Morning Shootaround — June 4


VIDEO: Tony Parker updates on his status for Game 1

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Parker plans to play in Game 1 | Report: Parsons to become restricted free agent | Grant: MJ’s Bulls would top LeBron’s Heat | Jackson in full control of Knicks’ moves

No. 1: Parker expects to be OK for Game 1 — Spurs star point guard Tony Parker missed the second half of San Antonio’s West finals-clinching victory in Game 6 over the Oklahoma City Thunder with a balky left ankle. Since the Spurs wrapped up the West title, the focus has been on whether or not Parker will suit up for Game 1 tomorrow. Parker talked with reporters after Tuesday’s practice and assured the masses that he will be active for Game 1:

Tony Parker plans to play in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

The San Antonio Spurs open their rematch with the Miami Heat on Thursday, and their star point guard is nursing a balky left ankle.

“He’s getting better every day, and I expect him to play,” coach Gregg Popovich said Tuesday.

Parker aggravated the injury Saturday, missing the second half of San Antonio’s series-clinching victory over Oklahoma City in the Western Conference finals.

Parker didn’t practice Tuesday, but said he expects to be back Wednesday.

“I always try to be honest with Pop,” Parker said. “He knows, but if I’m 50 percent I’ll try to play. If I’m under 50 percent, we can argue.”

Parker conceded the ankle has bothered him since San Antonio’s second-round series against Portland, although he did not divulge it at the time.

“I don’t like to talk about when I’m hurt,” he said. “I played on it for the whole series against Portland. That’s why I think my hamstring got hurt because I was playing on a bad ankle.”

Parker had tightness in his left hamstring midway through the second quarter of Game 5 against the Trail Blazers, forcing him to miss the rest of the Spurs’ series-clinching victory.

He did not miss any of the Western Conference finals because of his hamstring. But he aggravated the ankle injury in Game 4 against Oklahoma City.

“I twisted it again, but didn’t say anything,” Parker said. “Played on it, and then Game 6 I think my body is like, `That’s enough.’ It’s perfect timing to get five days and to get better and to be ready for Game 1.”

***

No. 2: Report: Rockets to let Parsons enter free agencyHouston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons has become an integral part of the team’s future as it looks to contend in the West with him, Dwight Howard, James Harden, Patrick Beverley and the rest of the group. Parsons has been on the Rockets for three seasons and seen his stats steadily increase and last season, he averaged a career-bests in points (16.6 ppg), rebounds (5.5) and assists (4.0). Houston holds a fourth-year option on Parsons’ deal and according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, will not pick up that option this summer and let him become a restricted free agent:

The Houston Rockets plan to decline the fourth-year option on forward Chandler Parsons’ contract, freeing him to become a restricted free agent this summer, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Rockets hold a $960,000 option on the fourth and final year of Parsons’ contract for the 2014-’15 season, but want to avoid letting Parsons, 25, become an unrestricted free agent next summer. As a restricted free agent in July, the Rockets can match an offer sheet and retain Parsons on a long-term contract.

The Rockets have until June 30 to formally decline the option.

For the Rockets, there are two distinct advantages to letting Parsons into restricted free agency now. First, Houston is determined to clear the necessary salary cap space this summer to chase a third maximum contract free agent to join Dwight Howard and James Harden, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.

Houston plans to pursue the major stars who could be available upon opting out of deals, including Miami’s LeBron James and Chris Bosh, and New York’s Carmelo Anthony, league sources said. Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki is expected to be a target too.

The Rockets are pursuing Minnesota’s Kevin Love in trade talks too, and Parsons could hold sign-and-trade possibilities.

***

No. 3: Grant: LeBron’s Heat couldn’t top Jordan’s Bulls — Yesterday marked the 22nd anniversary of Michael Jordan‘s “shrug” game during the 1992 NBA Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers. One of the Chicago players who was in that game — and a key part of the Bulls’ first three-peat — was power forward Horace Grant. As such, Grant saw plenty of times how Jordan elevated those Bulls teams to countless playoff wins and three championships and can speak accurately as to who, if anyone, could hang with those Chicago teams. One team Grant says wouldn’t be able to stop those Bulls teams are today’s Miami Heat led by LeBron James. ESPNChicago.com has more:

With four more wins, the Miami Heat will match one of Michael Jordan’s greatest feats — three straight NBA championships — but former Bull Horace Grant says that doesn’t mean LeBron James’ team could have beaten those Chicago teams.

