Why NBA Summer League actually matters

NBA Summer League is over, and what a fun Summer League it was. There was Lonzo Ball mania. There were big performances by Dennis Smith Jr., Kyle Kuzma, Jayson Tatum, and other rookies. There were Lakers fans. A lot of Lakers fans.

This is our final episode of the 206-17 season. We hope you enjoyed the ride. There (probably) won’t be a podcast next week, unless Ben Epstein decides to mess around.

THAT SAID, we will be coming back strong with our 2017-18 team-by-team preview series, starting on Aug. 1. Just like last year, we’ll be recording individual preview podcasts for all 30 NBA teams with fans and experts from around the SB Nation network. Want to get the real pulse of each team’s fanbase? You’ll want to listen to these episodes.

We’ll have more details in the next few days, but it all begins on Aug. 1 with the Brooklyn Nets, featuring SBNation.com’s Kristian Winfield and Nets Daily reporter Anthony Puccio.

But ultimately Iguodala’s threat to leave the organization forced their hand. Now he walks away happy making $48 million over three years, and the Warriors can walk away relieved that they have their entire championship core inked.

Not all free agents would have handled their situation this way, and from a player and fans’ aspect, Iguodala should be commended for getting what he deserves. It takes confidence to threaten to leave quite possibly the best team of all-time. But Iguodala knew his worth.

On Friday night at 9 p.m. west coast time, Iguodala met with the Spurs followed by the Kings in person in Los Angeles, a source told SB Nation. The source confirmed that he received multi-year deals from both. He slept on that.

On Saturday morning, Iguodala met with Rockets, and received a multi-year offer from them as well. He canceled all further meetings because of his strong interest with the team. Both the Sixers and Lakers were involved before that, the sources confirmed.


NBA Summer League actually had a game end in ‘Sudden Death’

Summer League in Las Vegas is a delightful way for NBA fans to get their basketball fix in the summer months. They can watch rookies make their debuts, returning players fight for roster spots, or they can just come to watch some good old fashioned basketball. That said, no one really wants overtime games in Summer League, and they definitely don’t want double overtime.

On Tuesday night, the Summer League game between the Warriors and Timberwolves actually went to double overtime, tied at 76. But that is when Sudden Death kicked in. The first team to score a point wins. Literally. The winning basket cannot come on a free throw so as you’ll see here, it ends on a floater. Beautiful. The Timberwolves went on to beat the Warriors 78-76.

Hill helped bring Utah along as a game-changer in the backcourt despite missing 33 games due to injury. He’s not the scorer, passer, or playmaker that CP3 or Lowry are, but like those two, Hill is a steadying force. Utah would love to bring him back, but a salary crunch and big offers out there for Hill may lead him to leave.

If Hill’s medical records check out, he’d be a huge aid to a team looking to make a leap with a need at point guard. The Bucks, Nuggets, and Pelicans would be stellar landing spots if they can open the space.

Limited Womens Cody Latimer Jersey Holiday struggled to find his way with Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, but the trio came along as the season wrapped up. The Pelicans were in a bind: if they didn’t pay up to retain Holiday, they wouldn’t have cap space to chase someone like Lowry, Hill, or someone slightly lower on this list. It was much easier to pay big for Holiday than pay slightly less for Jeff Teague or Patty Mills because of Bird rights.

Limited Womens Jermaine Gresham Jersey Holiday can defend — a must for this team at the point — and is a passable deep shooter. Time may be all he and the Twin Towers need to make it work, provided he can remain healthy.

Kawhi does all his business on the court.

Megdal also reported that Johnson was reluctant about signing Plum before the draft. Johnson called Plum, McBride, and Jefferson the team’s three marquee players:

Just imagine Kayla pushing the ball, Johnson said with evident relish, and you have Plum and MJ running the wing. And then you have Plum and Kayla on the wing: great shooters! Or you have Plum pushing it, and then Kayla and MJ on the wing. Great things. I see great things.
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While this vision sounded great in theory, Johnson has yet to make it a reality. In the first 14 games of the season, Johnson struggled with inserting all three players on the court at once. The Stars continuously decided to not make general manager Ruth Riley and Johnson available to field questions concerning the matter. Instead, the organization released an email statement from Johnson:

Kawhi does all his business on the court. Off the court, as Penny Hardaway recently noted, he doesn’t care.
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You know what, I couldn’t give Kawhi superstar because he’s just not a guy who likes commercials. He’s not a guy who wants to be the face of the league. He just wants to get his work done.

Irving, whose signature shoe sold second-most among NBA players behind LeBron, would immediately join a championship contender on national television nearly as often as Cleveland. He would add flare and flash to an ostensibly dull San Antonio franchise and give it a young, talented point guard to go toe to toe with the Russell Westbrooks, Stephen Currys, and Chris Pauls of the Western Conference.

2017-18 L.A. Lakers preview: Fans are ready to be exceptional again

This is the second of Limited Upside’s 30 team previews leading up to next season. We’re bringing together representatives from all 30 SB Nation team sites and other team-specific experts from the SB Nation/Limited Upside community to gauge the temperature of the fanbase heading into the season.

