NBCA forms racial injustice and reform committee

  • Host of The Woj Pod
  • Joined ESPN in 2017

In describing recent events of “police brutality, racial profiling and the weaponization of racism” as “shameful, inhumane and intolerable,” the National Basketball Coaches Association has established a committee on racial injustice and reform to pursue solutions within NBA cities.

Gregg Popovich, Steve Kerr, Lloyd Pierce, David Fizdale and Stan Van Gundy — some of the profession’s most thoughtful and consistent voices on social issues in the sport — were among the coaches selected to a committee that helped craft a forcefully worded denouncement of the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis and the greater pattern of violence and intolerance toward African Americans in the United States.

After the league’s 30 head coaches participated in a Zoom call Saturday and several participated in a committee meeting Sunday, NBCA president Rick Carlisle and executive director David Fogel told ESPN that the NBCA is planning a Tuesday call to discuss how they can begin immediate action items across the league’s cities.

The statement read, in part: “As NBA coaches — both head and assistant coaches — we lead groups of men, most of whom are African American, and we see, hear and share their feelings of disgust, frustration, helplessness and anger. The events of the past few weeks — police brutality, racial profiling and the weaponization of racism — are shameful, inhumane and intolerable.

“As a diverse group of leaders, we have a responsibility to stand up and speak out for those who don’t have a voice — and to stand up and speak out for those who don’t feel it is safe to do so.

“Witnessing the murder of George Floyd in cold blood and in broad daylight has traumatized our nation, but the reality is that African Americans are targeted and victimized on a daily basis. As NBA coaches, we cannot treat this as an isolated incident of outrage.

“We are committed to working in our NBA cities with local leaders, officials and law enforcement agencies to create positive change in our communities. We have the power and platform to affect change, and we will use it.”

Beyond Popovich, Kerr, Pierce, Fizdale and Van Gundy, the committee includes Cleveland’s JB Bickerstaff and Utah’s Quin Snyder.

Pierce played a leadership role in the NBCA’s weekend dialogue and has shown a determination to encourage the entire roster of coaches — not just those traditionally speaking on issues of race and equality — to be part of a movement of voice and action within the profession’s ranks.

The NBCA’s statement included the signatures of 33 current and former head coaches and nearly 180 assistants.

Source: Read Full Article

Rockets GM Daryl Morey: NBA hiatus and uncertainty helps Houston’s title chances

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey thinks the NBA's hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic could be beneficial to his team's chances of make a championship run whenever the 2020 playoffs begin.

In a Facebook Q&A with team reporter Cayleigh Griffin, Morey said Thursday the multi-month layoff could be helpful to veterans Houston acquired during the season. By virtue of a second training camp, they could get a new opportunity to work their way into coach Mike D'Antoni's playoff rotation.

The Rockets acquired DeMarre Carroll, Jeff Green, and Bruno Caboclo weeks before the season's suspension on March 11, but Green was the only one to immediately receive a spot in the team's new small-ball rotation.

However, resuming play might change that dynamic since it resets the season and puts NBA rosters back on level footing for training camp.

Join Daryl LIVE for a Q&A with Rockets Sideline Reporter Cayleigh Griffin. Put your questions for Daryl in the comments!

"We do feel like our odds have gone up with the restart," Morey said Thursday. "Because we probably can't call ourselves the favorite — we just haven't played well enough to say that — anything that adds uncertainty to the system is generally good for us."

Griffin asked about the second training camp, and Morey explained how it could be an advantage for the Rockets.

SHARE YOUR STORY: How did you fall in love with sports? Tell your story

NEW FUTURE: Get ready to watch (and hear) sports in an entirely different way

NBA RETURN: League can't please everyone as it faces tough decisions

"I think that's an edge for us. It's one of the reasons why a stop and restart slightly favors us," Morey said. "We have a very deep team. We have veterans who have not been with us all year who have contributed to very good playoff teams in the past. They probably didn't get much of a chance to show what they could do. But with a new training camp and maybe some games before the playoffs … it gives those guys a chance to show coach D'Antoni what they can do.

"Coach likes a tight rotation in the playoffs, which I do think the evidence does support his choice there in the playoffs. But in terms of who our eight, nine or 10 guys are going to be in the playoffs, I do think it gives those guys a chance and it gives us some potential upside."

