Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“The Celtics were always going to pick me No. 1, but Philly didn’t know that,” Tatum said. “Philly thought that Boston was going to pick Markelle, so Philly traded the pick and gave Boston a pick for next year, so Boston was like, ‘Well, we can still get the player we want, a [future] pick and then we get the player we wanted for less money.’
So Jayson Tatum went on a podcast and, well, didn’t exactly contradict Danny Ainge. If Tatum and Fultz turn out to be on par with each other, Danny won this trade hands down.
Elsewhere in the podcast, Tatum said that he and Brown are still working on their nickname, and it seems to me that the duo might be overthinking it just a tad. Nicknames just sort of happen, most of the time. I mean, look how many different nicknames were tossed out there before “King in the Fourth”, a play on Game of Thrones’ “King in the North“, stuck to IT.
Meanwhile, Jaylen Brown’s over in Africa
He is more than two months away from turning 21 and entering his second year in the league, yet Brown clearly sees himself as more than just a basketball player. He wants to use his influence as an NBA player to be a voice and create change.
That’s on display as Brown participates in tomorrow’s NBA Africa Game. The second-year guard/forward spent the last week in Johannesburg, South Africa, where the league hopes to grow the game. He said he jumped at the opportunity, which has allowed him to work with children learning the game of basketball.
“It’s my driving force,” Brown said when asked how he uses that influence. “I actually think about it a lot. It’s what keeps me going, just using the game to influence not only my community, but to spread light on a lot of different things that athletes have a voice to do.”
Jaylen Brown impresses me. Barring injuries, I think he’s going to do amazing things.
In summer league, Brown wanted to use the opportunity to specifically play in more of a backcourt role. As opposed to last year, when he played mostly as a 3 or 4, Brown’s responsibilities included defending guards and running the offense.
“It was by design,” Brown said. “I think that’s exactly what we pinpointed coming in, just trying to get better at different aspects of my game and use summer league for pretty much what it’s worth. . . . That’s a part of my game that I wanted to get better at, and it’s a part of my game I still have to get better at.
On a crap team, Brown could’ve really turned some heads last season. Defensive foibles early on would’ve been ignored because if there’s one thing bad coaches on bad teams don’t care about, it’s defense, and he would’ve been able to rattle off a long series of highlight reel dunks. A guy good enough to earn playoff minutes defending LeBron James would’ve been good enough to contend for rookie of the year, if he was the focal point of an offense and playing 30 minutes a night.
Even in the NBA, even among NBA players, Brown’s athleticism is such that he probably could’ve coasted for a few years on that alone.
Instead, the guy hit this summer with a plan, a to-do list of things to get better at.
What limitation is this guy going to run into? He’s got his head screwed on straight, he’s a hard worker, he’s willing to learn, and he’s got athletic ability for days.
And he’s got a bit of an edge too.
Page 2: Tony Allen comes to Springfield and tells some tales
“Rudy Gay said ‘I’m not playing this game, my toe hurts,'” Allen said. “‘I said, your toe hurt? Your toe hurt? You just did a windmill dunk last night, your toe wasn’t …’ I said ‘Alright, your toe hurt.'”
Allen went on to guard Kevin Durant instead of James Harden.
“To make a long story short, we win,” Allen said. “Y’all can YouTube this too, in case you think it’s fabricated. I was so upset with Rudy for not playing … I end up having 27 points, eight rebonds and like five steals. Mind you, I hadn’t played in 22-some-odd games, and this is to let you know how in shape I was. Durant had like 35, but they lost. When they gave me my interview, the first thing I said was, ‘It’s just all heart. Grit and grind.’ That’s how that phrase blossomed in Memphis. I was still upset. That was really a jab at Rudy Gay. But he’s my man today, I’ve forgiven him for that. But yeah, that’s where it started at in Memphis.”
I don’t know about you, but there isn’t a single part of that story that doesn’t square with what I know about Tony Allen and Rudy Gay.
There were a ton of great moments in Tony’s trip to the hall of fame in Springfield. Hear Tony talk about Pierce here:
Finally: Doc’s gonna stick to coaching
Doc Rivers is losing his dual roles with the Los Angeles Clippers, keeping his position as coach while Lawrence Frank takes over Rivers’ responsibility for basketball operations.
Rivers and Frank will be equals in the Clippers’ power structure, with each reporting directly to Ballmer.
The number of people surprised by this change would probably fit on a single elevator.
Rivers and Frank being ‘equals’ means, basically, that Steve Ballmer is going to have to make all the tough calls. This seems like a recipe for disaster. Oh, not disaster on the scale of a Sacramento Kings or a New York Jets, more like the simmering stew of disaster that is, say, the Orlando Magic or the Miami Marlins.
Oh. One more thing
Planning a trip to Utah? Feel like contributing to Tanner Ainge’s election campaign? Want to express your opinion of the James Young pick with a well-aimed baseball?
This is your chance.
The rest of the links:
Boston Herald: NBA’s 2nd Africa Game comes to Johannesburg