Brandon Roy’s trip back to basketball relevance is a process. It won’t come over night and its apex is somewhere dramatically short of the career ceiling he had as an NBA star, which would have included the Hall of Fame. Now it’s more “capable role player who can contribute,” but there are still steps to take. And Saturday night, Roy took one.
Roy appeared in the Jamal Crawford Pro-Am in Seattle and Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus wrote about it for Blazers Edge:
Again, the setting makes it difficult to offer definitive conclusions. I would have liked to see more of Roy and Webster matched up against one another to get a sense for a matchup Roy might actually see in the NBA. This being the summer, defense is optional, and both teams poured in better than 110 points as Roy’s Bulls pulled away with a 14-1 run midway through the fourth quarter. I’d estimate Roy probably finished with somewhere around 25 points, 10 boards and five assists; Thomas might have scored 35 points.
As limited as Saturday may have been from a scouting perspective, it was great to see Roy on the court again. His apparent early retirement was painful both because of the joy the game brought him and the joy his game brought all of us. On Saturday, we saw just a little bit of it again.
And here’s video of the game including some of Roy’s ability to dart inside and finish at the rim.
He’s got a long ways to go, obviously. The legs are going to take time getting back to game-condition and even then, you have to hope they can structurally maintain for a full season with the Wolves. But Roy can still cook. That’s good to see.
That’s really good to see.
NBA makes it official, moves up free agency six hours to 6 p.m. June 30 (Eastern)
I’d like to think this means we’ll all be able to go to bed at a reasonable hour on June 30. I also know better.
There is a frenzy of activity right as free agency opens (Tampering? There is no tampering in the NBA…), which traditionally has been as the clock turns to July 1 in New York, right at midnight. Things got so active that a lot of agents and players made sure they were in Los Angeles, even if they didn’t live there in the offseason, just so things started at the more reasonable hour of 9 p.m.
Now the NBA has made the rumors official: Free agency will begin at 6 p.m. Eastern on June 30. Six hours earlier than before.
This was done as an agreement between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association.
This is going to be a wild July with a lot of big-name free agents — Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler — and maybe a third of the players in the league on the market, plus there are a lot more teams with cap space to spend this season. It’s going to be a frenzy.
Now we know what time the wild times start.
Why does Kevin Durant respond on social media? “I’m qualified to talk about basketball”
Every NBA player gets ripped on social media, even the guys who are not on social media. Most of the time players just ignore it, the way they ignore fans yelling stuff courtside or distant family asking them for money.
“Because I have social media,” Durant said Friday… “I mean, I’m a human being with a social media account. I could see if I ventured off into like politics, culinary arts or music and gave my input, but I’m sticking to something that I know. You know what I’m saying? This is all I know. I’m actually talking about stuff that I know. I’m qualified to talk about basketball.
“So when I respond to something, especially if it’s about me personally, of course I’m going to tell you if you wrong about it. When I’m on the training table getting treatment on my calf and I see a tweet that come by and I disagree — I don’t talk to people because I’m worried about what they say, it’s just that I’m interested. So if you talking about in-game or the NBA Finals, they’re the same to me, you know what I’m saying?”
Why does Kevin Durant use social media to join the conversation about himself? “I’m qualified.” His full answer. pic.twitter.com/xFPntIrw4t
The Lakers landing Kyrie Irving in free agency this summer might be their best realistic option. It’s far, far from a lock — the Knicks, and yes Celtics, will make their pitch, too — but reuniting the pair that won a title in Cleveland is on the Lakers’ radar. (Insert your own, “you know who should coach this team” Tyronn Lue joke here.)
Fueling the speculation, LeBron James and Irving were seen hanging out together at a club in Los Angeles recently. Then Friday, this happened: Cuffthelegend posted this on Instagram and LeBron liked it.
LeBron liking all these videos of Kyrie on Instagram is like a lonely dude liking all his ex’a pics
— Lifelong Association Football and Liverpool FC Fan (@norlingshea) May 24, 2019
Two thoughts on Irving and the Lakers:
• Multiple reports say Irving is open to it. Irving also has a strong relationship with Kevin Durant, and Boston still plans to trade for Anthony Davis and then try to re-sign Irving (even if Boston fans are done with Kyrie). The only person who knows which way Irving is leaning right now is Irving, and there’s a good chance he changes his mind in the next five weeks anyway.
• If the Lakers are going to land a star free agent this summer, it will be because LeBron was an active recruiter. These elite players have options, and the Laker front office is not inspiring confidence of late, it will be on LeBron to win guys over.
Jeremy Lin: Milwaukee security guard asked for my pass to Raptors team bus
After Game 2 in Milwaukee, I was trying to get to the team bus and one of the dudes in the Milwaukee arena just screams at me. He’s like, “Where do you think you’re going?!” And I’m like, “Uh, I’m trying to get to the team bus.” He’s like, “What?! Where’s your pass?” I was like, “I don’t have a pass. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t have a pass.”
This happens in a lot of arenas, so I just kind of go with the flow.
It’s a fine line. Lin shouldn’t be profiled as a non-athlete because he’s Asian-American. Arena staffers should keep everyone safe by stopping unauthorized people.