“The Heat wouldn’t have had a chance,” Grant said Tuesday on WSCR-AM in Chicago. “We would have locked them up. We would have locked them up. Especially with the rules today, Michael would have had a field day.”

Jordan led the Bulls to three straight NBA championships from 1991 to ’93 and then did it again upon coming back from retirement with three titles from 1996 to ’98. The Los Angeles Lakers were the last team to win three championships in a row (2000-02).

If anything, Jordan can point to the fact his three-peat run was utterly dominant. Jordan and the Bulls swept teams five different times and played only one Game 7. Jordan’s playoff win percentage from 1991-93 was .776 (45-13), compared to James’ current .721 from 2012 to this postseason (44-17).

Grant was part of the Bulls core that won the first three championships before he left as a free agent for the Orlando Magic.

***

No. 4: Dolan says Jackson calling shots on ‘Melo, new coach — New York Knicks owner James Dolan is viewed by some of those who closely follow the team as a bit meddlesome in the handling of the team’s roster, playing time and other on-court issues. That notion raised a quiet (if future) concern when Dolan brought Phil Jackson aboard as the team’s new president: how long until Dolan would potentially meddle in what Jackson has planned? According to Al Iannazzone of Newsday, though, Dolan said in a radio interview that Jackson will solely decide on the team’s new coach as well as Carmelo Anthony‘s future:

Madison Square Garden executive chairman James Dolan said that Phil Jackson has the final say on whom the Knicks hire as their next coach and on how to handle Carmelo Anthony’s impending free agency.

“I made a commitment to Phil that he was going to run it,” Dolan said during an interview with Mike Francesa on WFAN Tuesday. “Unless he asks me to help, it’s his to run.”

On the coaching search, Dolan said, “I have no idea who he’s talking to” and that Jackson has to “check back with me” when he starts talking money.

Now Jackson is expected to pursue Derek Fisher, but he would need permission from the Thunder to speak to him since he’s under contract until June 30. The NBA fined Jackson $25,000 on Monday for tampering with Fisher because he told reporters he’s a candidate for the Knicks’ vacancy.

Fisher’s name never came up during the WFAN interview, but when the coaching search did, Dolan said to ask Jackson.

“Phil asked me not to tell anybody this but I’m going to tell you,” Dolan said. “For my birthday, my family gave me a T-shirt and it says only two words on it — it says, ‘Ask Phil.’ That’s it.

“I have not asked him about the coaching search on purpose. I have not asked him about it. I just told him I’m here for you if you need me. If you don’t need me, that’s fine, too. I got lots to do.”

Dolan said he likes what he’s seen from Jackson thus far and that he’s working well with general manager Steve Mills.

“He’s taking control,” Dolan said. “He and Steve are working really well together. That was a big piece for me because there are a lot of the pieces of the operation that have to be run. I knew that Phil wasn’t going to have the time for it.

“Having Steve in there, things like the D-League and the development of players and everything down to the medical staff, etcetera. Phil has a great guy underneath him, actually right next to him. I think I got the right team in place managing it. We’ll see how it turns out.”

***

SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: According to ESPN.com’s Chad Ford, multiple lottery picks might be available in this year’s Draft … Chris Andersen isn’t practicing with the Heat, but is expected to play in Game 1 … Ex-Sixers guard Eric Snow is auctioning off a pair of shoes worn by Michael Jordan during The 1996 Finals … Get a look at the hats for the 2014 Draft … OKC general manager Sam Presti has a full plate this summerCharles Barkley says the Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves are in an ‘awkward situation’ now … The Jazz need a coach who can teach defense and some other things to Utah’s young crew … The Hornets’ practice court got a rebranding to match the one at Time Warner Arena

ICYMI of The Night: Just one more day until The 2014 Finals begin. Why not take a look back at the Game 6s in the East and West finals?


