Basketball Wiretap

Damian Lillard: 'I'm Not Willing To Sell Myself Out' To Win Title

Feb 20, 2019 1:36 AM

Commenting on the trend of stars requesting trades, Damian Lillard stated that there's more important things to him than winning a title. 

"I do want to win a championship but there's other stuff that means more to me. It's almost like I'm not willing to sell myself out for that," said Lillard.

Lillard added that he wants to win a title in the right way. 

"I want to win a championship, I compete to win a championship, but I've learned that it's about so many other things. I think a lot of people tell you just because you go out and win a championship...And then they look back and they're like 'man, this happened because of that, this happened because of that.' When my career is over and I know the relationships that I'm gonna have, I'm going to know the people who knew I was solid with them...That I did it the right way."

Kevin Skiver/CBS Sports

Tags: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Danny Ferry To 'Re-Engage' Discussion Of Resting Anthony Davis For Season

Feb 20, 2019 1:24 AM

Danny Ferry will attempt to convince NBA officials to re-think their rule forcing the New Orleans Pelicans to play Anthony Davis. 

According to Pelicans officials, the distraction surrounding Davis' situation can be diminished by sitting him out for the season. Alvin Gentry recently called the distraction a "dumpster fire".

Adam Silver commented on the situation over the All-Star break, saying "it’s a very unhealthy situation for the team and, frankly, for Anthony as well."

Marc Stein/The New York Times

Tags: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Adam Silver Wants NBA To Have 'More Direct Involvement In The Development Of Players'

Feb 19, 2019 3:03 AM

In reflecting upon the success of Basketball Without Borders, Adam Silver added that he wants the NBA to be more involved in the worldwide development of the game.

“There’s nothing more important than continuing to develop that next generation of players. Historically, we played more of a passive role when it came to development of players, whether it was through college system or systems that existed in Europe or other parts of the world. Those players were, in essence, presented to us when they are ready for the draft. I think we’re increasingly of the view that we can have more direct involvement in the development of players. If we get to them, boys and girls, at a younger age, we can begin teaching them not just fundamentals but the values of this game, helping them build character around the game, teaching them about their bodies, and teaching them the importance of nutrition and sleep and stretching and physical fitness,” said Silver.

The NBA recently announced plans to start a 12-team league in Africa.

A recent study also found that nearly a million people in Australia play basketball, more than half of whom are under 25 years old.

Derek Bodner/The Athletic

Tags: NBA, International, NBA B-Ball IQ, International B-Ball IQ

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NBA Estimates 37-40 Percent Of Players Will Be Free Agents In 2019 Offseason

Feb 18, 2019 10:00 AM

The NBA is anticipating between 37 percent and 40 percent of current players will be free agents this offseason, according to sources close to Adam Silver.

Silver talked about how shorter contract lengths have changed the equation on player movement.

"People have lost sight a little bit of the fact, again, blame the league or not, but two collective bargaining agreements ago in 2010 and ’11, we set out to shorten contracts because we wanted to more closely tie pay to performance, and we wanted to give teams a chance to rebuild faster, meaning players wouldn’t be locked into contractual situations for too long a period, and we also wanted to give players the flexibility to move on," said Silver. "So the result of that is the latest I’ve heard from our basketball operations group is that, I believe, 40 percent of our players are going to be free agents this summer.

"So it’s two sides of the coin. Some people could say, oh, my God, look at all that player movement. On the other hand, that player movement could be very positive for a lot of teams."

Joe Vardon/The Athletic

Tags: NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ

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LeBron James: 'I've Always Loved Kyrie'

Feb 17, 2019 5:10 PM

LeBron James stated his appreciation for Kyrie Irving's growth and maturity during an All-Star weekend media event.

"I think I've always loved Kyrie, from before I met him, until when I became his teammate, to even now. So the phone call, more than for me, I think just to see his growth...it takes a real man and a real person -- and a real person to understand who they are -- to be able to call or to do anything and be able to see their wrongdoings or believe they have some wrongdoings and then be able to come to grips with that and then be able to either apologize or say that, 'At that point and time, I thought I was ready for something, but I really wasn't,'" said James. 

