NEWS OF THE MORNING
Bosh won’t surrender | Davis feeling explosive | Shot changed Kyrie | Clips wanted K.G.
No. 1: Bosh says it’s not over — He may have flunked the training camp physical. The Heat may be doing everything they can to keep him at a distance. Friends may be whispering that it’s time to move on to a life after playing in the NBA. But veteran Chris Bosh says the latest “little setback” is only motivating him to keep moving forward in his quest to return to the court. Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel has the story:
“That doesn’t stop me from wanting to share my creative side with you guys and hoping that you want to come along on the journey with me,” he said of his failed physical in his video post. “So, just because the journey has ups and downs doesn’t mean that I will stop sharing with you guys. So I will just continue to share, despite what’s going on.
“Little setbacks happen, but that doesn’t change my intentions and what I want accomplish. So, I hope you continue to watch. I hope you continue to really just take in my journey and just come along with me, with the ups and the downs. So it’s a down moment right now, but everything’s going to be all right.”
With that, Bosh went ahead with the online release of the second chapter of his documentary “Rebuilt” that is featured on the LeBron James-operated digital outlet Uninterrupted, a chapter titled “Renewal.”
Among the references in Bosh’s documentaries have been ones to former Florida Panthers forward Tomas Fleischmann, who has pushed past similar issues with blood clotting to return to the NHL. On Friday, however, Fleischmann failed his physical amid a tryout with the Minnesota Wild, leaving his career in doubt, as well.
Bosh’s latest documentary installment was updated to include the statement, “On the eve of the 2016-17 season, the Miami Heat have not cleared Chris to play. It is Chris’ hope that he can return to playing basketball.”
No. 2: A.D. feels good — After a season that included surgery on one knee, an injury to a shoulder and a disappointing 30-52 record, Anthony Davis was back on the court for the first day of training camp and told John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune that he feels explosive and ready for the 2016-17 season:
”I feel great and I’m just happy to be out there,” Davis said. ”I love the game so much that it started to be frustrating when I couldn’t play or they pull you out. The main goal is to be ready for October 26 (opener against Denver).
”Right now, I think I’m heading in the right direction toward getting there. Today everything felt great. I feel like I’m more explosive than what I was and more powerful.”
For the remainder of training camp, Davis said he intends to concentrate on improving his defensive play. The Pelicans’ preseason opener is next Saturday against the Dallas Mavericks in Bossier City. Until then, the Pelicans have eight more two-a-day training camp practices.
”He’s (Davis) playing great, he feels great,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry. ”’There’s a lot of enthusiasm and they practiced extremely hard. I think there is great chemistry among them. Obviously the defense is always a little bit ahead of the offense, so typical stuff really.”
No. 3:Clutch shot made Irving a new man — Kyrie Irving has made literally thousands of jump shots in his life. But that one over Stephen Curry in the final minute of Game 7 in The Finals not only changed a half-century championship drought in Cleveland, but also Irving’s life. Joe Vardon of cleveland.com tells the tale:
“Yes, my life’s changed drastically,” Irving told cleveland.com Saturday, during Irving’s friendship walk and basketball challenge downtown for Best Buddies, Ohio — an organization that gives social growth and employment opportunities to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“It’s kind of, you’re waiting for that validation from everyone, I guess, to be considered one of the top players in the league at the highest stage,” Irving said. “That kind of changed. I was just trying to earn everyone’s respect as much as I could.”
Irving comes to Cavs training camp Monday not just a champion, but an Olympic gold medalist. He was Team USA’s starting point guard at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, becoming just the fourth player in NBA history to win a championship and a gold medal in the same summer.
Only James, Michael Jordan, and Scottie Pippen had done it before.
In five pro seasons, Irving’s career scoring average is 20.8 points per game. He was the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA draft, has already played in three All-Star games, and is entering the second season of a five-year, $94 million contract extension.
So Irving has lived a mostly charmed basketball life, to be sure. And yet The Shot had an unmistakable, recalibrating effect.
“I never thought I’d be an NBA champion when I was 24 years old,” Irving said. “I just had to re-start, regroup and re-prioritize what I wanted to accomplish as a player and also as a teammate, this summer.”
No. 4: Doc had spot for K.G. with Clippers — They won a championship together in Boston back in 2008. Doc Rivers once called him his favorite player ever to coach. So before Kevin Garnett crossed the threshold into retirement, Rivers offered the 21-year veteran one more change to continue his playing career in Los Angeles, according to Jackie MacMullan of ESPN.com:
“I would have absolutely been interested in bringing him here. You always find a place for a guy like that, whose voice in the locker room is so strong, so clear, so impactful.
“He’s such a great teacher in practice. He should start a course in leadership. The NBA should designate who the best player is on each team and then they could bring Kevin in and he could teach them how to be the best player and the best leader. Better yet, they could bring him and Tim [Duncan] in and they could teach it together and show people how it can be done in two completely opposite ways.”
Garnett was encouraged by friend, confidant and former coach Flip Saunders to sign a two-year, $16 million contract with the Timberwolves in 2015. Saunders envisioned KG as a mentor for the young team he was building, but also planned to include Garnett as a part-owner in a group that Saunders was assembling to buy the team.
Saunders died of Hodgkin lymphoma in October 2015, at the age of 60. Minnesota hired Sam Mitchell, another close Garnett ally, as the interim coach to replace Saunders.
KG, hobbled by knee woes, averaged just 14.2 minutes and 3.2 points per game last season, but became a trusted mentor to Karl-Anthony Towns, the young big man who is the centerpiece of the Timberwolves’ rebuilding effort.
“You know how much I’m gonna miss playing with you and just simply having you around,” Towns wrote on Instagram . “Congrats on having one of the greatest careers the game has ever seen. We talked. I know what I must do. I’ll take it from here.”
SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: That’s right. Victor Oladipo would like it if you started calling him “Mr. Feathery.” … Paul George says he’s more than ready for LeBron James this time around … Sam Dekker is healthy and ready to finally get his NBA playing career started … He went back to Phoenix, but Jared Dudley really wanted to join the Celtics … Shorthanded Pelicans add guard Quinn Cook … Tom Thibodeau not ready to call Timberwolves a playoff team just yet … Let’s just say Stephen Jackson won’t be joining the Luke Walton fan club just yet.