel my inner Reggie Miller” and constantly keep moving. Kerr has appreciated Thompson’s ability to drive and dish and making things happen without the ball – and he did it much of the time without fellow Splash Brother Curry, who was sidelined with ankle and knee injuries.

So, when Golden State eliminated Portland in five games last round, Curry offered one final thing: A thoughtful shout out to Thompson and all he has meant during this title defense.

“Klay doesn’t even want the limelight,” said Kerr. “He just likes to play and he would prefer not to do any media. I don’t think he cares at all about having his name out there or doing endorsements or whatever. In many ways he’s the perfect kind of second star on a team because of that. So Steph and Draymond get most of the attention. Klay enjoys being in the background, living his life quietly.”

His demeanor certainly isn’t like that of his former power forward father, Mychal, a No. 1 overall pick by Portland in 1978 who played 12 NBA seasons.

Thompson prefers to praise his teammates at any chance rather than discuss himself.

“We’re kind of different because he loves to talk. He loves to talk trash, he loves the camera and the limelight,” the two-time All-Star son said of his dad. “That might be from playing with the Showtime (Lakers) for a while or growing up in the Bahamas. I didn’t get that gene from him. But I’m getting better at it.”

After five games defending James Harden and five more chasing Damian Lillard, there was no getting around the attention for superb outing after outing. Thunder star Russell Westbrook is his current assignment, with the best-of-seven series shifting to Oklahoma City for Sunday night’s Game 3.

The 26-year-old Thompson is known to be funny in team meetings or elsewhere behind the scenes.

“Klay is who he is. That’s the beauty of him,” Kerr said. “It’s important because every team has kind of a pecking order, totem pole, however you want to put it, and guys need to slide into roles. There are teams where maybe you have two guys who want the attention and want the ball and maybe it doesn’t click. The personalities have to fit, just like the skills have to fit. I think that’s one of the strengths of our team. People enjoy being around one another and they are comfortable in their roles, and I think Klay is a huge part of that.”

Thompson logged 2.61 miles per game – at 4.34 miles per hour, no less – in the first two rounds while playing 36.1 minutes and taking on the scoring load in Curry’s absence.

Green has told Thompson at times this postseason to keep looking for his shot, even when the defense changes up on him or the ball doesn’t drop for the All-Star 3-point contest champion.

Thompson did just that in the Portland series, following up a playoff career-high 37-point performance in the opener with 27 points and five 3-pointers in Game 2. In fact, he had scored at least 20 points in eight straight playoff games before Wednesday.

Thompson expects the Warriors to build off Game 2, when he scored 15 points but played just less than 30 minutes, and to learn from the lack of poise they exhibited in losing the opener.

“We know what it takes to win,” he said. “It’s extremely hard.”

Report: Kobe Bryant rejects offer to join TNT’s ‘Inside the NBA

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with former teammate Shaquille O'Neal after scoring 60 points in his final NBA game at Staples Center on April 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Utah Jazz 101-96. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

How will Kobe Bryant spend retirement?

Not by reuniting with Shaquille O’Neal.


When it comes to the “Inside the NBA” job offer, Kobe Bryant just did something pretty uncommon for him — he passed.

As we previously reported, the honchos at the show had reached out to Mamba, hoping he’d join Charles Barkley, Shaq and the rest of the gang either this season or next.

But Wednesday night outside of a Hublot watch event in Bev Hills, Kobe swatted the whole idea down — saying straight up he DOES NOT want the gig.

Five might have been a crowd, but we’re definitely missing out on some fun moments with Kobe passing.

Cavaliers continue playoff dominance in Game 2 win over Raptors


LeBron James exploded into the paint.

His man, James Johnson, had gone over a ball screen – a fateful mistake with the other four Raptors attending to all the 3-point shooters the Cavaliers had on the floor. LeBron hit a layup while being fouled and added the free throw to punctuate a 16-2 first-half-ending run.

Cleveland led by double digits the rest of the way en route to a 108-89 Game 2 victory Thursday. Behind LeBron’s triple-double, the Cavaliers lead the Eastern Conference finals 2-0.

