December 2018 Basketball Wiretap

Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden Named Players Of The Week

Dec 31, 2018 7:02 PM

Giannis Antetokounmpo has been named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played from Dec. 24-30. James Harden won the award for the Western Conference. 

While leading the Bucks to a 3-0 record last week, Antetokounmpo averaged 30.7 points, 12.7 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 3.0 blocks and 2.3 steals per game while shooting 62.1 percent from the field. 

Harden averaged 42.3 points, 6.3 assists, 5.7 rebounds, 1.67 steals and 1.33 blocks.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, NBA Award

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Kyle Kuzma: Lakers Not Just One Player

Dec 31, 2018 12:28 PM

Kyle Kuzma talked about the strength of the Los Angeles Lakers beyond LeBron James following their 121-114 win over the Sacramento Kings.

James' teams had lost 13 straight games when he wasn't in the lineup, dating back to March 16, 2016.

"Just that we can do more as a young core and as a team," Kuzma said when asked what he has learned during this short stretch without James and Rondo. "We are not just one player, we just got to eliminate little mistakes and we could have won all three games [without them]. For us, it is just continue to keep getting better and better and when those guys get back, hit the ground running."

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

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LeBron James: Winning 2016 Finals Made Me Greatest Player Ever

Dec 31, 2018 11:33 AM

LeBron James believes his performance in upsetting the Golden State Warriors during the 2016 Finals allowed him to think of himself as the best player to ever play the game.

"That one right there made me the greatest player of all time," James said.

The Warriors had won 73 games and had a 3-1 lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers before their comeback.

"That's what I felt," James told friends and business partners Maverick Carter, Randy Mims and Rich Paul. "I was super, super ecstatic to win one for Cleveland because of the 52-year drought. ... The first wave of emotion was when everyone saw me crying, like, that was all for 52 years of everything in sports that's gone on in Cleveland. And then after I stopped, I was like -- that one right there made you the greatest player of all time.

"Everybody was just talking -- how [the Warriors] were the greatest team of all time, like it was the greatest team ever assembled," he said. "And for us to come back, you know, the way we came back in that fashion, I was like, 'You did, you did something special.' That's probably one of the only times in my career I felt like, oh, s---, like you did something special. I haven't had, really had time, to really, like, sit back and think, but that ... that was a moment."

ESPN

Tags: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

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Russell Westbrook Takes Blame For Oklahoma City's Struggles

Dec 31, 2018 11:30 AM

Russell Westbrook admitted he's been letting down his Oklahoma City Thunder teammates with too much frequency.

"I've just got to do a better job, man," Westbrook said.

"It's really on me. I've been s--- the last month or so. I've just got to get focused in and locked back in on what I need to do. I've got to help my guys out. I've been letting them down, man, just not being consistent on the offensive end.

"Defensively, I'm fine, but just being more consistent, because I pride myself on being the most consistent player in the league. I come out every night and compete, play hard and all that stuff. Missing and making shots is a part of the game, but I've got to do a better job, and that's on me. I'm going to definitely do that, so I'm not really worried. We play tomorrow, and I'll be better from then on. It's on me."

The Thunder have lost three out of their past four games.

Royce Young/ESPN

Tags: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

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UCLA Fires Steve Alford As Head Coach

Dec 31, 2018 11:28 AM

UCLA has fired Steve Alford as head coach.

After an 80-66 loss to Ohio State earlier this month, Alford said he had "no issue" with the constant discussions surrounding his job and that "I'm a man of God, so I've got an audience of one."

"You know, obviously with its fans, whether it be at UCLA or anywhere else, you always have those opinions," he told reporters.

Fred Hoiberg, Jamie Dixon and Earl Watson are likely candidates for the job.

Jeff Borzello/ESPN

Tags: UCLA Bruins, NCAA

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Dunc'd On: 15 in 60 Mailbag! (Western Conference 12.31.18)

Dec 31, 2018 7:27 AM

Listen to "15 in 60 Mailbag! (Western Conference 12.31.18)" on Spreaker.

 

Click to subscribe via RSS feed or iTunes.

A special mailbag look at the 15 teams in the Western Conference in alphabetical order from Dallas to Utah.

With host Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA).  And if you like this pod, please donate to support Nate and Danny at Patreon.com/DuncanLeroux.  Merchandise available at NateDuncanNBA.com.

Tags: NBA, Dunc'd On

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Patrick McCaw Joins Cavs On Two-Year, Non-Guaranteed Contract

Dec 31, 2018 2:25 AM

Patrick McCaw officially joined the Cleveland Cavaliers after the Golden State Warriors declined to match the Cavs' two-year, $6 million offer sheet.

The 23-year-old McCaw's contract is non-guaranteed, meaning that the Cavs have until January 7th to decide whether they want to keep him on the roster and pay a pro-rated $1.7 million for the rest of the season. The second-year of the deal is also non-guaranteed.

McCaw cannot get traded this season once his contract becomes guaranteed after January 7th.

McCaw averaged 4 points and 1.7 rebounds last season for the Warriors.

