Court Vision: Lakers introduce D’Antoni
By Ben Golliver
• BlogNBAsketball.com has the key quotes from Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni’s introductory press conference.
ON RELATIONSHIP W/ KOBE BRYANT: “He can come over and cuss me out in Italian and you won’t even know it”
Dave McMenamin of ESPNLA.com with more from the D’Antoni press conference.
“We would love to be able to play ‘Showtime’-type basketball,” D’Antoni said. “Now, they might have done it the best that you can do it. We would like to get some place close to that. I think that would be awesome.”
• Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk reacts to D’Antoni’s introduction.
Mike D’Antoni is about the polar opposite of Mike Brown.
The Lakers wanted a clean break and a new direction, and they got that for sure. Brown was controlling — he was a grind-it-out guy focused on defense and a complex offense where he called plays almost every time down the court. He micromanaged and overthought things.
D’Antoni, not so much.
• More D’Antoni quotes from Eye On Basketball.
“As Mitch (Kupchak) has said, we’re built to win this year.”
“If we’re not averaging 110 or 115 points per game, then we need to talk.”
“That’s the most competitive guy I’ve ever been around,” D’Antoni on Kobe Bryant
• The Lopez twins goof around on Splash Mountain.
• The Timberwolves spent the late summer and early fall pumping up their fan base about the arrival of Brandon Roy, who spent last season in medical retirement due to knee injuries. After playing just five games, Roy finds himself sidelined with knee soreness. Timberwolves GM David Kahn tells 1500ESPN.com that he knew this would be a possibility.
“Absolutely (we expected bumps in the road),” Kahn said. “We were very clear last summer that we didn’t expect everything to be issue-free. We didn’t expect the opposite. We went into it not knowing what to expect. So, I don’t think that anything that has occurred up to this point could be considered surprising.”
• There are worse nicknames in the world than “Mini-LeBron”. Eric Bledsoe, who destroyed Dwyane Wade with a block on Wednesday night, is going by that moniker these days, according to Justin Verrier.
It started with Jamal Crawford. The Los Angeles Clippers’ offseason import was instantly struck by how dynamic an athlete his new backcourt mate was, and so he needed a nickname that fit.
Thanks to Crawford, it’s what most of the Clippers are calling Eric Bledsoe these days. And now even his nickname-sake is joining in.
“[LeBron] actually called me that when we left the court,” said Bledsoe after the Clippers’ 107-100 victory over the Miami Heat at Staples Center. “Yeah, he did. He said, ‘This is Baby LeBron.’”
• Chamique Holdsclaw, one of the most accomplished women’s basketball players of all time, is in some serious legal hot water, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
An arrest warrant was issued for former basketball star Chamique Holdsclaw on Thursday after a dispute with a woman allegedly turned violent, Atlanta police said.
Jennifer Lacy, who described herself as Holdsclaw’s former girlfriend, told police she was working out at a church on Ponce de Leon Avenue on Tuesday when Holdsclaw approached her and said she wanted to put some items in Lacy’s car.
According to an incident report obtained by Channel 2 Action News, as Lacy drove from the church she smelled gasoline inside her vehicle and noticed that Holdsclaw was following her. Lacy, who is also a professional basketball player, said she drove to a friend’s house on Hemphill Avenue, at which time Holdsclaw got out of her car with a baseball bat and began smashing the windows in Lacy’s Range Rover, the report said. After breaking the driver’s side window, a rear passenger’s window and the rear window, Holdsclaw produced a handgun, fired inside the SUV and fled the scene, the report said.
• Raptors forward Landry Fields got a huge contract in the offseason and is now injured without a recovery timeline, causing Adam Francis to compare Fields to Hedo Turkoglu.
• Rookie Royce White has been tweeting up a storm about his ongoing dispute with the Rockets over treatment for his anxiety disorder. Tom Martin of TheDreamShake is skeptical and thinks there’s a better way for White.
Does Royce want to make a personal connection with people so they can understand his condition and his situation with the team? By all indications, yes.
Then he should go on television and let them see him. It’s the most personal connection he could possibly make. But Royce hasn’t done that.
Does Royce want to share a different side to the story than the information that the Rockets and Rockets broadcaster Matt Bullard have provided? By all indications — including a few specific tweets — yes, he does.
Then he should have given his side of the story to Feigen, so that Chronicle readers could have a clearer view of what is going on here, as opposed to the one-sided story Feigen wrote basically favoring the Rockets. But Royce didn’t do that.
Chris Bernucca of SheridanHoops.com also takes on White, in a harsher tone.
During training camp, White’s condition became a hot topic of the mainstream media. Everyone and their mothers wrote stories filled with boo-hoo-hoo anecdotes that tugged at our heartstrings and asked us to squeeze another poor soul into our sympathy bucket.
Gimme a bleepin’ break.
Here’s what Alexander and Morey should do, in this order: (a) Offer White a plan where he plays only home games while treating his condition; (b) Immediately begin exploring trade options for White. If a team offers a second-round pick, take it and be done with him; (c) Cut him and eat the money.
And if White thinks that (c) won’t happen, he is kidding himself. This offseason, Morey cut 10 – Ten! – players he acquired in trades. He used the amnesty clause on Luis Scola, paying him to play elsewhere. His willingness to purge the roster of anyone that does not fit his rebuilding plan is chillingly evident.