October 2020 Basketball Wiretap

Stan Van Gundy Says He Won't Limit Zion Williamson 'To A Position'

Oct 28, 2020 1:22 AM

Stan Van Gundy said that he will be creative in how he uses Zion Williamson this upcoming season, and won't pin Williamson down to a single position.

"He is an unbelievable playmaker for a guy at his size. He's a guy who can take the ball off the glass and lead the break and make plays. He can make passes off the dribble. He can finish over bigger people inside. He's a multi-talented guy. I don't look at him in any way as far as is he a four or a five. I'm not sure those labels matter when it comes to him," said Van Gundy in his introductory press conference with the Pelicans on Tuesday.

Van Gundy added that he's more interested in seeing who can play effectively with Williamson as opposed to Williamson's position.

"I think it's more what positions we want to put him in and who is best around him and things like that. It's not limiting him to a position. I think we'll get to a starting point of that at the start of the season and my guess is as time goes on, I'm going to find out that he can do even more than I think he can do and things will evolve from there," added Van Gundy.

Van Gundy complimented Lonzo Ball, comparing his basketball IQ to JJ Redick.

Van Gundy said he also looked forward to solely focusing on coaching.

"I will say this, one of the things I'm really excited about is just getting back into a coaching role and letting [the Pelicans' front office] worry about that other stuff."

Andrew Lopez/ESPN

Tags: Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Mark Tatum: Improving Technology, Virtual Reality To Make NBA 'More Immersive' Experience

Oct 26, 2020 1:12 AM

Mark Tatum, the NBA's deputy commissioner, said that improvements in 5G technology could lead to further innovations in the fan experience.

Tatum added that the league learned several lessons during the bubble from a technological standpoint.

“As bandwidth speeds get faster, as 5G gets faster, that experience is going to become more immersive, and I do think the opportunities will then grow for people to want to experience that and to adapt to virtual reality," said Tatum.

Rob Shaw, the head of Global Sports Media and League Partnerships for Facebook, said that several NBA teams have reached out about adding VR seats for season-ticket holders during the upcoming season. 

Facebook worked on the "rail-cam" that was used inside of the bubble. 

Tatum said that "99% of our fans never step foot in an NBA arena," so the league needs to work on bringing content to fans outside of television - which could also provide opportunities for new revenue streams.

Tatum added that the league isn't concerned about declining TV ratings. The league also logged over 300 million YouTube views during the playoffs, a 63% increase from last year.

“We have incredible potential going forward. I think the growth that we’re seeing from our business will only continue to get greater," added Tatum. 

Jabari Young/CNBC

Tags: NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Pat Riley Clears Up Asterisk Comment: Lakers Title 'Is Legitimate'

Oct 25, 2020 5:30 PM

Pat Riley clarified the comments he made during an interview with the Miami Herald in which he appeared to add an asterisk to this season's NBA title. 

“The asterisk is next to the Heat’s name, not the Lakers. Their title is legitimate. Our loss has an asterisk (next) to it. The Lakers were the better team. Period," updated Riley on Sunday.

Riley previously stated that the finals could have gone to a game 7 had Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo remained healthy.

“I would like to see what it would be like with everybody whole. We’ll get our chance again. The Lakers have the greatest player in the game today in LeBron [James] and Anthony Davis.

They beat us fair and squarely. But there will be always be that asterisk; if we had Bam and Goran 100 percent — Goran was our leading scorer [entering the Finals] — it might have gone to a seventh game," said Riley on Friday.

Rob Pelinka added on The Woj Pod that the Lakers deserve a "gold star" instead of an asterisk for this season's achievement.

Tim Reynolds/The Associated Press

Tags: NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Kevin Seraphin Announces Retirement From Basketball

Oct 24, 2020 11:09 PM

Kevin Seraphin announced his retirement from basketball due to injuries at the age of 30.

Seraphin, the 17th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, played in the NBA for seven seasons with the Wizards, Knicks, and Pacers.

Seraphin left the league for Europe in 2017, and was inactive for the 2019-20 season with a knee injury before retiring.

Sportando

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Tyronn Lue: Kawhi Leonard, Paul George Will 'Have To Adjust To My System And My Program'

Oct 22, 2020 1:25 AM

Tyronn Lue laid out of his expectations for the upcoming Los Angeles Clippers season during his introductory press conference, with an emphasis on leadership and getting the most out of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.

Lue challenged George and Leonard to show that they're the best two-way players in the league.

"[Leonard and George] are going to have to adjust to my system and my program. But also I also have to be able to adjust to their comfort zone and what makes them better.

