The Trail Blazers Mean Business
By Moke Hamilton
How far can Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum carry the Portland Trail Blazers?
If you’re general manager Neil Olshey, the answer appears to be to infinity and beyond.
In the contemporary NBA where teams routinely admit themselves to be down with O.P.P.—other people’s property—the Trail Blazers deserve some credit for taking a page out of Sam Presti’s playbook and loving the ones they’re with.
Lillard and McCollum have proven themselves to be the type of young superstars in the making whom a shrewd general manager would dream of drafting. In each their own right, Lillard (taken sixth overall in the 2012 draft) and McCollum (taken with the 10th selection the following year) have already proven to be keepers.
Upcoming NBA Milestones
By Joel Brigham
With a new season approaching, it’s always fun to see which active players have a chance to climb up the all-time statistical ranks. The 2016-17 NBA season presents several of these opportunities for players. While few actual all-time records will be broken in the coming year, quite a few active players will rise up the all-time stat list before the end of the season. The following is a look at which players will move up the career statistics lists, though it’s certainly worth noting that should Kevin Garnett retire instead of playing one more season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, this list grows considerably less interesting.
However, assuming another season of Garnett is still in play, it would mean he’s in line for a whole lot of movement on some of the most important career statistical categories:
Get to Know Knicks Center Kyle O’Quinn
By Alex Kennedy
It’s difficult to write an article about New York Knicks big man Kyle O’Quinn and focus solely on basketball. He is a talented player who has carved out a nice niche for himself, but there are many entertaining O’Quinn stories that the public needs to know about. He is widely considered one of the funniest players in the NBA, and over the years his sense of humor has helped unite locker rooms, led to some crazy interactions with celebrities and spawned some great pranks.
Empty Tank: Hinkie’s Shadow Looms Over NBA
By Ben Dowsett
Sam Hinkie’s resignation as the general manager in Philadelphia brought a clear end to an era. What began as the league’s most fascinating experiment, a test of how far one team could push the league’s rules on restocking talent, finally reached its breaking point after just three years.
As reporting shed light on what was ultimately a very strange departure from Hinkie, it became clear issues with his process were both internal and external. His impersonal handling of many young players reportedly irked a number of agents, a small-but-influential group of power brokers who often shared his orbit. His well known desire to extract every drop of value in trades bothered some opposing executives – another small group with whom Hinkie would have to cross paths repeatedly as part of the job.
Who Exactly Is “The League” You Talk About?
By Steve Kyler
There is no single comment that gets me agitated more than when someone drops the catch-all “The League.”
You see it all the time. “The League wants this to happen…” or, “The League doesn’t like this…” It’s the best generalization phrase in all of basketball, as it can be used to assign blame, shift responsibility, cast doubt, validate a conspiracy or just about anything else.
Here is the problem with “The League” comments – who exactly is this the short cut for?
The Knicks’ Potential Point Guard Problem
By Tommy Beer
New York Knicks president Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills effectively overhauled the team’s roster this summer. The primary focus of their offseason work was addressing the frontcourt.
They brought in Joakim Noah, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Maurice Ndour, Marshall Plumlee, and Guillermo Hernangomez. They also re-signed Lance Thomas.
Noah is the only new addition expected to start, as Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis will start at small forward and power forward, respectively. When last summer’s free-agent signee Kyle O’Quinn is also factored in, the Knicks appear to have plenty of depth up front.
Their backcourt, on the other hand, isn’t nearly as deep. The point guard position is particularly concerning.
Players Who Continue to Defy Age
By Lang Greene
As we’ve covered in this space many times over the years, Father Time is undefeated with all wins by vicious knockout for those chosen few who dare throw in the towel. But there are players around the league who are able to still produce at (or near) an All-Star levels despite aging.
As we head into training camp for the 2016-17 campaign, there are more than a few guys who fit this bill.
Let’s take a look at some players around the association who should be able to fight off the unfavorable impact of Father Time for at least one more season in order to play at a high level.
How Can Kobe Bryant Help the Lakers Going Forward?
By Jabari Davis
Kobe Bryant recently made some headlines when he told Time Warner Cable SportsNet’s Mike Bresnahan that, despite his retirement, he still has a desire to help this young Los Angeles Lakers core and the team’s new coaching staff (remember, Bryant played alongside head coach Luke Walton and assistant Brian Shaw).
“I would love to come by. I’ve spoken with Luke several times, Shaw as well,” Bryanttold Bresnahan. ” I let the players know that I’m always around, man. I’m always around. If they wanna come out and work out, wake up early in the morning to work out, [I’d] walk them through some things.”
Some people may find this as some sort of slight, but perhaps the best way Bryant can help his former team is by simply staying away from things right now. That isn’t to say that anyone should tell Bryant, a 20-year veteran and all-time great player, that he should stay away from the franchise for good. Rather, it is merely an acknowledgement that for a core group of players with an average age of under 25 years old, it may ultimately be a good thing for them to simply breathe and be on their own for awhile as they take the next step in their development.
NBA Invites with D-League in Mind
By Eric Pincus
On Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers announced the signing of former U.S.C. guard Julian Jacobs and U.C.L.A. forward Travis Wear.
With Notre Dame forward Zach Auguste, signed on Monday, the Lakers have 18 players on their roster with training camp scheduled to open on September 26 with the team’s annual media day.
Before the start of the season, the Lakers — like the 29 other NBA franchises — will need to prune their roster down to 15 players.
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