The Lakers will be a hot ticket because of Lonzo Ball. They have a fun young core, even though some wish D’Angelo Russell wasn’t cast aside. They have dreams of LeBron James next summer. Beware. The monster is re-awakening.

Max Garcia Elite Jersey Mike missed this one, so in his place, we welcomed SBNation.com featured writer Zito Madu and the Silver Screen and Roll / Locked on Lakers dynamic duo of Harrison Faigen and Anthony Irwin to the show to dive into the revived Lakers. Among the topics discussed:

Fernando Rodney Game Jersey Wilks heard me and called me a (racial) name. I got so mad I couldn’t hold myself back. I told him that Texas is worse than Russia. Then I walked straight into the clubhouse.

Cleveland suspended Grant for the season without pay. Wilks tried apologizing but Grant was boiling.

I’m sick of hearing remarks about colored people, he said. I don’t have to stand there and take it.

After Grant, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, track athletes, stood on the medal stand during the 1968 Summer Olympics. They gave black power salutes while wearing black gloves during the anthem.

Marshawn Lynch sat during the national anthem in his first game out of retirement

Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat on a cooler next to the bench during the playing of the national anthem in the team’s preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals.

Why Lynch chose to sit hasn’t yet been revealed, but it comes nearly one year after Colin Kaepernick began a protest of the oppression of people of color by sitting and kneeling during the national anthem in the 2016 season.

Lynch was retired last season, but appeared on Conan and spoke supportively of Kaepernick’s protest.

“I’d rather see him take a knee than stand up, put his hands up, and get murdered,” Lynch said. “So, I mean, my take on it is [expletive]’s got to start somewhere, and if that was the starting point — I just hope people open up their eyes to see there’s really a problem going on, and something needs to be done for it to stop. And I mean, if you’re really not racist, then you’re going to see what he’s done, what he’s doing, [not] as a threat to America, but just addressing a problem that we have.”

After deciding to return to football during the offseason, Lynch was traded to the Oakland Raiders for a swap of late-round selections between the Raiders and Seattle Seahawks.

Jack Del Rio told reporters after the preseason game that he didn’t know Lynch was planning on sitting. The coach said he spoke to Lynch and was told this is nothing new for the running back.

Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers after the season, but hasn’t yet been signed by another team. During the first week of preseason, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins continued his protest by holding his right fist in the air during the national anthem.

That’s especially significant this season with an imbalance of power within the Eastern Conference.

Instead of facing a foe from the Metropolitan Division, which houses three of the NHL’s top four teams, the top-seeded Capitals draw the conference’s second wild-card team, likely the Senators, Bruins or Maple Leafs from the inferior Atlantic. Otherwise, as the Caps know too well, the distinction means very little when the playoffs begin.

It just gives us that opportunity to have the last change in a Game 7 or crowd behind us or whatever, Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. It’s a point of pride that we’ve been consistent.

Trotz said there was no mention of the accolade after the game.

Authentic Womens Nate Sudfeld Jersey All I said was, ‘Good work by us.’ Then we talked about winning, he said. We said we wanted to win the Metro, and we did.

Nothing has been reported on the specific nature of the illness because of privacy laws and the NHL’s collective-bargaining agreement.
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There’s no doubt Crosby would have reached the milestone even sooner had it not been for the injuries he’s endured throughout his 13-year career, most notably concussions that sidelined him 113 games from 2010-11 to 2012-13.

The only other player to reach 1,000 career points after debuting in the wake of the 2004-05 lockout is Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin. The Russian winger became the 84th player to hit 1,000 points with a goal 35 seconds into the team’s win over the Penguins on Jan. 12. Canucks captain Henrik Sedin became the 85th player to hit 1,000 points shortly after on Jan. 21.

We’ve gone over the issue of public sports proposals in the past

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He’s not the fastest to 1,000 hits, nor is he the youngest to accomplish the feat. But that’s just fine. Trout doesn’t have to be the absolute best at every single thing: He puts himself in the conversation for enough things that his candidacy to eventually be the best ever remains.

Again, baseball is rude as hell, crushed dreams, etc., but you can see the path laid out before him, and if he manages to avoid the traps and pitfalls and wild, hungry bears, maybe we’ll have something to talk about on this topic 10 or 15 years from now.

Before we stray off the path ourselves, let’s get back to that 1,000th hit. Trout turned 26 Monday, but his seasonal age is 25 — and the list of players who collected their 1,000th career hit during their age-25 season is an impressive one:

Authentic Brian Roberts Jersey We’ve gone over the issue of public sports proposals in the past (spoiler: don’t do them). However, there is going to be a fraction of the public who insist on taking a moment during a sporting event or gathering to put it all on the line for one big question.

It’s at this moment that everyone in attendance has a vested interest. They are invited into a private moment and as such have a right to enjoy your happiness or soul-crushing despair, depending on the answer. The problem is that up to this point we’ve been entirely reliant on stadium PAs or announcers to tell us what happened, until now.

