Almost all the way back, NBA
Our latest around-the-league notes compendium covers everything that happened during a wild week ... and the newsy times ahead
I used to be so proud of my memory. Superpower is far too strong a word, but I legit believed that sports recall was one of the sharpest utensils in my metaphorical NBA scribe's toolbox.
In my 50s now, I no longer trust my memory anywhere close to that extent. I've made too many dispiriting recall gaffes in recent years to avoid a confidence dent or three.
I have a strong feeling that the forthcoming Media Day for 26 of the NBA's 30 teams on Sept. 26 will go down as an all-timer. The aforementioned confidence issues on memory matters have dissuaded me from trying to rank the newsiest Media Days of my press-row lifetime, but I can't easily think of a previous season that carried so much potential news intrigue on Day 1 in so many different cities.
Eight days from now will be:
🏀 The first time reporters have extended access to Phoenix Suns players and Coach Monty Williams since the one-year suspension and $10 million fine that Suns owner Robert Sarver received last week for a history of racist and misogynistic remarks ... sanctions that have been widely blasted as insufficient.
🏀 The first time LeBron James, Anthony Davis and, yes, Russell Westbrook will be expected to hold extended sitdowns with reporters since the Lakers decided, after months of trying to trade Westbrook, that they would bring him back to at least start the final year of Westbrook's current contract in purple and gold. Westbrook's presence, of course, did not stop the Lakers from trading for Patrick Beverley and signing Dennis Schröder within the past 25 days.
🏀 The first time Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and the coach that Durant urged Brooklyn to fire — Steve Nash — are scheduled to take questions since their respective season-ending news conferences in April and May.
🏀 The first time various players from Boston, Toronto, Miami, Phoenix, etc., will be sitting down for interviews after their teams were widely described for the bulk of the summer as highly motivated trade suitors for Durant.
🏀 The first time we've heard from the LA Clippers' Kawhi Leonard in a long, long time.
Four teams (Atlanta, Milwaukee, Washington and the reigning champions from Golden State) will hold their respective Media Day activities on Friday (or Sunday in the Warriors' case) because they are starting exhibition play early with games abroad. Yet there will clearly be plenty to monitor with The Other 26 given how much is packed into my little list, which doesn't even touch on New York's first day back at work since losing out to Cleveland in the Donovan Mitchell Sweepstakes, Myles Turner and Buddy Hield finding themselves still in Indianapolis and the Miles Bridges situation in Charlotte.
Let's warm up, shall we, with a fresh batch of around-the-league notes compiled from a faraway address after the on-court news of the week emerged late Friday:
🏀 Other colleagues have covered this in a slew of tremendous articles in circulation from the past few days while I’ve been abroad, but this can't be stressed enough for clarity: While Adam Silver indeed levied a lifetime ban on disgraced former Clippers owner Donald Sterling in 2014, it was …
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