James, who gave Irving advice on how to lead a young Celtics team, also praised how Irving handled the media speculation around the trade deadline earlier this month.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Tags: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Kevin Garnett Wants Giannis To Add 'One-Dribble, Two-Dribble Pull Up" To His Game

Feb 17, 2019 4:59 PM

Kevin Garnett says he wants to see Giannis Antetokounmpo add a pull up jumper to his game. 

"The one-dribble and two-dribble pull up. That’s what made Kobe [Bryant] and Michael [Jordan] so tough. They would low dribble, jab step and shoot. That was such a hard move to defend. The one-dribble pull up? You don’t even understand how technical of a move that is...the three ball will help his game, and if he ever gets that one-dribble, two-dribble pull up, that would be unbelievable," said Garnett when asked what Antetokounmpo could do to improve his game.

Garnett added that Antetokounmpo's competitive nature was honed playing alongside the previous generation.

"When Giannis first came into the league, he was facing guys like myself, Kobe and Tim Duncan. We were still in the league when he came in. He was not only able to interact but also get some of those yesteryear gems and glimpses from us. He was super competitive when he first came into the league...he’s very intense. I understood that. We connected off that. He’s a great listener. A total sponge. He wants to be the best. He doesn’t care about being liked, about making friends. He has a vision for himself."

Alex Wong/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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LeBron James On Owning NBA Team One Day: I Got A Ton More Years To Play This Game

Feb 17, 2019 1:59 PM

LeBron James tempered his comments saying that he was going to own an NBA team in the future.

"I was asked a question...I answered it how I felt at that point in time I believe if I wanted to, I could own a team or be part of a basketball team. I know I got so much knowledge of the game that I don't want to, once I stop playing, I just [do not] want to get away from the game...it would have to be the right fit. It'd have to be the right city. It'd have to be the right situation. It's not like it's a dream of mine. It's more of an aspiration," said James.

James, who Forbes recently reported has a net worth of $450 million, added that he still has years left to play.

"I got a lot more game to play. I got a lot. A ton more years to play this game and suit up and be in a Lakers uniform. Once we get to that point, we'll cross that path. Hopefully I can sit up here and answer questions as a player for a long time."

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Tags: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Bradley Beal On Retiring As A Wizard: 'I'm All About Loyalty'

Feb 17, 2019 12:49 PM

Bradly Beal reaffirmed his loyalty to the Washington Wizards over All-Star weekend.

“If I can retire in this jersey, I will. I’m all about loyalty...I’m gonna be committed until I’m not, until I’m moved. That’s just my mindset. I’m gonna continue to lead and continue to do what I possibly can to help get us to that. I’m a firm believer that no matter who we have — I think I can do it with anybody. I feel like it’s possible with anybody as long as you have that work ethic and that dedication to get to that level," said Beal during a moderated Q&A session.

Beal added that he doesn't like having to recruit to build a super team, but the Warriors set the standard.

“I kinda hate it. I hate super teams. And that’s just me. … Like everybody, just get your own team and just try to win with what you’ve got. But it’s like you need five All-Stars to win, especially to beat Golden State at this point. Granted, that’s everybody’s measuring stick: Golden State. They’ve got four, five, six guys on their team that are probably All-Stars, so it speaks for (itself).”

Fred Katz/The Athletic

Tags: Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Kyle Kuzma: I'd Rather Be Talked About Bad In L.A. Than Ignored In Other Markets

Feb 16, 2019 6:50 PM

Kyle Kuzma said he welcomes the scrutiny of playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.

"I wouldn’t want it any other way. I want people to talk about me, good or bad. Because if they’re not, you’re not doing something right. I’d rather be talked about bad in L.A. than play in Orlando and not get talked about," said Kuzma.

Kuzma was recently named the MVP of the Rising Stars Challenge. 

Dan Feldman/NBC Sports

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

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Ted Leonsis Calls Sports Betting 'The Most Important New Business' For NBA

Feb 16, 2019 6:37 PM

Ted Leonsis and Vivek Ranadive have been vocal about the potential benefits that sports betting could provide the NBA, with Leonsis calling it "the most important new business" for the league.

"Right now, the people who go to casinos to gamble, it's a small community and it generates $8-10 billion a year in revenues and play. But there's probably $100 billion that's in the shadows by really sophisticated gamblers. And obviously the first step is we want to get that audience that's gaming illegally to come into the sunlight," said Leonsis.

