Gary Payton

Warriors Notes: Green, Thompson, Porter, Iguodala

The Warriors are trying to survive the remainder of the regular season without Stephen Curry, due to his foot injury. They were also without three other key players during their lopsided loss in Memphis tonight. Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Otto Porter Jr. sat out the game, as Kendra Andrews on ESPN tweets.

On the flip side, Andre Iguodala played for the first time since February 7 after recovering from a back injury. Iguodala wound up playing 16 minutes.

We have more on the Warriors:

  • In terms of Iguodala, he told Anthony Slater of The Athletic he needs to “crank it up.” Knee and hip issues have also sidelined him prior to the back pain. “It’s like cancer spreading out to different areas,” he said. “Small things. Nerve damage here. Bulging disc there. The pieces never really quite come together. One area will feel really good and then another area (hurts) the next day and you’re starting over with your rehab. It’s frustrating.”
  • When Green returns to action, he’s determined to make a bigger impact. In seven games since he recovered from a back injury, Green has a minus-41 plus-minus rating, Andrews notes. “I’ve just got to grind my way out of it,” Green said. “Make plays and impact the game. That’s why I feel like I’ve been terrible. I don’t feel like my impact has been on the game when it needs to be and normally is. I’ve just got to work my way out of it. Chip away at it every time I step on the court.”
  • Unless Green turns things around, the Warriors are doomed to a have short postseason run, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area opines. Green is one of the few players in the league capable of turning a game, or part of a season, in his team’s favor due to his defensive prowess.

Warriors Notes: Poole, Wiggins, Klay, Lesser-Paid Players

At 29-7, the Warriors have the best record in the NBA, a half-game ahead of the Suns. One key to the team’s success this season has been the maturation and development of third-year guard Jordan Poole, who’s being groomed to become Golden State’s new sixth man, as Anthony Slater and Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic detail.

Poole’s situation on the club is unique, in that he’s the only young player to have a consistent rotational role. He describes the dynamic as being akin to a middle-child.

The dynamic is what you see,” Poole said. “I’m not the youngest. I’ve been around for a little bit, but I’m kind of like the only one in the middle of the pack. The older bros have been through it. Sometimes we’re gonna throw you with the young guys, sometimes you can come with us. Essentially, it’s the middle-child treatment.”

Slater and Thompson write that Poole is known for having an excellent work ethic; the Warriors have data showing he’s in the gym more than any player on the team. Veteran Andre Iguodala, the team’s former sixth man, has taken Poole under his wing. As a third-year former first-round pick (28th overall in the 2019 draft), Poole is eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer.

The new sixth man is getting $20 million a year,” Iguodala said. “That’s the bottom offer for a guy like that, the Tyler Herros and Jordan Pooles. You got those few guys who are starters but for teams they are on, they’re sixth men. You don’t have a problem with going above and beyond taking care of them because you know they’ll be a staple player for your franchise.”

In 30 games (28 starts) this season, Poole is averaging 18.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists in 30.1 minutes per contest. He also sports a .454/.348/.887 shooting line, good for a 59.3 true shooting percentage.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

And-Ones: Jrue, Vegas, Pangos, Payton, Big Markets

Bucks guard Jrue Holiday is the recipient of the Joe Dumars Trophy, having been named the winner of the 2020/21 NBA Sportsmanship Award, the league announced today in a press release.

The award, which aims to honor the player who “best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court,” is voted on by current NBA players. Each team nominates one of its players, a panel of league executives pares the list down to six finalists (one from each division), and the players vote on those six finalists.

Holiday, who earned 130 of 343 first-place votes, beat out runner-up Kemba Walker (74 first-place votes) for the award. Bam Adebayo, Harrison Barnes, Derrick White, and Josh Okogie were the other finalists.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • While it’s unclear when the NBA might seriously pursue expansion, Las Vegas has frequently been cited as a city the league would consider, and a Yahoo News report suggests one potential ownership group may be in place in Vegas. As Kurt Helin of NBC Sports relays, billionaire Jay Bloom heads a series of investors who reportedly have the funds and the connections necessary to be the frontrunners to own a Vegas NBA franchise if the opportunity arises.
  • Kevin Pangos, one of the top point guards in the EuroLeague, is drawing plenty of interest from European teams but may wait until NBA free agency to make a decision, says Aris Barkas of Eurohoops. There’s no indication that Pangos has an NBA offer awaiting him, but the former Gonzaga standout wants to consider all his options before making a decision.
  • Hall-of-Fame guard Gary Payton, who has spoken in the past about wanting to coach in the NBA, tells Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated that he has agreed to a multiyear contract to coach Lincoln University in his hometown of Oakland, California.
  • In the wake of teams like the Celtics, the Knicks, and especially the Lakers being eliminated from the postseason, Ethan Strauss of The Athletic explores just how dependent the NBA is on its marquee, big-market franchises, and what the league can do to reduce that dependence.

