Sports Illustrated’s Zach Lowe recently did a great interview with forward Aaron Afflalo, who is a free agent after four seasons with Detroit and Denver. Here are a few highlights:
SI.com: The Nuggets have had a crazy offseason, with Nene about to be an unrestricted free agent and three different free agents (J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin and Wilson Chandler) all in China. Do you want to stay in Denver?
Afflalo: The way I moved forward at first was that I just planned on returning to Denver. That was just my feel, because my role had grown so much last season from a leadership standpoint. I felt it was almost my team. I felt a sense of responsibility. But obviously as the offseason goes on and changes are made, you have to weigh your options. My gut at the end of the season was that I’d be back in Denver, but you have to keep your options open. And for me, it’s all about winning…
…SI.com: The Bulls could use some two-way punch at shooting guard. Have you thought about how you’d fit there?
Afflalo: Oh yeah, my agent [Sam Goldfeder] brought that up to me before the lockout. He definitely mentioned the Bulls as a dream that would be great for me based on fit.
Afflalo, who is known for his defense and three-point shooting prowess, would seem to be a natural fit for the Bulls, who used a platoon of Keith Bogans, Kyle Korver, and Ronnie Brewer at the 2-guard position, but it’s hard to make any solid predictions about free agency before the details of the new CBA get hammered out, assuming it ever does get agreed to. For Afflalo’s thoughts about his ability to create his own shot, how important it is for him to be efficient, and how the Nuggets changed after the Carmelo trade, click through to read the full interview.
The internet has tried to raise several thousand dollars for Will Connolly, better known as “Egg Boy”, after he slapped an egg on the head of New Zealand senator Fraser Annig. As of publication, the Go Fund Me has more than $71,000, which will be donated to the victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings.
Connolly went viral as the perfect, realtime response to the racist views espoused by Annig, who spoke of anti-immigrant (and anti-Muslim) rhetoric directly following the Christchurch massacre despite himself being an immigrant to New Zealand.
Thanks to his courageous act, Connolly has become a kind of internet sensation. A native of Australia, Connolly got a little recognition by countryman Ben Simmons on Tuesday.
Gen Z is going to save us.
Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford has already said that former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz is not expected back on the court this season. Fultz was traded back in February from the Philadelphia 76ers to his new home in Central Florida.
Now it appears that Fultz will be doing his rehabilitation back in Orlando. According to a recent report from Josh Robbins, Fultz will shift his rehab from Los Angeles to Florida from here on out. To that end, Fultz said he wants to be closer to his new teammates.
Via The Athletic:
“I think it’s what’s best for me and the team,” Fultz said after he watched practice Tuesday. “(It’s beneficial) just being around these guys, so they see my face and I see their face. I’m going to learn as much as I can. As we make this push for the playoffs, I want to be here with my guys and just support them.”
Fultz is still trying to get his shoulder right, and not to mention his shooting stroke and comfortability on an NBA floor. If anything, his return back to the Magic organization should be seen as a good sign, especially as the season comes to a close. A lot of players already spend their offseason in Los Angeles, so the idea that Fultz would want to return shortly before the Magic season ends is encouraging.
We don’t have a timeline for his return just yet, but at this point Fultz is a reclamation project that Orlando is happy to have under their guidance. If they can turn him into an NBA player, they could have something special at a relatively low asset cost.
Doc Rivers will be staying with the Los Angeles Clippers.
According to multiple reports, Rivers and owner Steve Ballmer have agreed to an extension that will keep Rivers with the Clippers organization “long term”. Some earlier rumors had Rivers potentially being a candidate for the Los Angeles Lakers, who are presumed to have an opening this summer. But Rivers told reporters on Tuesday that he isn’t going to be heading across the hall, and that he’s happy where he is.
Rivers has led the Clippers to a surprising season, one that should result in a postseason bid despite a sort of ramshackle roster.
I think Rivers’ legacy was called into question following the departure of both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, but his ability to create a winning atmosphere in L.A. in a post-star era for the Clippers is a testament to his ability.
Of course, Rivers might not have to go without a star for too long. Rumor has it Kawhi Leonard still favors the Clippers as a top destination this summer should he choose to leave the Toronto Raptors.
March in the NBA can be a bit of a gamble for fans looking to score tickets as a means to watch their favorite players play. On good teams or bad, stars are subject to rest this late in the season.
Apparently one fan found that out the hard way after shelling out several thousands of dollars to see Giannis Antetokounmpo square off against LeBron James on Tuesday.
With the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers set to go head-to-head in Wisconsin, neither Antetokounmpo or LeBron will be on the floor. That’s going to upset one fan who, according to Darren Rovell, paid $6,970.50 for courtside seats.
I had a friend have this happen to him recently. Expecting a trip to New Orleans, he purchased tickets to watch the Pelicans play the Portland Trail Blazers earlier in the year. His tickets were for several rows behind the Blazers bench, and although they weren’t too expensive, no doubt they would have left wallet a bit thicker if he would have known that Anthony Davis would not have been playing.
Stay home, watch the game on your 4K television, and have a private bathroom and fridge. I know I shouldn’t tell you not to go to NBA games, but at least this wouldn’t happen to you if you stayed home.