The two have focused on real-time betting during games, which they call "predictive gaming". The Wizards have experimented with an alternate feed of Wizards games showing updated, real-time odds. 

The Kings will introduce a lounge this season where premium seatholders can place bets on the score or player performance for virtual credit. 

"The arena is the game console. And your phone is the controller for the game console. So we're only limited by our imagination," says Ranadive.

 

ESPN

Tags: Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Shaq: European Prospects "More Fundamentally Sound" Than American Counterparts
The debate comes on top of Mark Cuban's comments comparing the developmental style of AAU basketball compared to Slovenia.

Candace Buckner/The Washington Post

Lakers No Longer Favored To Make Playoffs At Vegas Sportsbook
Odds that the Lakers would make the playoffs closed at -600 before the start of the season.

Ben Fawkes/ESPN

Giannis Antetokounmpo To Play In FIBA World Championships This Summer
The 32-team tournament begins in China on August 31st.

ESPN

Dwyane Wade: Luka Doncic's Passing Ability Is 'Lebron James-like'
Wade also exchanged jerseys with Dirk Nowitzki following the game.

Robby Kalland/Dime Magazine

D'Angelo Russell Reached Out To LeBron James For Advice Last Summer
Russell added that getting traded away from the Lakers was the best thing that's happened in his career.

Leo Sepkowitz/Bleacher Report

Bradley Beal Travel No-Call Causes Dispute Between League Executive, NBRA
Bradley Beal took two extra steps after losing control the ball, sparking a discussion between Monty McCutchen and the NBRA.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Michael Jordan: Winning 6 Championships Harder Than Harden And Westbrook's Streaks
Jordan added that Harden and Westbrook's streaks show the progression of talent in the league.

ESPN

Russell Westbrook Sets NBA Record With 10th Straight Triple-Double
The Thunder are 17-6 when Westbrook records a triple-double this season.

NBA.com

NBA: Refs Missed Kevin Durant's Double-Dribble On Final Possession Versus Heat
The Warriors went on to hit two free throws to win the game after the no-call.

Tim Reynolds/The Associated Press

Ben Simmons Would Like To Receive Mentorship From Magic Johnson
Ben Simmons has often been compared to Magic Johnson due to his size and passing ability.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Knicks Valued At $4 Billion, Most Valuable Team In NBA According To Forbes
The average NBA team is worth $1.9 billion.

Kurt Badenhausen & Mike Ozanian/Forbes

Russell Westbrook Ties Wilt Chamberlain With 9th Straight Triple-Double
Westbrook is currently averaging a triple-double on the season.

Ben Weinrib/Yahoo! Sports

Tobias Harris On Sixers Debut: 'Couldn't Ask For Anything More'
The Sixers starting lineup of Harris, Simmons, Redick, Embiid, and Butler outscored the Nuggets by 14 points in 17 minutes.

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Rob Pelinka Compares Lakers' Season To The New England Patriots
Pelinka compared LeBron James to Tom Brady, and Mike Muscala and Reggie Bullock with Julian Edelman.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Kevin Durant Breaks Silence, Tells Media To 'Grow Up'
Durant added that he didn't trust the media and he just wants to play basketball.

Ann Killion/San Francisco Chronicle

LeBron James Sounds Off On Instagram After Harrison Barnes Traded Mid-Game
Barnes was traded to the Kings during the 4th quarter of their win over the Hornets.

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

LaVar Ball: Lakers Gave Lonzo A 'Losing Attitude'
Ball said his son is being wrongly used as a 3-and-D type of player.

Ron Gutterman/Lakers Nation

LeBron James Says He And Kyrie Irving Are 'In A Good Place'
James added that he likes how Irving is dealing with the media speculation surrounding his upcoming free agency.

Joe Vardon/The Athletic

Khris Middleton Says He And Giannis Want To Stay With Bucks For Entire Career
Middleton stated that it's not about the market size, but about being on the right team.

Malika Andrews/ESPN

Luke Walton Confronted By Lakers Veterans Following Loss
Walton was reportedly challenged by Lance Stephenson, Javale McGee, and Michael Beasley following their loss to the Warriors.

Shams Charania/The Athletic