Raptors’ GM Masai Ujiri is a bigger man than most.
Among the numerous insider and ridiculous things Tweeted out through burner accounts linked to then Sixers’ GM Bryan Colangelo — an investigation by the team found Colangelo’s wife Barbara Bottini ran the accounts, allegedly without Colangelo’s knowledge — were shots at Ujiri. Colangelo had been the GM of the Raptors, Ujiri took over after him and remains revered by the fan base in a way Colangelo never was. That led to some jealous Tweets.
Ujiri is ignoring those comments and mostly just feels bad for his friend Colangelo, who lost his job.
Michael Scotto of The Athletic spoke to Ujiri, who was nothing but sympathetic to Colangelo.
“To me, my thoughts are with Bryan and his family, honestly,” Ujiri told The Athletic. “There’s nothing said about me there, there was not one inch of it that made me think otherwise. He’s a good friend of mine. I totally understand the situation, and I sympathize with Bryan. In my humble opinion, it was tough for me to see him lose his job. It was a mistake, and I’ve spoken to Bryan. We continue to speak continuously, and he’s one of the better persons in this job, and my dream and my hope is a good person like that gets back in the game somewhere, somehow. Bryan Colangelo has 100 percent of my support, and it’s emotional for me because he’s one of my mentors, he gave me a chance, and hopefully, he can be forgiven. Even though I don’t know, I’m not sure of details, but I hope he’s forgiven. We can all make mistakes.”
Classy. A lesser man would have reveled in the downfall of someone tied to those kinds of shots at him. That’s not who Ujiri is.
I don’t know if he — or we — will ever get to see Colangelo work in an NBA front office again, though.
Dwyane Wade is secure in his legacy. He’s an all-time great, and an extra missed 3-pointer during his farewell tour won’t change anything. (It doesn’t hurt that his resumé already includes subpar 3-point shooting.)
So, when many players would hold the ball, Wade heaved in a halfcourt shot to end the third quarter of the Heat’s 110-105 win over the Spurs on Wednesday. It wasn’t the biggest shot of Wade’s season, but it still mattered plenty.
Miami’s lead when San Antonio began intentionally fouling late? Three.
The Grizzlies blew a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter and a five-point lead in the final 30 seconds of overtime. James Harden scored 57 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter and all 10 of the Rockets points in overtime.
But Jonas Valanciunas saved Memphis from total collapse. He drew a foul on his putback and hit the game-winning free-throw with 0.1 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 126-125 win Wednesday.
Jimmer Fredette remains a fascination because he scored a ton at BYU eight years ago and… other reasons.
He has been lighting it up in China, and his season there just ended. Now, the former No. 10 pick could return to the NBA after three years away.
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:
Phoenix still needs another point guard, and the 6-foot-2 Fredette looks like one. But he hasn’t shown the playmaking to play point guard regularly. He’s better, and sometimes even effective, off the ball.
Fredette could have stuck in the NBA with a different attitude. His long-distance shooting was an asset.
But he’s also now 30 years old. A new approach likely won’t be enough. His shortcomings, particularly defensively, will be even more pronounced as his athleticism has declined.
The Suns are bad and will remain bad, with or without Fredette. But their younger players have shown signs of progress lately. Fredette’s high-usage style could interfere with their development.
It’s hard to see the upside here other than a brief uptick in attention.
Marcus Smart recently bemoaned the lack of physicality in the NBA.
After Joel Embiid dropped his shoulder into him on a screen, Smart brought some to tonight’s Celtics-76ers game.
Smart shoved Embiid in the back, sending the center to the floor. A cheap shot? Yes. Embiid wasn’t looking. But Smart would surely argue Embiid started it. I also doubt Smart intended to push Embiid from behind. Smart just wanted to get at Embiid as quickly as possible, and Embiid happened to be facing the other way when Smart arrived.
Smart got a flagrant 2 and the accompanying ejection. Embiid received a technical foul.