After San Antonio dominated the 2014 NBA Finals, everyone is wondering whether this is the wend of the road for Tim Duncan, 38, who won his fifth title 15 years after getting his first.
The answer is unclear, but Spurs coach Gregg Popovich provided some insight to Duncan's mindset before playing the Bulls at the United Center in March.
"It's all about two things: His character and his love for the game," Popovich said of Duncan. "He's someone who loves to play basketball and truly loves the camaraderie of the locker room and the practice sessions, the competitiveness of the games. Because of that, he's done everything he can do to prolong his career.
A story by Adrian Wojnarowski, posted today on yahoo.com, suggests New York's Carmelo Anthony is targeting the Bulls and Rockets as possible destinations, assuming he opts out of his contract and becomes a free agent.
According to reports, Anthony needs to tell the Knicks of his decision by June 23 and he met with New York president of basketball operations Phil Jackson on Friday.
In order to make a run at Anthony, Houston needs to trade Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin, who are both scheduled to make $15 million this season, thanks to those restricted free agent balloon payments the Rockets devised in 2012. Needless to say, that will be a challenge.
There's no better way to establish NBA Finals dominance than winning Game 3 on the road, especially when the series is tied 1-1.
Back in 1991, most local fans probably braced for failure when the Bulls headed out to Los Angeles tied 1-1 with the Lakers. But the Bulls set the tone right away with a 94-86 victory in Game 3 at the Forum and won three in a row.
There are other memorable examples of Game 3 road wins, especially in that era – Bulls at Blazers in '92; Pistons at Blazers in '90; Lakers at Pistons in '88.
So Tuesday's result seems to bode well for the Spurs, who scored 71 points in the first half on the way to a 111-92 victory at Miami.
LeBron James was the leading scorer in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, hitting 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting. But the dominant storyline after Thursday’s 110-95 win by San Antonio was James cramping in the hot conditions.
The air conditioning broke at the AT&T Center, bringing sweltering south Texas conditions inside the arena. James left the game at the 7:31 mark while Miami led 86-84. He tried coming back a few minutes later and scored on a driving layin, but immediately cramped up and had to be carried to the bench.
Obviously, this opened up a new genre of LeBron bashing, including some pointed Tweets from the official account of Chicago-based Gatorade.
“We were waiting on the sidelines, but he prefers to drink something else.”
The Minnesota Timberwolves made a move Thursday – deciding on Flip Saunders as the new head coach (expected to be official Friday). He’s not entirely new, having coached the T’wolves from 1995-2005 and working as president of basketball operations since May, 2013.
But it doesn’t do much to change their biggest issue, what to do with Kevin Love?
People have been trying to turn Love into breaking news, but the situation is straight common sense. The Timberwolves need to either convince Love to sign an extension, trade him by February or risk losing him as a free agent in 2015. Love has never made the playoffs during six seasons in Minnesota.
I thought the White Sox would select LSU starter Aaron Nola Thursday with their highest pick (No. 3 overall) since Harold Baines was the first player drafted in 1977.
I was wrong, which is hardly a shock.
The Sox did fill their biggest need by taking a starter, and it was North Carolina State left-hander Carlos Rodon, who dropped below high school pitchers Brady Aiken (first overall to Astros) and Tyler Kolek (second overall to Marlins).
In Rodon, the White Sox are getting a superior talent, no question. The 21-year-old pitcher was 25-10 with a 2.24 ERA in three seasons at N.C. State, and he was widely viewed as the No. 1 overall pick leading into Thursday’s First-Year Player draft.
It’s been quite an awards season for Joakim Noah.
He was named defensive player of the year and was the leading vote-getter for all-defensive team. Now he’s the All-NBA first team center, a very prestigious honor.
Noah is just the fourth Bulls player to ever make first team All-NBA, joining Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Derrick Rose. Jordan made the first team 10 times, Pippen three times and Rose once.
The voting was not close. Noah received 101 of 125 first-team votes. Houston’s Dwight Howard received nine and Charlotte’s Al Jefferson got four.
Noah will get a contract bonus of $500,000 for making All-NBA first team, but that payment will not push the Bulls into luxury tax territory, which could bring benefits down the road.
The Cubs made a flurry of roster moves today, and we'll dissect them all in tomorrow's “take” for the newspaper. In short, they designated failed closer Jose Veras for assignment as they welcomed Hector Rondon back from paternity leave. The move is a good shot of confidence for younger relievers Neil Ramirez and Brian Schlitter, neither of whom has done anything to get sent down.
“Jose gave us a couple of outings that were pretty good,” said manager Rick Renteria. “We've had our younger guys that have had to step up in certain situations and have done well. The organization has decided that we'll just continue to move in that direction, with some of the young relievers that we have.”
Bulls forward Taj Gibson sent a sad message out on Twitter -- "They killed my lil superman. Only two more weeks until your 7 birthday. Tears forever."
Gibson was talking about his cousin Prince Joshua Avitto, and the news reports are disturbing. Avitto was riding in the elevator of his Brooklyn housing project with a friend Sunday, when he was attacked by an assailant using a butcher knife. According to relatives, the kids were headed outside to get ice cream.
Avitto was stabbed dozens of times. The friend, Mikayla Capers, 7, survived despite being stabbed 15 times and is in the hospital.
Police are still searching for the suspect, who may have also killed an 18-year-old college student last weekend.