But (Michael) Malone is well regarded in NBA circles by everyone from league’s top players (LeBron James and Stephen Curry) to the Nuggets because of his ability to connect with his players. It’s a commitment to personal relationships that Malone says he learned in part from San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
“When I got my job in Sacramento,” Malone related, “Coach Popovich in San Antonio has had an impact on my career in a very positive way. He called me up and he was so happy for me, and he said, ‘Listen, always be true to yourself. You’re fiery, you’re emotional,’ just like he is. He goes, ‘But … my players know that I love them. So when I get on them, I follow it up with a hug and a pat on the back and let them know I care about them.’
Source: Matt Moore of CBS Sports
Sources: Hornets’ Cody Zeller Undergoes Surgery, to Miss 6 Weeks
Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller will undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee on Tuesday, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He’s expected to miss six weeks.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN
Report: Executives Believe Rockets Have ‘real chance’ at Landing LeBron James Next Summer
While [LeBron] James has made it clear that he won’t deliberate his uncertain future until the Cavs’ season is complete, there is strong belief in [Houston] Rockets circles that they’ll have a legitimate shot at landing the four-time MVP this summer. Rival executives also believe the Rockets will have a real chance. And once you really look at it, when you get past all the noise about the Lakers and even the compelling case for the up-and-coming Philadelphia 76ers, it makes all sorts of sense.
Source: Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports
Report: Markelle Fultz No Longer Experiencing Shoulder Soreness
Philadelphia 76ers rookie guard Markelle Fultz is no longer experiencing shoulder soreness and will be evaluated in three weeks, the team said Saturday.
The Sixers said Fultz will ramp up his basketball activities in the interim.
Fultz, selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, has played in just four games and was shut down on Oct. 29 due to soreness in his right shoulder and a scapular muscle imbalance.
The 19-year-old has resisted jump shots while relying almost exclusively on drives to the basket. He is shooting 33 percent (9-of-27) from the floor and 50 percent (6-of-12) from the free throw line. Off the bench, he has averaged 19 minutes.
Fultz’s shooting woes have been underscored by an altered shooting motion that has made some wonder whether the shooting tweak led to the shoulder injury or the shoulder injury forced him to change his shot.