To Morey's point, Green and Carroll have contributed to playoff teams in recent seasons.

The timetable of the summer training camp remains unclear, though it needs to begin relatively soon in order to hit the league's July target of resuming play. More clarity on the timeline could come in the days ahead. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had a conference call Thursday with GMs and has another Friday with team owners.

Rockets Wire is part of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group.

Source: Read Full Article

Patrick Ewing released from hospital and ‘getting much better’ after contracting coronavirus

NBA icon Patrick Ewing has been discharged from the hospital and is recovering well after contracting coronavirus.

The 11-time All-Star revealed on Friday that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was isolating in hospital. Ewing’s son, Patrick Ewing Jr, gave a positive update on his father’s condition Monday.

“I want to thank all the doctors and hospital staff for taking care of my father during his stay, as well as everyone who has reached out with thoughts and prayers to us since his diagnosis,” Ewing Jr. tweeted. “My father is now home and getting much better. We’ll continue to watch his symptoms and follow the CDC guidelines. I hope everyone continues to stay safe and protect yourselves and your loved ones.”

Ewing’s updated health condition brought joy to plenty of NBA fans, reporters and players.

Ewing won a national championship with Georgetown in 1984 and won gold medals with Team USA at the 1984 and 1992 Olympics.

The former Seattle SuperSonics and Orlando Magic center was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.

Source: Read Full Article

NBA trade rumors: Why Warriors could end up moving top 2020 NBA Draft pick

The NBA Draft lottery? Postponed. The NBA Draft combine? Postponed. And with commissioner Adam Silver pursuing every realistic path to resume the current season, the 2020 NBA Draft itself also could be pushed back from its original date of June 25.

Regardless of when the event actually occurs, lottery-bound teams won’t stop scouting this year’s prospects. The Warriors will be firmly in that group heading into the draft — if they keep their pick.

When play was suspended on March 11 after Jazz center Rudy Gobert’s positive test for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Warriors sat alone at the bottom of the league standings with a 15-50 record, four games back of the Cavaliers (19-46) in the loss column. The lottery odds could change if the NBA keeps regular-season games on the schedule rather than jumping straight into the playoffs, but for now Golden State holds the best odds for the No. 1 overall pick. It shouldn’t fall out of the top five.

That positioning gives the Warriors options, including the possibility of trading the pick for a win-now player.

“Yeah, we’re going to consider all that,” Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Monte Poole. “Now, I don’t know if the headline is going to be that we’re trading our pick. So, be clear that I said ‘consider.'”

Everything is fluid here. No one knows exactly when (or whether) teams will return to a court, or how an adjusted calendar will affect the NBA Draft. The Warriors haven’t even formed a draft board yet, according to The Athletic’s Anthony Slater. So, yes, this should all be placed under the “consider” umbrella. 

With that said, moving the first-round pick makes a lot of sense for the Warriors.

The 2020 class doesn’t have a can’t-miss prospect like Zion Williamson or Rookie of the Year front-runner Ja Morant. Georgia’s Anthony Edwards has landed near the top of several mock drafts, but his season wasn’t overwhelming enough to push himself into a separate tier above James Wiseman or LaMelo Ball. Maybe one of those guys can excite evaluators during workouts and interviews, though it seems unlikely that any of the available prospects could immediately propel the Warriors back into contention.

Golden State knows Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are coming back 100 percent healthy next season alongside Draymond Green. The Warriors will find out whether Andrew Wiggins can translate his potential into meaningful contributions. Steve Kerr isn’t leaving the bench anytime soon. This is not your typical basement dweller, which presents a different kind of challenge for Myers.

“It’s rare to have a team that might be able to contend and also have a top-five pick,” Myers told Poole. “That’s where you could fall into taking the best player available. You don’t want to pass on a guy that you feel can usher in the next 10 years of the franchise.”

As free agency has shown us, the Warriors are always looking to add pieces and keep the championship window open. They could reach a consensus on Edwards, Wiseman, Ball or someone else. But by the time draft night rolls around, Myers may prefer a known talent, one that blends nicely with the team’s core.

Don’t be surprised if he makes a big splash.

Source: Read Full Article

The all-time starting five for every NBA Western Conference team

What if the Splash Bros. had Wilt Chamberlain playing center? How many titles would the Lakers have won if Magic Johnson was running the break with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal? Imagine Hakeem Olajuwon and James Harden teaming up in Clutch City.

