See, you can get through a full interview with Stan Van Gundy and not bring up Dwight Howard once.
Stan Van Gundy, former Miami Heat and Orlando Magic head coach, joined myself and Eyton Shander of NBC Sports Radio for the Nov. 22 edition of the ProBasketballTalk Podcast.
Rather than talk about the tired Howard subject, we chose to focus on the coaching jobs guys were doing around the NBA. That includes Van Gundy’s former assistant Steve Clifford who has the Bobcats off to a 5-5 start, plus we talk some of what Brett Brown and Jacque Vaugn face in their jobs.
Then we move on to talk about Portland and Terry Stotts, the challenges Mike Woodson faces — to say Stan Van Gundy hates the Knicks roster is an understatement — and what Jason Kidd faces as well.
Plus there is a little Kobe Bryant return talk, as is required by law. Kobe talk is at the start, before Van Gundy jumps in.
Steven Adams signed a two-year, $25.2 million contract extension with Memphis, which will keep him tied to the team through the 2024-25 season. ESPN’s Adrian Wojanrowski broke the news on Saturday.
Adams averaged 6.9 points and 10 rebounds for the Western Conference's No. 2 seed a season ago. His toughness, leadership, passing — all of it — makes him indispensable for a franchise trying to take the next step to championship contention.
Adams has been crucial to the Grizzlies’ recent success. He’s coming off his first season with the team, where he averaged career-highs in rebounds (10.0) and assists (3.4). He also helped them lock up the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference and make it to the Conference Semifinals, where they lost to the eventual-champion Warriors 4-2. Despite the improved numbers, a lot of his value is from intangibles that don’t show up in the box score.
Adams spent the first seven years of his career with the Thunder before being traded to New Orleans in the four-team deal that sent Jrue Holiday to Milwaukee. Adams was moved again to Memphis in a package for Jonas Valanciunas.
Adams has found a new home with a young Grizzlies team that is looking to win a championship. The team is built around Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane, but Jackson Jr. is expected to miss time after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left foot. Memphis will rely on Adams more than ever to begin the season.
Watch Curry, Klay in 3-point shooting contest in Japan. Yeah, they’re good at this.
It’s preseason and they are the defending champs — they should be having fun, playing with some joy.
Thompson took part in the shooting contest but is not playing in either of the exhibition games in Japan as the Warriors ease him back into play this season. It’s a marathon of a season and the Warriors need the best version of Klay starting in April, not October.
Larry Nance has been a stabilizing influence in New Orleans since coming over mid-season as part of the trade for CJ McCollum. Nance is a versatile player who can play the four or the five, knocks down his threes, is very strong on the glass, can be a disruptive defender in passing lanes, and fits in — and he has the veteran attitude of work this team needs.
So the Pelicans have reached an extension to keep the 29-year-old around for two years past this coming season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
New Orleans Pelicans F Larry Nance Jr., has agreed on a two-year, $21.6 million contract extension, his agent Mark Bartelstein of @PrioritySports tells ESPN. Nance’s total deal ties him to the franchise for three years and $31.3 million. pic.twitter.com/dZl6bewRxB
This is a signing that should make Pelicans fans happy. Importantly, it makes CJ McCollum happy — they are tight and this is something McCollum wanted to see. The money on this deal seems fair, about the league average for a solid rotation player.
We may see more Nance at the five lineups — small ball with Zion at the four — to close games this season in New Orleans, that could be their best lineup because Nance can defend but also spaces the floor for Zion on offense. Coach Willie Green has a lot of different players and matchups to experiment with.
And now he has the stability of Nance for a few more years.
When asked Friday if there were any inaccuracies in the reporting of the Nets summer he would like to clear up, Durant sounded weary of rehashing the summer.
KD on any inaccuracies about what happened in the summer: "Can we move on past that at some point? I know it's an interesting story. I know that it took up most of the offseason and drama sells, I get that, but I didn't miss any games, I didn't miss any practices, I'm still here"
The only thing that will start to move the conversation in a new direction is the Nets playing and winning games (they open the preseason Monday against the 76ers). And even those wins will have the shadow of the offseason cast over them. Durant and Irving made this bed.
Part of the fascination is the Nets remain the team hardest to predict in the league. They arguably have the most talented roster in the league and, if everything comes together just right, they can contend for a title. It’s also possible the wheels fall off early and by Christmas the Nets are looking to trade Durant again. Both things feel possible (even if reality most likely lands somewhere in the middle).
That uncertainty about the Nets’ future is the drama that will keep eyeballs on them — which also means more questions about this past offseason. Durant can choose not to answer them, but the questions aren’t going away.