It’s become a growing trend — 17 NBA teams have set up single affiliations with D-League teams. It’s a step toward a true minor league development system for the NBA (although the NBA owners still prefer that the colleges do that work because then they don’t have to pay for it).
The latest may be the Toronto Raptors and the Rochester RazorSharks, who currently play in another league but would be moved. TimeWarnerCable news out of Rochester has the story (hat tip CBS’ Eye on Basketball).
The Rochester RazorSharks basketball team is in talks with the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, according to sources within the RazorSharks front office, who said the Raptors are looking for an NBA Developmental League affiliate.
The RazorSharks were champions of the Premier Basketball League last season, a nine-team league located mostly around the Great Lakes and in the upper Midwest.
The bottom line is the RazorSharks have the infrastructure in place and could be converted to a D-League team. A lot of the single-affiliation teams are set up so the NBA teams completely controls the basketball operations while the local team handles everything on the business side.
Toronto has young players to develop (not to mention young coaches and more who could use the seasoning). I expect they will get a D-League team, either in Rochester or somewhere else.
The Lakers initially called LeBron James day-to-day with the groin injury he suffered on Christmas.
He missed more than five weeks.
Maybe he should have sat even longer.
Karen Joubert, via Complex Sports:
Maybe LeBron returned too soon. This injury allowed that, even if it put him at risk of reaggravation if not fully recovered.
Maybe LeBron just healed especially quickly. Even among world-class athletes, he is an elite athlete.
Maybe Joubert is exaggerating. People tend to do that with LeBron’s body.
There’s plenty of room for interpretation, but it sure looked like LeBron was still hobbled.
What does this mean for LeBron and the Lakers going forward?
The pessimistic spin: LeBron did lasting damage to his body by returning so soon. This (failed) attempt to get the Lakers into the playoffs this season will undermine him in the future.
The optimistic spin: LeBron has still been excellent these last few weeks. If he gets fully healthy during his longest offseason in 14 years, he should be even better next season.
Kyrie Irving spent his first six seasons with the Cavaliers. He developed into a star with them. He won a title with them, even hitting the championship-winning shot.
With Irving’s Celtics playing in Cleveland tomorrow, Irving reflected on his time there.
Jared Weiss of The Athletic:
Irving is so clearly over the Cavs.
He was probably over the Cavs even while playing for them.
The Lakers have had a rough season.
Last night went pretty well, though – especially for one fan.
The Lakers beat the Kings, and this fan swished a halfcourt shot to win $45,000.
The Lakers need more outside shooting. Maybe they could turn to some of their fans.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is undeniable.
Watch this video. He’s the only Bucks player in sight on the court. All five Cavaliers appear. Antetokounmpo dunks anyway.
He dribbles past Jordan Clarkson then through David Nwaba and Tristan Thompson. Nik Stauskas and Brandon Knight are shading close enough to narrow his potential path. None of it matters.
Antetokounmpo scores inside unlike anyone anyone we’ve ever seen.