- Grimes defended the work ethic of teammate Julius Randle, who battled ankle issues throughout the playoffs, Begley adds. Randle continued to play after aggravating a late-season injury to his left ankle in the series against Cleveland. “It just really shows you that nobody should ever be questioning his toughness, how much he wants it, how much he cares about the team, how much he cares about winning,” Grimes said. “… He cares a lot about this team. He does everything he can possibly (do) to make sure his body is right, to make sure he’s in the best shape possible to make sure he can give it all.”
- Grimes told Ethan Sears of The New York Post that he’s excited to have Donte DiVincenzo on the team, even though the free agent addition might cut into his playing time. Sears suggests they might have a training camp battle for a starting wing role. “I think everything you do is competition,” Grimes said. “You wanna have the best players out there every day to make us better. Competing against him, Josh (Hart), Jalen (Brunson), (Immanuel Quickley) is gonna make everybody better, really.”
- In addition to giving the Knicks more shooting, Brunson believes DiVincenzo will bring an “edge” to the team in whatever role he plays (Twitter link from Knicks Videos).
ESPN has officially hired former Sixers head coach Doc Rivers to join its top broadcast team, the network announced in a press release written by Ronce Rajan. Rivers, who signed a multiyear contract to be an analyst, will work alongside fellow analyst Doris Burke and play-by-play announcer Mike Breen.
ESPN decided to shake up its top broadcasting group after releasing former analysts Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy.
In addition to Rivers, ESPN has also signed longtime Warriors executive Bob Myers, who left his post a couple months ago. Myers will serve as analyst on NBA countdown and will also call games during the season, per Rajan.
ESPN also announced a new secondary broadcast team comprised of play-by-play voice Ryan Ruocco alongside analysts — and former NBA players — JJ Redick and Richard Jefferson. Jefferson received a multiyear extension, Rajan adds.
Here’s more from around the basketball world:
- Forward Trentyn Flowers, who had committed to Louisville, has decided against playing for the Cardinals and will instead head overseas in an effort to make the NBA. Flowers announced on Twitter that he’ll be joining the NBL’s Next Stars program and will play for the Adelaide 36ers. The NBL features nine Australian teams and one based in New Zealand. As Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report tweets, Flowers is one of a handful of potential 2024 first-round picks who have decided to play in the NBL.
- Greece’s AEK Athens has officially signed big man Justin Tillman, according to Eurohoops.net. Tillman never actually got in an NBA game, but he signed a 10-day hardship deal with the Hawks a couple years ago and has been a highly productive player in the G League. The former VCU star has had several other international stops during the course of his professional career.
- In case you missed it, we passed along several World Cup notes this morning.