We asked our NBA writers to come up with an all-time starting five for every current NBA franchise, along with one additional blast from the past. Only a player’s contributions during his time with that franchise were considered. (So, no, LeBron James doesn’t crack the Lakers all-time list … yet.)

In this era of “positionless” basketball, traditional positions don’t matter quite as much as they used to, so we allowed some flexibility in choosing a lineup — but you won’t see teams with four centers or three point guards. The idea was to dive into each team’s history and create a group that could at least potentially share the floor together.

We rolled out the Eastern Conference on Wednesday. Here is the Western Conference:


Dallas Mavericks

G: Derek Harper
G: Jason Terry
G: Rolando Blackman
F: Mark Aguirre
F: Dirk Nowitzki

Terry joins Nowitzki as the only players on both of the Mavs’ Finals teams and was the second-leading scorer on both squads. There’s a reason Harper and Blackman, the backcourt for some good teams that just couldn’t get past the Showtime Lakers, have their numbers in the American Airlines Center rafters. Aguirre’s jersey probably won’t ever be retired in Dallas because of his bitter departure, but you can’t dismiss his 24.6 points per game in eight seasons with the Mavs.

The toughest cuts: Michael Finley and Jason Kidd, one of whom helped a young German kid find his way in the NBA and the other who helped Nowitzki finally deliver a title to Dallas.

— Tim MacMahon

Denver Nuggets

G: Fat Lever
G: David Thompson
F: Alex English
F: Carmelo Anthony
C: Dikembe Mutombo

You’re probably asking yourself the same question I debated for roughly 48 hours: Wait, no Nikola Jokic? There’s a good chance Jokic eventually becomes the greatest player in franchise history, but he’s just 25 years old.

Mutombo, on the other hand, is a Hall of Famer and produced probably the most iconic image in franchise history, celebrating the historic upset of the top-seeded Seattle SuperSonics in the 1994 playoffs. Mutombo is the defensive anchor behind a pure scoring lineup that could outgun just about anybody.

English, Anthony and Thompson all averaged better than 20 points a game for their careers, but at their peaks were pushing 30 PPG. Add in a floor general like Lafayette “Fat” Lever to pull the strings, and it could work. Between Fat, Melo and Dikembe, the Nuggets can outname just about anybody, too.

— Royce Young

Golden State Warriors

G: Stephen Curry
G: Klay Thompson
F: Kevin Durant
F: Draymond Green
C: Wilt Chamberlain

Adding Chamberlain to the Durant-era Warriors teams that won back-to-back titles would just be unfair. Can you even imagine how dominant that team would be? Curry, Thompson, Durant and Green have already won titles together — and now they have one of the greatest big men of all time to drop the ball to down low? Unbelievable. The defense is great, the offense is otherworldly.

It’s tough leaving Hall of Famers Rick Barry and Chris Mullin out of this group, but who would come out? Curry and Thompson form the best shooting backcourt of all time. Durant is one of the best players of his generation and Green provides the defensive intensity and glue that has propelled them for years — plus those four have already played together. There is no stopping this team. A juggernaut for the ages.

— Nick Friedell

Houston Rockets

G: James Harden
G: Calvin Murphy
F: Tracy McGrady
F: Rudy Tomjanovich
C: Hakeem Olajuwon

Apologies to Hall of Fame big men Elvin Hayes, Moses Malone and Yao Ming, but it’s hard to get one center in the Houston lineup these days. Of course, there’s no debate about the candidacy of Olajuwon, who remains the best player in franchise history, even after Harden’s run of historic offensive production.

Harden is 22 points away from passing Murphy for second on the Rockets’ career scoring list, so for now the flamboyant, 5-foot-9 Murphy continues to be the only player who ranks among the franchise’s top two in points and assists.

Rudy T is best remembered as the Clutch City-era coach and for the brutal punch that interrupted his playing career, but he earned his spot here with five All-Star appearances during a career spent entirely in a Rockets uniform.

— MacMahon

LA Clippers

G: Chris Paul
F: Kawhi Leonard
F: Blake Griffin
F: Elton Brand
C: Bob McAdoo

Paul and Griffin authored the greatest and most exciting era in Clippers basketball with Lob City. Paul spent six seasons with the Clips, was first-team All-NBA three times and led the league in assists twice during that span. Griffin was Rookie of the Year, a five-time All-Star and the exciting, above-the-rim player the franchise sorely needed.

