June 6, 2016, 8:42 am
Welcome back to another edition of Last Week This Morning! Before we get started, I just wanted to give a quick shout out to Raef LaFrentz. Ok, that’s it – moving on.
What’s Next For Kevin Durant?
The REAL answer to that proposed question above is ‘who knows?’ but what I actually did there was ask a rhetorical question, and then I used it as a headline for my weekly shindig over here so I could then speculate on all the Kevin Durant talk from this week.
In case you missed any of it, every team and their mother thinks that they have a shot at signing Kevin Durant this summer. Of course, everyone should try, and most, if not all, will fail, but it’ll give us something hoops related to talk about after the draft so I’m all for it. I want campaigns, I want meetings, I want private jets, I want to find sketchy snaps with fans putting KD on blast while he’s having dinner in every city, etc. Bring it. Consume my summer, Kevin Durant. I dare you.
A lot of people like to pretend that those antics that make NBA free agency so absurd are actually upsetting, and I just refuse to buy that. The Decision was awesome. Blake Griffin’s picture of keeping DeAndre Jordan locked in to his home so he couldn’t sign with Dallas was awesome. The banana boat photo-turned-super-team-speculation was awesome, the reports of the Lakers’ terrible meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge was awesome etc, etc.
Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas is literally telling people he is going to do everything he can to sign Kevin Durant. THAT IS INSANITY. With that being said, this is Isaiah Thomas we’re talking about here. Everyone loves IT, and he still feels disrespected. He never settles, he might the biggest chip to smallest shoulder ratio guy I’ve every seen, so, you can doubt him – I won’t.
Of course, the level of entertainment I’m prepared to receive from Kevin Durant’s free agency is completely based on the fact that I have no vested interest in Kevin Durant. If this were a star player on a team I had rooting interest in, it would drive me crazy. That is my way of apologizing to Thunder fans that would much prefer a quiet negotiation and a quick resolution. I get it, I’m a hypocrite, I know this.
I’ve referenced the ‘NBA Circus’ before, and I think we can flesh out that idea a little bit.
I live in a relatively small town, we get the ‘local’ carnival to show up once every summer. It’s one of those rolling carnivals, so they’ll pop up in my town, the next town over a couple weeks later, and so on and so forth. I’m assuming they travel up and down New England, but I’ve never asked.
Carnival weekend is a disaster. Kids everywhere, trash everywhere, loud noises, strangers, people in general, you know – all of the little things that make life a tad more annoying.
The point is, when you’re forced to host the carnival, it’s the worst. When you get to enjoy the carnival in someone else’s town, it’s great! I only have to see it when I drive by, maybe I’ll even pop in for some fried garbage, ride the teacups, and leave. No harm, no foul, I can soak up as much carnival as I want, and then never hear from it again.
Oklahoma City couldn’t be further away (figuratively). I want the Kevin Durant drama dumpster fire to burn so bright I can see it from Massachusetts. I’ll gladly retweet the inevitable Crying Jordans and move on. I don’t have to live with it, and I don’t have to live in it.
I’m mostly joking. As someone with a ‘thing’ for that basketball team in Sacramento, I’m very familiar with NBA drama. When everyone is writing a story about Isaiah Thomas’ – Kevin Durant recruitment plan, it’s maddening because it’s not even a story until it is a story, and then people start talking about it, and then Kevin Durant get’s asked about it, and then it becomes a story. That is the NBA drama loop. It happens all the time, and when a situation is sensitive, and you can’t trust the motive behind who is reporting what, it can be very frustrating to watch a false narrative get spun right in front of your own eyes. It. Happens. All. The. Time.
That is my roundabout, parodical way of showing sympathy and support for the Thunder. You probably have nothing to worry about. By nearly any logic, Kevin Durant should and will stay in Oklahoma City, but for serious, keep an eye on that Pizza Guy in Boston. He’s relentless.
April 24, 2019, 8:26 pmBlake Griffin - F - Detroit Pistons
Blake Griffin (left knee) underwent successful arthroscopic knee surgery on Wednesday night.
Griffin's knee obviously dogged him during the final stretch of the regular season and throughout the Pistons' brief playoff run. The Pistons said that he isn't expected to miss any off season training and should be good to go for the start of the 2019-2020 season.
Source: Mark Stein on Twitter
April 24, 2019, 6:54 pmClint Capela - C - Houston Rockets
According to head coach Mike D'Antoni, Clint Capela (illness) is feeling much better ahead of Wednesday's matchup against the Jazz.