And-Ones: Barnes, Tyler, Kawhi, Payton

Kings forward Harrison Barnes has been elected as the new Secretary-Treasurer of the National Basketball Players Association, according to a press release from the website. Barnes will begin his three-year term immediately and replace Anthony Tolliver.

“This is a great opportunity to get more involved in union business and I am very excited to join Chris [Paul], Andre [Iguodala] and the rest of the Executive Committee,” Barnes said. “Our union has an important role representing all 450 players and I am honored that my peers elected me to this position.”

Blazers guard CJ McCollum and Bulls wing Garrett Temple were also re-elected as Vice Presidents of the NBPA’s Executive Committee, the release said.

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Free agent Jeremy Tyler has agreed to a deal in China with the Liaoning Flying Leopards, sources told Hoops Rumors. Tyler has played 104 games in his career, most recently spending time in Puerto Rico. He was the No. 39 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
  • Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard plans to play in the Olympics this year, according to ESPN. Leonard would play for head coach Gregg Popovich, who coached the 29-year-old from 2011-18 — a run that included an NBA title and two Finals appearances. “My plan is to go,” Leonard said. “If I feel up to it and feel ready to go around that time, then I’m going to play.”
  • Hall of Fame guard Gary Payton hinted at potentially coaching in the NBA soon, as relayed by Sean Deveney of Forbes.com. Payton made his intentions of coaching clear to Yahoo last year, confirming that his interests haven’t changed. “It is still the case. I got a surprise coming for a lot of people pretty soon,” he said. “I don’t want to announce it right now, but you’ll see it pretty soon in the next couple of weeks, I hope everybody will be excited about it.”

Gary Payton Hopes To Join NBA Coaching Staff

Hall of Fame point guard Gary Payton has significant interest in joining an NBA coaching staff, making his intentions known to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes on Thursday.

“I have had conversations in the past about coaching, but the timing wasn’t right. I believe I now am ready to coach,” Payton said. “A lot of young NBA players are a voice away from reaching their true potential. I would like to join an NBA staff where I can help coach, mentor and guide players toward the hard work, focus and determination needed to become a reliable contributor to a team’s success.”

Payton played 17 NBA seasons and is recognized as one of the greatest defensive players in league history. He won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award in 1996, helped the Heat win their first championship in franchise history in 2006 and was named to nine All-Star teams in his career.

Payton’s son, Gary Payton II, played for the Wizards this past season and is currently an unrestricted free agent. Both Paytons are represented by agent Aaron Goodwin of Goodwin Sports Management.

The elder Payton holds minimal coaching experience in the BIG3 but has no NBA experience on the sidelines to date. Still, his leadership, high IQ and competitive drive could entice teams that want to bolster their coaching or player development staff next season.

“I have knowledge to share and I’m ready to help,” Payton said.

Wizards Notes: Culture, Bryant, Smith, Mathews

The culture in Washington has changed dramatically from last season and Ish Smith believes the team the Wizards could be on a similar path to the one the Nets are on, as he told Hoops Rumors and other media in attendance after the team’s recent win over the Celtics.

“Brooklyn, I thought, did a great job of it last year. They’ve been doing a great job over the last two years – they haven’t had any true superstars, but now they do,” Smith said. “They’ve just been playing hard and guys have emerged out of nowhere.

“You look at Joe Harris; Joe Harris wasn’t a household name, now he is one. Spencer Dinwiddie, I can go down the line, all of those guys who played really, really well and held down the fort – and they made it to the playoffs last year. Obviously, D’Angelo [Russell] was a household name and everybody knew who he was, but I thought Brooklyn had laid that [foundation] down. We’re just trying to play hard, try to play smarter. We’re embodying who Coach [Scott] Brooks is. Coach Brooks is a fighter and that’s who he was his whole career. I think we’re doing a great job of doing that these last few games.”

