Posts Tagged ‘NBA’

When news first broke in September that Jimmy Butler had requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves, teammate Andrew Wiggins‘ brother Nick reacted with joy. And given the reported tensions between Butler and some of his young teammates, it was believed the feeling was shared by Andrew.

Yet, with Butler seemingly stuck with the Wolves for the time being, Wiggins is spinning the current situation as a positive.

“All I know is, when we start playing the real games, Jimmy is someone you want on your team,” Wiggins said Sunday, per the Star Tribune’s Kent Youngblood. “At the end of the day, people can say what they want to say.”

Wiggins has reportedly been a target of Butler’s ire since last season due to his work ethic and defensive lapses. It’s a cloud that’s hung over the Canadian throughout his four NBA seasons, as many believe Wiggins’ passivity has kept him from making the leap into the league’s elite.

Butler himself told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that the 23-year-old Wiggins is the most “god-gifted player” on the Timberwolves, but then essentially questioned his drive.

Whether the Butler saga can light a fire under Wiggins remains to be seen. They’re expected to start together on the wings when Minnesota opens the regular season Wednesday in San Antonio.

“He’s a winner,” Wiggins added of Butler. “I feel like, no matter where he is, he’s right here now. He’s going to give it all, because that’s all he knows.”

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Paul Allen, the owner of the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers, has died at 65 years old from complications of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his family announced through Vulcan Inc.

Allen, who co-founded Microsoft along with Bill Gates, is also a part owner of Seattle Sounders FC.

“My brother was a remarkable individual on every level. While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend,” Allen’s sister, Jody, said in a statement.

“Paul’s family and friends were blessed to experience his wit, warmth, his generosity, and deep concern. For all the demands on his schedule, there was always time for family and friends. At this time of loss and grief for us – and so many others – we are profoundly grateful for the care and concern he demonstrated every day.”

Allen was among the wealthiest people in the world. His estimated $21.7-billion net worth put him 44th on Forbes’ list of billionaires.

A Quebec group of prominent business people is looking to bring an NBA franchise to Montreal, even if the league has no immediate plans to expand.

“Although the NBA and its commissioner have made it clear to us they currently have no plans to expand the league, we have taken the decision to prepare for when expansion does take place because we believe it will take place,” Michael Fortier said at a press conference Wednesday, according to Global’s Kalina Laframboise.

The press conference came ahead of the Toronto Raptors‘ preseason trip to Montreal, where they defeated the Brooklyn Nets 118-91 Wednesday night.

Montreal ranks among North America’s 20 most populous metropolitan areas, but has only had one “big four” pro sports team since baseball’s Expos left in 2004.

LeBron James looks back at the 2011 NBA Finals as the turning point in his career, with the Miami Heat coming up short against the Dallas Mavericks in six games despite being the heavy favorites.

“I thought it would be easy because I was teaming with some real players,” said James during Friday’s “The Shop” on HBO. “You go down there, we lose that Finals, I felt like the world had caved in. First of all, I was wearing a hat that I wasn’t accustomed to, and I bought into it because, at that point in time in my life, I was still caring about what other people thought. But that moment shaped me for who I am today.

“I’m not happy that I lost, but I left that Finals like, ‘Yo ‘Bron, what the f— was you on, man. You were overthinking everything, you didn’t show up, you didn’t do what you were supposed to do, and now you can’t even sleep at night because you didn’t give it all that you had.'”

It was evident in his numbers and on-court demeanor that James was his own worst enemy in that series. He spent the summer hyping up the number of championships the new-look Heat could potentially win, and when the opportunity presented itself to capture the title, James froze on the big stage.

He averaged 17.8 points on 15 shots and converted 32.1 percent from 3-point range while adding 7.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and four turnovers in 43.6 minutes. James was ripped to shreds by the media for not being aggressive, constantly deferring to his All-Star teammates, and putting up paltry offensive numbers when he was capable of so much more.

“After that Finals, I was just like, ‘That’s never happening again. I may lose again, I may not win everything, but I’ll never fail again,'” added James, who capped off his rant by saying overcoming that defeat was his “greatest achievement” after being asked if it was his greatest failure.

James and Miami bounced back by winning the next two championships. He then returned home to rejoin the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014, hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy once again in 2016.

Draymond Green considers himself the best trash-talker in the NBA, but he’s also learned that there are some players who can’t be rattled by his words.

That group includes NBA greats Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant.

“The guy I’d never waste my breath on? Tim Duncan,” Green said in a wide-ranging interview with Sam Alipour of ESPN The Magazine. “As a rookie, I tried talking junk to Tim, and he was like a tree staring back at me. No expression. I said, ‘All right. It’s over.’ Never talked junk to him again. After that, anytime he fell, I’d be the first person to help him up, like I was his teammate.

“I also tried talking junk to Kobe, maybe my second year. On a potential game winner, Mark Jackson put me in to guard him, and I got the stop. I said, ‘Yeah, I’m locking that s— up!’ He looked at me like I was crazy and said, ‘That miss ain’t got nothing to do with you. Sit down.’ I said, ‘Oh, s—! All right, I’m out.'”

The Golden State Warriors star also spoke about some of the most common misconceptions people have about him.

“I think I’m perceived as a prick. Which is funny to me,” he said. “I’m OK with you thinking I’m a prick because that means you 100 percent don’t know me.”

The San Antonio Spurs will enter the regular season with a depleted roster for the second year in a row.

Amid a recent streak of misfortune for Gregg Popovich and Co., the legendary head coach reminisced about benefiting from 19 seasons of Tim Duncanleading the franchise.

“There’s so much junk in the world, you’re better off if you look at the cup as half full,” Popovich said, according to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express News. “I just say, drafting Tim Duncan was probably all the luck we deserved for a long time. Now it’s going the other way.”

Popovich made the comments after San Antonio lost Lonnie Walker (meniscus tear), Dejounte Murray (ACL tear), and Derrick White (ligament tear in heel) within the last week of preseason games.

“That’s three of our youngest, most talented, fastest kids,” Popovich continued. “We’ll have to deal with it.”

Walker was drafted No. 18 overall by the Spurs in June. The 6-foot-5 guard was expected to give Popovich a 3-and-D wing to mix with DeMar DeRozan on the perimeter, but he could now miss a couple months of the season. It’s the same meniscus that Walker tore last summer before his lone collegiate season.

Murray’s injury – which could be season-ending – came after he made the All-Defensive second team at 21 years old in 2017-18. The tenacious point guard was already beginning to fill the void left by Tony Parker, who signed with the Charlotte Hornets after 17 seasons in San Antonio.

Popovich then turned to White to replace Murray in the starting lineup for the Spurs’ preseason contest against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. However, on Friday it was announced that White’s expected to miss six-to-eight weeks with his heel injury.

The Jimmy Butler saga shows no signs of slowing down and it appears a Minnesota Timberwolves legend is among those watching it all unfold.

Kevin Garnett has now chimed, hoping the franchise he spent 14 seasons with gets back on track to develop its young core of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.

“I’m a T-Wolf for life, man,” Garnett told The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski. “I’m ‘Sota for life. I’ve always wanted better for not only the city and the franchise, but Wigs, KAT, those are my guys. I root for those guys. Gorgui Dieng. Those are my guys. I’m just hoping they can get through this rough patch and everybody can get on the same patch and figure it out. It’s a s— storm up there.”

Reports emerged in September that Butler demanded a trade from the Timberwolves, with team president and head coach Tom Thibodeau seemingly unwilling to move on. Butler returned to practice on Wednesday, only to verbally confront several players and front-office members.

Garnett sees some similarities between his and Butler’s intensity, but differences in the intention of their outbursts.

“You don’t think that I went crazy sometimes? Man, I was a damn Tasmanian devil,” Garnett said. “I would say s— at (Kevin) McHale. I would say s— at Flip (Saunders). But it was all to motivate all of us. We had a big game against Chicago and I’m just raising the level to what I’m expecting the next day to be like.”

Garnett was drafted No. 5 overall by the T-Wolves in 1995 and quickly became the centerpiece of the franchise. Minnesota was home for the big man before he was dealt to the Boston Celtics in 2007.

“I never requested a trade because I viewed ‘Sota as mine,” he said. “I built this house. I’m not leaving this goddamn house. You can get the f— up out of here. You don’t like it, then leave.

“I would hear a bunch of whining and it’s snowing and it’s cold and why are we practicing. Man, you know what this was when you signed up. If you don’t want to be here, get the f— up out of here, man. Guys know this. Guys know what you sign up for. I never asked for a trade because I never wanted to be traded.”

Garnett won his first and only NBA championship with the Celtics in 2008. He briefly returned to the Timberwolves in 2015 to mentor the young roster before retiring after the 2015-16 season.