Basketball Hall of Fame nominees Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant
Chris Covatta/NBAE via Getty Images

Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh headline Basketball Hall of Fame nominees

Leave a comment

Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Chris Bosh all finished playing under very different circumstances in 2016.

Bryant completed a grandiose farewell tour. Duncan retired with minimal fanfare. Garnett got around to retiring shortly before training camp. Bosh suffered blood clots that prevented him from ever returning.

All four should all enter the Hall of Fame together.

The Basketball Hall of Fame announced its 2020 nominees today. The players on the list primarily for their NBA accomplishments (*first-time nominee):

  • Tim Duncan*
  • Kobe Bryant*
  • Kevin Garnett*
  • Chris Bosh*
  • Shawn Marion*
  • Ben Wallace
  • Chauncey Billups
  • Chris Webber
  • Tim Hardaway
  • Marques Johnson
  • Richard Hamilton
  • Mark Jackson
  • Michael Finley*
  • Buck Williams*
  • Dale Ellis
  • Muggsy Bogues
  • Marcus Camby
  • Mark Eaton

Duncan, Bryant and Garnett are locks. Bosh should be and probably is a lock, but he sometimes gets under-credited because he took a subtler role with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade on the Heat.

Marion should probably make the Hall of Fame. The former Suns forward was ahead of his time in his versatility, and he was incredibly productive. In this deep class, he might have to wait.

Wallace, Billups, Webber and Hardaway each have borderline cases. Between the former 2004 Pistons, Wallace had a higher peak, and Billups had a longer prime. Webber blends those arguments. Hardaway deserves more consideration than he believes he receives.

After that, the nominees are uninspiring. If anything, they show the absurdity of the Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement process. Finley retired nine years ago, and Williams retired 21 years ago. Why are they getting nominated for the first time now?

Here are the other nominees (*first-time nominee):

North American Committee

  • Rick Adelman (Coach)
  • Fletcher Arritt (Coach)*
  • Johnny Bach (Coach)
  • Rick Byrd (Coach)
  • Irv Brown (Referee)
  • Jim Burch (Referee)
  • Hugh Evans (Referee)
  • Steve Fisher (Coach)
  • Cotton Fitzsimmons (Coach)
  • Ed Hightower (Referee)
  • Bob Huggins (Coach)
  • Herman Johnson (Coach)*
  • George Karl (Coach)
  • Gene Keady (Coach)
  • Ken Kern (Coach)
  • Rollie Massimino (Coach)
  • Bob McKillop (Coach)*
  • Danny Miles (Coach)
  • Steve Moore (Coach)*
  • Dick Motta (Coach)
  • Jake O’Donnell (Referee)
  • Jere Quinn (Coach)
  • Jim Phelan (Coach)
  • Digger Phelps (Coach)
  • Lamont Robinson
  • Bo Ryan (Coach)
  • Bob Saulsbury (Coach)
  • Norm Sloan (Coach)*
  • Eddie Sutton (Coach)
  • Rudy Tomjanovich (Coach)
  • Willie West (Coach)

Women’s Committee

  • Leta Andrews (Coach)
  • Jennifer Azzi (Player)
  • Swin Cash (Player)*
  • Tamika Catchings (Player)*
  • Becky Hammon (Player)
  • Susie McConnell (Player)
  • Debbie Miller-Palmore (Player)*
  • Kim Mulkey (Coach)
  • Kim Mulkey (Player)
  • Marianne Stanley (Coach)
  • Barbara Stevens (Coach)
  • Valerie Still (Player)
  • Marian Washington (Coach)

Contributor Committee

  • Marv Albert
  • Dick Baumgartner
  • Bill Bertka
  • Henry Bibby
  • Marty Blake
  • Vic Bubas
  • Wayne Duke
  • Lou Dunbar*
  • Bill Foster*
  • Harry Glickman
  • Marty Glickman
  • Simon Gourdine
  • Curt Gowdy
  • Tim Grgurich
  • Del Harris
  • Greg Heineman
  • Robert Indiana
  • Johnny “Red” Kerr
  • Bill King
  • John Kline
  • Red Klotz
  • Bobby Lewis
  • Herbert Livsey*
  • Jack McCloskey
  • Jerry McHale
  • Johnny Most
  • Dennis Murphy
  • Joe O’Toole
  • Billy Packer
  • Jack Powers
  • Dee Rowe
  • Zelda Spoelstra
  • Jim Valvano
  • Donnie Walsh
  • Jerome Williams

