Take a look at some of the latest news and notes in the National Basketball Association:
Manu Ginobili Calls It A Career
Manu Ginobili seems to be a sure bet to be inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame when he is eligible. Over the course of his career, Ginobili played in 1,057 games, scoring 14,043 points, 4,001 assists, 1,392 steals and 319 blocks. He also played in an additional 218 games in the postseason. At times a starter and at times a bench player, Manu was a team player that was a major component of several Spurs’ championship teams.
Forming the big three with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, the Spurs with Ginobili won four championships. He is also a two-time All-Star, two-time All–NBA player and won the Sixth Man of the Year once. With Ginobili and Duncan having retired and Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard on different teams, it is an end of an era in San Antonio. In fact, the only one who seemingly still remains is coach Gregg Popovich, who will try to start over with DeMar DeRozan as his main star.
Celtics Ready To Get To Camp
Young studs ready to take another step in their game. Check! Established star veterans healthy again. Check! Lebron James out of the Eastern Conference. Check! Everything seems to be going the way of the Boston Celtics this summer and they seem poised to have their best chances of making it to the NBA Finals in recent memory. While the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors may have something to say about it, the Celtics seem to be the easy favorites heading into the NBA season.
Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving are on track to return from leg injuries suffered last season that precluded them from participating in the postseason. Throw on top of that the emergence of Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, as well as the solid play of Marcus Smart, Al Horford and Marcus Morris and the Celtics are not only talented but deep as well. While anything can happen over the course of a season, the Celtics have to be optimistic going into it.
Kobe Bryant Is Done Playing Ball
Amar’e Stoudemire, Metta World Peace, Baron Davis, Carlos Boozer and Nate Robinson are just a handful of former NBA stars that have extended their careers by playing with the Big 3. Apparently, there is one player that doesn’t have any interest in continuing his basketball career and that is Kobe Bryant.
Bryant has been retired from the NBA since last playing in 2016 and now, at 40 years old, says that he has no desire to come back to play. That doesn’t seem to be stopping co-founder Ice Cube from pursuing him, though, as he is adamant about pursuing the former NBA MVP.
Carmelo Adds To Western Conference Powerhouse
Some people thought that if it wasn’t for a Chris Paul injury, they may have been able to oust the eventual NBA Champion, Golden State Warriors, from the postseason. Instead, they lost in the Western Conference finals despite having the best record during the regular season.
The rich were able to get richer, though, as the Rockets were able to sign Carmelo Anthony after he was traded from the Thunder and subsequently released from the Hawks. Anthony, who last season averaged 16.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game, still doesn’t have a clear role with the Rockets. Some have speculated that he may be a starter and some have speculated that he might be the first off the bench. If so, that would give the Rockets quite a scoring option on their second line.
76ers Still Haven’t Decided On Next GM
Since relieving Bryan Colangelo of his duties in June, the Philadelphia 76ers have been unable to find a fit in their search for a general manager. In the meantime, head coach Brett Brown has served as the team’s interim head of basketball operations, but the 76ers would still like to find someone to fill the front office role. Initially, they were looking for someone with experience, including the Rocket’s Daryl Morey, but their efforts fell short. Now according to Adrian Wojnarowski, they have been looking at less experienced candidates as of late. While they are eyeing different options, they may ultimately choose to allow Brown to fill the role moving forward.
Jimmy Butler Seems To Be Eyeing Free Agency
Jimmy Butler expects the Minnesota Timberwolves to be very competitive in a weakened Eastern Conference, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t thinking of his future as well. Butler has the ability to opt out of his contract near. While that would mean foregoing $19.84 million on his current contract, many expect him to do that to pursue other options.
Earlier in the summer, it was reported that he has interest in joining with his buddy, Kyrie Irving. While that would form a very formidable duo, there may be another duo that Butler is willing to consider as well. That would be partnering with Lebron James in Los Angeles. While he is generally seen as a defense-first type player, Butler can still fill the stat sheet on the offensive side too.
Between the fact that he recently declined an extension and the fact that there have been reports of tension amongst the Timberwolves’ stars, it seems likely he will be playing somewhere else starting in 2019.