"Also setting the tone defensively of being the two best two-way players in the league. I think it starts on the defensive end with those two guys with setting a tone defensively," said Lue, who also emphasized keeping the duo healthy.

Lue blamed the Clippers' lack of team chemistry last season on George, Paul, and Patrick Beverley missing games due to injuries.

Lue added that leadership will be a collective responsibility between himself and the team's veterans. 

"I think a lot of leadership has to come from me, has to come from Kawhi, PG, Lou and Pat Beverley. It's going to be collective.

"I got to show them different ways of leadership and they got to show me different ways of leadership. I don't know everything. They don't know everything. ... The biggest thing about leadership is just communication."

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Daryl Morey Takes Out Full-Page Ad In Houston Chronicle: 'James Harden Changed My Life'

Oct 18, 2020 1:28 PM

Daryl Morey took out a full-page ad in the Houston Chronicle to reflect upon his 13 years with the Houston Rockets organization.

Morey emphasized the importance of James Harden during his run as general manager, writing that "James Harden changed my life."

"An entire page could be dedicated just to James. He not only transformed my life but also revolutionized the game of basketball -- and continues to do so -- like almost no one has before.

"The game is played differently because of James, and on every playground in the world, the next generation of talent is studying and imitating his game," wrote Morey.

Morey also reflected upon working with other stars he brought to the organization.

"I loved working together on how to get his incredible Hall of Fame teammates Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook to the Rockets. I will be rooting for James to win a championship in Houston. It's how this story should end."

Rafael Stone replaced Morey as the Rockets general manager. 

ESPN

Tags: Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Spencer Dinwiddie Sees Himself As 'The Draymond Green, The Glue' Of Nets

Oct 17, 2020 2:30 PM

Spencer Dinwiddie said he sees himself in the "Draymond Green" role alongside Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant next season.

“Obviously, we don’t know who’s going to start, who’s coming off the bench. That’s with KD and Kyrie excluded, of course. But really with all of this being formed, I view myself if we’re going with the Golden State model as the Draymond Green, the glue.

"Sometimes, I get 10 boards, sometimes, I get 10 assists. Sometimes, I score a little bit more because obviously, we have a super dynamic point guard," said Dinwiddie on ESPN's The Jump (h/t Nets Daily).

The 27-year-old averaged 20.6 points and 6.8 assists last season.

Dinwiddie added that he wants to emulate the late-blooming career path of new coach Steve Nash.

"His basketball acumen is second to none. Multi-time MVP, one of the greatest point guards of all time, somebody that you can learn a ton from. And being in the position that I’m in, he also had the kind of career where he played some of his best basketball late. So, just a career-arc and career path that I would love to follow. So it’s a match made in heaven for me."

Nets Income/Nets Daily

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Donovan Mitchell Says He's Ready To Start New Season 'Next Month If I Had To'

Oct 10, 2020 1:13 AM

Donovan Mitchell spoke of his eagerness to begin the next NBA season due to the manner in which the Utah Jazz season ended.

The Jazz, up 3-1 against the Nuggets, lost in seven games after Mike Conley missed a last-second three pointer in game 7.

"We're ready for the season to start, next month if it had to. I think we're fired up, and I think that's the proper mindset to have ... I think for myself and a lot of the guys on the team -- all of the guys, I should say, and coaches -- we're ready to go," said Mitchell on ESPN's The Jump.

Mitchell said that he's fueled by the manner in which the Jazz lost, adding that the team continues to meet on conference calls throughout the offseason.

Mitchell said watching the Nuggets' run in the playoff gave him extra motivation.

"Those guys really did their thing. But at the end of the day it really kind of pisses you off, I'm not going to lie. You know, we were right there. At the end of the day, that's what it is -- we were right there." 

ESPN

Tags: Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Hawks Unveil Alternate Jersey Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Oct 5, 2020 1:24 AM

The Atlanta Hawks will honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with an alternate jersey colorway for next season.

The jersey was unveiled on the Hawks' Twitter account.

King's initials will appear on the front of a jersey for the first time in NBA history, with the team adding that the "black, gold and white colorway speaks to Dr. King's determination, as well as his understated style."

"Being able to represent Dr. King and continue to educate next generation Atlantans and basketball fans around the world about his legacy is so important, especially right now. One of Dr. King's final campaigns was for economic justice, which is why we are excited that proceeds from sales of this jersey will go toward supporting communities of color," said Hawks chief marketing officer Melissa Proctor.

Marc J. Spears/ESPN

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