Early African-American Pioneers Committee

  • Clarence “Puggy” Bell
  • Sonny Boswell
  • Bill Garrett
  • Inman Jackson
  • Clarence “Fats” Jenkins
  • Bucky Lew
  • Davage “Dave” Minor
  • Hudson Oliver
  • Al “Runt” Pullins
  • James “Pappy” Ricks
  • Paul Robeson
  • Eyre Saitch
  • William “Wee Willie” Smith
  • International Committee
  • Patrick Baumann*
  • Tal Brody
  • Jackie Chazalon
  • Alphonso Ford
  • Giuseppe Giergia
  • Semen Khalipski
  • Vladimir Kondrashin
  • Toni Kukoc
  • Marcos Leite
  • Shimon Mizrahi
  • Aldo Ossola
  • Amaury Pasos
  • Dan Peterson
  • Manuel Sainz
  • Togo Soares
  • Ranko Zeravica

Veterans Committee

  • 1936 US Olympic Team (Team)
  • 1964 State Department Basketball Ambassadors (Team)
  • 1965 World University Games Team (Team)*
  • Tom Blackburn (Coach)*
  • Ron Boone (Player)
  • Sid Borgia (Referee)
  • Frank Brian (Player)
  • Joe Caldwell (Player)
  • Mack Calvin (Player)
  • Darel Carrier (Player)
  • Jack Coleman (Player)
  • Bob Dandridge (Player)
  • Charles Eckman (Referee)
  • Leroy Edwards (Player)
  • Leo Ferris (Contributor)
  • Clarence “Bevo” Francis (Player)
  • Buck Freeman (Coach)
  • Donnie Freeman (Player)
  • Travis Grant (Player)
  • Bob Grody (Player)
  • Robert Harrison (Player)
  • Flo Harvey (Player)
  • Dick Hemric (Player)
  • Cam Henderson (Coach)
  • Robert Hopkins (Player)
  • Lou Hudson (Player)
  • Warren Jabali (Player)
  • Jimmy Jones (Player)
  • Charles Keinath (Player)
  • Kentucky Wesleyan 1966, 1968, 1969 (Team)*
  • Freddie Lewis (Player)
  • Jim Loscutoff (Player)
  • Loyola of Chicago (TEA)
  • Billy Markward (Contributor)
  • Ed McCluskey (Coach)
  • Ray Mears (Coach)
  • Francis Meehan (Player)
  • Donald “Dudey” Moore (Coach)
  • Willie Naulls (Player)
  • Philadelphia SPHAS (Team)
  • Mel Riebe (Player)
  • Glenn Roberts (Player)
  • Holcombe Rucker (Contributor)
  • Kenny Sailors (Player)
  • Fred Schaus (Contributor)
  • Kenny Sears (Player)
  • Frank Selvy (Player)
  • George Senesky (Player)
  • Paul Seymour (Player)
  • Charles Siler (Contributor)
  • Talvin Skinner (Player)
  • Ken Suesens (Player)
  • Dick Van Arsdale (Player)
  • Tom Van Arsdale (Player)
  • Perry Wallace (Player)
  • Frank Walsh (Contributor)
  • Willie Wise (Player)
  • Max Zaslofsky (Player)

Women Veterans Committee

  • Alline Banks Sprouse (Player)
  • Edmonton Commercial Grads (Team)
  • John Head (Coach)
  • Pearl Moore (Player)
  • Nashville Business College (Team)
  • Lometa Odom (Player)
  • Harley Redin (Coach)
  • Teresa Shank (Player)
  • Hazel Walker (Player)

Report: Eight non-restart teams near deal for second NBA “bubble” in Chicago

NBA bubble Chicago
https://twitter.com/NYPost_Berman/status/1278800196361576448
Leave a comment

The eight teams with the worst records in the NBA, the ones not invited to Orlando for the NBA’s restart — Warriors, Timberwolves, Cavaliers, Hawks, Pistons, Knicks, Bulls, and Hornets — have been asking the NBA to organize workouts and games for them, so they don’t lose ground to the teams in the bubble.

ESPN’s Jackie MacMullen reports that is close to coming together in the form of a second NBA bubble in Chicago.

The details are still being hammered out, and teams continue to push for an alternative plan that would enable them to hold mini-camps within their local markets and to explore the idea of establishing regional sites where teams could scrimmage against each other.

This second bubble likely would take place in September, while the playoffs take place down into Orlando. Not every team is fully on board.

 

The eight teams had been concerned that going from March to December without meaningful games — while the other 22 teams had training camps and played at least eight games — would put the development of their young players and cultures behind. Teams pushed for practices and some organized games, although some franchises have pushed harder than others.

Michelle Roberts, the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, reportedly is insistent that if the eight teams get together in Chicago the players be protected by the same protocols in place in Orlando.

“Unless we could replicate in every way the protocol that’s been established for Orlando, I’d be – I’m being tame now – suspicious,” Roberts said last week in a conference call with reporters. “I think there are conversations that could be had if there’s anything we can do with the other eight teams. I know there are some players, particularly young players, that seem concerned they’re not getting enough [opportunities]…

“But I am very concerned and frankly, my concern aside, our players, our teams are very concerned about any — in terms of play that doesn’t have the same guarantees of safety and health that we’ve provided for the teams in Orlando. So yeah, never say never, but there’s a standard. It’s a standard that’s got to be met.”

