pixel 1
header
Sunday, July 12, 2020

Basketball

LeBron James explains why he is not putting social message on back of jersey

LeBron James

The NBA worked with the Players Association to give players the option of sharing certain messages on the back of their jerseys for the NBA’s resumed season in Orlando. A specific list of pre-approved words and/or phrases were put together by the league that players can choose to have on their jerseys.

LeBron James says he will not have one of those messages on his jersey.

Why is that? James told reporters via a conference call on Saturday that he did not feel the messages resonated with his “mission” and “goal.”

James said that he would have liked to have been consulted on what the approved messages were.

The list of approved messages include: Black Lives Matter; Say Their Names; Vote; I Can’t Breathe; Justice; Peace; Equality; Freedom; Enough; Power to the People; Justice Now; Say Her Name; Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can); Liberation; See Us; Hear Us; Respect Us; Love Us; Listen; Listen to Us; Stand Up; Ally; Anti-Racist; I Am A Man; Speak Up; How Many More; Group Economics; Education Reform; and Mentor.

According to an ESPN report on Wednesday, over 80 percent of players had picked a message to put on their jerseys. “Equality” was said to be the most popular choice.

James has been unafraid to share his stance on political and social matters for years. At times, that has resulted in some criticism.

Video: JJ Redick shotguns a beer in NBA bubble after Twitter challenge

Players have only been at the NBA bubble in Orlando for a few days now, but they are already finding creative ways to stay busy while following quarantine orders. For JJ Redick, that involved slamming a beer during a post-practice soak.

Reddick shared a photo on Saturday of a water fountain that was out of use due to health and safety protocols, so the New Orleans Pelicans veteran opted for a Bud Light instead. He then said he would shotgun a Bud Light the next day if he got 10,000 retweets.

The retweets came pouring in, so Redick made good on his promise. He did some “multitasking” while sitting in an ice bath after practice.

We’ve heard a variety of complaints from players about the Orlando bubble already, but Redick seems to be getting by just fun. Life could be worse.

Adrian Wojnarowski apologizes for vulgar email to Missouri senator

Adrian Wojnarowski

Adrian Wojnarowski sent a vulgar email to Missouri Senator Josh Hawley on Friday, and the ESPN reporter has now issued an apology.

Hawley, a Republican, wrote a letter to NBA commissioner Adam Silver suggesting the league allow players to display messages like “Support Our Troops” and “Free Hong Kong!” on the backs of their jerseys when play resumes in Orlando. Hawley’s office sent a copy of the letter to Wojnarowski, and Woj replied with “f— you.”

Not long after Hawley tweeted a screenshot of Wojnarowski’s email, the NBA insider issued a statement apologizing for his “unacceptable” actions.

Hawley’s letter criticized the NBA for its handling of the Hong Kong situation, but it’s unclear which part of the letter Wojnarowski found so offensive. Hong Kong has been trying to free itself from communist China, and Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey received serious backlash from the NBA community last year when he sent a tweet supporting protestors in Hong Kong. The NBA has been accused of caring more about preserving its business relationship with China than standing up for those fighting against communism, which is what Hawley was referencing.

The NBA has decided to allow players to display social justice messages on the backs of their jerseys when the season resumes.

Warriors plan to start managing Stephen Curry’s minutes next season

Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry will be entering Year 12 in the NBA come next season, and the Golden State Warriors would like to adopt a more conservative approach with him moving forward.

Speaking this week on the “Hoops, Adjacent” podcast with The Athletic’s David Aldridge, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr indicated that the team is going to start managing Curry’s minutes.

“Now, he’s at the point where he’s been at the peak of his powers for the last couple of years,” Kerr said. “If anything, it’s on us to try to begin to manage his minutes. We’ve always been really blessed. We’ve been able to do that because of the talent on our team. We’ve never really run Steph into the ground. We don’t have as much depth as we once did. It’s on us as a coaching staff to make sure we get him his rest every night, and we’re not wearing him out.”

Curry, who will be 33 next season, has averaged 34.3 minutes a game for his career. A broken left hand derailed the two-time MVP’s 2019-20 season after just five games though, forcing the Warriors to consider his long-term health.

Some close to Curry think that he might even be able to play into his 40s, but for that to even stand a chance of happening, the Warriors will indeed have to start gradually easing his load. It sounds like that process could begin the next time that we see Curry in action.

Video: Joel Embiid arrives for Orlando flight in full body suit

Joel Embiid 76ers

Joel Embiid is trying to gear up as much as possible for a safe trip to Orlando.

The Philadelphia 76ers big man arrived for the team’s flight to Orlando on Thursday with a full suit, mask, and gloves.

Embiid has expressed a lack of confidence in the NBA’s bubble plan in Disney World. A high level of cooperation among all the participants is required in order to give the best chances of keeping the coronavirus out of the bubble. Embiid does not have much confidence in all the participants holding up their end.

The 26-year-old is averaging 23.4 points and 11.8 rebounds per game this season. His Sixers are tied with the Pacers with a 39-26 record this season.

LeBron James offers support for Adrian Wojnarowski following suspension

LeBron James

Adrian Wojnarowski has been suspended by ESPN after he sent a vulgar email to a US senator this week, and LeBron James is among the players who are publicly supporting the longtime reporter.

On Sunday, LeBron joined the chorus of social media users who have been sharing the hashtag #FreeWoj.

Several other prominent NBA players have also expressed support for Wojnarowski.

On Friday, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent a press release blasting the NBA for its limited selection of pre-approved messages they will allow league players to wear on the back of their jerseys during the resumed season in Orlando. Hawley’s letter, which was directed at NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, was critical that the messages did not give players the option to support the military, law enforcement, or condemn the Chinese Communist Party.

Hawley’s letter was sent as a press release to an email list that included Wojnarowski, and Woj responded to the email by saying “f— you.” Hawley shared a screenshot of the response on Twitter, leading to a formal apology from Wojnarowski. ESPN reportedly suspended Woj on Saturday night.

Wojnarowski is considered the top NBA reporter in the country and has been with ESPN for just over three years after previously working for Yahoo.

Boban Marjanovic and Tobias Harris are hilariously reunited in Orlando

Boban Marjanovic

The Bobi and Tobi Show is back — sort of.

Boban Marjanovic and Tobias Harris were seemingly joined at the hip, having been traded again from the Pistons to the Clippers and then to the 76ers. The pair finally separated this last offseason, with Harris re-signing with Philadelphia and Marjanovic joining the Dallas Mavericks as a free agent.

Now the pair are together again — sort of. The 76ers and Mavericks are both staying at the Grand Floridian Hotel in Orlando as part of the NBA bubble, meaning Marjanovic and Harris can have some socially distant interaction again.

Harris had his own response, seemingly hurt that his former teammate “got new friends.”

We were promised that “the Bobi and Tobi Show” would go on. This is probably not how either of them envisioned it happening, but we’ll absolutely take what we can get.