Isaiah Thomas is a little guy with big confidence. It’s mostly deserved, as Thomas was one of the most electric players of the 2016-17 NBA season with the Boston Celtics.
Of course, since then Thomas has bounced around a little bit following a hip injury and a trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers that didn’t quite work out. Thomas has played for the Los Angeles Lakers since then, and now he’ll try to resurrect his chances at a larger contract with the Denver Nuggets this upcoming year.
Still, I’m not sure that how Thomas apparently feels about himself is reasonable. While the NBA guard was talking to comedian Kevin Hart during an interview this past week, Thomas revealed his top five point guards playing in the NBA today. Surprisingly (or perhaps not) Thomas listed himself as the best PG in the league.
According to Thomas, the list includes Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard.
Some players need to be that Irrational Confidence Guy, but Thomas is so far removed from his peak that it’s a little disheartening to see him have a lack of humility — or perhaps humor — about his current situation. Thomas has gone from a top VORP guy to a negative VORP guy in the course of two seasons. Nobody is backing up the Brinks truck for him soon, and at age 29 it’s more likely than not he will have a hard time recovering from his previous injury concerns.
Criticism of Thomas’s opinion about himself aside, he really is the victim of poor timing and NBA GMs letting their prejudice against short dudes get the better of them. Advanced statistics suggest that Thomas was not deserving of the kind of money he wanted when he made the Brinks truck comment, but he was worth more than what teams were willing to offer him. His injury simply came at an inopportune time.
Hopefully he can be a spark plug for a team in Denver who will be fun to watch and will likely be a playoff team if health allows.
Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic got ejected a few days ago for kicking the ball into the crowd, his second technical foul of the game.
That outburst also got him fined.
Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Luka Dončić has been fined $10,000 for kicking the game ball into the spectator stands, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
The incident, for which Dončić was assessed his second technical foul and ejected, occurred with 3:00 remaining in the third quarter of the Mavericks’ 111-99 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 19
Players usually get fined $25,000 for throwing something into the stands. But sometimes, they get just a $10,000 fine for that, seemingly if it appears they didn’t intend for the object to reach the crowd.
Did Doncic mean to kick the ball as far as he did?
Who knows? But it seems he got the benefit of the doubt here.
The Rockets signed Kenneth Faried, importantly to them, before their game against the 76ers yesterday. With Clint Capela injured, Houston needed another big against Joel Embiid.
But the Rockets had to open a roster spot for Faried. Their clear preference was trading Carmelo Anthony. Failing that, they’d release James Nunnally.
Houston agreed to deal Anthony to the Bulls but couldn’t complete the trade because the league office was closed, as is the norm on weekends and holidays (in this case, Martin Luther King Day). So, the Rockets dropped Nunnally, eating the remaining salary on his 10-day contract, increasing their luxury-tax bill and costing him the opportunity to play for a team that could use him.
Houston coach Mike D’Antoni, via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
“I don’t think it’s right,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said of having to terminate Nunnally. “There’s ways (the league) could have facilitated it.”
What happened to the Rockets was fair in that the rules were clear and applied equally to each team.
But I agree with D’Antoni. Games don’t stop for weekends and holidays. The league office shouldn’t, either.
Teams should have more ability to change their rosters on the fly, because games come so quickly. Halting business for weekends and holidays is antiquated. This is a global, multi-billion-dollar operation now.
The NBA can afford to employ enough people who review trades not to overwork any of them. It’d create a better product and make the sport operate more smoothly.
See, the Warriors are fallible.
Though Stephen Curry‘s mishaps coming during a blowout win undercuts the point.
Yes, the Grizzlies lost to the Anthony Davis-less Pelicans by 20 last night. Results like that are why there’s thought Marc Gasol could leave Memphis.
But at least plays like this Jaren Jackson Jr. dunk on Nikola Mirotic provide hope for the Grizzlies’ future.
Jackson is a skilled 3-point shooter and rim-protector. Add a mean streak inside offensively, and the rookie could really take off.