Category Archives: NBA JERSEYS

Pistons claim F-C Christian Wood off waivers

The Detroit Pistons have claimed Christian Wood off waivers.

The Pistons announced the move Wednesday. The 6-foot-10 Wood appeared in 21 games last season for Milwaukee and New Orleans, averaging 8.2 points. He’s averaged 5.3 points in 51 career NBA games for Philadelphia, Charlotte, Milwaukee and New Orleans.3

Wood, who can play forward or center, averaged nearly 17 points and eight rebounds during the eight games he played for New Orleans at the end of last season, but he was still waived by the Pelicans.

Josh Jackson in diversion program for arrest

Memphis Grizzlies forward Josh Jackson was entered into a diversion program to settle a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest stemming from his arrest at the Rolling Loud music festival in Miami in May, according to online court records.

Jackson was entered into the program on July 2, according to the records. He also was charged with a felony charge of escape when he was arrested on May 10, but that charge was dismissed last month, according to the records.

It is not clear from the records what the details of the diversion program include. If he successfully completes the diversion program, the charge will be dismissed.7

TMZ first reported the news that Jackson was entered into the diversion program.

Jackson, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 draft, was traded by the Phoenix Suns to the Grizzlies earlier this month.

He was arrested at the Rolling Loud music festival in Miami Gardens, Florida, after he attempted to enter the VIP area too many times without a proper pass. He was handcuffed by police and then ran away from the officers before being detained, according to the police report.

Jackson, 22, averaged 11.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 79 games (29 starts) last season, his second in the NBA.

Before entering the NBA, Jackson agreed to enter a diversion program in 2017 to settle a misdemeanor count of criminal property damage stemming from a confrontation with a University of Kansas women’s basketball player in 2016.

Green: Kawhi wanted ‘his own route,’ not Lakers

As Danny Green — perhaps Kawhi Leonard’s closest teammate, having paired with him to win championships in both San Antonio and Toronto — waited on Leonard’s free-agent decision last week, he was left in the dark just like the rest of the world.

Except he was pretty sure of one thing: Leonard would not be joining the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I think all of it was a shock to me,” Green said on a conference call with reporters Thursday. “Except not as much of a shock Kawhi going to L.A. The Clippers, anyway. I didn’t see him coming this route [to the Lakers].

“I feel like he wanted to go his own route. I think it was between them and going back (to Toronto). I think the year that he had and what those fans brought this season and everything, it was hard for him to turn it down and leave Toronto. But I knew he wanted to be closer to home.”cheap nfl nike jerseys from china6

Leonard, a native of Riverside, California, orchestrated the Paul George trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Clippers behind the scenes, spurning the Lakers — who had $32 million in cap space on hold for him — and the Raptors, who wanted to retain the 2019 Finals MVP and defend their championship. And Green then became the Lakers’ top target.

Shortly after Leonard informed the Lakers they were out of consideration, they pivoted to offer Green a two-year, $30 million contract, and followed that deal by reaching agreements with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso, Quinn Cook, DeMarcus Cousins and eventually Avery Bradley to fill out the roster.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Green, a 10-year veteran with a career 40.4% mark on 3-pointers, said deciding on the Lakers was simple.

“It wasn’t very hard, man,” he said. “LeBron [James] and Anthony Davis are here. Obviously when you’re with a winning team and you’ve won, you want to run it back if it’s possible. But that wasn’t going to happen. And even if it did happen, I don’t think they had room for me there [in Toronto]. So you go to the next-best team you think in the league is and that was here.”

Not that the wait until he got to make that decision wasn’t excruciating. Free agents could begin negotiations with prospective teams on June 30. Leonard didn’t make his choice until July 5. And Green — knowing there could be a pretty payday waiting for him in L.A. if Leonard didn’t form a superteam alongside James and Davis — had no choice but to stand in line until Leonard punched his free-agency ticket first.

Agent: Simmons ‘doubtful’ to play in World Cup

Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons is “doubtful” to play for Australia in the FIBA World Cup this summer, his agent Rich Paul told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Simmons, who debuted for the national team as a teenager and won gold at the 2013 FIBA Oceania Championship, initially said he was “looking forward to representing my county Australia in the upcoming @FIBA World Cup in China” on social media in May.5

Simmons is now more likely now to spend his full offseason preparing only for the Sixers’ season — free of national team responsibilities. The 22-year-old also opted out of the 2016 Olympics squad to focus on his NBA rookie season.