VIDEO: Best moments from the East & West finals Game 6s

53 Comments

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  2. Ramon says:

    In my opinion, and i watched alot of basketball back in the day, and i think players now are bigger and stronger, than when the bulls where winning championships,and i was a bulls fan as a matter of fact. I think it would be a great match up with those two teams, and what i would have done as the heat coach is to put a bigger player on jordan, and make it harder for him, of course he would still get his points, but not as easy as having a player like john starks guarding him even though he did a pretty good job. The bulls didnt have anybody to guard L.B.J. even though pippen was a great defender, i dont think he would have been able to guard L.B.J. one on one. Ray Allen is a better six man than anybody that the bulls had including Toni Kukoc who was a pretty good bench player. A nd im not a heat fan by the way, but thats my opinion.

  3. Fans says:

    Yeah.. Bulls (jordan) matchup against Miami (LBJ) let say that Bulls first 5 will overwelm Miami’s first 5, but how will the bulls answer with regards to Rey Allen?. :-)

  4. james says:

    Oh come on man, you really think the level of today athleticism cause a big difference to win a ball game and you really think 90s had no good athletic players? You are really a kid man, Let’s take a look at Grant Hill and Penny Hardaway. They were much better athletic players than any players today. But why they couldn’t win a cham? It’s all about basketball IQ.

    And I can say why you think today’s athletic would be better coz you saw Lebron dunks looks so easy and quick. And you saw the old 90s players didn’t often do that. I can tell you why, coz the defense in 80s 90s allow handcheck, and players could stand inside all the time. Team allow shooting more. And so we couldn’t see some very beautiful dunks in a game mostly. And today the NBA changed rules, allowed easier offense to make it more fun and beatiful to encourage guys to watch. In the bad boy period, you could see a really bad fight of basketball game. It seems not fun to watch, but the defense was too good to play against. So, it’s Jordan to change the games. Changed the whole basketball attitude around the world.

  5. Advin says:

    Heat versus bulls? Come on people lebron is too powerful for MJ and his one of the fastest big man on defense and offense. Go heat

  6. sternH8r says:

    who do you think would win in a fight, Superman, Batman or Spiderman?

  7. Jason Kim says:

    Forget the fantasy matchup, some of y’all need to take English grammar and spelling lessons. Are foreigners posting here? #horrible #GoToSchool

  8. lbj says:

    trade fisher for cole, play with king to get ring

  9. Karamazof says:

    M.J. s bulls were the most protected team of the history of NBA…M.J.is overated…the level of athleticism today if superior to the level of the 90 s..you must Be kiddin mr.Grant..get realistic…every team who didn`t make it to the playoffs this year would beat your Bull s blind with one hand tied behind their backs.^^

    • Mike says:

      Protected? Are you joking? The refs let the Bad Boy Pistons literally beat the Bulls to a pulp. And you talk about the level of athleticism as if you know what you’re talking about. Dominique Wilkins, Shawn Kemp and Michael Jordan would be the most athletic players in the league if they were playing today. Learn to write. How old are you?

  10. sgbball says:

    i love 90s NBA , and i truely believe MJ is the G.O.A.T.
    And though i will always remember how MJ was nearly slaughtered by the BAD BOYS,
    its incorrect to say that K.D. or lebron wont stand a chance to complete in the 90s.

    MJ changed his game to deal with the rules of the games, given the same opportunity , KD and lebron
    will be able to deal with it on their own methods. In fact . based on lebron natural power, he might even have a better
    chance against the toughness.

    Though i dislike the Heat, “4 hall of famers in one team is way too unfair ” how in the world did the commissioner allow
    that and veto chris paul to lakers !
    I believe Lebron is on the verge of greatness once he has done the 3P.

    will prayed hard for san antonio to win , GO SPURS!

  11. NEE says:

    Comparing Past to Present,
    St*pid Jealous Non Hall of Famer Retired Player Horace Grant *Sigh*
    No sense at all, The will never beat each other. Focus on the Finals Tomorrow!
    Go Heat!