Brand spent seven seasons with the team and made both of his All-Star appearances as a Clipper. McAdoo started his Hall of Fame career when the franchise was in Buffalo, where he led the league in scoring three straight seasons and was MVP in 1974-75.

Leonard is just 51 games into his Clippers tenure, but his elite production already puts him on this roster. Averaging 26.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists, a healthy Leonard can further validate this choice if he can get the Clippers to the conference finals for the first time.

— Ohm Youngmisuk

Los Angeles Lakers

G: Magic Johnson
G: Jerry West
G: Kobe Bryant
F: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
C: Shaquille O’Neal

Four of these picks were no-brainers. Johnson (fifth in career assists) teamed up with Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s career scoring leader, to win five championships. Bryant (fourth all time in scoring) paired with O’Neal (eighth in scoring) to win three.

The fifth pick was harder. Is it Elgin Baylor, the greatest small forward in franchise history? Or how about LeBron James, the greatest small forward in NBA history? How about James Worthy, who teamed up with Magic and Kareem and won a Finals MVP?

Ultimately, the pick is West. Baylor never won a ring. James hasn’t been a Laker long enough. Worthy would have to play the 4 and you already have Shaq and the Captain on the blocks. The Logo brings shooting and toughness and leadership, and he is extremely important to the franchise as a whole for his post-playing days in the front office.

— Dave McMenamin

Memphis Grizzlies

G: Mike Conley
G: Tony Allen
F: Shareef Abdur-Rahim
F: Zach Randolph
C: Marc Gasol

The question with the Grizzlies: Who should be the final player to fill out a lineup that features the Grit ‘n’ Grind mainstays called the Core Four? (I’d make a joke about Chandler Parsons’ max contract, but I want to be welcomed back to Memphis.)

Based purely on merit, Pau Gasol would be the pick, but he doesn’t fit alongside his brother Marc at center and Randolph at power forward. So we will go with Abdur-Rahim, who was a really good player for some really bad teams in Vancouver, averaging 20.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game over five seasons in which the Grizzlies went a combined 86-292.

— MacMahon

Minnesota Timberwolves

G: Ricky Rubio
G: Sam Cassell
F: Kevin Garnett
F: Kevin Love
C: Karl-Anthony Towns

The three best players in franchise history just all happen to be big men: Garnett, Love and Towns. Garnett is the franchise leader in points, rebounds, steals, assists and blocks; he’s the only player in NBA history to lead a team in all five categories. Towns (22.7 points, 11.8 rebounds in 358 games) and Love (19.2 points, 12.2 rebounds in 364 games) each put up monster numbers, even though playoff success never came.

(Side note: Towns is only 14 3-pointers away from becoming the franchise’s all-time leader. Seriously.)

Rubio trails only Garnett in franchise history in steals and assists. Since Wally Szczerbiak and Andrew Wiggins were primarily listed as small forwards, the other guard spot goes to Cassell, who only played two years in Minnesota but had a career year and was a second-team All-NBA selection in 2003-04.

— Andrew Lopez

New Orleans Pelicans

G: Chris Paul
G: Jrue Holiday
F: Jamal Mashburn
F: David West
C: Anthony Davis

(Just a reminder: The Pelicans’ franchise history starts in 2002, when the team moved from Charlotte to New Orleans. Anything before that belongs to Charlotte, even though it’s the same franchise. Got it? Cool, let’s move on.)

First, the locks: Davis, Paul, Holiday and West. Now once you get to the wing … oof. This spot came down to four players — Mashburn, Peja Stojakovic, Eric Gordon and, yes, Brandon Ingram.

Mashburn, in the franchise’s first season in New Orleans in 2002-03, made the All-Star team and was a third-team All-NBA selection. The Pelicans didn’t get another All-Star selection from a wing player until this year, when Ingram made it. But with only 56 games under his belt, Ingram falls off this list. Gordon’s time in New Orleans always seemed underwhelming. Stojakovic was a key cog on the 2007-08 team that won a franchise-best 56 games, but he struggled with injuries.

Mashburn was limited to 101 games for New Orleans, but his impact in Year 1 was unmistakable and he still sits second on the team’s career scoring average list (21.5), behind only Davis.

