Sep 18, 2014 1:34 PM EDT
Taj Gibson privately isn't too thrilled about the prospect of continuing to be a reserve forward, according to sources.
But Gibson has been an upbeat, team-first player who values winning and chemistry too much to make it an issue or distraction.
The Chicago Bulls signed Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic this offseason.
Sep 18, 2014 1:22 PM EDT
Gregg Popovich made sure the San Antonio Spurs used their 2013 NBA Finals defeat as motiviation, but he faces the opposite problem now.
“I'm worried for one reason,” Popovich said. “They are human beings. They are going to feel satisfied.”
The Spurs defeated the Miami Heat in five games for the championship last season. Miami stole Game 2 on the Spurs' home court before losing three in a row.
“When they won Game 2,” Popovich said, “they probably didn't handle that win real well. They were probably thinking that we got lucky in Game 1, with the air conditioning issue, and they thought they were just going to do it again. As two-time defending champs, it was natural. This had become their place in the world.”
The Spurs rebounded from losing Game 2.
“There was a different mantra,” Popovich said. “Boarding the plane, before practices, during shootaround, we said, 'We came here to win two.' We totally believed at that point. We thought we were better.”
Sep 17, 2014 11:50 AM EDT
Brandon Jennings has gained approximately 25 extra pounds of muscle in the offseason.
“I’m about 185, 190 on my good days,” said Jennings, noticeably thicker but still wiry.
Jennings expects the added weight to help on defense, as well as absorbing contact when driving to the basket.
Jennings also said Stan Van Gundy reminds him of Scott Skiles, who was his first coach with the Milwaukee Bucks.
“He’s really big on details and he said you’re gonna have to play defense and give your all, every night,” Jennings said. “He already said it, I’m not expecting you to lock guys up one on one. Guys are just too good. But what we can do is give a good effort and play team defense.”
Sep 17, 2014 11:41 AM EDT
The San Antonio Spurs are taking a more active involvement in the development of unsigned players whom they own the draft rights for in the NBA.
The Spurs have sent an assistant to work with Livio Jean-Charles.
"David was sent by the Spurs, and he will be present throughout the year," said Jean-Charles in an interview with BeBasket. "He is here to witness but also be involved with my season here. But I want to be clear, Peter Vincent is in charge of my evolution at ASVEL."
Tony Parker partially owns ASVEL.
The Spurs also played a role in setting a timetable for Davis Betrans' return from injury. Betrans was a 2011 draft pick of the Spurs, but he has no contractual obligations to the team.
Sep 15, 2014 12:10 PM EDT
The Miami Heat lost LeBron James in the offseason and have also made some key changes to their coaching staff, which will result in a vastly different identity.
“You will see some tweaks in how we play,” said a Heat official.
Miami's gambling defense, which left open too many three-point shooters, needs addressing.
“We can’t just show up and expect to win it in the fourth quarter any more,” said the official.
Sep 12, 2014 2:29 PM EDT
Kenneth Faried has noticed the increased respect he is receiving due to his play for Team USA in the World Cup.
"I'm starting to gain respect," Faried said. "People are starting to respect me more. And I'm excited about that. But I'm more focused right now on just trying to get the gold. I want to win that gold medal so I can hang it with the rest of the accolades I've gotten that people thought I couldn't get. My mom will be ecstatic about that and my dad will be, too."
Faried said he is not concerned about his contractual status but will focus on it once he is finished with Team USA. Faried can negotiate a contract extension with the Denver Nuggets until Oct. 31.
"I'm not worried about [the Oct. 31 deadline for a contract extension] right now," Faried said. "After this is over with, then I'll focus on what's going on outside of just stepping on the court and moneywise and things like that. [But] I do feel as though I've opened eyes, and people are starting to show respect now. So that's a great honor to have and recognize who you are."