We will pass a federal law requiring everyone who is in a relationship to purchase two fragile orbs filled with green and red smoke, which they have to carry with them at all times. The orbs will break very easily, so be sure to purchase a patented Orb cover, which Dator Inc. will sell for just $29.99.

Red Sox vs. Yankees 2017 odds: Boston home favorite at Fenway for Friday night opener

Elite Steve Mason Jersey The Boston Red Sox are 13-5 straight up and 11-7 on the runline in their last 18 games at home. The Red Sox will try to open the second half with a strong showing at home, hosting the New York Yankees in a four-game series starting Friday night.

Boston is a -132 home favorite at Fenway Park for Friday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Drew Pomeranz will start for the home team and is expected to face Michael Pineda as a +122 underdog.
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The Red Sox looked like they might start running away with the AL East when they had a 49-35 record through the first 84 games of the season. But a 1-4 slump before the All-Star break, including three losses to the Tampa Bay Rays, has Boston only 3.5 games ahead of the Rays and Yankees for the top spot in the division.

Boston ranks an uncharacteristic 26th in the league in home runs hit this season, but has still produced 4.84 runs per game. That has been enough for a stingy pitching staff that has led the team to an ERA of 3.82, fourth best in the MLB and second best in the AL.

Houston has three starters, with outfielder George Springer joining middle infielders Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve. That trio is joined by pitchers Lance McCullers and Chris Devenski, plus pitcher Dallas Keuchel, who is on the disabled list and won’t pitch.

The Dodgers have three first-time All-Stars in rookie slugger Cody Bellinger, starting pitcher Alex Wood, and third baseman Justin Turner, with Turner beating out four others in the Final Vote on Thursday. Second-year shortstop Corey Seager is in his second All-Star Game, joined by closer Kenley Jansen, plus perennial All-Star Clayton Kershaw, who started for the Dodgers on Sunday and won’t pitch Tuesday.

‘Hard Knocks’ shows life on the Bucs for Roberto Aguayo wasn’t pretty

After that we see the final meeting between Aguayo, Koetter and GM Jason Licht. Aguayo has since been picked up by the Bears, and speaking to reporters at training camp, the kicker talked about the interaction with cameras being around.

“I’ve had highs at Florida State and dealing with the media coming into the NFL, there were highs, there were lows. At the end of the day, I know the type of man I am. I know the integrity and what I have inside me. That doesn’t define me as a man. I’m defined by how I keep my head up and keep pushing. That’s in the past now.

“You’re getting everything you want. You’re getting all the shots you want, you’re playing for a great coach, when the game is on the line they’re coming to you, you’re playing on national TV every week. To me, I don’t get it. Everybody has their own desires. Maybe he wants to be Russell Westbrook and go try to win the MVP and get all the shots. That’s the only thing sense I can make of it and to me that doesn’t make sense.”

Billups went on to explain why he shot down the Cavs job. While reports claimed money was the issue (ESPN reported the Cavs’ offer was $1.5 million, which is well below the typical starting point of about $4 million), the former NBA star said it had to do with the team’s roster.

What bothered me more than if LeBron left or not was I didn’t think they had great assets if you have to do a rebuild. It was more that than Bron. Bron and I have always had an amazing relationship.”

Billups’ decision makes a lot more sense now than it did when he first turned them down. Instead of trying to revive a dying franchise, he has a job as an analyst at ESPN where he gets to remain in the sport.

there’s always pressure on you to play the ball cleanly.

He was electrifying. Just electrifying, Ozzie Smith told Sporting News before his annual Play Ball with Ozzie Smith fundraiser in Cooperstown on Friday morning. He could beat you in so many different ways. He could beat you with his speed. He could beat you with his bat. He could beat you with his arm. When you think about all the things he could do, it was just amazing.

If you get a guy like Timmy who doesn’t strike out a lot, there’s always pressure on you to play the ball cleanly.

Smith knew first-hand the challenges of playing against Raines, when his Cardinals and Raines’ Expos were rivals in the long-gone configuration of the NL East. The folks he shared a clubhouse with loved talking about Raines, too.

Rock, he was an outstanding teammate, Wade Boggs said between holes at the annual golf outing for Hall of Famers on Saturday morning at Leatherstocking Golf Course (Boggs and Raines were teammates on the 1996 Yankees World Series championship club). I’m so happy for him. It’s well-deserved. It took a long time for him to get in, but when you look at his stats alone, he deserves to be here. Great teammate. I love him to death.

The victories by Spieth and Thomas in consecutive majors was a milestone of sorts, the first time two players under the age of 25 won back-to-back since 1923, when Bobby Jones won The Open and Gene Sarazen captured the PGA Championship.
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Thomas, who began the final round 2 strokes behind Kevin Kisner, played the last 12 holes in 4 under par with his only bogey coming at the 18th, a meaningless one that meant a 2-shot victory over Patrick Reed, Francesco Molinari and Louis Oosthuizen.

Game Mens John Randle Jersey Reed, another young American who has starred in two Ryder Cups and won five PGA Tour titles, finally cracked the top-10 in a major, his rally coming up short.