— Lopez

Oklahoma City Thunder

G: Russell Westbrook
G: James Harden
F: Kevin Durant
F: Paul George
F: Serge Ibaka

There’s an irony to the Thunder’s all-time starting five, because it features their best sixth man. The baggage of Harden’s role looms large, whether he wanted to come off the bench, whether starting impacted his contract negotiations and ultimately facilitated the breakup of one of the greatest organically built superteams ever. That’s a lot to unpack.

Hindsight and what-ifs aside, the Thunder’s all-time group can stand with almost any in NBA history, and most certainly is among the most stout in the past 20 years. The Thunder have been around for just 12 years and boast a remarkable cupboard of talent: three MVPs (Durant, Westbrook, Harden) and piles of All-NBA and All-Star nods. Maybe one of the best examples of how deep they are is in showcasing who didn’t make the cut: Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul. Not a bad bench.

— Young

Phoenix Suns

G: Steve Nash
G: Kevin Johnson
F: Walter Davis
F: Charles Barkley
C: Amar’e Stoudemire

No Shawn Marion? No Paul Westphal? No Alvan Adams? No Larry Nance? No Jason Kidd? You can make a solid starting five from the next group of Phoenix legends.

The franchise’s two MVP winners, Nash and Barkley, were locks. Westphal split time as a point guard and shooting guard during his six seasons, but we give the nod at the other guard spot to Johnson, who spent 12 years in Phoenix, and had three consecutive 20-point, 10-assist seasons and five All-NBA nods.

Davis vs. Marion was a tough battle. Both made a pair of All-NBA teams (two second-teams for Davis compared to two third-teams for Marion), but Davis gets the edge as the franchise’s leading scorer. At center, Stoudemire stands supreme as his four All-NBA honors best Adams’ longevity.

— Lopez

Portland Trail Blazers

G: Damian Lillard
G: Clyde Drexler
G: Brandon Roy
F: LaMarcus Aldridge
C: Bill Walton

As with any conversation about Blazers history, their starting five comes with plenty of introspective sighing and deep what-iffing. Injuries to Walton and Roy abbreviated what would’ve been legendary Portland careers. But at their best versions, Walton was a transcendent big man with unique skills, and Roy was a gifted scorer with a knack for the moment.

Drexler is a Hall of Famer who led Portland to its best sustained run of success in franchise history. Aldridge is one of the dominant scoring big men of his era, and Lillard will likely go down as the franchise’s all-time best. The Blazers are haunted by history and a compulsion to live in the anguish of what could’ve been, but there is also a beauty to their all-time five. It represents who they are, and forever, what they might’ve been.

— Young

Sacramento Kings

G: Oscar Robertson
G: Tiny Archibald
F: Peja Stojakovic
F: Chris Webber
C: Jerry Lucas

A Hall of Fame backcourt of Robertson and Archibald knocks Kings great Mitch Richmond out of one of the two guard spots. Lucas, another Hall of Famer, averaged 19.6 points and 19.1 rebounds in six seasons with the Cincinnati Royals. He gets the center position.

For the forwards, we look at two Kings from the early 2000s, when Sacramento was a perennial playoff team. Stojakovic is still the franchise’s leader in 3-pointers made, and Webber averaged 23.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks in 377 career games in Sacramento.

It feels weird not to have DeMarcus Cousins on the all-time Kings squad, but when you look back at the franchise’s history — which dates back to the Rochester Royals and their first year in the NBA in 1949 — it becomes clearer why he doesn’t make the cut.

— Lopez

San Antonio Spurs

G: Tony Parker
G: Manu Ginobili
F: George Gervin
F: Tim Duncan
C: David Robinson

It took about as long as the average Gregg Popovich sideline interview to come up with this squad. These were all easy decisions, considering each player’s combination of greatness and longevity with the Spurs. (Kawhi Leonard would have been in strong consideration if not for the lack of the latter.)

Duncan and Robinson are on the short list of MVPs who played their entire careers for one franchise. Ginobili and Parker were essential parts of a dynasty. Gervin was a must-see superstar whose presence made sure that pro basketball stuck in small-market San Antonio.

