Chris Bosh clears everything up: He didn’t leave Toronto to be on T.V., it was that they sucked

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Chris Bosh, stop digging. When you’re in a hole… stop.

Don’t worry about what the people in Toronto think of you. Worry about where to be in the offense and how you’re going to defend Dwight Howard.

This all started back on Tuesday Bosh was interviewed by a Toronto Star columnist before the Heat’s opening night in Boston and said this quote:

“Really, it’s all about being on TV at the end of the day,” the five-time all-star said Tuesday. “Seriously. A guy can average 20 (points) and 10 (rebounds), and nobody really cares. If you don’t see it (on U.S. national TV), then it doesn’t really happen.”

Not good. We know you felt underappreciated in Toronto. You’ve beat that drum pretty hard. Just don’t go on Toronto radio station 590 The Fan with Doug Farraway Friday and try to clear everything up… oh, too late. The National Post transcribes it for us.

“Yeah, I said that,” Bosh told Farraway, “but it wasn’t in the context of why I made my decision [to leave Toronto for Miami in the off-season].”

Bosh said that he made the comment in a conversation about why one player is perceived to be better than another, and went on to say he did not even invoke the importance of being on national television in the United States, specifically…

Bosh went on to say that the main reason he left Toronto was to win basketball games and chase a championship.

We knew why Bosh left, because he and LeBron James have beat that drum about winning loudly, too. But in Toronto some will read it this way: it wasn’t televised games, he just left Toronto because they sucked. Oh, that’s much better.

Why did the Raptors suck and fall apart at the end of last season, why did Bosh struggle? The primary reason was his lingering ankle injury, certainly. But he talked again about the distraction of everyone asking if he was leaving:

“It was a distraction after all-star break, because that’s all that people wanted to talk about that,” Bosh told Farraway.

Bosh, that is a distraction of your own creation. So to be clear: You left Toronto to win games and a title, but part of the reason that didn’t happen in Toronto was the distraction of you leaving.

Bosh told the Palm Beach Post that he went on the radio to try and keep his good name.

 

“You can work a lifetime to to build up a good name, and it could be taken away in a matter of seconds,” Bosh said after Friday’s shootaround. “If I’m misquoted, or someone puts a quote in the wrong context, I want to get it straight. Your name is all it has… In no way am I going to associate the Bosh name with things that were said.”

Bosh, stop trying to explain why you left. Stop trying to make the people of Toronto still like you. Stop digging. You had played out your contract and earned the right to leave. You wanted to win. That’s fine. Own that. Stop worrying about what people think — in your much larger spotlight now that will drive you crazy.

Just play and try to figure out how to blend in with your new teammates. Hope all this wasn’t too much of a distraction.

Raptors hire Spurs video coordinator, who just happens to be Kawhi Leonard friend

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Jeremy Castleberry played his high school ball in Riverside, California, on the same team as Kawhi Leonard. When Leonard went on to San Diego State for college, Castleberry went too and was a walk-on for that team.

When the Spurs drafted Leonard, it was not long before Castleberry was a video coordinator and on the staff in San Antonio. Now Leonard is a Raptor so… you know what’s coming. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN explained it well.

The Toronto Raptors are hiring San Antonio Spurs staffer Jeremy Castleberry — a close friend of Kawhi Leonard — to a position on their coaching staff, league sources told ESPN.

Castleberry has worked with Leonard as a Spurs staffer and played with Leonard in high school and at San Diego State, where he was a walk-on.

Is this alone going to keep Leonard a Raptor next summer when he’s a free agent? No. But this is how the game is played — make the star player you’re recruiting feel comfortable, wanted, a key part of everything. Bringing in a friend to a new city for him fits right into that plan.

The smart money is still on Leonard bolting next summer to go to Los Angeles, but if the Raptors are able to change his mind — ala Paul George — it will not be one big thing but a thousand little ones. And a lot of wins. But hiring Castleberry is a start.

Brandon Jennings signs to play in Russia next season

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Brandon Jennings has just never been the same since his 2015 torn Achilles. He hasn’t shot over 40 percent from the floor for a season since then, he hasn’t moved well defensivly, and he had a PER of 19.3 the season it was torn and it’s never been above 13.7 for a season since then. In the past couple of seasons he has played in the G-League and China, and he played 14 games at the end of the season for the Bucks last campaign.

This summer, there were no offers. He is now headed to Russia, according to multiple reports, including EuroHoops.net. He will play for Zenit St Petersburg.

He’s only 28 years old, there is time for him find a way to make his game fit into the NBA landscape again. He’s just not there yet, and maybe the opportunity in Russia will lead him there. If not, he’s still getting paid to play at a high level.

Some owners reportedly want access to mental health files of players

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If you read one thing NBA related today, it should be the first installment of Jackie MacMullan’s brilliant series at ESPN on the mental health of players and staffs in the NBA, and how the league is handling it. MacMullan not only got Kevin Love and Paul Pierce to open up about their challenges, but she also got into the challenges the league faces in confronting this issue head-on.

One such challenge: Owners wanting access to players mental health “files.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, players union executive director Michelle Roberts and their respective teams are reportedly working on a new mental health policy for the league. Privacy is going to be a big part of that. From MacMullan:

Yet there remain many obstacles to confront, chief among them the stigma attached to mental health that prompts many players to suffer in silence. The union also insists that mental health treatment be confidential, but some NBA owners, who in some cases are paying their players hundreds of millions of dollars, want access to the files of their “investments.” That is not, however, the league’s position. “The NBA fully supports protecting the confidentiality of players’ mental health information and, accordingly, committed to the players association that any mental health program we undertake would do so,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass says.

Confidentiality, says Love, has to be non-negotiable. Without it, he says, he never would have become comfortable enough to announce from that All-Star dais that he was seeking treatment.

Those files must be private. This is different from a torn knee ligament or sprained ankle (and on those we have HIPPA laws for good reason). For one, this is something more unpredictable in treating. Second, it comes back to the stigma of mental health issues and how the information about them might be used.

That stigma still exists, both in society and the NBA — McMullan gets into the players and their wives talking behind Love’s back All-Star weekend, and the players currently seeking treatment who do not want it public. The “real men don’t talk about this” mentality is everywhere, but it has fertile ground in professional sports locker rooms where players see themselves as invincible.

That mentality, that stigma will be the hardest thing to change in altering the culture of mental health issues in the NBA. There are no easy answers here. Does anyone think the owners who want access to those files wouldn’t use against the player in negotiations (never underestimate an owner’s effort to gain leverage)?

The players’ union will not allow that in whatever the framework is for the leagues’ new mental health policy. Nor should they.

Love, DeMar DeRozan, Royce White and others broke barriers stepping forward into the spotlight to discuss their challenges. But there are a lot of barriers still up, and a lot of work for both the NBA and society to do on this front. And privacy must be part of that.

Rebuilding Hawks add depth by signing Daniel Hamilton, Alex Poythress.

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ATLANTA (AP) — The rebuilding Atlanta Hawks have added depth by signing guard-forward Daniel Hamilton and forward Alex Poythress.

Poythress was signed to a two-way contract, so the former Kentucky player will split his time with the Hawks’ G League Erie team.

Hamilton is on a fully guaranteed one-year contract after impressing the Hawks playing for the Thunder Summer League team. He averaged 2 points in six games with Oklahoma City last season while on a two-way contract with the Thunder. He spent most of the season with the G League Oklahoma City Blue.

Poythress averaged 1 point in 25 games with Indiana last season. He began the season on a two-way contract.