The signing also keeps the Warriors' 15th roster spot open. 

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Tags: Patrick McCaw, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, NBA Official Signing

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Kent Bazemore Out At Least Two Weeks With Sprained Ankle

Dec 30, 2018 8:15 PM

Kent Bazemore will be re-evaluated in two weeks after an MRI revealed a sprained right ankle.

Bazemore suffered the injury in the third quarter of a recent game against the Cavs.

A frequent target of trade rumors, Bazemore is averaging a career-high 14 points and 4 rebounds this season. 

Atlanta Hawks

Tags: Kent Bazemore, Atlanta Hawks, NBA, NBA Injury

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Eric Gordon Considered Day-To-Day With Knee Injury, Rockets Recall Brandon Knight

Dec 30, 2018 5:14 PM

Eric Gordon is considered day-to-day after suffering a bruise on his right knee. He will miss at least one game.

Austin Rivers will start in Gordon's place.

The Rockets also recalled Brandon Knight after a one-game stint with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Steve Dewald/Rockets Wire

Tags: Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Misc Official Transaction, NBA Injury

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Jabari Parker Blames Benching On Direction Of Bulls' Organization

Dec 30, 2018 5:05 PM

Jabari Parker said he doesn't blame his demotion from the starting lineup on Jim Boylen, stating that there are larger issues within the Chicago Bulls organization at play.

"It's bigger than Jim. I think it's the overall organization and the direction they're going. I've done everything that's been asked of me. I didn't complain. I never had an argument or confrontation with anybody. I've done what I do," said Parker. He added that "I kept my end of the bargain".

 

Parker hasn't played since December 13th. There has been little interest in Parker on the trade market. 

Adam Wells/Bleacher Report

Tags: Jabari Parker, Chicago Bulls, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Grizzlies To Sign Jarnell Stokes To Two-Way Deal
Jarnell Stokes is currently playing for Sioux Falls in the G League.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Nuggets Waive Nick Young
Nick Young was on the Nuggets' roster using the injury hardship exception.

Chris Dempsey/Denver Post

Austin Rivers Draws Rave Reviews With Rockets
Rivers credited the similarities between the Clippers and Rockets offenses for his immediate success.

Alykhan Bijani/The Athletic

Rick Pitino: EuroLeague Atmosphere Reminds Him Of Kentucky
Pitino won his EuroLeague debut as head coach of Panathinaikos.

ESPN

John Wall To Undergo Heel Surgery, Will Miss Remainder Of The Season
Wall had been playing through heel pain for over a year.

Brian Windhorst & Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Luke Walton, Kyle Kuzma Say Lakers Need To Stick Together Without Veterans
The Lakers have lost two games in a row without LeBron James, Rajon Rondo, and Javale McGee.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Andrew Wiggins Gets Booed At Home, Criticizes Fans
Wiggins was booed after missing a potentially game-tying free throw in overtime.

Jamie Cooper/Uproxx

RealGM Radio: Warriors and More with Ethan Sherwood Strauss
Host Danny Leroux and Ethan Sherwood Strauss of The Athletic discuss the Warriors, Strauss vs. The House and the NBA at large.

RealGM Staff Report

Marvin Bagley III Out At Least Two More Weeks
Bagley has been out since suffering a bone bruise on December 14th.

Chris Bengel/CBS Sports

John Wall Sits Out With Heel Injury, Will See Foot Specialist
Scott Brooks said Wall has managed issues with his heel for years.

ESPN

Rajon Rondo Out Four Weeks With Surgery On Injured Hand
Rajon Rondo will likely be out approximately four weeks.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Patrick McCaw Agrees To Two-Year, $6M Offer Sheet With Cavaliers
Patrick McCaw has been holding out this season as a restricted free agent with the Warriors.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

NBA Sends Memo To Teams About Tampering 'In Today's Media Environment'
The memo was aimed to "serve as a reminder of the league's anti-tampering rule."

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Joel Embiid Has Cut Back Social Media Trash Talking, Spending More Time With Girlfriend
Joel Embiid has decreased his social media trash talking this season, which he says is a sign of how he's matured.

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Ben Simmons On Last Year's Rookie Of The Year Race: Did You See The Votes?
Simmons received 90 out of 101 first-place votes to win last season's Rookie of the Year award.

Eric Walden/The Salt Lake Tribune

Donovan Mitchell Unveils Signature Sneaker
Mitchell is the 18th active player in the NBA to get his own signature sneaker.

Nick DePaula/ESPN

James Harden On MVP: It's Coming Back
James Harden is averaging 39.2 points over his last nine games.

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Larry Brown Parts Ways With Italian Team
The Italian club represented his first coaching job since resigning at SMU in 2016.

RealGM Staff Report

LeBron James Named AP Male Athlete Of The Year
James was honored for his contributions on and off the court.

Tim Reynolds/The Associated Press

Justin Holiday Receiving Trade Interest
Holiday is averaging a career-high in three-pointers per game.

Shams Charania/The Athletic