  12. dwine says:

    hahahaha… 90’s Bulls against Heat today you are joking man… Cant you imagine how physical the game of the 90’s if Lebron Dwade or put the other players today on that time they will never last for at least THREE Seasons! Because these players now were cry babies already always asking for a FOUL even on a very GENTLE TOUCH on their HANDS… Also imagine The Worm VS Lebron or VS The Bad Boys! The Heat will never win against Malone’s Utah Jazz!

  13. jong says:

    LBJ, will not lose..he is a winner he told you in Greenwich ct. That he would win several Rings….Heat in 6 games

  14. #CallMeMaybe says:

    Heat would have won. Miami will get higher odds and we all know Jordan was a GAMBLER and would have given those games to Miami.

  15. Unkaned says:

    Horace is correct. But oddly, its because the one position where those Bulls’ teams would have greatly overwhelmed Today’s Heat is at the center position. The other matchups — Pippin v. LeBron, Jordan v. Wade and Grant v. Bosh — would have been fascinating, and I’d give the Bulls a slight edge. But at both the center position and the spot-up guard positions (John Paxton, Steve Kerr), the Bulls had an advantage, even if neither of the latter was as quick as Chalmers or Cole. They especially would have had no answer to Luc Longley, even though he was not spectacular, since Bosh is not strong enough to guard him, and probably would have had to guard Horace Grant.

  16. bodjee says:

    Grant has a point but can he Imagine playing against Lebron James on the Jazz Team.

  17. #BullsFAnDAN says:

    The heat are chumps. They would never have a prayer. They would get sweept by the Bulls and blown out by 50 points everygame. They would have a better chance in the WNBA or the D-League.

    • Titus says:

      Wow….u really are a Bulls fan man…but really u are Full of Bull Dan!! Only a bulls fanatic would say such thing…Micheal Jordan was blessed to play in a era when not too many SG stood over 6’5..hell his biggest nemisis was 6’3 Joe Dumars. Remember slow Craig Ehlo? How about Hall of Famer Byron Russel? (Lol) …..then theres 6’4 Byron Scott..remember when John Starks would give Jordan hell? These and other guys really didnt play with their hands in ur face..and on the defensive end Scottie Pippen would guard the other teams best man in order to save Jordan on the offensive end. Bron Bron would bulldoze thru Pippen and take Jordan down low which many guards didnt do to him back in the day. With Wade Jordan would be able to take ir easy in defense..Chalmers and Coles would have John Paxson amd B.J Armstrong shut down offensively and would destroy them on the offensive end…Chris Bosh and Rodman or Grant would probably be really interesting with both the Bull players being undersized however always had a knack for getting rebounds and playing pretty good frustrating D. Miami has the better bench..as well as team speed..Its hard to choose what era would do what but the kids playing now are arguebly faster ,bigger, longer, and Every team has great player unlike the years when the Bulls went on their run and Micheal Jordan was clearly the best player of his era without anyone else even coming close excepts Scottie Pippen. You can t say that in todays game even about Lebron because there are so many really good players on each team today that are really good

      • heat only hater says:

        Chalmers and norris cole shutting down john paxson offensively and destroying them on the offensive end. You must be that lbj guy with a man crush on norris cole the future hall of famer!

      • Tim NBA Fan says:

        “Titus” goes as far towards underestimating the 90’s as “BullsfanDan” underestimates today’s NBA.

        The majority of teams in the Bulls championship era had at least one starting guard listed 6-6 ( in shoes). I’m not sure where you got the idea guards were smaller. The 90-91 season had some big backcourts: Celtics – 6-6 Shaw + 6-7 Lewis, Blazers – 6-3 Porter + 6-7 Drexler, Lakers 6-9 Magic + 6-4 Scott. Dumars may have been smaller, but so is Tony Allen, one of the most respected perimeter defenders of the past few seasons, and Dumars was a much better offensive player than Allen. Dumars’ greatness is often underestimated, because much of the things he did wouldn’t show in the usual stat line. Dumars would be just as great in today’s league, or any era.

