Much like Lord Stanley’s Cup, if the Larry O’Brien trophy could talk it would tell some “most interesting man in the world” stories.
Then it would tell a few that we couldn’t unhear. This one is in the latter category.
Warriors’ co-owner Joe Lacob was interviewed by Haute Living and told a story about how he and his fiance celebrated with the NBA’s ultimate trophy.
“I had made a promise to myself [that] I would sleep with the trophy that night,” reveals Lacob, which rhymes with Jacob. “Nicole [Curran, his longtime fiancée] and I did sleep with it.”
On one hand, we want to ask more questions; on the other, we don’t really want to know any more than he’s already shared. (Not that this animated hoops nut is going to tell us anyway.)
“I’ll leave it to the imagination,” he says, grinning. “We had a lot of fun with it.”
Not that a few things usually reserved for late-night Cinemax haven’t happened to and around the Larry O’Brien trophy before, but I didn’t want to think about an owner doing it. Do you really think Jerry Buss did stuff like this? Wait, don’t answer that.
Now next June when Adam Silver picks up the Larry O’Brien trophy to hand it to the next NBA champion, only one thing is going to pop into my head. Again, ewwww.
Gerald Green did not play for the Miami Heat Tuesday night against Atlanta for what was simply described as an illness.
Wednesday he was admitted to a Miami-area hospital, but the reason has yet to be disclosed.
According to Ira Winderman at the Sun-Sentinel he was transported by ambulance to the hospital Wednesday morning, and teammate Mario Chalmers was with him.
Green signed a one-year deal with Miami this summer and has fit in well with their up-tempo offense, averaging 10.3 points in 21.5 minutes a game.
We will update this story as information becomes available.
The Sixers’ Robert Covington missed the start of the season as he recovered from a sprained MCL in his right knee. Monday night he returned to the court and looked rusty (1-of-9 shooting) but played 22 minutes, looking like a guy ready to step back into the rotation.
Tuesday at practice he tweaked his knee again.
Now he’s out another two weeks, reports Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Covington missed the (current road) trip after aggravating his right MCL sprain during Tuesday’s practice. He’s expected to be sidelined around two weeks.
“What I learned is when you don’t have him, you appreciate really what he can do [for] us,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said, “because he does more than make threes. His ability to guard has improved. The ability to put him on [Bucks power forward] Jabari Parker or a small-ball four type has improved.”
Covington has been one of the good finds in the Sixers’ efforts to bring in a lot of players looking for a couple gets (read: future rotation players). He has good size and athleticism that lets him play and defend either the three or small fours. He can hit threes, and he’s been working on his ability to finish near the rim in traffic.
He’s a guy that can be part of the Sixers’ future — so you know they are going to be ultra cautious with bringing him back from injury. They’re willing to sacrifice some games to make sure he is right. Don’t pick him up on your fantasy team for a while.
“He puts the ball on the floor like no other PF in this league.”
That was Dirk Nowitzki commenting on Lakers’ Julius Randle after he had to guard the young forward Sunday. Kenneth Faried would likely agree. Randle had another solid outing, showing flashes of incredible potential, putting up 16 in the Lakers’ loss to the Nuggets Tuesday.
There’s a long way to go for Randle — he needs to develop any kind of right hand, he needs to learn to look for the pass more when he does put the ball on the floor and defenders come to him, and he’s got to work on his defense. But he’s essentially a rookie, and one by all accounts who has a strong work ethic. There’s a lot to like with this kid, if the Lakers can just develop him properly.
I live in Los Angeles, and while driving around Tuesday I flipped on some sports talk radio in town — specifically the Lakers’ flagship station ESPN 710 — and was treated to 15 minutes of Lakers’ fans freaking out. The hosts were trying to be reasonable noting that rebuilding is a process and what mattered was the development of Julius Randle (who has looked good), D'Angelo Russell, and Jordan Clarkson. But some fans would have none of it — Laker exceptionalism is alive and well among parts of the fan base, and this team is going to stink for a second straight season.
Some fans are freaking out. Kobe Bryant says go ahead if it makes you feel better.
I know that Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has to make his team sound competitive and say things preseason like they can make the playoffs. However, that seemed to set expectations far too high in some quarters — this was never a playoff team in the West. Those fans feel let down. I thought this team could win 31-32 games, but right now that looks optimistic.
While Kobe’s shooting and the offense are garnering most of the attention right now, the Lakers’ bigger issue is the defense by far (as noted in Five Takeaways today). As in, the Lakers aren’t playing any of it.
The Lakers are giving up an average of 113 points per 100 possessions so far this season, ranking them dead last in the NBA. Teams are shooting 48.6 percent overall against them (second worst in the NBA) and the Lakers are last in the league at creating turnovers (11.6 percent of opponent possessions end in a turnover). The Lakers’ pick-and-roll coverage is a disaster in style for the bigs they have on the roster. Roy Hibbert isn’t a defensive savior used that way, the Laker defense is only two points per 100 possessions better when he plays (and is still allowing 112 points per 100 with him on the court).
This will be Byron Scott’s fifth straight team to finish in the bottom 10 in defensive efficiency (going back to his Cleveland days). If you’re going to say he doesn’t have the talent on the roster, I will note that last season’s Sixers were 13th in the league in defensive efficiency. And that right now the Timberwolves, Celtics, and Magic are all in the top 10 in defensive efficiency.
It’s going to be a long campaign for Lakers fans.