Kevin Durant disputes the narrative that this year’s NBA champion will lack respect.
Durant made an appearance on Joe Budden’s podcast on Monday. He was asked whether this year’s NBA champion would be respected in the same way as the champions of a standard season.
“Yeah, of course. You still have to play against these dudes,” Durant said.
Durant added that you can’t hold it against the players for winning amid the circumstances.
The Brooklyn Nets forward went a step further, saying he thinks this year’s champions will be even more respected.
“I think it will be respected for sure. Probably more respected. It’s tough for the boys in there. They’ve been away from everybody for that long. To be the last one standing? That’s going to be tough,” Durant said.
There are reasons to view this year’s champion differently from other seasons. This season had a four-month interruption; the regular season was cut short; not all the teams were involved in the restart; there is no homecourt advantage; there are no fans; and there is no travel. All these factors might mean we will get a pure champion that won in a neutral environment. The champion will have had to endure a few months of living in the NBA’s bubble environment. Achieving success in this environment is not easy, as one star showed us.
“I realized this year I want to keep playing as long as possible,” said Redick. “My goal is to play four more years. Year 18. That’s my goal. I’ll play to 39. Then my offseason, I’ll turn 40 and then I can walk away at that point. That’s my goal. We’ll see. The body has to hold up. But we’ll see.”
While Redick just missed the playoffs for the first time in his NBA career, he had a strong season nonetheless with the New Orleans Pelicans. Redick put up 15.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game on 45.3 percent three-point shooting, the second-highest mark of his career. He is under contract with New Orleans for $13 million in the 2020-21 season.
Multiple veteran marksmen such as Kyle Korver and Jamal Crawford are still playing at or near 40 years of age. Redick certainly seems like the type who could do so as well, especially with how young he looked in the bubble.
Jamal Murray was called for a flagrant foul for an elbow to LeBron James’ jaw.
James’ Los Angeles Lakers were taking the ball out early in the third quarter of Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday. After inbounding the ball, James then went to screen Murray. Murray elbowed James in the jaw as he was fighting off the screen.
One of Billy Donovan’s former University of Florida players may be returning to Chicago to join him.
Donovan was officially hired as the new head coach of the Bulls on Tuesday. Nick Friedell of ESPN suggested that former Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah could now return to the Bulls, noting that Noah has “a great deal of respect” for Donovan and still loves Chicago.
Now that the Bulls have landed Donovan — the next move should be to sign Joakim Noah to be a veteran presence in the locker room. Noah has a great deal of respect for Donovan dating back to their days at Florida and still loves Chicago. He can be the Udonis Haslem for the Bulls.
The 35-year-old Noah spent the final months of this season with the LA Clippers. Team reporter Lucas Hann notes he still has a non-guaranteed contract with the Clippers for next season. If Noah were to be released or traded as salary filler and bought out however, that could potentially open the door for a return to Chicago.
Noah has a non-guaranteed contract for next season with the Clippers–while he's a long shot to make the roster, I expect them to hold on to him for now in case his salary can be used as filler in a trade. In that case he'd likely be bought out wherever he lands. https://t.co/VH1BOYUXRk
Noah was drafted by the Bulls in 2007 and had the best years of his career there before departing in 2016. Prior to that, he played three seasons under Donovan at Florida, winning back-to-back national titles in 2006 and 2007.
The former All-Star Noah might have some fences to mend if he were to return to Chicago. But the 2-for-1 reunion special with both Donovan and the Bulls would make for one heck of a homecoming for him.
The Los Angeles Clippers were a major disappointment during the NBA playoffs, and head coach Doc Rivers is becoming a target for some of the blame.
The Clippers blew a 3-1 series lead and lost in seven games to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals. They held leads in all three closeout games but failed to win the series. Rivers has now presided over three series in which his teams blew a 3-1 lead.
As the team’s disappointing season gets dissected, we’re hearing about some dissatisfaction players had with Rivers.
“Head coach Doc Rivers had several strategic decisions that left players scratching their heads, such as the decision not to ride a bigger lineup against Nikola Jokic, choosing rotations that did not prioritize more minutes for JaMychal Green and various defensive adjustments.”
The 25-year-old guard is coming off his best NBA season statistically. He averaged a career-high 25.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game last season. He figures to be a key part of Donovan’s plans going forward, and it sounds like LaVine is already looking forward to working with him.
Donovan has agreed to become the head coach of the Chicago Bulls, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday.
Donovan was let go by the Oklahoma City Thunder after the team was eliminated from the NBA playoffs. The Thunder reportedly are preparing to go into a rebuild and decided not to renew Donovan’s contract.
The Bulls were deciding on the future of Jim Boylen and fired him last month, creating a vacancy. They now have made a huge upgrade with the addition of Donovan.
Donovan, 55, won two national championships as a head coach in college at Florida before jumping to the pros. His teams made the playoffs all five years he was the coach of the Thunder, though they lost in the first round the last four years.
The Boston Celtics can now afford to laugh about their well-publicized locker room incident last week.
Celtics big man Enes Kanter posted a funny video on Monday of a wrestling match that he had with teammate Marcus Smart by the pool in the Orlando bubble. Kanter’s caption read, “We couldn’t settle the fight in the locker room so we took it out to the pool.” Take a look:
Smart, of course, was the primary combatant during the team’s locker room episode after a Game 2 loss to the Miami Heat. Reports did suggest however that it was a different Celtic, not Kanter, who Smart got into it with.
The Celtics bounced back in Game 3 on Saturday with a statement double-digit win against the Heat following the incident. Kanter’s funny post further confirms that the locker room fireworks are now all but behind them.