[James] Harden, who joined Oscar Robertson as the only other player to average at least 29 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds per game in the regular season but also had a career-high usage rate of 34.1, looked tired at the end. So he added yoga and pilates to his routine, focused on his rest and tweaked his diet. The goal, of course, is to make the most of this opportunity he has to create the league’s latest dynamic duo with [Chris] Paul.
While Paul was set to become a free agent July 1 if he had opted out, the nine-time All-Star informed the Clippers of his desire to play with Harden and his Rockets and was traded to Houston instead. Harden, who signed a four-year extension this summer and will earn a combined $228 million by the end of the 2022-23 season, had everything to do with the move.
“I just knew that in the summertime obviously (Paul) was a free agent, and I wanted to see where his head was,” Harden said of Paul, who will now be a free agent next summer. “He didn’t seem happy, so after that we just took it from there.
“Obviously Golden State has been in the Finals and won two out of three, so that’s what everybody is trying to build up against. But we’re right there. We’re right there. Obviously, we have a lot of work to do, but it definitely puts us in a better chance.”
Source: Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports
Giannis: I want to work with Kobe over the Summer
Following the Milwaukee Bucks’ 134-123 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday, All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo told ESPN Milwaukee he hopes to work with NBA legend Kobe Bryant this summer.
“When I go to that event, I’m going to try to sneak an opportunity to talk to him,” Antetokounmpo said. “I want to ask him if I can come to L.A. to work with him.”
Source: Eric Nehm of ESPN
Sources: Aldridge, Horford Were Picked Last in All-Star Draft
San Antonio Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge said he wasn’t surprised to learn he was the last pick in the inaugural 2018 NBA All-Star Draft. “I’m not a flashy player,” the six-time All-Star said. “That’s OK.”
Aldridge was the last player chosen by LeBron James’ team, and Boston Celtics power forward Al Horford was the last pick by Stephen Curry’s team, league sources told ESPN’s Chris Haynes. “We’re all All-Stars, so, at the end of the day, we should be thankful to be here,” Aldridge told ESPN. “Picked first, picked last, it doesn’t matter. We’re all competitive, too. It won’t be the easiest thing to be picked last, but at the end of the day, you’re just happy to be here.”
Source: Chris Haynes of ESPN
Kevin Love on Cavs New Roster: ‘I’ll fit in when I come back’
Kevin Love says the Cavaliers have found “joy” again and that his return won’t pose a problem with the team’s newfound chemistry.
“We have a lot of selfless guys added, young guys who are playing extremely hard,” Love said Friday in an appearance on ESPN’s The Jump, a week removed from Cleveland’s roster overhaul and with several weeks left in his recovery from a broken hand. “I think you’ve seen that in the last two games in wins over Boston and OKC. So we just continue to keep playing hard. “I’ll fit in when I come back — and hopefully I’ll have enough games to get my legs beneath me and get my rhythm back.”