Even in the dog days of the NBA off-season, there are a lot of interesting tidbits of news and stories worth reading we don’t get to here at NBC’s PBT. And we’re bloggers, so we have an instinctive love of the bullet point. So we’ve combined them into one post that can get you caught up some news and notes around the NBA quickly — and we’ve renamed it “Transition buckets.” Because they are quick hitters. And we couldn’t think of anything better.
• If you read one long-form thing, it should be the fantastic piece from Jared Zwerling at Bleacher Report about how Los Angeles has become the off-season home of the NBA. That includes covering how the Los Angeles Clippers’ practice facility is now THE summer run for NBA players.
“The facility is real nice—breakfast, cold pool, hot tub, you can get taped, Gatorade machine, everything,” said former NBA player Bobby Brown. “Why not play pickup in an NBA practice gym against NBA players?”
• Who are the top free agents for next summer, in 2016? Sure, we can all name Kevin Durant, but there are some intriguing possibilities behind him.
• Zach Lowe is right at Grantland — Danilo Gallinari is going to be a lot of fun to watch this season. That said, Lowe may be a little higher on Denver’s short-term outlook than I (and I love the Mike Malone hire).
• Former Spurs’ assistant coach — and most recently Orlando Magic head coach — Jacque Vaughn has returned to the Spurs as a scout.
• Jerry West is not a huge fan of analytics. Which seems strange for a guy working for the Warriors. But the reality is if you can have different voices in the room and synthesize them it can be a big boost — as the Warriors have shown.
• Lou Williams says he wants to be on a team that wins, not just for him to win awards (such as Sixth Man of the Year last season). He does know he signed with the Lakers, right?
• Every wonder what Zydrunas Ilgauskas is up to? Helping coach a high school basketball team.
• Adam Silver talked about the WNBA recently. He said it is still financially challenged, which makes increasing salaries and some of the things players want difficult. He also admitted the league thought the WNBA would have grown more by now and that the league needs to do a better job marketing it. That said, don’t expect the league to make any significant changes to the WNBA soon.
• Finally, these aren’t real, but the fake summer reading assignments Phil Jackson gave the Knicks is pretty funny stuff from the New Yorker.
Carmelo Anthony, “Beowulf”
If there’s one thing I need Melo to understand, it’s that he is literally Beowulf, the Anglo-Saxon warrior of lore. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be killing Grendel and Grendel’s mother and the dragon and whatever else shows up. The astute among you will realize that, yes, I am talking about the Spurs and the Warriors and the Rockets and their calamitous restructuring of the right way to play. Beowulf was the original isolation virtuoso, the type of guy who makes the Triangle such a potent weapon. Beowulf can’t let himself be bothered if his buddies—like, oh, let’s say, LeBron and Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and Free Darko—all won championship rings. Who is Carmelo Anthony? A man medieval in his faith in absolutes. And he’s definitely bigger than Kobe.Definitely bigger.