The Wizards have had a stockpile of injuries and players without much brand recognition have stepped up. Here’s more on the unique squad out of Washington:

  • The front office would like to promote Anzejs Pasecniks, who is on a two-way deal, to the 15-man roster, though good luck guessing which player would be waived if that happens. Gary Payton II‘s contract for the season became fully guaranteed on Tuesday, which makes the Wizards roster 15-for-15 in guaranteed contracts.
  • Thomas Bryant could make his return to the court this weekend. The Wizards play the Hawks on Friday and the Jazz on Sunday.
  • Wizards guard Jordan McRae spoke about how Smith, has impacted the club “Ish [Smith] is doing what Ish does. We’ve been going through droughts where we can’t score. Him being the point guard, him being the leader that he is, he’s taken it upon himself,” McRae said. We recently detailed how Smith is channeling his inner Steve Nash for the Wizards.
  • Brook said there is no update on Garrison Mathews, who is dealing with an ankle sprain, Fred Katz of The Athletic relays on Twitter.

Pacific Notes: Lakers, Divac, Clippers

The Lakers would be making a terrible mistake by targeting Pacers forward Paul George as their much needed superstar, Mitch Lawrence of the Sporting News writes.

George, the “anti-Magic,” has shown poor leadership and a tendency to alienate teammates, Lawrence says. Those aren’t characteristics typically paired with a young team like the Lakers.

In the same piece, Lawrence goes on to add that a better fit for George may be Boston because the Celtics, unlike the Lakers, boast the strong-willed vets to withstand George’s occasional negativity.

Should the Lakers continue to pursue the swingman, however, they’ll need ensure that their point guard is mentally strong enough to deal with the vocal superstar.

  • After a tumultuous first few seasons at the helm, Vlade Divac has been given an opportunity to manage a stable Kings franchise, Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee writes. “I knew the staff I wanted to put together. There was always so much (drama) going on ever since I got here, it took up a lot of my time,” Divac said. “Finally I have been able to find people who believe in what we are trying to do and who I am very comfortable with.
  • The Clippers have every intention of competing for a title even with the injured Blake Griffin on the sidelines, Bill Oram of the Orange County Register writes. “It’s not the best thing that could have ever happened to us,” teammate Chris Paul said, “but it’s not the end of the world. We still are going to go out there. We know we got a job to do. We got a big game (Sunday), Game 4, and we go out there expecting to win.”
  • Could a candid conversation on Jimmy Kimmel be considered tampering? USA Today’s Alysha Tsuji wrote about how Lakers executive Magic Johnson may have tampered while commenting specifically about not tampering.
  • Count Gary Payton (Sr.) among the crowd who thinks Warriors forward Draymond Green should be this season’s Defensive Player of the Year, an Associated Press report outlines. The Glove also speaks highly of Kawhi Leonard as a legitimate candidate.

Allen Iverson Commits To New BIG3 League As Player/Coach

Hall-of-Famer Allen Iverson has committed to join the new BIG3 basketball league debuting this summer, and will serve as both a coach and a player, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Wojnarowski first reported last month that entertainer Ice Cube and former NBA player Roger Mason were working together to launch the league, having secured commitments from several retired NBA veterans.

[RELATED: New Pro League For Retired Players To Debut In 2017]

“I thought of this concept as a fan who got sick of seeing his heroes retire and not play anymore,” Ice Cube said at the time. “A lot of these guys can still play once they retire – just not the back-to-backs or four games in five nights.

“Not only do we get a chance to see these guys keep playing, but we give guys who retired who still got some game – who don’t want to pick up a [microphone] on TV and who don’t want to go overseas to play … some of these guys still want a stage to play on.”

Kenyon Martin, Rashard Lewis, Jermaine O’Neal, Stephen Jackson and Jason Williams were among the former NBA players initially reported to have committed to the BIG3, a half-court, three-on-three professional basketball league. In his latest report, Wojnarowski adds Chauncey Billups to that list of players.