— MacMahon

Seattle SuperSonics

G: Gary Payton
G: Gus Williams
F: Detlef Schrempf
F: Shawn Kemp
C: Jack Sikma

Payton, Kemp and Sikma, the three players to make at least five All-Star appearances in Sonics uniforms, are the three certain selections here. At the other guard spot, there are strong cases for Fred Brown (who’s second in career scoring) and Ray Allen (a four-time All-Star in Seattle), but Gus Williams’ key role in the Sonics’ 1979 championship and pair of All-NBA picks give him the nod.

Spencer Haywood reached greater heights and Rashard Lewis had more longevity, but with the last spot I’m going with Schrempf, whose versatile and efficient game was ahead of its time in the 1990s.

— Kevin Pelton

Utah Jazz

G: John Stockton
G: Pete Maravich
F: Adrian Dantley
F: Karl Malone
C: Rudy Gobert

The Jazz’s arena is located at the intersection of Stockton and Malone, with statues of the legends prominently featured out front, so we figured those guys should make the cut. Dantley was a historically elite scorer for the Jazz, averaging 29.6 points on 56.2% shooting and winning a pair of NBA scoring titles during his seven-season tenure in Utah.

Gobert gets the nod over fellow dominant defensive anchor Mark Eaton because he’s a far superior offensive player and rebounder. It was difficult not to include Darrell Griffith, aka “Dr. Dunkenstein,” but Pistol Pete was too productive (25.7 points and 5.7 assists per game) with the New Orleans Jazz to be left out.

— MacMahon

Source: Read Full Article

NBA draft lottery to have same format as 2019 – reports

Regardless of how the remainder of the NBA season plays out, the draft lottery is expected to remain unchanged from last year, according to reports.

Jordan's Last Dance on Sky Q

Watch The Last Dance, a 10-part documentary on the 1997-98 Bulls, on Netflix via your Sky Q box

When the NBA suspended the season on March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic, teams had played between 63 and 67 games. In the eyes of some executives, that discrepancy in games would make it difficult to hold a lottery in the same fashion as before.

Source: Read Full Article

Former England physio pioneering the technology keeping Premier League stars fit

Dave Hancock has worked with Jose Mourinho, Fabio Capello, Phil Jackson and some of the biggest names in sport.

But now the ex-Chelsea and England physio is leading a digital revolution at a time when technology has arguably never been more important for players during lockdown.

Hancock’s company Apollo has set up a groundbreaking phone app to allow clubs to keep a check on player fitness, diet, mental health and even sleep patterns.

Manchester United are long standing clients, more Premier League teams are coming on board and Hancock already has established links in US sport having worked at the New York Knicks and with NBA star Kevin Durant and the NFL’s Odell Beckham Junior.

Technology in sport is already at remarkable levels but this app pulls all the data into one place to allow players and coaches to tap in at the touch of a button.

Hancock, who is now based in New York, said: “It’s really important now because, during the Covid crisis, you can then communicate with players.

"You have got data coming in from all angles – Game data, statistics, GPS, heart rate, monitoring players when they are not on site. You wear an Apple Watch now and it can look at what calories you burn, the quality of your sleep, all manner of things.

“We have a coaches’ app, an athlete app and a medical app, all under one umbrella. I can sit back as a coach and see who has done the workout, who has read the programme sent to them, who has watched the video.

“If we’re playing Man City at the weekend, I can send all the video clips to the players so they can review them. All the video staff could be using different platforms and yet it all comes together on the one Apollo platform.

“Man United are in lockdown, the Championship is in lockdown, it’s a vey difficult situation and if you are not receiving the data then you can’t see how they are maintaining their fitness, you can’t see how they are feeling or deliver meal plans to them.

“The more information you can get about them remotely, the more you can communicate and be ready for when they return to training.”

Hancock formed a tight bond with Joe Cole while at Chelsea and the ex-England midfielder is on board with the company, he still speaks to Mourinho and has remained in touch with Frank Lampard from their days together with club and country.

Tech in sport has come a long way in the last 20 years from the days of ProZone to today with STATSports – with the familiar GPS vests players wear – which can track player performance levels every step of the way.

But what sets apart the best coaches, according to Hancock, is the ability to move with the times.

“I still talk to Jose and I still look out for the teams I worked for. I worked with Frank and still speak to him. Someone like Jose is adaptable and you can’t be as successful as him unless you do adapt,” said Hancock.

“Fabio was a gentleman. You learn a lot from everyone. Like Phil Jackson, he was super successful and it doesn’t mean you are always successful at every team you manage but I could sit down with him, have breakfast and pick his brain.

