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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Basketball

Jaylen Brown ‘liked’ photo of Celtics fans clowning Kyrie Irving

Jaylen Brown

Kyrie Irving is no longer a Boston Celtic, and one of his former teammates seems to be enjoying that fact.

New Celtics big man Enes Kanter posted a picture to Instagram on Friday of several of the team’s fans clowning their former guard by taking Irving’s old jersey and covering his name with a piece of tape that read “Kanter” instead. Celtics wing Jaylen Brown then proceeded to ‘like’ Kanter’s post.

While this merely could have been a case of Brown being amused by the antics of Boston’s fans, he and Irving did not exactly have the greatest relationship during their two seasons together. For one, Brown called out Uncle Drew for finger-pointing during their struggles in January and also had to sacrifice the shot attempts that opened up when Irving was injured in the 2018 postseason.

With the six-time All-Star signing with the Atlantic Division rival Brooklyn Nets this summer, you can bet that both sides are going to be circling their first matchup on the calendar next season.

Anthony Davis announces he will wear jersey number 3 with Lakers

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis announced on Instagram Friday night that he will wear jersey No. 3 with the Los Angeles Lakers in the upcoming season.

Davis has worn No. 23 throughout his NBA career, but that is LeBron James’ number on the Lakers. LeBron was initially planning to give Davis the number and switch to No. 6, which he wore during his time with the Miami Heat. However, we learned on Friday night that Nike would not approve the change because of the heavy financial cost due to the supply of existing LeBron jerseys they have manufactured with number 23.

Davis, whose Instagram handle features No. 23, shared a photo of himself in a Lakers No. 3 jersey. He said in his Instagram post that he was taking it back to elementary school with his number.

Davis will be a free agent after the season. If he chooses to remain with the Lakers, he and LeBron may decide to make the change next season.

Report: Nike stood to lose ‘tens of millions’ on LeBron James jersey change

LeBron James

LeBron James will not be switching jersey numbers in the upcoming season as previously planned due to a lack of approval from Nike, according to reports.

James has worn jersey No. 23 in all his NBA seasons but his four-year stint with the Miami Heat, when he wore No. 6. No. 23 is what Anthony Davis has worn throughout his career. To welcome his new teammate to the Los Angeles Lakers, James was going to give Davis No. 23 and likely switch back to No. 6.

However, Yahoo’s Chris B. Haynes reported on Friday that the jersey switch will not be happening. Haynes reported that the request came in after the March 15 deadline. The league would have allowed the switch if manufacturer Nike approved it, but they did not, citing a major financial loss they would have incurred.

According to ESPN, Nike stood to lose “well into the tens of millions of dollars” on the switch due to already-produced LeBron James No. 23 Lakers jerseys.

A player has the ability to buy out the jerseys as we’ve seen one do in the past, but James opted to keep his number out of respect to the fans who have already purchased his Lakers jersey and to avoid further controversy, Haynes reported.

Now we will wait to see what jersey number Davis picks.

Report: Former No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett invited to Rockets’ training camp

Anthony Bennett

Anthony Bennett is getting another shot at the NBA.

Bennett, the No. 1 overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2013 NBA Draft, agreed to a non-guaranteed deal with the Rockets, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen said that Bennett is being invited to the team’s training camp.

Bennett has only played 151 career games in the NBA. His last stint came in the 2016-2017 season with the Brooklyn Nets, when he averaged 5.0 points and 3.4 rebounds in 11.5 minutes per game.

Just being invited to training camp on a non-guaranteed deal doesn’t mean a whole lot. The same happened with Bennett two years ago with the Suns, who ended up playing him just a few minutes in the preseason before waiving him. David Griffin has even admitted his mistake in drafting him.

Media winners and losers from Kawhi Leonard free agency reporting

Adrian Wojnarowski

Kawhi Leonard’s free agency was the biggest sports story of the summer. For a story of that magnitude, there was surprisingly little information about the subject. Leonard is notoriously private, and his team reportedly told the franchises that were in contention to sign him that they didn’t want any leaks. The combination of the two factors resulted in a dearth of information, leading to several unsatisfactory sources trying to step in and fill that void. In the end, some people proved to be ahead of the game with their information and reporting, while others were completely embarrassed by their ill-informed predictions and “inside scoops.”

Here is a look at the media winners and losers from the Kawhi Leonard free agency reporting.

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Report: Heat would need to be ‘overwhelmed’ to take Chris Paul contract

Chris Paul Rockets

The Miami Heat have frequently been linked as a possibility to take Chris Paul’s contract off Oklahoma City’s hands, but new reporting indicates that possibility is remote.

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Heat will do “due diligence” on Paul, but their interest is not strong and they would have to be “absolutely overwhelmed” to take on the remaining three years and $124 million on his contract. According to Jackson, the Heat would be enticed if the Thunder took on multiple bad contracts while also sending Miami multiple first-round picks. With Oklahoma City more interested in stockpiling draft picks, this possibility appears very unlikely.

The Heat have serious concerns about Paul’s age and ability to stay healthy, and are not interested in spending big sums of money on aging stars.

Indications are the Thunder want to unload Paul, and would like to pass him on to the Heat. With Miami not sounding very interested, that may not be an option at this point.

Watch: Reporter hilariously mistakes Raptors’ Stanley Johnson for Pat McCaw

Toronto Raptors

The changing faces in Toronto are apparently throwing off even the media.

New Raptors wing Stanley Johnson was speaking with reporters Friday when he got a question about what it was like to win three straight championships. It turns out that the reporter had hilariously mistaken him for teammate Patrick McCaw, who was on Toronto’s title-winning team last year as well as the back-to-back champion Golden State Warriors the two years before that.

Johnson played it off well though and said that winning three straight titles was a good thing to be mistaken for. Check out the funny video.

The 23-year-old Johnson was previously on the New Orleans Pelicans and Detroit Pistons, so it’s safe to say that he was pretty far from winning three consecutive championships. All things considered, this is probably the most amusing case of mistaken NBA identity since back in 2014.