Most NBA players idolize Michael Jordan. They grew up watching him play, they wear his shoes, they practiced dunks sticking out their tongues — they want to be like Mike.
Jordan has been one of the hardline NBA owners who has driven us to the brink of no NBA season. Jordan is one of the guys that thought David Stern went too far with that 50/50 offer, Jordan is one of the guys who wants to break the union. That has led to Pacers swingman Danny Granger and rookie to be Klay Thompson calling Jordan a hypocrite, Stephon Marbury and Metta World Peace taking swings at Jordan, and the Wizards’ Nick Young tweeting he would never wear Jordan’s shoes again.
Dwyane Wade won’t go that far.
Wade is one of the big ambassadors — and gets big checks — from the Nike Jordan brand. And he told Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel he still loves those
checks Air Jordan shoes.
“I really didn’t need to get involved in all that,” Wade said. “Obviously I wear a different hat than certain other guys that got involved in it. And I stay away from it. I have an obligation and I have a job to do and I’m going to do my job….
“That’s on Nick Young,” Wade said. “That’s his moment. Obviously, that’s his own choice and decision and, you know, that’s something he’s going to have to deal with. I can’t let that affect me. I have my own things to run, my own stuff to think about what I’m doing with my own shoes.”
Translation: “I like to get paid.”
Not that there is anything wrong with that. Just own it.
Dwane Casey reportedly holds a grudge toward Raptors president Masai Ujiri for firing him.
Casey got revenge last night, coaching the Pistons to a win at Toronto. Casey called two quality plays in the final seconds, the latter producing Reggie Bullock‘s game-winner.
Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:
A Toronto reporter asked Blake Griffin if it gives Pistons players a degree of confidence in their coach when he gives them those tools to win games.
“We know that. This isn’t like we just discovered this for the first time today,” he said. “We’ve put in plays like that all the time in practice. He demands execution and we executed. Maybe to Toronto fans – or certainly their GM, maybe – it was a surprise. But not to us.”
The win had to be gratifying for Casey. Having his star player take up his greater cause must even more satisfying.
NBA scoring is exploding. Defenses are getting less leeway for physicality. Offenses are more efficient than ever. Pace is at its highest mark in decades.
Except for the Jazz last night.
Utah scored just 68 points in a 50-point loss to the Mavericks. And even that undersells the Jazz’s offensive woes. They played reasonably fast, getting 101 possessions. Their offensive rating – 67.3 – shows just how inept they truly were.
In all, Utah shot 42% on 2-pointers, 17% on 3-pointers and 63% on free throws and committed 22 turnovers.
The Jazz set several milestones for offensive futility:
- Fewest points in a game (68) in nearly two years (68 by Hawks vs. Jazz on Nov. 25, 2016)
- Lowest Basketball-Reference estimated offensive rating in a game (68.8) in more than three years (68.2 by Grizzlies vs. Warriors on Nov. 2, 2015)
- Fewest points in a second half (22) in nearly five years (19 by Rockets vs. Thunder on Jan. 16, 2014)
Comparing across eras can be difficult, but here’s one measure: The Jazz scored 68 points in a season teams are averaging 110.4 points per game.
That output relative to average – -42.4 – is one of the lowest of all-time:
Kevin Durant and Draymond Green are feuding, the possibility of Durant leaving the Warriors in free agency next summer hanging over everything.
Now comes Durant’s brother, Tony – intentionally or not – throwing gasoline on the fire. Again.
Tony posted and deleted these comments on Instagram, via Bleacher Report:
Read too much into vague social-media content at your own peril.
But, man, that sure looks like Tony advising Green just to enjoy Durant masking Green’s problems until Durant leaves the Warriors and leaves Green exposed.
Andrew Wiggins keeps besting Nikola Mirotic.
Wiggins won Rookie of the Year over Mirotic in 2015.
In the Timberwolves’ win over the Pelicans last night, Wiggins had the dagger dunk on Mirotic – and made sure Mirotic felt it. Ouch.