Source: Read Full Article

NBA insiders’ eight big rule changes for free agency and the supermax

While the NBA continues to work out plans to finish the 2019-20 season, the future economics of the league face immense uncertainty.

The league and the players’ union will need to make adjustments to the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and how the business of basketball operates given the projected decline in leaguewide revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.

What will those changes look like? Here are eight proposed tweaks for next season — the upcoming offseason and 2020-21 — based on conversations with front-office executives and player agents, focusing on how to make the salary cap, max contracts and free agency work.

Source: Read Full Article

‘The Last Dance’: Michael Jordan’s retirement influenced by father’s murder, not gambling

With tears streaming down his face, Michael Jordan sprawled out on the floor. The Chicago Bulls star had just won his fourth NBA championship. But that did not fully explain Jordan’s emotions. 

Jordan had just won his fourth title but first without his father watching. James Jordan was murdered on July 23, 1993, after two 18-year-old men shot him and robbed him after he took a nap in his car on the side of the road, authorities determined. That incident influenced Jordan's retirement before the 1993-94 season, a decision he said had nothing to do with his gambling. So when Jordan returned during the 1994-95 season, he struggled processing playing games without his father present.

The biggest challenge emerged once Jordan helped the Bulls win the 1996 championship over the Seattle SuperSonics. Incidentally, the decisive Game 6 took place on Father’s Day.

"This is for Daddy," Jordan said afterwards. "I'm very happy for him."

Jordan was also understandably quite sad. As shown in the seventh and eighth episodes of "The Last Dance" documentary on Sunday, Jordan and others close to him detailed how his father’s murder affected him in different ways.

THE BASEBALL PLAYER: Revisiting Michael Jordan's baseball career with fresh eyes

ARMOUR: One way that LeBron James rises above Michael Jordan

NBA COMEBACK: Commissioner, union discuss ways to finish season

CORONAVIRUS & SPORTS: Sign up to get the latest news and info delivered to your inbox

First, Jordan experienced grief. He described his father as "my rock" and said "we were very close." During his freshman year at Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, N.C., Jordan said he received three different suspensions for undisclosed reasons, prompting his father to warn him he could not play sports if he did not change his behavior. Jordan said, "I never got in trouble from that point on."

As Jordan starred for the University of North Carolina and the Chicago Bulls, his father attended most of his games. He would often look for a young child in the stands to take to see Jordan after games for encouragement and an autograph. Through the celebrations and the sorrows, Jordan said his father "always drove and challenged me like a friend." Jordan's father also defended him to the media amid scrutiny about his gambling.

Second, Jordan wrestled with what led to his father’s death.

James Jordan had driven to Wilmington, N. C., to attend a friend's funeral and then golf with friends. He then planned to fly from Charlotte to Chicago to attend one of his son's charity golf tournaments. Jordan’s mother, Deloris, did not hear from James during his golfing trip. George Koehler, one of Jordan’s assistants and close friends, arrived at the airport to pick up James and could not spot him anywhere. James remained missing for three weeks until his red Lexus was found in the woods around Fayetteville, N.C. The windows were smashed and the license plate was missing. Eventually, authorities found James’ body in a swamp in McColl, S.C., and charged two 18-year-olds with robbery and murder.

Source: Read Full Article

‘It’s Time!’: LeBron, other NBA stars react to Episodes 7 and 8 of ‘The Last Dance’

“The Last Dance” continued on Sunday night and the 10-part documentary continued to captivate the NBA players of today, some of whom fondly remember the 1990s — when Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls dominated the league — and some of whom are seeing an up-close look at the greatest NBA player of all time for the first time. Sunday’s episodes dove into the 1998 playoffs — Jordan’s last with the Bulls — while flashing back to Jordan’s first retirement, his foray into professional baseball and his return to the NBA.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James summed up everyone’s thoughts right as Episode 7 began.

It’s Time!

James echoed the thoughts of fans across the world as he looked back on Jordan’s surprise retirement announcement in 1993.

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, who wears No. 45 in part because of Jordan’s baseball career, was among the many players reflecting on MJ’s time in that sport.

As the documentary shifted to behind-the-scenes footage of Jordan berating teammate Scott Burrell, Kings big man Richaun Holmes was eager to see more.

Source: Read Full Article