        Pippen would not get “bulldozed” by LeBron. He had similar size/length/speed as Kawhi Leonard, and is known as one of the best defenders in NBA history. The fact that Pippen could guard the best opposing mid-size (6-4 to 6-9) offensive player, allowing Jordan to focus more on offense, would only work in the Bulls favor. Wade would have no chance against Jordan. And if the Heat would try to have LeBron defend against MJ, LeBron would be facing the best offensive player of all-time on defense and a top 5 all-time defender on offense. They’d probably end up putting Cole on MJ instead, a quicker more Dumars-like guard.

        The sheer size of that first Bulls three-peat team would be an immense obstacle for the Heat of recent seasons, unless the Heat could get really hot from the perimeter. Grant (6-10, 240 lbs, with length) would not necessarily match-up with Bosh, if the Heat would start their smaller lineup with Bosh in the middle, though if he did matchup with Bosh, the slight difference in length could be overcome by the shoulder-width, strength, and energy of Grant. Bosh would likely have to defend against Bill Cartwright, a mammoth center with good FT shooting and a strange but effective post offense. Cartwright also had tough all-elbows defense in the paint, to easily stop any Heat player trying to post-up. Grant and Cartwright were excellent paint protectors in tandem, and they would force the Heat to rely on outside shooting. That said, if either Bosh or Battier could pull at least one of those paint protectors out to the three-point line (w/ hot shooting), it would leave the Bulls defense in the paint exposed. Without a quick PF next to him, Cartwright would be way too slow to stop penetration by Wade or James. To be sure, it would be a great series that is fun to think about.

        I think the Heat of the last few seasons would beat all of the finals opponents the Bulls faced in the 90’s, but would lose in the NBA Finals against any of those Bulls teams 9 times out of ten.

  18. saywhatnow says:

    MJ’s Bulls would probably beat lebron’s team, like how Bill Russell and the celtics would have probably beat MJ’s Bulls. Stop these fantasy matchups lol.

    • YoYo says:

      Foreal tho damn…All these people and theirs made fantasy match up and made-up results…Any of yall knows what its really likes on the court in a real game? Even the expert get it wrong all the time but you guys knows way more then them seems like…

    • YoYo says:

      If yall knows what gonna happen Vegas wouldnt be in business…And business is blooming!!!

  19. eda3636 says:

    Not sure where these Heat fans are coming from. The 90’s bulls would beat Miami with out a doubt. Disregard athleticism since all these guys are all athletic. It’s more of mental game and the bulls were dominant in that field. Its called a 3peat for a reason and they got 2 of them on one decade. Their defense was what made them champs and having MJ was the icing on the cake. Plus they played in an era that was alot more competitive compared to these guys today who cry if you breath on them. Do you even think Maimi can play against the 90’s Bad Boys of Detroit, maybe Lebron can hang but lets be honest the rest of the team would rather sit on the bench than go through that Detroit Team.

    • jong says:

      Total disrespect to DWade…he has 3 rings

    • Kay says:

      Coming from a 90s baby that didn’t know anything about 80s-90s basketball untill that documentary from a month ago. Haha. Don’t know who you are but my guess is probably dead on.

  20. tonydog23 says:

    I believe Horace is right. The Spurs core team is from the past and is superior to ALL the young teams today. The idea just because you can dunk , does not trump playing basketball the right way. The Spurs don’t have the defensive skills of Jordan’s bulls. I believe the bulls were better than the Spurs.

  21. Farmer Johnson says:

    The heat could beat the bulls of the 90s & heres why …

    apart from MJ & Pippen there were no elite perimeter players in the 90s (maybe Reggie Miller),
    so MJ & Pippen had it easy on the defensive end.
    If they were playing today they would have a tough time stopping Durant, Melo, D Wade, Harden, Curry, Westbrook
    etc.. OH the bulls of the 90s had no big man scorer too threaten them either.

