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Everything you didn’t think you wanted to know about Patrick McCaw’s third straight title

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Eight months ago, Patrick McCaw flummoxed the defending-champion Warriors as he refused to re-sign and took his restricted free agency into the season.

Last night, McCaw celebrated the Raptors winning the title over Golden State.

McCaw took a winding road to Toronto. He got drafted in the 2016 second round by the Warriors then won two straight titles with them. When his contract expired last year, he did everything he could to leave Golden State. McCaw eventually signed an offer sheet with the Cavaliers, had the Warriors not match, got waived, signed with the Raptors, waited through an NBA investigation then stuck in Toronto the rest of the season.

McCaw didn’t exactly get revenge on Golden State. He played just 48 minutes in the playoffs, including only 12 minutes in the Finals.

But the ring still fits.

McCaw became the fist player to individually threepeat since the Shaq-Kobe Lakers.

Not bad for someone who has spent just three years in the NBA.

McCaw is just the ninth player in NBA history to win a title his first three seasons. The record is eight straight years by K.C. Jones (followed by other 1960s Celtics Tom Sanders, John Havlicek and Gene Guarilia). The last player to hit three straight was Devean George on the 2000-2002 Lakers.

Here are the players who began their careers with the longest championship streaks:

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McCaw is the only the only player on that leaderboard who earned those titles with multiple teams. That puts him on another select list, along with teammate Chris Boucher.

The only players to win consecutive titles with different teams:

  • Patrick McCaw: 2018 Golden State Warriors, 2019 Toronto Raptors
  • Chris Boucher: 2018 Golden State Warriors, 2019 Toronto Raptors
  • Steve Kerr: 1998 Chicago Bulls, 1999 San Antonio Spurs
  • Pep Saul: 1951 Rochester Royals, 1952 Minneapolis Lakers
  • Mike Bloom: 1948 Baltimore Bullets, 1949 Minneapolis Lakers
  • Johnny Jorgensen: 1948 Baltimore Bullets, 1949 Minneapolis Lakers
  • Jerry Rullo: 1947 Philadelphia Warriors, 1948 Baltimore Bullets

Only McCaw, Steve Kerr and Pep Saul have won three straight championships while changing teams during the streak. Both Kerr (1996-1998 Chicago Bulls, 1999 San Antonio Spurs) and Saul (1951 Rochester Royals, 1952-1954 Minneapolis Lakers) actually did it as part of an individual four-peat.

Maybe someone should sign McCaw more quickly this summer.

Watch Trae Young drop 31 at Drew League, lose to Montrezl Harrell who has 46

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The Drew League in Los Angeles is one of the premiere — for my money the best — summer pro-am basketball league in America. There is some serious talent getting run on that court.

But drop in NBA talent and it’s another level.

That’s what happened Saturday in Los Angeles. Atlanta’s Trae Young showed up, went head-to-head with the reigning Drew League MVP Frank “Nitty” Session (who has embarrassed guys like Denzel Valentine in Drew games), and dropped 31.

But Young’s team lost because Clippers’ stud  Montrezl Harrell dropped 46.

You can see the highlights above thanks to BallisLife.

 

Manny Pacquiao says he has thought about buying part of NBA team when he retires

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At age 40, Manny Pacquiao is not retiring. Even if you and some boxing pundits think he should. Tonight (Saturday) he fights Keith Thurman at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and is expected to pull down about a cool $26 million for his trouble. If you’re getting paid like that, why retire exactly? He has said he wants to fight another five years or so.

After that, he’d like to buy part of an NBA team.

That’s what he told TMZ in a pre-fight interview.

He said he has thought about buying a piece of an NBA team after he retires. Pacquiao, a basketball nut who uses the sport as part of his training, owns an entire semi-pro league — the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League — in the Philippines (one of the most basketball-crazy nations on earth). Pacquiao said he thinks his experience with that league would help him as an NBA owner, that some of the skills will translate, which is likely true. Pacquiao said it’s about finding the right opportunity.

Forbes estimates that Pacquiao will have earned, after Saturday’s fight, more than $500 million in his career. Various websites estimate his net worth in the $200 million range. He’s got the money to jump in as a part owner.

In an NBA that loves personalities and characters — and one always trying to gain more traction in Asian markets — don’t be shocked if this happens someday.

Once Pacquiao retires.

C.J.McCollum, Eric Gordon both withdraw from USA Basketball for World Cup

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First Anthony Davis. Then James Harden.

Now add C.J. McCollum and Eric Gordon to the list, as reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic and Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Don’t be surprised if a couple of new players are added to the USA roster for training camp.

The loss of those four stars strips the Team USA of some international experience. As pointed out by John Schuhmann of NBA.com, now only four members invited to USA camp have played in the World Cup or Olympics: Harrison Barnes, Andre Drummond, Kevin Love, and Kyle Lowry — and Lowry just had thumb surgery and is questionable for the playing in China.

USA Basketball can still roll out this starting five:

Damian Lillard
Bradley Beal
Khris Middleton
Tobias Harris
Andre Drummond

Then off the bench have Kemba Walker, Donovan Mitchell, Kyle Lowry, Jayson Tatum, P.J. Tucker, Kevin Love, Brook Lopez.

That’s still enough talent, coached by Gregg Popovich, to win the World Cup. The USA remains the heavy favorites for a reason.

USA Basketball is scheduled to begin its pre-World Cup camp in Las Vegas Aug. 5, with an intrasquad exhibition game at the T-Mobile Arena on Aug. 9. Then the team heads to Southern California for more training followed by an exhibition against Spain on Aug. 16 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Then the team heads overseas for the World Cup, which begins in China on Aug. 31.

James Harden reiterates it was ‘false talk’ he and Chris Paul were at odds

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The Houston Rockets — not in an anonymous way, but in a “we are putting our names on this, quote me” kind of way — have pushed back hard on the narrative that there was tension between Chris Paul and James Harden that led to the Rockets trading CP3 for Russell Westbrook this offseason. Rockets GM Daryl Morey has denied it, team leader P.J. Tucker called it fake news, and Paul himself has pushed back.

Harden has done that again, speaking at his camp on Saturday.

The counter-argument to this: Chris Paul is in Oklahoma City right now.

People will believe what they want to believe, but the Rockets guys have all gone on the record about this. Nothing leaked and anonymous.

From the Rockets’ perspective, they made a trade for Westbrook that is a roster upgrade. Houston has a dynamic duo that can compete with the Los Angeles teams and the other contenders around the league, and whatever questions fans and the media may have about the ultimate fit of Harden and Westbrook the talent level is not in question.

Do the Rockets make that trade if everything is great between Harden and Paul? Probably, if they saw CP3 as in decline and Westbrook as a talent upgrade (which they did). The Rockets can be a cold, business-like organization in terms of their pursuit of a title.

We will see next season if that calculation paid off. Whether or not Harden and CP3 got along.