According to Wojnarowski, Iverson will be one of eight dual head coaches/players in the league, which will feature eight teams. In his December report, Wojnarowski indicated that Gary Payton had agreed to be one of the coaches, though it’s not clear if The Glove would be a player as well.

The BIG3 conducted its first official press conference today, fielding questions about the league and introducing Iverson, Lewis, Martin, and Mason (Twitter link via Ian Begley of ESPN.com). A tweet from the BIG3 indicated that the league is expected to launch on June 24, shortly after the NBA Finals end.

New Pro League For Retired Players To Debut In 2017

Longtime NBA guard Roger Mason is leaving his position as the deputy executive director of the National Basketball Players Association to help launch a new professional basketball league for retired players, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. According to Wojnarowski, Mason will serve as president and commissioner of the new league.

As Wojnarowski details, Mason will partner with rapper and actor Ice Cube – and multiple investors – to launch the league in June 2017. The plan is for eight teams – made up of five players apiece – to tour together from city to city for 10 weeks in the summer, playing three-on-three, half-court games. The league, which will be known as TheBig3, is being founded by Ice Cube, who spoke to Wojnarowski about the project.

“I thought of this concept as a fan who got sick of seeing his heroes retire and not play anymore,” Ice Cube said. “A lot of these guys can still play once they retire – just not the back-to-backs or four games in five nights.

“Not only do we get a chance to see these guys keep playing, but we give guys who retired who still got some game – who don’t want to pick up a [microphone] on TV and who don’t want to go overseas to play … some of these guys still want a stage to play on.”

Per Wojnarowski, former NBA players who have committed to play on teams in the league include Kenyon Martin, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O’Neal, Rashard Lewis, and Jason Williams. Additionally, Gary Payton has agreed to coach one of the teams.

As for Mason, he played a significant role in the NBPA’s transition over the last several years, and will leave the union as it prepares to officially ratify a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NBA. According to Wojnarowski, the NBPA’s focus on taking care of retired and elderly former players in the new CBA was in large part due to Mason.

An official news conference to announce TheBig3 is expected in January, says Wojnarowski.

Central Notes: Blatt, Rose, Butler, McMillan

Former Cavaliers coach David Blatt plans to be on someone’s bench next season, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. After taking Cleveland to the NBA Finals last season, Blatt was fired in January with a 30-11 record. It’s a rare break for the 57-year-old, who has held coaching jobs around the world since 1993. “I’m going to coach next year,” Blatt said. “I’m not going to sit out. It’s not in my nature. I want to work. I’ll be back somewhere. Could be anywhere.” He added that he prefers a head coaching position overseas to working as an assistant in the NBA.

There’s more news from the Central Division:

  • It’s time for the Bulls to break up the Derrick RoseJimmy Butler backcourt, argues K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. Johnson says their relationship has become “untenable” because both players consider themselves to be the team leader, both need the ball in their hands to be most effective and neither has the 3-point shooting skills to complement the other. Johnson believes Rose’s injury history would make him difficult to deal, even though he only has one season left on his contract at $21.3MM. Butler would probably bring a greater return, but it would signify a rebuilding process that Chicago may not be ready for. If they’re both back next season, Johnson suggests drafting a shooting guard, possibly Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine, and moving Butler to small forward.
  • New Pacers coach Nate McMillan has to change his style to succeed in the modern NBA, former All-Star Gary Payton tells Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star. Payton, who played for McMillan in Seattle, says the coach will need to drop his disciplinarian image. “[McMillan] can’t be that militant coach,” Payton said. “You see what happened with George Karl up in Sacramento. When you’ve got players and it happens like that, you’re going to be the odd man out. I don’t think ownership these days are taking the side of a coach unless you’re a [Gregg] Popovich or something like that, over these $15MM-$20MM players.”
  • The Bucks are weighing their options with the 36th and 38th picks in next month’s draft, writes Charles F. Gardner of The Journal-Sentinel. Milwaukee concentrated on forwards on its first workout this week, which included Weber State’s Joel Bolomboy and Louisiana-Lafayette’s Shawn Long. Trading the picks to move into the first round is also an option. “Could we ever bundle those picks and move up?” said GM John Hammond. “Once again, not easy to do. Do we stay with both picks? Do we look at making one of those picks for a current roster spot and maybe another one with potentially an international player that could stay and continue to develop? We’ll see as it moves forward.”