The Australian national team, also known as the Boomers, will still feature a handful of other NBA players, including Joe Ingles, Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills and Aron Baynes.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

The FIBA World Cup starts Aug. 31 in China and runs through mid-September.

Why the collapse of the Warriors feels so abrupt

Kevin Durant was never supposed to be on the Golden State Warriors. It was an accident: A one-time-only salary-cap spike left a 73-win team with enough space to add perhaps the world’s second-best player. The NBA had seen Big 3s before. It had never seen a Big 4 like this.

All four stars were still younger than 30 after they won their first title, obliterating the league across a 15-1 postseason. The Warriors looked poised to be the greatest dynasty since Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.

Only two years and one championship after that 2017 crown, that team is gone. Durant plays for the Brooklyn Nets, which is a thing you have to say out loud a few times before you believe it. He is recovering from a devastating injury; Klay Thompson is too. Andre Iguodala plays for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Maybe it is just this hard to sustain greatness. Maybe this is the shelf life of a championship team now. The grind — 100-plus games every season — is exhausting. The LeBron James-era Miami Heat lasted four seasons, until everyone seemed old, weary or ready to move on. Superstar contracts make it hard to build depth. Those contracts are short. Stars win titles, then seek other kinds of validation.

Durant spent part of the summer after that first championship working with Steve Nash, a Warriors consultant. Nash was struck by Durant’s despondency.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap6

“He didn’t have a great summer,” Nash told me last year. “He was searching for what it all meant. He thought a championship would change everything and found out it doesn’t. He was not fulfilled.”

The Warriors enjoyed having Durant, and he enjoyed playing in Golden State. Still: They never found a permanent comfort zone together. Teammates and coaches looked for hopeful signs. When Durant and Stephen Curry sipped wine together for hours after a team dinner in Denver during Durant’s first preseason with Golden State, coaches smiled. The two stars were getting to know each other, getting over the awkward stage.

But Durant would withdraw. He grew so quiet during the middle of the 2017-18 season that coach Steve Kerr summoned him to lunch in Portland before the All-Star break. “I don’t want to lose you,” Durant remembered Kerr telling him.cheap nfl jerseys from china nike

“He had been drifting a bit,” Kerr told ESPN after the 2018 NBA Finals. “He’s vulnerable. I felt the need to reconnect.”

There was a natural tension — “stylistic tension, not personal tension,” Kerr said then — between Durant’s approach and the Warriors’ beautiful game, even if Durant had the savvy and skill to meld them. That tension came to a head during the 2018 Western Conference finals, when the Houston Rockets’ switching defense jammed Golden State’s motion and coaxed the Warriors into more one-on-one play. Durant slumped. Critics howled. The Warriors almost lost.

But they didn’t lose. On the flight back from Houston after Game 7, Durant sat next to Bob Myers, Golden State’s president of basketball operations, and declared, “I have never felt more a part of the team,” Myers recalled last year.

Cauley-Stein to sign with Warriors, source says

Free-agent center Willie Cauley-Stein will sign with the Golden State Warriors, a league source told ESPN’s Zach Lowe, confirming multiple reports.

The deal is worth slightly above the minimum salary, a league source told Lowe.cheap nfl jerseys nike china

The 7-foot Cauley-Stein had played all four of his seasons in Sacramento since the Kings took him sixth overall in the 2015 draft.

The Kings extended a qualifying offer to Cauley-Stein, making him a restricted free agent, but later rescinded it in order to agree to terms with point guard Cory Joseph when free agency opened.4

Cauley-Stein’s agent, Roger Montgomery of Roc Nation Sports, had told the Sacramento Bee on June 22 that they preferred the Kings not even give Cauley-Stein the qualifying offer so he could instead become an unrestricted free agent.

“We haven’t felt that he’s been able to get what has been necessary for him to be able to lead the franchise the way he wants to,” Montgomery told the Bee. “We are very, very thankful for the opportunity that was presented to him, but we just think it’s not working. It’s not going to work. It’s just time for a fresh start. We need a fresh start and maybe the Kings do, too.”

Cauley-Stein excelled at running the floor for a Kings team that likes to play at pace, giving them an athletic center who could take some of the focus away from defenses, pass the ball and finish at the rim.

But consistency has been a trouble spot for the former Kentucky star. Take this past season as an example. Cauley-Stein started it by averaging 17.4 points in October. But his numbers dipped after that, including two months (February, April) in which he didn’t even average double figures in scoring.cheap youth nfl jerseys

Cauley-Stein, 25, holds a career average of 10.1 points on 53.4% shooting to go with 6.4 rebounds and 0.8 blocks.

