Tag: Blake Griffin


Stephen Curry on if he’d leave Golden State: “Hopefully not”


On Monday, it was reported Stephen Curry had no interest in bolting Golden State when he becomes a free agent in 2017 – “As I am thinking right now, free agency isn’t really appealing to me because I love where I’m at.”

Tuesday Curry took fans’ questions on Facebook and said the same thing (the answer to this questions starts at the 2:30 mark).

“Hopefully not. Hopefully everything works out and I can finish my career here. I’ve probably got like 10 good years left.”

What did you think he would say? He just won a title, and he certainly wouldn’t want to start up the rumor mill for no reason.

Curry is on ]a steal of a deal right now. He will make $11.4 million next season — the 54th highest paid player in the league (according to ESPN’s Marc Stein). The reason is when his contract extension came up, he was still battling the ankle injuries that plagued his early career — nobody was sure if he would get past that and be a steady player. It was a fair deal at the time; he got some security, and the Warriors bet on their star blossoming and having him at well under market value. Golden State won that bet.

Curry is obviously a max player come 2017, and the Warriors will back up the Brinks truck.

Why do max guys leave? Because they see a better chance of winning elsewhere. Including LeBron James (it was part of his decision, a younger core around him). The summer of 2017 is a long way off, but it’s nearly impossible to imagine Curry will look at the Warriors’ roster and think he needs to get out of there to win.

In the summer of 2017 Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard, and Derrick Rose all could be free agents, and all of them are more likely to look around than Curry (at least as it seems now). In that environment, you can Curry re-signing with Golden State within minutes of the July 1 free-agent window opening. Well, so long as a lockout doesn’t ruin all of the fun.

(Hat tip Hoops Rumors)

Report: NBA says Michael Jordan can’t decide who gets Air Jordan shoe deal

Michael Jordan

This ties into why Clippers offering DeAndre Jordan a $200,000 a year sponsorship with Lexus led to a $250,000 fine

Michael Jordan’s Air Jordan shoe brand through Nike dominates the market — 58 percent of basketball shoes sold last year were Jordans. That 13 times more than LeBron James, who has the best selling shoe among active players. Nike owns 95.5 percent of the basketball shoe market (according to Forbes).

One of the NBA’s concerns with Michael Jordan as the owner of the Charlotte Hornets is that he could supplement players’ salaries with shoe deals. So the NBA cut that option off, reports Darren Rovell of ESPN.

This isn’t just a Jordan rule, pretty much any NBA owner could pull off something similar (at least Ballmer didn’t offer a Microsoft endorsement). The rule is there for a reason.

The Jordan brand is well managed and not hurting in the least. It still has deals with Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Carmelo Anthony and nearly two dozen more current and former NBA players. There are Hornets — Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Cody Zeller — on that list.

In fact, Kidd-Gilchrist just took what could be seen as a below-market $52 million contract extension to stay in Charlotte. Not that there was any quid pro quo here, but the NBA wants to avoid that appearance.

It’s easy to understand the NBA’s concern — if Jordan could say “I’ll pay you a couple hundred thousand extra to wear my shoes” it would be an unfair recruiting advantage. So they are trying to tie his hands.

Not that it is impacting shoe sales, or how much Jordan rakes in from Nike.

Blake Griffin says depth will make Clippers better, especially come playoffs

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Two

Doc Rivers the GM tied the hands of Doc Rivers the coach last season — their lack of depth caught up with the Clippers. Players emptied their tanks into beating the San Antonio Spurs in the first round, then got up 3-1 on the Rockets with a big lead in the second half of Game 5 — then just ran out of gas. Houston played better and played desperate, but the Clippers had energy left to match them.

This summer Doc the GM did well. The Clippers added Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, Pablo Prigioni, Cole Aldrich and others who can take some pressure off a Clipper starting five that played 972 minutes more than any other Clippers lineup last season.

Blake Griffin, for one, is pumped that he will get to sit more. He told Rowan Cavner of the Clippers’ official site why it matters.

“It’ll help a lot,” Griffin said. “My third season in the league when we had that unbelievable bench, I think I dropped to like 32 minutes a game in the regular season…You definitely feel fresher toward the end, but you have to find that right balance of not holding back too much, being able to give everything. Having an elite bench is going to help us tremendously, especially come playoff time.”

Last season Griffin averaged 35.2 minutes a game to lead the Clippers, while (because they didn’t miss much time due to injuries) Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan were both in the top seven in the league in total minutes played. In his third season, Griffin did play “just” 32.5 minutes a night, the lowest in his career.

As Griffin notes, for the Clippers it is all about being right come the playoffs.

Doc Rivers is not afraid to rest players, and now he can do it and still win, still get a high seed. Do that and the Clippers are serious title contenders.

The challenge is there are at least four other teams in the West alone that can make that claim.

Friday night video fun: Best blocks of 2014-15 season

Tristan Thompson, Iman Shumpert, Mike Scott
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It’s Friday night, you can either go to a bar and watch guys get rejected by the cute redhead and her friends, or you can just watch the best rejections of the last NBA season right here. Take your pick.

Nerlens Noel and DeAndre Jordan, of course, have a couple good ones, but my favorites belong to Kemba Walker and Blake Griffin.

Glen Davis: Clippers would have beaten Warriors in Western Conference finals

Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors

In reality, the Clippers blew a 3-1 series lead to the Rockets in the second round of last year’s playoffs. Houston lost in five games in the Western Conference finals to the Warriors, who won the NBA championship.

In an alternate reality – where the Clippers didn’t blow it against the Rockets – what would have happened in the Western Conference finals?

Glen Davis, who played for the Clippers last season, on CBS Sports Network (hat tip: James Herbert of CBSSports.com):

We would’ve beat Golden State. We would’ve beat Golden State. And I think the reason why is because Blake Griffin. Who’s going to guard Blake Griffin? You got these little 4s, range-shooting 4s. Blake’s 6-9. He’s a true power forward. And then also, he can play around the perimeter. It’s hard to stop that when you’re playing small ball.

I mean, maybe.

But probably not.

The Warriors, an all-time great team, were definitely better than the Clippers. The Clippers were good enough to beat any team in a playoff series with the right breaks, but so what? So are several teams every year. That’s why upsets happen. It doesn’t suddenly make an upset likely.

The Clippers didn’t present a particular matchup problem for Golden State, either. The Warriors won three of four regular-season games between the teams.

Griffin didn’t even present a particular individual matchup problem. Draymond Green is one of the NBA’s best defenders, and he could have guarded Griffin as well as anybody can. Yes, Griffin scored 40 points in a regular-season game against Golden State – but Green didn’t play. Griffin shot just 33% while Green was on the court last season (63% against the Warriors without Green playing). Yes, the 6-foot-7 Green is smaller than the 6-foot-10 Griffin. Yes, Green shoots 3-pointers. But Green is perfectly capable of defending big men. Griffin wouldn’t have intimidated him.

And the Clippers lost to Houston in part because they ran out of gas. The Clippers had a weak bench and had to rely too much on their starters. Even if they avoided a total collapse against the Rockets and won one of the series’ final three games, the Clippers would have faced the same fatigue issue in the next round. In fact, it likely would have been worse.

So why would Davis say this? Well, he’s a still a free agent and probably wants the Clippers to re-sign him. Flattering a would-be employer might help.

That, at least, is logical.