“That’s just like Boston and New York. You have to have a different type of skin to be able to succeed there,” Thomas said when asked about Irving. “They won 17 championships. They have 30 jerseys retired. So it’s expectations like you can do great but we need better and it’s always been like that. The media attention of putting on a Celtics jersey, a Knicks jersey, a Lakers jersey, those legendary teams and franchises, it’s just a little different.”
We have more from around the Eastern Conference:
- Garrett Temple got off to a hot start with the Nets but he’s cooled off considerably while playing big minutes due to injuries, Brian Lewis of the New York Post notes. In his past five games heading into Monday’s action, Temple was shooting 26.6% overall and 24.3% from deep. “Yeah, I’ve got to figure out a way to get out of this slump,” Temple said. “I’ve got to make shots for us to keep the defense honest, but also just to offensively help us have more balance.” The Nets hold a $5MM option on Temple’s contract for next season.
- Knicks guard Reggie Bullock‘s neck injury did not occur while playing, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic reports. Bullock, who is close to returning for the Knicks after offseason surgery for cervical disk herniation, said the injury came as a surprise to him. “I didn’t get hurt in an actual game or anything,” Bullock said. “It was just something that I woke up with.” The injury cost him millions. Bullock originally agreed to a two-year, $21MM deal in free agency, then settled for a two-year, $8.2MM contract with the second year non-guaranteed.
- Sixers point guard Trey Burke believes he can play effectively with floor leader Ben Simmons, as he told the team’s website. “I think [Ben and I] play off each other pretty well,” he said. “I think I could play the two out there, and give (Josh Richardson) a break, and still be in the game with Ben.” Burke is on a one-year, $2MM contract that doesn’t fully guaranteed unless he remains on the roster through January 10.