June 2020 Basketball Wiretap

Chesapeake Energy Corporation Files For Bankruptcy

Jun 29, 2020 1:31 AM

The Chesapeake Energy Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday due to the drop in oil prices and gas demands during the pandemic.

The company was co-founded by the late Aubrey McClendon, a founding owner of the Thunder.

Chesapeake Energy signed a 12-year deal in 2011 for the naming rights to the arena that the Thunder play in.

The deal cost $3 million in 2011 and increased 3% each season.

It is not known how the bankruptcy will affect the naming rights for the arena.

Royce Young/ESPN

Tags: Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Blake Griffin: Svi Mykhailiuk Is 'A Basketball Purist'

Jun 28, 2020 12:21 PM

Blake Griffin and Luke Kennard praised Svi Mykhailiuk's development over this past season, highlighting his natural feel for the game. 

Mykhailiuk averaged 11.8 points in 31 games as a starter, including shooting 40.2 percent from 3.

“Svi is one of the guys on our team who just really is like a basketball purist. He’s putting in the time every single day. He’s in the gym sometimes multiple times a day. He’s listening, he’s learning, he’s watching. He has a really good feel for the game," said Griffin.

Kennard noted Mykhailiuk's constant improvement and dedication to the game.

"He learned something every day. Svi is a workhorse, man. I mean he’s always in the gym. He’s always there getting shots up early, staying after. And he’s a smart player, he’s smooth.”

Lauren Williams/mlive.com

Tags: Svi Mykhailiuk, Detroit Pistons, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Trae Young Signs With Klutch Sports

Jun 27, 2020 1:56 AM

Trae Young announced that he has officially signed with Klutch Sports in an Instagram announcement.

Young's former agent at Octagon, Omar Wilkes, was recently named the Head of Basketball at Klutch Sports.

Young severed ties with Octagon to rejoin Wilkes at Klutch.

Chris Haynes/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Troy Weaver Says He Wants To Surround Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose With 'Mixture Of Young Guys'

Jun 23, 2020 1:17 AM

Troy Weaver said he wanted to build the Detroit Pistons around Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose at his introductory news conference.

"I know he's anxious to get back and show people what kind of player he is after just playing a few games last year, but as long as Blake is in a Pistons uniform and under contract, I look forward to working with him in helping us restore the Pistons. He's definitely in our plans going forward," said Weaver of working with Griffin.

Weaver also described Rose as a "big time" player.

Griffin has a player option in the 2021-22 season, while Rose has one more season remaining on his deal.

Weaver added that he wanted to surround Rose and Griffin with a mix of young players.

"We're excited to get them healthy and help them move forward. We feel like we have a good mixture of young guys with those two staples to be able to start there, but obviously we've got a lot of work to do with the draft and free agency."

Eric Woodyard/ESPN

Tags: Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Detroit Pistons, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Steve Clifford Defends Tom Thibodeau: 'His Great Strength Is His Relationship With Players'

Jun 14, 2020 9:41 PM

Steve Clifford defended Tom Thibodeau's reputation, saying that Thibodeau's biggest strength is in building strong relationships with his players.

“The misconception is how personable he is. Guys love him. It’s not going to be every single player, but his relationship with players is a strength," Clifford told Marc Berman of the New York Post. 

Clifford and Thibodeau coached together on Jeff Van Gundy's staff with the Knicks and the Rockets.

Thibodeau is a rumored candidate for the open Knicks position.

Clifford added that Thibodeau was also underrated on the offensive end.

"I think he’s labeled very much as a defensive coach and yet coaching against him, he’s a terrific offensive coach. Teams in Chicago and Minnesota, the numbers bear that out. Is he great defensive coach? There’s no better defensive mind than Tom. But he’s also a terrific offensive coach.’’

Marc Berman/New York Post

Tags: New York Knicks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Teams Now Able To Test Asymptomatic Players, Staff Due To Increase In Testing

Jun 14, 2020 12:28 AM

NBA teams are now able to administer COVID-19 tests for asymptomatic players and staff, league sources told Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The league's decision comes on the heels of an increase in general testing and revised CDC guidelines.

The NBA is also looking to fund a Yale School of Public Health study to support saliva-based testing that could further increase the availability of noninvasive tests for the general public. 

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Tags: NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Collin Sexton Says Cavs Were Looking To 'Ruin Teams' Hopes In The Playoffs' Before Season Ended

Jun 13, 2020 10:31 PM

Collin Sexton spoke of his disappointment with how the Cleveland Cavaliers season ended after the team failed to receive an invite to Orlando.

