A report surfaced earlier on Tuesday that current Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving could have interest in joining LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers if things don’t work out in New England. Irving is eligible for a new contract when free agency starts this summer.
That report seemed a little odd, especially given how things ended between Irving and James the last time they were together on the Cleveland Cavaliers. Even with Irving having apologized to LeBron for how he acted as a young player in Cleveland, the bad blood between the two seemed significant.
Now, one major Celtics beat journalist is throwing caution about any future Irving-LeBron teamups.
ESPN Jackie MacMullan was a panelist on Around the Horn on Tuesday, and intimated that these rumors were just agent Rich Paul juicing things up. From her side, MacMullan said that there’s been some struggles for Irving in Boston but that he isn’t looking to leave.
The NBA rumor mill is all about which access merchants are carrying water for whom, and which agents or general managers are trying to gain leverage by putting external pressure through the media.
Who knows if Irving would ever want to team up with LeBron again? My gut says no, just given the obvious size of the egos involved and the well-documented, public history between the two. Irving might want to leave Boston this summer, but I very much doubt it will be to the Lakers.
NEW YORK (AP) New York Knicks rookie R.J. Barrett will miss at least a week with a sprained right ankle.
Barrett was hurt during the Knicks’ loss to Phoenix on Thursday. On Friday, he had X-rays, which were negative.
The Knicks announced afterward that Barrett will be re-evaluated in a week.
The No. 3 pick in the draft from Duke is averaging 14.1 points.
MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Heat say Justise Winslow will miss at least two more weeks while recovering from a back injury.
Winslow has played only once since Dec. 4 and is slated to be out for at least the remainder of January. The team originally called Winslow’s injury a back strain, then updated the diagnosis to a bone bruise.
Winslow played off the bench in Miami’s win at Indiana on Jan. 8. The team said the back problems reappeared after that game. He has not played since.
Friday’s game in Oklahoma City is Miami’s 41st of the season and the 30th that Winslow has missed. He’s averaging 11.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists for the Heat this season.
The Hawks beat the Spurs in San Antonio on Feb. 15, 1997.
The next year, Kevin Huerter was born.
Atlanta’s next win in San Antonio came Friday, when Huerter hit the game-winning 3-pointer in a 121-120 win.
The Hawks’ losing streak in San Antonio spanned Tim Duncan’s entire lengthy career – and continued a few seasons beyond that. The only reprieve came during the lockout-shortened 1999 season, when Atlanta didn’t visit San Antonio. So, the skid lasted 21 games.
Buddy Hield is quite familiar with frustration amid the Kings’ disappointing season.
Sacramento fans showed theirs Wednesday, booing the Kings during their home loss to the Mavericks.
Buddy Hield, via James Ham of NBC Sports California:
“Everybody is frustrated, it’s not even them, we’re trying to figure it out too,” Buddy Hield said following the loss. “But it’s the home team and we get booed…we don’t agree with it, but they’re going to voice their opinion.
“I understand their frustration, but like I said, I’m going to keep shooting the ball,” Hield continued. “When I make a three they like me, when I don’t, they hate you. That’s how Sacramento fans are, man, so you’ve got to embrace it.”
Hield seemingly isn’t looking to pick a fight with fans. He made a point to empathize with their frustration.
But I don’t think he’s being fair, either.
Kings fans are far more loyal than swinging between love and hate depending whether or not a shot falls. They’re fed up after 13 – going on 14 – straight seasons missing the playoffs. This year has been particularly discouraging, as Sacramento has backtracked from fun and fast to sad and slow. Losing to Luka Doncic – a particular grievance – only adds to the irritation.
The Kings’ problems have spanned multiple owners, executives, coaches and players. So, booing this group isn’t totally fair, either. But this is who’s in front of the fans.
If this Sacramento team plays hard and together, fans will embrace it – and stick with it through thinner times.