Basketball Wiretap

Kyle Kuzma: Many Are Underestimating Lakers

Aug 15, 2018 11:03 AM

Kyle Kuzma believes many are "underestimating" the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers signed LeBron James and then added Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and Michael Beasley in the offseason.

"We are both definitely excited about the roster and the pieces that we have," Kuzma told ESPN on Tuesday, after visiting with 20 kids from the Safe Places program at his hometown Flint YMCA as part of the "My Y Story" content series. "And we think that a lot of people are underestimating us. It is definitely going to be fun playing with all these new guys."

"A lot of people say we got a lot of different people, a lot of new people," added Kuzma, who also is holding a three-day camp for children in his hometown. "But change can be a good thing. It is not necessarily always a bad thing. There's a lot of teams in the NBA that need to work on their chemistry; we are just one of them."

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Tags: Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Mike D'Antoni Feels Carmelo Anthony Will Be Better Fit With Rockets Than Knicks

Aug 13, 2018 11:28 PM

Mike D'Antoni believes Carmelo Anthony will be a better fit playing for him with the Houston Rockets than he was with the New York Knicks during his prime.

“Well, at different points of people’s careers or lives or circumstances, things are different," said D'Antoni. "In New York, when they gave away half the team (to Denver in the February 2011 trade that brought Anthony to the Knicks) and everybody expected us to win a championship, it really wasn’t realistic. It put a lot of pressure on everybody, and it kind of burst the pipes. I think this is totally different. We’ve got a team that is a whole bunch of veterans that really, we’ve got one thing in mind, and that’s to win a championship, and we have the possibility. We never had a blow-up before, so it’s not he wanted to play a certain way and I kind of wanted to coach another way.

“Back then, there wasn’t even analytics. I was going by my gut, and he was going by (his) gut, and it’s just, you know, styles clash. And I think now, things have changed and everybody is playing the same way. I think it’s a lot better fit and I think we have a really good chance to be really good.”

D'Antoni envisions Anthony playing a different style.

“The style that we want to play, and we go through that process, it kind of sorts itself out. It’s like USA Basketball. If you’re committed to doing it, and committed to, ‘OK, this is how we’re playing, and then when it’s your turn it’s your turn, but if it isn’t then we’re still within these guidelines.’ Then the more talent you can have, the better the guys are, the better the team is going to be. Look at Golden State, how they had all those guys and you fit in (Kevin) Durant, I mean if you are committed to a certain style, and everybody is committed to the team, it works itself out. ... 

“It’s like having Chris and James together (last season). It was relatively noneventful …and I think it’ll be the same thing. ... We’ve just got to make sure we don’t get too far away from taking threes and layups and foul shots. It’ll be a little bit of a learning process. But again, if everybody is committed, then I have no doubt it can work. Whether we can all get it to work? We’ll see.”

Sam Amick/USA Today

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

Rudy Gay: Spurs Do Right By Their Players, That Doesn't Happen Much In NBA

Aug 7, 2018 10:23 AM

Rudy Gay re-signed with the San Antonio Spurs this offseason after having a successful return from a torn Achilles.

Gay touted the organization in an interview with the Hartford Courant.

“The best part about San Antonio, they do right by you,” Gay said. “They do right by their players, do right by their staff. That doesn’t happen much in the NBA, to be honest with you. It doesn’t happen much. On one side, there was [Kawhi Leonard] that was trying to get out, get to a bigger market, and they were totally being up front with him, and then they trade him for a guy [DeMar DeRozan] where, that organization wasn’t being up front with him at all. So, I mean, it’s just night and day. That trade right there shows you the difference between the San Antonio Spurs and other organizations.

“When you’re in the NBA, it’s different. You have certain players that you just know are going to make their own decisions. But for everybody else, you’re part of the league. We leave foundations. We build houses, have our kids in school. It’s tough to go on and just uproot to another city. For DeMar, it’s another country, so I kind of feel for him. I’ve been in that situation. It’s not easy.”

Dom Amore/Hartfourt Courant

Tags: Rudy Gay, San Antonio Spurs, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Tony Parker Initiated Move To Bench Role

Aug 7, 2018 9:23 AM

Tony Parker revealed it was his idea to move to the bench to allow Dejounte Murray to start at point guard.

"I came up to Pop one day, and I told him my thoughts: It was time for Dejounte to take over full-time as our starting point guard," Parker wrote. "I didn't want it to be a dramatic thing, or this ego thing, or one of these big media things, but I just wanted to get it out in the open -- for the good of Dejounte's development, and for the good of the team. Pop agreed, and thanked me. And then I went and had the same conversation with Dejounte. He was grateful."

Parker signed with the Charlotte Hornets this offseason.


Tags: Tony Parker, Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