Celtics’ Smart optimistic about state of franchise

Things haven’t exactly gone according to plan for the Boston Celtics.

And yet, as the start of free agency approaches this weekend, Marcus Smart remains optimistic about the state of the franchise — even as both Kyrie Irving and Al Horford appear headed elsewhere next month.

“I’m excited,” Smart said Tuesday afternoon at his annual basketball camp at Brandeis University. “We’re excited. As competitors, you have a season like we did last year and it leaves a funny taste in your mouth.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“We use that as our motivation and to keep going. We’re very excited. Whatever team or whatever people or whoever is on the board or whoever is on this roster with us, we’re excited to have them to go out there and fight.”7

Still, to have both Irving and Horford likely leaving the franchise as free agents is not what anyone was expecting would happen this time a year ago, when the Celtics were the favorites to take over for LeBron James as rulers of the Eastern Conference for years to come.

Instead, the Celtics never got going this season, finishing fourth in the conference and eventually getting rolled in five games by the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Smart was asked about the up-and-down nature of Boston’s season, but pushed back on the idea that the locker room itself was disconnected.

“Even in the regular season, it wasn’t a disconnect,” he said. “It was just a lot of people kind of got in and … it was like a telephone game. You tell one person this, and by the time it gets back to you, the whole narrative had changed. That’s kind of how it goes.

“You can only control what you can control. You focus on what you can focus on. As a player, you focus on getting into the gym, getting yourself better and you let the front office handle the front office stuff, and you do what it is you need to do for the team.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Meanwhile, Smart isn’t ready to write things off in Boston, even if Irving and Horford leave. He pointed to the reigning champion Toronto Raptors — who underwent massive changes themselves last summer before winning this year’s title — as inspiration for that belief.

Blame Kyrie? It’s not that simple, Boston

It’s too simplistic to put all the blame of Boston’s lost 2018-19 season at the feet of this basketball supernova, who declared as recently as early May, “I’m an actual genius when it comes to the game.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Don’t snicker too loudly — he’s not entirely wrong. The talent is unmistakable, the work ethic indisputable and the courage to take a shot in the biggest moment is what drew the Celtics to him in the first place. Yet Kyrie’s awkward attempts at providing forceful leadership proved to be flawed, and ultimately destructive. His journey began as an earnest attempt to fulfill his dream of leading his own team to the pinnacle, but he failed spectacularly, with help from a disjointed collection of talented individuals who simply could not figure out how to collaborate in unison.5

In fact, it didn’t take long for Boston’s coaching staff to grow concerned about the team’s vibe. They peeked in on the preseason pickup games and discovered young players who experienced exhilarating results the previous season by making the extra pass, but were now jacking up shots and running isolation plays. Ironically, it was Irving who implored his teammates to share the ball in the infancy of the season. And yet, by season’s end, it was Kyrie who had hijacked the offense.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Celtics coach Brad Stevens says he knew from the beginning it would be a challenging season for Boston.

“The bottom line,” Stevens told ESPN, “is that we had seven perimeter guys who were all very good players, and all of them brought something different and unique to the table. If you ask any one of them, I’m sure they’ll tell you it was hard to find all that they wanted this season.

“I don’t lose any sleep over that. They were all extremely competitive, well-intentioned guys. The pieces just didn’t fit.”

Pitino spurns Greek team, focused on NBA job

Rick Pitino has turned down an offer to return as president and coach of Panathinaikos, the franchise he led to a Greek League championship this season, Pitino told ESPN on Friday.

The Naismith Hall of Fame coach said he wants to return to the full-time pursuit of a job in the NBA — as a coach or in a player personnel or advisory role.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Pitino led Panathinaikos to a Greek Cup title, completing a 15-0 season. The team was 7-0 when he arrived. Pitino also led the team into postseason play in the EuroLeague playoffs.6

Pitino, 66, won NCAA titles at Kentucky and Louisville, reached seven Final Fours and claimed conference titles in the Big East, SEC and ACC. His career has also been marred by scandals that led to his demise at Louisville, where a national title and two Final Four appearances were vacated. He was fired in 2018.

The FBI inquiry was the last in a series of scandals at Louisville — including an NCAA investigation into strippers and prostitutes used during recruiting visits to the school.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

In the NBA, Pitino resigned from the Boston Celtics in January 2001, during his fourth season, with a 102-146 overall record. He was considered to have been overwhelmed with dual roles after signing pro sports’ biggest coaching/executive deal to date (10 years, $70 million). He resigned with nearly $30 million left on the deal.

