(Brooklyn Nets GM Billy) King indicated in June that he wanted to re-sign Pierce.
“That was the plan of attack,” King said Monday at an NBA Cares event on Staten Island. “And I think as we started negotiations, with the numbers that they asked for, I thought at one point he was definitely leaving. You start switching gears because you start hearing that he’s going to end up in another place, so you have to start preparing.”
King said Pierce’s representatives circled back to the Nets, but they already had plans to retool the roster in other ways, operating under the notion that Pierce’s bags were packed.
“It was his first time ever being a free agent, and so I think he was exploring all his options,” King said. “I thought that there were a lot of teams that had put offers on the table or were talking to him. I really thought that he was going to end up someplace else. I don’t know who, but it was one [free agent] player signed and things quickly changed. We had already started preparing that he was already not going to be back.”
Westbrook Notches Triple-Double as OKC Gets Win
It appeared a fitting beginning to Carmelo Anthony’s next chapter, a 3-pointer on his first possession with the Thunder, playing against his former team. Then he missed his next seven shots.
Like the rest of the Thunder, it was a slow burn as Anthony revved up in the second quarter and into the third, scoring 22 on 8-of-20 shooting in a 105-84 win over the Knicks on opening night. In their first regular-season game, there were some rough patches for the Thunder’s new big three, with Paul George missing a number of open looks and Anthony going cold at times, but in the end, talent prevailed. George finished with 28 on 9-of-23 shooting, and Russell Westbrook picked right up where he left off in his historic MVP season notching the first triple-double of this season with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 16 assists.
Source: Royce Young of ESPN
LeBron Vows to Improve his Conditioning
LeBron James says his left ankle feels strong enough to play in Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s the rest of his body that needs work.
“I just want to get to where I should be,” James said after participating in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ practice Thursday. “The ankle and the foot injury just kind of kept me out and set me back further than I would like, but I got some time now along the course of these games that we got. We got two back-to-backs coming up, so that’s going to help and we have some opportunity to get some practice time in as well.”
Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN