Wednesday, June 18, 2014
First Cup: Wednesday
By Nick Borges
- Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News: The 2012 Olympics were thought to have been Manu Ginobili’s international swan song with Argentina and the so-called “Golden Generation” he led to gold at the 2004 games. And yet, even with his 40s rapidly approaching and another NBA championship to bask in, Ginobili said he’s still weighing whether to play at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain. “I know it’s something I’m going to have to do soon,” he said after the Spurs’ annual joint exit meeting on Tuesday. “I want to be respectful of the coach. Practices start in a month. I want him to know exactly what he’s going to have. I actually feel uneasy, because I usually don’t do this. I usually say it in March. But this year I wasn’t ready, because every year it’s a little harder to decide. Things go on, family matters, physically too. I’ll try to make a decision by the end of the week.” It promises to be a difficult decision for Ginobili, who cherishes the success he’s had with the Argentine team. He said he’s spoken throughout the season with long-time teammate/countryman Luis Scola, who of course wants him on board.
- Staff of The Dallas Morning News: On his contract situation ... Dirk Nowitzki: We'll get together here pretty quick. Cubes knows I don't want to go anywhere and he doesn't want me to go anywhere. We're guessing that will be over pretty quick and then we can focus on making this franchise even better. I got hit up on Twitter left and right (after the report the Rockets would make a run at Dirk). I was like, 'what just happened?' I didn't say anything about the Rockets. The chances of that happening are slim to none. We all know that Cuban took care of me for a long team. This deal is not going to be about squeezing out the last dollar. We'll just have to wait and see what the years and the final number is, but I'm sure it will be respectable for both sides.
- Harvey Araton of The New York Times: Beyond the money, Jackson’s message was to let Anthony know that if he did stay, he had better be clear on the understanding that the organizational culture would be changing. Anthony might still be the core of the offense. No longer would he putatively be in charge. The system designed for the collective — the triangle or some facsimile installed by the new coach, Derek Fisher — would take precedence over Anthony’s personal comfort zone. Jackson’s 11 championship-coached teams were hardly democracies, catering as they did to resident superstars in Chicago and Los Angeles. But Jackson understood that Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were not selfless and compliant, like Tim Duncan. His team-first doctrines have always been bendable, as long as he believed concessions were made in the best interests of winning. In Anthony’s case, his teams in Denver and New York, while lacking in co-stars, catered to his every whim and were rewarded with the grand total of three playoff series victories in 11 years. To blame him for all or much of that would be the same foolish act of piling on LeBron James for whatever his teams have failed to achieve. But Anthony should be accountable for admittedly not being in the best shape along with not grasping the purity of team play until he had to share with players as good or better during the Olympics.
- K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune: Derrick Rose has been taking full contact on his surgically-repaired right torn meniscus since late in the Bulls' first-round playoff loss to the Wizards. He continues to take full contact and, by all accounts, looks strong in his rehabilitation from that November 2013 injury. And Rose remains on schedule to participate in the Team USA minicamp at the end of July in Las Vegas, from which the World Cup team will be selected by USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo and national team coach Mike Krzyzewski. Speaking on The Game Chicago Tuesday morning, Krzyzewski said he's excited to see Rose's physical progress. "We feel that Derrick is going to be ready to go," Krzyzewski told co-hosts David Kaplan and Tribune columnist David Haugh. "But we'll see that week. Hopefully, he is. He was my starting guard (for the) world championship team in Instanbul, Turkey in 2010."
- Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman: The Thunder doesn’t need Danny Green. Or at least shouldn’t covet the unattainable. The Thunder needs someone like Danny Green. Good shooter. Solid defender. That’s it. Nothing spectacular. Nothing stunning. Just a good shooter and solid defender. And here’s the good news. The world is full of players like that. You just have to identify them. Sure, the Arron Afflalos and Trevor Arizas are easy to pick out. That’s why they make $7-8 million a year. The hard part is finding the Danny Greens who haven’t been given the chance. Maybe that’s Jeremy Lamb. Maybe that’s a collegian who wasn’t in a spot to shine while on campus. Maybe that’s a journeyman who never found the right fit. Maybe that’s a scrapper who just never got the chance. That’s Sam Presti’s job. Find a Danny Green in the brushpile.
- Bob Finnan of The News-Herald: If he wins over Gilbert in his interview, Blatt might be the choice. Neither Price nor Lue have been head coaches, something that has to mean something for a team that expects to be in the playoffs. At one point, Gentry was thought to be the possible frontrunner, simply because of his vast resume and that he’s a Griffin protege. However, even though it would shock quite a few people in the NBA, hiring Blatt would be a unique and forward-thinking move.
- Lori Nickel of the Journal Sentinel: Aaron Rodgers didn't squash the notion that he might be interested in some kind of investment role with Milwaukee Bucks. He didn't directly answer the question, but this is what he said when asked about the possibility during his 10-minute question-and-answer session with the media Tuesday afternoon following the first minicamp practice: "I'm a big fan of the Bucks, I have been for a long time. Love going to the games. They've been great to me. I'm excited about the new owenership and it seems like they have the desire to keep the team in the area. But I've been a fan for a while." The Bucks new owners have been looking for other new investors. New owners Wes Edens and Marc Lasry are drawing interest from local investors who want to be part of the new ownership team. Rodgers' name has been raised as a possible investor.
- Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News: Julius Randle maintained he will not need to have surgery and plans to play in the Las Vegas Summer League, scheduled from July 11-21. Randle also believes unspecified NBA teams leaked their concerns about his foot in hopes that his draft stock would drop so he would become available. That might benefit the Lakers, who have the seventh overall pick for the NBA Draft on June 26. “I met with the best foot doctor in the country and he said he wouldn’t do anything with my foot,” Randle said Tuesday at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “There’s no scheduled surgery or anything. I feel healthy, athletic and am moving great. No problems recovering. I’m ready to go.” The Lakers also reported there were no medical tests that suggested his foot was an issue. Lakers development coach Mark Madsen said “Julius looks 100 percent to me” after defending him in post-up drills.
- Tom Moore of The Intelligencer: The surrealism continued Tuesday at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. The day ended with highly touted draft prospect Andrew Wiggins leaving the campus following a private workout without speaking to the media again. He climbed into a chauffeur-driven dark blue Chevrolet Suburban, which had been backed down an alley and sat there for 20 minutes prior to picking up a smiling Wiggins. Wiggins only had to walk four steps into the back seat before the vehicle headed off to Philadelphia International Airport. Earlier, Sixers PR director Mike Preston brought a dozen donuts to the five media members waiting near the PCOM gym, and lamented Monday’s treatment of the media that included PCOM security telling the media to move away from the entrance of the gym and then Philadelphia police patrolling the area. The Sixers were criticized on sports talk radio and elsewhere for Monday’s events. “Steps were taken that we regret,” Preston said. “It won’t happen again. Obviously, the relationship that we have with you guys is paramount and I totally understand it and we want to do right. Things shouldn’t have played out the way they did yesterday, so we apologize.” Team CEO Scott O’Neil did radio interviews expressing similar sentiments. Asked what the rules are for the media at private workouts, Preston replied, “You guys are fine right here. It’s been communicated to PCOM security that you guys can hang out here (across from the gym) if you like.”
- Joe Freeman of The Oregonian: One of the longest-tenured members of the Trail Blazers' front office could be on the move. The Charlotte Hornets have asked — and been granted — permission by the Blazers to interview Chad Buchanan for a vacant assistant general manager opening, Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey confirmed to the The Oregonian. ... Earlier this month, the Hornets and longtime front office executive Rod Higgins parted ways, creating an opening on General Manager Rich Cho's staff. Cho, who served as general manager of the Blazers during the 2010-11 season, is familiar with Buchanan from their time together in Portland.
- Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press: Welcome back to the Timberwolves, Sid Lowe. I'm still sorry about that little incident 21 years ago. Minnesota fans can take comfort in the fact that Sid knows exactly what it means to be a Minnesota Timberwolf. From player to assistant coach to head coach, Sid has experienced all the wackiness, all the frustration, all the hopelessness -- as well as those moments of joy -- that come with being associated with this screwy franchise. Now that Flip Saunders has brought him back as an assistant coach, the gang is all here. Lowe was a guard during the Wolves' very first season. That was his last year as an active player, and the story might have ended there. But he stayed on as an assistant coach, and that's where I sort of betrayed him. There have been times in my life that as soon as I've hit the "send" button, which dispatches a column or story from my computer to the office for publication, I have been filled with regret. What did I just do? Why did I write that? Oh, no. One such incident occurred 21 years ago, and the column appeared in the next day's paper under the tepid headline: "Wolves Could Do Worse Than Lowe." Ugh! Bad idea.