Sep 05, 2014 1:21 PM EDT
Derrick Rose is shooting 8-for-32 (25 percent) from the field in games for Team USA but the Chicago Bulls' guard is remaining upbeat about his health and game.
"I’m loving the way that I’m playing," Rose said. "Of course missing shots, that’s part of the game. But just conditioning-wise and how I’ve been playing defense and low turnovers the last couple games, I’m loving the way that I’m playing. I just have to continue playing defense, get in a better rhythm and knock this rust off along the way.
"I've exceeded my expectations. I’m not sore. My knees are good. I know a lot of people are concerned about that, but I think I’m playing well."
Rose recently played five games in a span of six days. He is averaging 5.4 points in 17.8 minutes.
"Missing layups, that's little rusty stuff that normally comes with not playing for two years," Rose said. "My thing is I know that why I’m missing is because of conditioning. I’m in good condition. But to be in condition to play defense like that fullcourt and still have legs under you for the shot, that’s my thing. But I’m not worried about it at all."
Both Tom Thibodeau and Mike Krzyzewski downplayed Rose's shooting woes.
"He hasn’t played in a long time (regarding shooting), so that was to be expected," Thibodeau said. "The more he plays, the more his timing will come around. Right now he’s missed some layups that are usually automatics. That will come I think as he finds the rhythm of the game."
Aug 28, 2014 10:01 AM EDT
James Harden and Anthony Davis are the only holdovers from the 2012 Olympics team that will play for the United States in the World Cup.
“Right now, I think I would look to Harden as that leader,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said as his team continues to prepare for the tournament in which the winner earns an automatic berth in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. “Harden is kind of a natural leader and he seems to be willing to accept that role. And you can just kind of feel it and sense. He’s the one.”
Harden's career trajectory changed dramatically after he was traded by the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Houston Rockets.
“It’s so many things these last couple of years that’s been thrown at me, from me being traded, to people talking, just everything,” Harden said. “I try to focus on myself and how can I be a better basketball player. It’s still basketball at the end of the day. I try to do it to the best of my ability and continue to work hard.”
Harden declared himself the best player in the world recently.
“I think everybody feels that way. Every NBA player. Even growing up, growing up youngins have dreams that they want to be the best basketball players in the world,” Harden said. “As a basketball player, or any athlete, you got to have confidence, you’ve got to have confidence the whole time. You just go out there and do your job and have confidence that your abilities are good enough. Whatever is thrown at me, I just try to take it for what it is and just have fun.”
Aug 27, 2014 1:08 PM EDT
The Philadelphia 76ers acquired a first round pick along with Luc Mbah a Moute and Alexey Shved in exchange for Thaddeus Young.
The 76ers will likely receive the pick, which originates from the Miami Heat, in 2015.
"There were several components [that were enticing] and one is the first-round pick held by Miami," Hinkie said in a conference call yesterday. "That's important. You don't see a lot of first-round picks changing hands these days. The players will be helpful, too. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had a fantastic career at UCLA. Early in his NBA career, he was an everyday lockdown defender. He's a versatile guy who could guard multiple positions.
"Alexey Shved, been around for 2 years and played at a high level in big games, a guy that we had paid attention to for many years before he joined Minnesota. He can both handle the ball and play off the ball."
Mbah a Moute is also expected to help as a mentor to Joel Embiid.
"Luc's relationship with Joel can only help," said Hinkie. "We're definitely in the mode of player development and Joel's a big part of that."
Aug 19, 2014 10:10 PM EDT
During a promotional event, James Harden declared himself the best all-around player in the NBA.
"I'm the best all-around basketball player in the NBA," said Harden.
While Harden has become one of the NBA's best scorers and was an All-NBA First Team selection in 2014, he has received criticism for his lack of commitment on defense.
The Suns have a clear logjam at point guard with Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas, Tyler Ennis and presumably an eventually re-signed Eric Bledsoe.
Bruno Caboclo has spent the summer in North America working on his game and body, along with his grasp of the English language.
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