The Cavs become the fourth team to start a postseason 10-0, joining the 2012 Spurs, 2001 Lakers and 1989 Lakers. The way Cleveland is playing – winning 17 straight Eastern Conference playoff games – it could break the record for best start to a postseason (11-0 by the 2001 and 1989 Lakers).

Even with Game 3 in Toronto on Saturday, the Cavaliers firmly control this series. Teams that win the first two games at home in a best-of-series have won the series 94% of time. They’re undefeated when outscoring the opponent by 50 through the first two games, which Cleveland has done.

The Cavs got excellent production from their stars – LeBron (23 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists and three steals), Kyrie Irving (26 points) and Kevin Love (19 points) – and Toronto decidedly didn’t. Though DeMar DeRozan was fine, leading the Raptors with 22 points, Kyle Lowry played terribly.

The point guard scored 10 points on 4-of-14 shooting, including 1-of-8 on 3-pointers, with three assists and five turnovers. Toronto’s offensive rating with him on the court was 99.4.

Somehow, it was worse when he sat — 80.6. As dismally as he played, the Raptors still need him to run the show.

No Toronto role player stepped up offensively (thanks in part to Tristan Thompson‘s strong defense), and Dwane Casey’s defensive game plan continues to fizzle. The Raptors are daring the Cavaliers – who entered the series red hot from beyond the arc – to beat them inside, and the Cavaliers are doing just that. Cleveland shot 25-for-39 in the paint and attempted 37 free throws.

As the Hawks and Pistons learned, though, the alternative isn’t much better. The Cavs can beat teams in a variety of ways.

Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, their depth took a hit when Matthew Dellavedova appeared to turn his ankle by stepping on Cory Joseph‘s foot in the fourth quarter. Dellavedova hobbled off and didn’t return. He’s a fine player, a helpful cog in Cleveland’s attack. The Cavs should be concerned about their backup point guard.

But the Raptors should be worried about their All-Star starting point guard – which says plenty about the state of this series.

Report: Rockets interview Rex Kalamian, Stephen Silas, Jeff Bzdelik

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 12:  Head coach Jeff Bzdelik of Wake Forest Demon Deacons reacts to a play during the first round of the 2014 Men's ACC Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 12, 2014 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Mike D’Antoni is reportedly “a frontrunner” to become the Rockets’ next coach.

But they’re still conducting interviews.

Marc Stein and Calvin Watkins of ESPN:

The Houston Rockets were in the process Thursday of conducting ‎three more interviews for their head-coaching vacancy, but signs continue to point strongly to the team hiring Mike D’Antoni as their next coach, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that Rockets owner Leslie Alexander and general manager Daryl Morey traveled to Cleveland to hold separate interviews with Toronto Raptors assistant coach Rex Kalamian, Charlotte Hornets assistant Stephen Silas and Memphis Grizzlies assistant ‎Jeff Bzdelik.

Sources say Houston received permission from the respective teams that employ those coaches to interview them. But sources say the Rockets made it clear to all three candidates that the team is also looking for an associate head coach to work alongside D’Antoni in the event his deal is finalized in the coming days, as is widely expected now in league coaching circles.

I’d be surprised if Houston hires any of these three as head coach. Framing the interviews as for the head or associate-head job seems more about elevating perception of these three – to the outside world, if not the candidates themselves. That said, they’ll at least get a chance to impress, even if the Rockets go into the interviews leaning toward D’Antoni.

It’s a little surprising Kalamian interviewed while the Raptors are playing the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals. It’s not about the short amount of time Kalamian spent with Alexander and Morey today. It’s about the time in previous days Kalamian spent preparing for the interview.

Silas came up earlier in the search. He has worked for quality head coaches with varying styles and gets along well with players. From afar, that’s intriguing.

Bzdelik is being considered as a defensive specialist under D’Antoni, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. D’Antoni could use the help, and I suspect Kalamian and Silas are also garnering similar consideration.

But I wonder how D’Antoni feels about these interviews. The Cavaliers interviewed Tyronn Lue to be their head coach, hired him as David Blatt’s assistant and then fired Blatt for Lue. Knowing a management-approved replacement is right there can empower players to undermine the head coach if they don’t like him. And it’s not as if the Rockets have a great track record with establishing a culture of players buying into the head coach.