Mark Tatum, the NBA’s deputy commissioner, quickly agreed with Roberts.

Expect an NBA Chicago bubble to come together in some form. Some of the eight teams on the outside — the Atlanta Hawks with their young core, for example — have pushed hard to get their players opportunities for games and workouts. Each of the eight teams are in different spots, however, and have different motivations. Golden State likely will not send Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson, this would be about getting younger players some extra run.

 

Donovan Mitchell on Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert: ‘Right now, we’re good’

Jazz stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert
Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Following their coronavirus diagnoses, Donovan Mitchell was clearly upset with Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert.

Gobert said he and Mitchell were good. Jazz executive Dennis Lindsey said Mitchell and Gobert were good.

Now, we’re actually hearing from Mitchell himself.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

This goes WAY further than anyone else speaking for Mitchell.

Mitchell was entitled to carry a grudge for a while. Gobert’s reckless actions made him more likely to contract and spread coronavirus.

At minimum, Mitchell is willing to say publicly he’s on the same page as Gobert. That’s meaningful. Teammates needn’t be best friends to succeed. But they generally perform better when they set their differences aside. However he actually feels about Gobert, Mitchell is setting a tone of putting the team first.

This isn’t surprising. Mitchell has shown he can remain focused and work hard amid adversity. Gobert plays a supportive style that makes life easier for teammates (though he has sometimes drifted from it this season). These are professionals who were always likely to reach this point.

Of course, this coexistence could be fragile. Among the biggest variables: How will Utah perform in the resumption at Disney World? Winning tends to bond teammates more tightly. Losing can exacerbate wounds.

At least the Jazz will enter Orlando with their chemistry – relatively – intact. After all they’ve been through, that’s something.

Report: Kings lead assistant Igor Kokoskov to become Fenerbahce head coach

Kings assistant coach Igor Kokoskov
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Kings are trying to end their historic playoff drought.

They’ll make that push as lead assistant Igor Kokoskov has one foot out the door.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Jason Jones of the The Athletic:

Kokoskov had a rough go in the NBA spotlight. After working his way up the coaching ladder and becoming the Suns’ head coach in 2018-19, he got fired after only one season. Phoenix gave him an ill-equipped roster, notably passing on Luka Doncic in the draft – perhaps despite the input of Kokoskov, who coached Doncic on the Slovenian national team. Maybe Kokoskov wasn’t a good-enough coach. He didn’t build a strong affirmative case. But getting only season in his first head-coaching job was a tough break.

Fenerbahce (Turkey) is a premier overseas job. Kokoskov will succeed a legend in Zeljko Obradovic, who recently drew attention for this, um, motivational speech.

For Sacramento, the timing is tricky. Luke Walton is still in charge. But with traveling parties limited for the resumption at Disney World, teams need the coaches in attendance to pull extra duty. Maybe Kokoskov is up for it. It’d also be completely natural if he’s at least somewhat distracted by his next job.

NBA: Nine more players tested positive for coronavirus

Nets center DeAndre Jordan
Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Of the 302 NBA players tested for coronavirus June 23, 16 tested positive (5.3%).

Nets center DeAndre Jordan said he learned of his coronavirus diagnosis five days later. He wasn’t alone in testing positive around then.

NBA:

In tests conducted of 344 NBA players between June 24-29, an additional nine players have tested positive for the coronavirus.   Twenty-five of 351 players have tested positive since testing began on June 23.

In tests conducted of 884 team staff between June 23-29, 10 have tested positive for the coronavirus.

If the NBA’s plan is working, the infection rate among players should decrease as they spend more time in the league’s system of isolation protocols and frequent testing. That appears to be happening. Nine is less than 16. But the exact progress is difficult to track.

It’s unclear how many players who tested positive in the first round of testing were also tested in the second round, let alone how many of them again tested positive in the second round. The 344 players tested in the second round might have had just nine positive tests (2.6%). Or the 344 players tested in the second round might have had 25 positive tests (7.3%).

It’s also unclear how many of the previously announced 16 players have recovered. So, even the total result – 25 of 351 players testing positive (7.1%) – is difficult to contextualize. COVID-19 Projections estimates 0.8% of people in the United States currently have coronavirus. The website also estimates 6.0% of people in the United States have or have had coronavirus. The NBA is not including the many players who tested positive before June 23, making it even more difficult to find a comparison point.

That just 10 of 884 staff members tested positive (1.1%) is encouraging, especially because they tend to live in big cities where teams are located and where coronavirus has tended to hit harder.