However, they made an exception for this new Wish.com app ad (Wish is the Lakers’ jersey ad sponsor).
Well played guys.
Fed up with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins not matching his competitiveness, fed up with the Timberwolves for not trading him yet and apparently fed up with being told he must practice… Jimmy Butler unleashed hell during a scrimmage before the season.
Butler reportedly arrived late, led third-stringers to a win over the starters, talked smack and then left early. The Minnesota practice instantly became legendary.
And we didn’t even realize the full extent of Butler’s showing.
Butler, via The Ringer:
The most interesting detail of that whole scrimmage that nobody knows: I only shot the ball once.
Oh, I was dominating, but I only shot the ball once. Dimes, boom, boom, boom. Steals, blocks. I only shot the ball one time.
That is peak Jimmy Butler. He is so good. Though he’s a quality scorer, he affects the game in so many ways. Nearly all stars are excellent with the ball, but the ones who contribute to winning without the ball give their team an extra edge.
Butler has those skills, and it allows 76ers teammates like Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid more room to operate in their comfort zones. With so many questions raised about Butler as a teammate, I’d take him on my team any day.
Yet, Stephen Curry said he was down with the idea that we did not go to the moon. Rockets GM Daryl Morey even knocked Curry for that one.
NASA has invited Curry for a tour of one of their lunar labs (maybe that was what Curry was going for all along).
“We’d love for Mr. Curry to tour the lunar lab at our Johnson Space Center in Houston, perhaps the next time the Warriors are in town to play the Rockets,” Allard Beutel, a NASA spokesman, said in a statement to NBC News…
“During his visit, he can see first-hand what we did 50 years ago, as well as what we’re doing now to go back to the Moon in the coming years, but this time to stay,” Beutel said.
NASA sent six rockets to the moon between 1969 and 1972 with a dozen American astronauts walking on the moon’s surface. It’s really not up for debate, it happened. If you choose not to believe it, it really says more about you than the facts. Which is the saddest part about this for Curry (and his fans).
That said, he is the master of PR spin, look for Curry to make a positive out of this somehow.
Now, the Warriors star is intensifying the rhetoric.
Durant, via Shams Charania of The Athletic:
But watching Kobe and Mike, I’m like, ‘How do you not realize how good these dudes are?’ How do you not say they’re by far better than anybody who’s played the game? Just by the way they move, how fluid they are.
“Everybody that comes to my house, whether it’s friends or family, I make them watch Jordan highlights. This is equivalent to (Albert) Einstein … fucking (Ludwig van) Beethoven … or (Barack) Obama. This is the greatest talent and athletes and minds of the world. Just because they play sports, people think one way. But they’re masters, they’re geniuses. I just started realizing that a few years ago: Watching those guys can really spark my creativity.”
I don’t view basketball the same way Durant does. The players with the most skills are not necessarily the greatest players. Not all skills are equally important. I’d rank players with narrower skill sets – like Tim Duncan and Shaquille O’Neal – ahead of Bryant. Duncan and O’Neal were so efficient in what they did, and they were far better than Bryant at avoiding miscues like missed shots and turnovers. I care more about the end effectiveness than the means to get there when ranking greatness.
And what about LeBron James? I’d rate Jordan and LeBron top-two by my criteria. But even by Durant’s, I’m not sure why he doesn’t consider LeBron in that elite pantheon of skills. LeBron does everything.
“Scorers that go get baskets, especially inside the 3-point line, they’re like extinct at this point. Because games are so fast, and it takes Zo longer in a possession to get his game off. So, a lot of people bypass that. But everybody needs a scorer on their team.
“I think just natural scorers, the guys that get baskets before anything, they’re kind of frowned upon in this league. But that’s the core of the game to me.”
That’s the mindset of someone who calls Bryant and Jordan “far better than anybody who’s played the game.”
This all also speaks to how Durant views himself. He tries to perfect different aspects of his game. He entered the NBA as a scorer, but he since added rebounding, passing, defense, playing like a big. I’ve never been convinced Durant cares as much about willing his team to victory as he cares about expanding his skill set (which obviously indirectly helps his team win).
There’s nowhere Durant can try new skills like Golden State. The Warriors’ elite roster offers him room to experiment and keep winning, anyway. Just something to consider as he enters free agency next summer.
Tension between new Bulls coach Jim Boylen and his players boiled over Sunday. When Boylen called for a practice the day after a back-to-back, some players threatened to boycott. They ultimately compromised on a team meeting.
So, guard Zach LaVine met individually with Boylen.
“You just want to be real with people,” LaVine told ESPN. “There shouldn’t be any clouds. I think of myself as one of the leaders on the team. I just wanted to voice my opinion to them.”
“This is a business, this isn’t a dictatorship. We are all grown men, so everybody has a voice.”
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
“We had a situation over the weekend that could have been handled by a leadership group walking into my office and saying, ‘You know what, Coach? This is how we feel today. What do you think?’ That was the teaching moment,” Boylen said. “I’m juiced, man. I’m jacked up about it.”
A leadership committee sounds like the type of thing college teams have – which makes sense, because Boylen is treating the Bulls like a college team. Frequent and long practices. Harsh public criticism. Five-man substitutions. These are not normal power dynamics in the NBA.
Chicago players are already running thin on patience for Boylen. But he has plenty of job security. So, hopefully for everyone involved, he has learned as much as he indicates. He can’t keep coaching like this without inciting a mutiny.