"I was sick ... I feel like at the end of the season we were looking to ruin teams' hopes in the playoffs and get a few wins here and there and just play it out. We weren't going to make the playoffs, but I felt like us playing those games was definitely going to help us," said Sexton.

The eight teams who weren't invited to Orlando are looking to put on their own workouts and scrimmages to continue developing their rosters.

J.B. Bickerstaff echoed Sexton's sentiment, saying it was important for the young team to be together.  

"How do we get guys together in our market? How do we get some competitive games out of it?" he said. "There is nothing definitive yet, but we are fighting and there are other teams I know for sure that are fighting, too, to get something done because development is key."

ESPN

Tags: Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Knicks Hire Pelicans' Alex Kline As Scout

Jun 13, 2020 10:12 PM

The New York Knicks hired Alex Kline as a scout, sources told Ian Begley of SNY.

The 26-year-old Kline previously worked as a scout for the Pelicans.

Kline will work under assistant GM Walt Perrin, and be responsible for college scouting.

Leon Rose continues to reshape the Knicks front office, with Allan Houston a strong candidate to remain with the team.

Ian Begley/SNY

Tags: New York Knicks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Michael Jordan Tells Hornets Players To Call Out Teammates For Mistakes During Practice

Jun 13, 2020 2:35 PM

Michael Jordan told Charlotte Hornets players that they can't be uncomfortable with "calling out teammates" for mistakes during practice during an hour-long video conference call.

"That's going to make you guys even better. You'll bond better. Your team is stronger. There is more of a respect level, instead of not saying anything and letting guys mess up over and over and over again, and you're losing and losing," said Devonte' Graham.

Jordan spoke to the players about the differences between winning in the regular season and the playoffs.

"A lot of guys on our team haven't played in the playoffs and don't understand the attention to detail you have to play with in the playoffs. That was what I enjoyed hearing from MJ, especially as a younger team," said Cody Zeller.

Jordan did admit that his aggressive style of leadership may not work with this current generation.

"One thing with being teammates with guys in this league is you have to learn who they are first. Some people don't like to be confronted in front of others; some people you have to pull aside. So I feel like it is a mixture of learning your teammates and knowing when to call them out ... so that people don't have a bad taste in their mouth about one another," added Terry Rozier. 

ESPN

Tags: Terry Rozier, Devonte' Graham, Cody Zeller, Charlotte Hornets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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George Hill Says There's 'Bigger Things To Tackle In Life Right Now Than' Basketball

Jun 13, 2020 12:12 PM

George Hill said that basketball was the furthest thing from his mind amid the civil unrest and protest throughout the nation.

"I've been working every day since this all started with my body, my game and things like that, but as a whole, I can care less about basketball right now. ... that's my last thought on my mind is basketball. I can care less what's going on. I think there's bigger issues and bigger things to tackle in life right now than a basketball game," said Hill.

Hill was speaking on a local panel in Indiana entitled "The State of Black America: A Discussion with Representatives from Sports & Entertainment."

Hill added that while he's in good physical shape, he didn't know how he would be affected mentally by the current events.

"I don't know how it's going to affect me on the basketball court. I know that I, physically, have been working my ass off this entire time I've been off. I haven't taken one day off since this whole hiatus has came into effect. ... I'm in great physical shape, but mentally, I've still got a little more work to do.

"I'm paid millions of dollars to go out there and perform at a high level so part of it's like, 'Man, you've got to suck it up and go out there and do what you're paid to do,' but the other part of it is like, 'Listen man this basketball s---, I love it, it's part of what makes me me, but it's not all of what makes me me, either,' and I have a responsibility as a young black professional athlete to advocate for this change."


Eric Woodyard/ESPN

Tags: George Hill, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Trae Young Says He Was 'Frustrated' By Hawks Not Receiving Invite To Orlando

Malika Andrews/ESPN

Malik Monk Reinstated Following Suspension For Violating Anti-Drug Program

ESPN

Arturas Karnisovas: Bulls Looking For 'Creative Ways' To Develop Players Without Games

K.C. Johnson/NBC Sports

Erik Spoelstra: NBA Will 'Use Our Platform' To Continue Conversations Over Social Change

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Winning Percentage To Determine Final Standings

Tim Bontemps/ESPN