Clint Capela has been struggling ever since he came down with this virus. He seems to be close to 100% according to his head coach. If Capela can get close to his season averages of 16.6 points on 64.8% shooting while grabbing 12.7 rebounds and blocking 1.5 shots per game, then the Jazz will have an even tougher to task to take down the Rockets on Wednesday in order to force a Game 6 back in Utah.
Source: Tim MacMahon on Twitter
April 24, 2019, 3:24 pmJaMychal Green - F - Los Angeles Clippers
JaMychal Green will remain in the starting lineup in Game 5 on Wednesday.
Green logged 22 minutes in the same role in Game 4, though it's not surprising that the Clippers will stick with the same group considering Ivica Zubac's tough fit in this matchup and Montrezl Harrell's fit in his current role.
Source: Andrew Greif on Twitter
April 24, 2019, 2:11 pmNate Tibbets - Team - Trail Blazers
The Suns have been given permission to interview Blazers assistants Nate Tibbets and David Vanterpool for their vacant head coaching position.
The Cavs have already been connected to the duo from Portland, and Tibbets interviewed for the Hawks' gig last summer. The Suns reportedly fired Igor Kokoskov so they could make Philadelphia assistant Monty Williams their top target before the Lakers got too deep into talks, but Phoenix will be looking at multiple candidates. It's a nice roster to work with but we can't imagine anyone will be too eager to work with the team's ownership group.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
April 24, 2019, 2:00 pmDraymond Green - F - Golden State Warriors
Draymond Green admitted that his right wrist has been hurt for "a while."
Green added that he got hit there in Game 4 and "it pissed it off" and said that he's going to play through any pain in the postseason. It's not like teams weren't sagging off Green on the perimeter already, but if his wrist continues to hamper him in any way we may see opponents get very aggressive in their defensive efforts on Golden State's other players. Green is going to have lots of open jumpers presented to him for the rest of the postseason.
Source: Anthony Slater on Twitter
April 24, 2019, 1:57 pmJarrett Allen - C - Brooklyn Nets
Jarrett Allen will work on extending his range to the 3-point line this summer.
Him and every other big man. Allen went 6-for-45 on 3-pointers this season, so he's got some work to do. He's a quality young player who can protect the rim, but Allen isn't quite strong enough to crash and bang with the league's true behemoths and not quite gifted enough offensively to be anything more than a threat on the roll. It's a great base from which to work, however, and it's good to know that Allen is going to be putting in the work to make himself more of a weapon as the Nets look to build on a nice campaign.
Source: Bryan Fonseca on Twitter
April 24, 2019, 1:55 pmMarcus Smart - G - Boston Celtics
On Wednesday Brad Stevens said that Marcus Smart (torn oblique) is "doing great."
That's nice, but it's not much of an update. Smart was able to do some light shooting and treadmill work yesterday but we're still not expecting to see him until the tail end of the second round at the earliest. His tenacity and perimeter defense will be missed dearly in Boston's matchup with the Bucks.
Source: Jay King on Twitter
April 24, 2019, 1:48 pmKyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry suffered a dislocated finger on his right hand in the first half of Tuesday's Game 5 but was able to pop it back in and return to the game.
Lowry swiped at the ball and ended up hitting Evan Fournier's leg with his hand, which caused the injury The fact that he was able to return to the game, even in a blowout, bodes well for his status for the second round. It may affect his shooting to some degree but Lowry has been playing facilitator more often anyway, and we wouldn't expect his performance to suffer. After a scoreless Game 1, Lowry was all over the floor for the Raptors as they locked in and simply outclassed Orlando.
Source: The Athletic
April 24, 2019, 11:50 amJeff Hornacek - Team - Sacramento Kings
Sam Amick of the Athletic is reporting that former Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek had an interview with the Kings for the lead assistant coach job.
Sacramento has already hired Luke Walton to be their new coach but the news about the sexual assault allegations he faces might put his status in danger. Walton should be able to assemble his coaching staff once he is out of the woods but we should know more once the NBA concludes with their investigation of the matter.
Source: The Athletic
April 24, 2019, 11:11 amLuke Walton - Team - Sacramento Kings
Sam Amick of the Athletic is reporting that Luke Walton still has the Kings’ support, despite the sexual assault allegations the newly-hired coach is facing.
The Kings are working with the NBA to investigate allegations made against Walton by his former colleague at Time Warner Cable, Kelli Tennant. The report adds that the two sides are moving forward with their working relationship and there doesn’t appear to be any momentum toward firing Walton, who was hired earlier this month just three days after he parted ways with the Lakers. The Kings confirmed that they were not aware of the accusations until TMZ reported the news and that they will wait for the facts before making a decision on Walton’s future. The investigation has been delayed because all parties haven’t been able to access Tennant’s lawsuit so more information should merge soon.
Source: The Athletic