One thing that made Michael Jordan so great was his ability to make his teammates better. Like all superstars, Jordan attracted attention on the court, and that gave the Bulls’ other players room to operate. But unlike, say, Magic Johnson, Jordan didn’t necessarily excel at setting up those open teammates, at least relative to his other elite skills.
Rather, Jordan required his teammates to match his incredibly intense drive.
But demanding so much from his teammates – even punching them in the face when necessary – can be pretty alienating. In his new book, “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success,” Phil Jackson explains how Jordan got away with it while comparing MJ to Kobe Bryant. Via Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:
“Michael was more charismatic and gregarious than Kobe. He loved hanging out with his teammates and security guards, playing cards, smoking cigars, and joking around,” Jackson said in the book, which was obtained in advance by The Times.
“Kobe is different. He was reserved as a teenager, in part because he was younger than the other players and hadn’t developed strong social skills in college. When Kobe first joined the Lakers, he avoided fraternizing with his teammates. But his inclination to keep to himself shifted as he grew older. Increasingly, Kobe put more energy into getting to know the other players, especially when the team was on the road.”
Not to harp on a relatively minor flaw – keep in mind, compared to the greatest player of all time – Kobe didn’t bring his teammates to his level with the same success. A fun-loving Shaquille O’Neal never matched Kobe’s seriousness, and we still talk about how Smush Parker brought down Kobe rather than how Kobe elevated Parker.
But that’s part of the reason Jordan is the best and Kobe is merely one of the best.
MARION, Ind. (AP) Investigators have determined a fire likely was intentionally set at an Indiana bar, one day after the brother of NBA star Zach Randolph was fatally shot there.
The fire happened at Hop’s Blues Room in Marion early Sunday – less than 24 hours after 35-year-old Roger Randolph was found dead.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze that caused an estimated $20,000 in damage. Marion Fire Department Investigator Brandon Eckstein says the cause of the fire was arson.
Early Saturday, Roger Randolph died shortly after he was found shot in the parking lot of the business. Police say no arrests have been made.
Zach Randolph was a star player in Marion and now plays for the Sacramento Kings.
Authorities didn’t immediately say whether they believe Randolph’s death and the fire are related.
The NBA Draft is a big moment for many young men entering the league. Before the picks are announced, TV coverage shows players waiting at their tables among parents, siblings, and their agents.
Now, the NBA is apparently turning the first round into even more of a family affair.
According to Yahoo! Sports, first round selections will be invited to bring two family members to walk across the stage with them as they are selected during the draft on Thursday night. Those members will also be in the greenroom, so they will get the full experience of what it’s like to be an NBA draft pick themselves.
This is going to be pretty neat to see, and it should make the smiles of the players even bigger as they get to experience a lifelong dream right alongside their support networks.
The 2018 NBA Draft kicks off on Thursday, June 21 at 4:00 PM.
The Boston Celtics were world champions back in 2008. After a whirlwind summer in 2007 where the team traded for both Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, things came together for the Celtics as Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo filled out an impressive roster.
Boston had two consecutive seven-game series to open the postseason in 2007-08, beating the Atlanta Hawks in the first round and then LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second. They then dispatched the Pistons in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals, and Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers in six in the NBA Finals.
The Celtics hadn’t won the championship since the 1985-86 season, and suffered through patently bad teams or talented ones that tended to get clumsy with early playoff exits.
When Boston finally did win their title, it was Garnett who game us one of the more iconic moments of their celebration, shouting “Anything is possible!” as he was interviewed after the game.
A decade later, Boston is again in the hunt for another championship and seemingly set up to do so for years to come.
If there was one thing at the top of the list that set off Timberwolves fans on Twitter last season — and that is a long list — it was the burying of backup point guard Tyus Jones on the bench.
Jones played well on the floor — he is an excellent pick-and-roll ball handler, knows how to run an offense, is strong in transition, and can knock down a spot-up jumper — and the Timberwolves were 5.8 points per 100 possessions better than their opponents when he was on the court. Yet coach Tom Thibodeau jerked Jones’ minutes around — he leaned heavily on starter Jeff Teague and backup guard Jamal Crawford, then mid-season brought in Derrick Rose and gave him run. Jones’ minutes were up and down when they never should have been — even Teague went to Thibodeau and said to play Jones more.
It got to the point that after the season, the third-year guard considered asking for a trade, reports Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.
But sources told Sporting News that Jones met with team management after the playoffs, and Thibodeau reasserted his support of Jones and his development. Even if the Wolves re-sign Rose, Jones was assured, his minutes and opportunities would increase because Crawford is not expected to return to the team. Rose mostly played shooting guard with the Wolves last season, so there’s a chance Jones could play alongside Rose as a backcourt bench unit.
Jones had considered requesting a trade, but the meeting with the team defused that notion before it arose. And for now, at least, the Wolves have no intention of dealing him.
Thibodeau is saying the right things, we’ll see if his actions back up his words. Jones will be a restricted free agent in the summer of 2019 and he has a lot of fans around the league in other front offices. If Minnesota doesn’t give him enough burn he will hunt out a place that will (and may pay more than Minnesota wants to match).
It’s one of a number of issues around the Timberwolves that could derail, at least temporarily, a team that is on the rise in the West.