    • Chaser says:

      Your fried up top, latrell spree well hit 9 for 9 behind the arc never been beat, plus steve kerr 4 consecutive rings a sniper, sam perkins glen rice john stocton, tim hard away steve smith and jeff hornaceck, what about your boy allen

  22. its definitely a good matchup if jordan is playing today but i think chicago bulls in the era of jordan cannot win on miami heat today because if you look at the players miami heat has no center but yet anyone of the teams today cannot beat them.

  23. Rhedz03 says:

    Parson will be a good fit in La-La Land alongside kobe and pau or he can go to bulls alongside rose, noah gibson if the bulls release boozer or he can go to hawks with horford, teague, korver or he can join clippers alongside paul, griffin, crawford and d.jordan or in knicks if all else fails alongside melo, chandler, shumpert smith if knicks can get rid of amare felton and brewer if ever brewer is still in current knicks line up…

  24. Heat fan says:

    GO HEAT GO!!!!!

  25. WHAT HORACE???! says:

    Nobody on the 1992 Chicago Bulls would’ve been able to hold Lebron. The Miami Heat could beat that team easily.

    Now, the 1996 Chicago Bulls are a different story. Their second 3 peat team was by far superior to any team currently in the league. But guess what Horace, you weren’t on that team. You were on the Magic getting your backside handed to you.

    These veterans need to talking and humble themselves. You don’t see guys these days talking trash about older teams.

    • allaroundballer says:

      I’m a 90s guy, jordan over james. But I agree heat squad are deeper than 92 bulls. But the 96 bulls are invincible

    • #dwade#flash says:

      totally agree with you! 96 has KUKOC which can be a good match with BOSH, I think the game will be dictated by the point guards

      • Charlie says:

        Sorry fellas any of the first 3 championship bulls team would have beaten Miami. Miami is a good team, but not a better team physical or mentally. Not to get to deep but Lebron post up game is whack and Scottie would have held him down and the Bulls help defense even if Scottie got beat would be there. Of course James would have scored but he also would have had one of his meltdowns too. FACTS.

  26. shake says:

    Let’s go heat

  27. Mike says:

    The bes thing NYK can do is to fire FJ. He ended his coaching carier with absolute fiasco ruining LAL. He did nothing for the last season there, xept for sitting on the bench with jah smile.
    NY is keep repeating old mistake – pour the money on the court.

  28. kiwisepp says:

    parsons is not good enough for the role of starting SF of a championship team

  29. Game Time says:

    Miami has to put intense defensive pressure on Parker. Spo should mix things up and throw Cole on him, and if TD is suited up put him in as well. We saw in OKC games 3 & 4 that limiting Parker’s movement or frustration him is key to winning.

  30. Titus says:

    Like I said before..these old heads are full of themselves..they feel like they played with and against the greatest players of all time not to mention that they were a part of those groups “wink wink”…just likeDominique Wilkins talkin bout he woulda scored 60+ at age 50 against the Bobcats but he failed to score 60 in his own playing days..come to think of it ..if Ho Grant was playing today he would probably get destroyed by Birdman or Haslem….let alone Bosh.

  31. pej says:

    I think today’s team are stronger and athletics than Jordan’s era. The oppositions to the Bulls are weaker than today’s Miami Heat. Jordan is the greatest to some but one on one against Lebron James could be mismatched in favor of Lebron. He is too powerful.

  32. laughing with kiwi land says:

    old bulss are rightful to be proud at their 2 3peats, but i think your giving the heat not enough respect, if you guys would have putted against each other it would be a 7 game slaughter without multiplr injuries and a game 7 that could be decided by flipping a coin.

    YOUR BOTH THAT GOOD

    • Gosheven says:

      ROFLOL, yeah, Ok. Those Bulls would have swept these Heat. No question about it. Pippen would have tied Lebron into cramped knots and DWade would be utterly annihilated by MJ. Bosh would be eaten alive on the interior and the Heat would be blown out through 4 games.

      Smh, Heat “fans.”

  33. Kimmy says:

    Derek Fisher is still marinating over his loss to San Antonio. I really believe OKC had plans to be part of the Finals. Once he recovers, I think he will retire and the announcement will be made that he will be the coach for the New York Knicks. It’s a good thing. Right Spike Lee?