Rick Carlisle rips O.J. Mayo’s inconsistent performances

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With Dirk Nowitzki out at the start of the season, a lot of responsibility fell on the shoulders of O.J. Mayo in Dallas. Faced with that he put up 16.4 points a game on 46.2 percent shooting overall and 41.6 percent from three (both percentages a career best). Not bad.

But he was still O.J. Mayo — inconsistent game to game, quarter to quarter.

Monday night, after Mayo had a lackluster game against his former team the Grizzlies, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle sounded like a guy who had had enough. The quotes are via Jeff Caplan at NBA.com.

“I don’t know. You should probably ask him. I’m not sure,” Carlisle said when asked why Mayo delivered such a disappointing effort. “He wasn’t into it in the first half. We showed him some film at halftime where he was virtually just standing around defensively and said, ‘Hey, we need you’; just tried to get him going a little bit. He just had a bad night. I guess I’ll write it off to that. But I tell you what, if I was playing against my former team, I’d come out ready to go. I’d come out ready to go at them. But that’s me, you know, that’s me.”

Okay. So coach, what about that entire season of up and down performances.

“Well, the good news is there’s only an opportunity for one more [poor outing],” Carlisle said. “I just want to see him show up. I just want to see him show up and compete. He didn’t compete tonight. And I tell you, with all the time we’ve put into helping him develop and bringing him along, in the biggest game of the year – an opportunity to be a winning team – for him to show up like he did tonight, I was shocked. Look, sometimes guys have bad nights, so make sure to put that in there, too.”

Carlisle still could have another year of Mayo, who has a player option to return next season at $4.2 million. We’ll see what he decides, but he’s not going to make much more on the open market. Look at it this way, he had a career best PER this season of 15.2 — basically right at the league average. How much are teams going to pay for that kind of production?

Maybe someday Mayo puts it together and brings it every night. But if I’m a GM I’m not betting a lot on that.

Shaq doesn’t want LeBron James to chase rings to close his career

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Shaquille O’Neal was a dominant NBA center, playing with the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, and Miami Heat.

He was also a ring chaser.

At the end of his career, O’Neal decided to switch between teams, including the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Boston Celtics. It was an open and futile effort to beat his rival and former Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant in number of championships won.

After they retired, O’Neal finished with four championships to Bryant’s five.

Now, as Cavaliers star LeBron James starts to wrap up his own career, Shaq says that James should not follow in his footsteps. Specifically, O’Neal said that he thinks LeBron’s story has already been written, and that he should not try to chase rings elsewhere.

Via ESPN:

“Somebody told me a long time ago — they said your book is already set [before the later stages of your career]. You can add index pages toward the end, but your book is already set. So LeBron’s book is already set,” O’Neal said. “He done already passed up legends; he done already made his mark — he has three rings

I think I tend to agree with O’Neal on this point. Specifically, because the only thing that LeBron could do to boost his resume would be to win multiple championships, consecutively, to close his career. He would need to surpass Michael Jordan at six rings, and approach Bill Russell with 11.

I don’t particularly think that LeBron is trying to ring chase. He’s just trying to get with one good team to close his career (or the Lakers). I don’t think we will ever see LeBron skip around from team to team the way that O’Neal did in the twilight of his playing career.

We’re launching the PBT Mailbag, so what questions do you want answered?

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The 2017-18 NBA season is over, and the Golden State Warriors are champions once again. What that means the offseason is here, and for many fans that is the best time of the year. The summer in the NBA the past few years has given us some incredible stories. For many, this past postseason was rather boring, and the outcome was all but decided.

And so it is time to dig into our postseason favorites, starting with the 2018 NBA Draft. We here at Pro Basketball Talk would like to announce the start of our weekly mail bag, which will run each week on Wednesday mornings.

The first of mailbag will run this Wednesday, the day before the draft. Questions can be submitted via Twitter or by sending us an email directly at pbtmailbag@gmail.com.

The draft is obviously the big focus for many fans as we approach this next week, and much about the situation for many teams heading up into the event in Brooklyn is murky. If you have a burning question about the draft, now is the time to ask it.

Of course, you are encouraged to ask any kind of question you want to hear about from the Pro Basketball Talk crew such as:

  • Where is LeBron going?
  • Is a hotdog a sandwich?
  • Has Nick Young put his shirt back on yet?
  • Will Jordan Bell run out of Hennessy ever again?
  • Where will Kawhi Leonard play next season?

All of these questions are fair game, and more.

We are looking forward to the kind of queries you need answered on a weekly basis as we roll through the summer in anticipation for the start of the 2018-19 NBA season.

Report: Cavaliers have made calls to Spurs about Kawhi Leonard

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We still don’t know where San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard will end up playing at the start of the 2018-2019 NBA season.

The former NBA Finals MVP reportedly wants to head to Los Angeles, apparently to play for the Lakers. However, there are other teams in the mix for Leonard, and the Spurs themselves want to try to keep him and mend the relationship.

One intriguing team for Leonard is the Cleveland Cavaliers, who reportedly have made calls to San Antonio about landing their star. According to Cleveland.com writer Terry Pluto, the Cavs have made it known they are interested in Leonard.

It’s not clear whether that call was simple due diligence, a whack at trying to entice LeBron James to stay, or a long shot way to replace James if he decides to leave this summer.

The Cavaliers are hilariously over the cap for next season, and don’t have much to offer the Spurs that they’d likely want. The best player on the roster that helps match most of Leonard’s salary is Kevin Love, who already plays the position occupied by LaMarcus Aldridge.

Cleveland does have the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, but that’s not enough to snag Leonard. If the Cavaliers had a realistic shot at getting Leonard, it would likely need to be in the form of a three-team deal with another party that has a need for Love.

NBA trades can be weird, and this summer is wrapping up to be a special one. However, Cleveland grabbing Leonard from San Antonio is still a long shot.

NBA players celebrate Father’s Day on social media

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Sunday was Father’s Day in the United States, and as such several players around the league decided to share their feelings on the national day of appreciation.

Many got together with their kids or with their fathers, posting photos and giving us a nice little peek into the family lives of some of the league’s players.

Some guys, like Baron Davis and Jameer Nelson, sent out messages wishing well to those whose fathers had passed on.

Via Instagram and Twitter:

Make sure you appreciate your pops today.