“I’m not looking for any of that [control] at this stage of my life,” Pitino told ESPN in December. “I want to develop teams and develop players and build a winner. I value analytics. I want to fit into an organization. At this stage, that’s all I’m interested in.”

Pitino had a shorter but more successful run as coach of the New York Knicks in the late 1980s, winning an Atlantic Division title and reaching the playoffs twice (1988, 1989) before leaving for Kentucky. Under Pitino, the Knicks won 52 regular-season games and reached the conference semifinals in his final season.

How the Clippers can make their anti-pitch to Kawhi Leonard

What could possibly compel a player who just won an NBA championship and a Finals MVP award to ditch his existing team?

For the LA Clippers, who have been eyeing Kawhi Leonard since his exodus from the San Antonio Spurs to the Toronto Raptors nearly a year ago and even sent senior basketball officials to observe him at Raptors games this season, this is the riddle they must solve. As a rule, challengers looking to unseat incumbents during good times typically face long odds; people looking for prosperity and stability aren’t inclined to switch things up when times are prosperous and stable.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Had the Raptors flamed out against the Philadelphia 76ers or even in the Eastern Conference finals versus the Milwaukee Bucks, the Clippers could have approached Leonard with the proposition that there’s a natural ceiling to what he can accomplish in Toronto. But with the Raptors writing a storybook ending to their Season of Kawhi, the Clippers have a much more daunting task than they did even two months ago convincing Leonard to change course.

But if love of Southern California is one of Leonard’s defining features, so is an insistence on structure and professionalism. Those who have observed Leonard during his one season as a Raptor describe an athlete who moves with uncommon precision through a full day at the training facility, and expects it to run like clockwork — no matter which postal code that facility sits in. By every account, Leonard already has that in Toronto and would demand it with the Clippers.5

One of the cardinal virtues of the Clippers’ current brass is the belief that they should never have to use the market as a selling point for prospective free agents. Although they appreciate that NBA players are drawn to the region, the Clippers feel it is imperative to become the kind of organization that wins recruiting battles based on the quality of their management, culture and infrastructure. In this regard, the Clippers think they have a compelling pitch to Leonard as an organization that has spent the past two seasons sculpting itself into the kind of workplace that appeals to Leonard’s sensibilities.

A perennial laughingstock for decades under the ownership of Donald T. Sterling, the Clippers spent recent seasons climbing their way up from the ranks of the NBA’s dregs. It took years to rebrand the franchise in the imaginations of players and agents and to build the infrastructure to catch up with the rest of the league. (There are still plenty of NBA players who were active when the Clippers practiced in a health club in El Segundo.)

The 2019 Clippers bear little resemblance to their namesake of a decade ago. Sterling has been replaced by Steve Ballmer, the wealthiest owner in North American sports. Ballmer has invested significant resources into accelerating the Clippers’ makeover, including a massive renovation to the training facility currently underway, with the most advanced arena in the NBA to follow in five years.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

A front office that less than a decade ago could have fit into a compact SUV is now one of the NBA’s deeper basketball operations departments. It’s a thoughtful, forward-thinking group that has already demonstrated an ability to evaluate talent, build and refine systems, and identify the kind of NBA organization it wants the Clippers to be. They can point proudly to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the process that acquired him in a draft-day trade last June, the Kawhi-ish manner in which he comports himself, and the quality of his development over the course of his first-team All-Rookie season.

The Clippers are well aware that Leonard has already priced his love of the region into the equation. Leonard grew up in Southern California’s Inland Empire, before heading off to San Diego, where he played his college ball at San Diego State. Extremely protective of his private life, he keeps close quarters with a tight circle of family and dear friends — many of them located in Southern California. Those who have spent time with him in San Diego say that the impassive Leonard is a different person when he’s in his natural habitat. They describe someone who is a portrait of perfect contentment when he’s having dinner during the offseason at George’s at the Cove overlooking La Jolla Bay, or relaxing in North County with people close to him.

Perhaps the Clippers’ proximity to the places Leonard feels most at home will be enough. The informed belief that Leonard had every intention of signing in Los Angeles in 2019 was the determining factor for both the 76ers and Boston Celtics in not accepting more robust proposals by the San Antonio Spurs for Leonard last summer, according to sources with each team who were close to those negotiations.