Steve Kerr Reportedly Could Return During 2017 NBA Finals

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr may return at some point during the 2017 NBA Finals, despite missing all but two games of the team’s run due to illness caused by recurring back issues.

ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne reported Kerr is “looking better” than he has since leaving the team after Game 2 of its first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers

There is no indication of when Kerr would return. The team has still not ruled him out for Thursday’s Game 1 matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

 

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Draymond Green, Kevin Love Say That All Players Are ‘Susceptible’ to Trash Talk

Draymond Green and Kevin Love are about to go head-to-head for the third straight NBA Finals, but the rivals can agree on one thing: The Golden State Warriors star’s trash talk can push the buttons of even the best players.

“Everybody’s susceptible to that,” Green told reporters Wednesday. “I don’t care who you are.”

Love, who will likely see Green as his primary defender, said he agreed with the assessment and credited him with giving the Warriors their edge.

“He’s one of the best in the game at being a trash-talker,” Love said. “He’s a guy, like I mentioned, that sets the tone for them. And this is the NBA Finals. I think that everybody expects that and hopes for that. It’s two—the best two teams in the league going at it. So, it’s definitely fun to be a part of, and it’s just part of the game.”

   

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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John Wall Says De’Aaron Fox Will Be Better Than Lonzo Ball, Markelle Fultz

Count John Wall among those who believes De’Aaron Fox will have a better NBA career than Lonzo Ball or Markelle Fultz.

During a conversation with CSN Mid Atlantic’s Chris Miller, Wall said he would bet on a fellow Kentucky Wildcat product to emerge as the best point guard in the 2017 draft class. 

“A lot of people say it’s bias because he’s from Kentucky, but I think De’Aaron Fox might end up being the best point guard out of that class,” he said. “He reminds me of myself a lot, just a lefty.”

He’s not kidding. 

Not only are Fox and Wall both blurs in the open floor, but they produced rather similar statistical lines during their lone seasons at Kentucky under head coach John Calipari. 

Here’s a side-by-side comparison, for context, courtesy of Sports-Reference.com

  • De’Aaron Fox: 16.7 PPG, 4.6 APG, 1.5 SPG, 47.8 FG%, 24.6 3P%, 22.6 PER
  • John Wall: 16.6 PPG, 6.5 APG, 1.8 SPG, 46.1 FG%, 32.5 3P%, 22.3 PER

Just like Wall, Fox will enter the NBA with questions about his jump shot. 

But if his single college campaign was any indication, Fox has the skills necessary to evolve as a scorer—even if he never becomes a true marksman. 

Specifically, Fox is likely to lean on his ability to hesitate and change pace to keep defenders on their heels as he eyes floaters in the lane and easy buckets around the basket after he shot 64.2 percent at the rim with Kentucky, per Hoop-Math.com

If Fox can use those skills to advantage while steadily developing a reliable mid-range jumper, he should morph into a force before long. 

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Draymond Green Says LeBron James Can Be GOAT but ‘Can’t Have This Ring’

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green is less bothered about LeBron James‘ place in NBA history than about whether the Cleveland Cavaliers star can lead his team to another NBA title. 

He can have [the title of greatest player ever],” Green said Wednesday on Good Morning America. “He just can’t have this ring”:

Green’s comments were more measured than his response in October when asked by NBA.com’s David Aldridge about a potential third Finals matchup between the Cavaliers and Warriors.

And then, if Cleveland comes out of the east, I want to destroy Cleveland,” Green said. “No ifs, ands and buts about it. But I also know that there’s steps to get to that point. And if and when we get to that point, I want to annihilate them.”

The dynamic between James and Green will be fun to watch in the 2017 Finals.

Green earned a one-game suspension during last year’s matchup after he swung his fist near James’ groin.

The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears recounted some of the trash talk Green and James exchanged during the series. Green’s use of the word “b—h” apparently set off the four-time MVP.

While Green is unlikely to be the Warriors’ designated “LeBron stopper,” his individual defense will be a big part of disrupting Cleveland’s offensive game plan. Whether it’s guarding him in one-on-one situations or shutting down his passing lanes, Green will look to be a thorn in James’ side on every Cavaliers possession.

Beyond the ways the two players will attempt to get under one another’s skin, the on-court chess match between Green and James gives NBA fans a big reason to tune into the Finals.

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JaVale McGee Responds to Cavs Player Saying He Isn’t Smart Enough for NBA Finals

Golden State Warriors center JaVale McGee said Wednesday he wasn’t bothered by an anonymous Cleveland Cavaliers player suggesting he isn’t smart enough to be a factor in the NBA Finals

“Nah, not at all,” McGee said when asked if the statement rankled him, according to the Mercury NewsJimmy Durkin. “It’s an anonymous person. How can an anonymous person piss me off?

“It might not be disrespectful depending on who it’s coming from or it might not be real at all. If you’re not going to put your name on it, then why say it. But that’s even if it’s true (or) if the reporter was making it up just to stir some (stuff) up.”

 

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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LeBron James Says Hate in US Is ‘Alive Every Single Day,’ Responds to Vandalism

LeBron James addressed the racist vandalism that was spray-painted on the front gate of his Los Angeles home Wednesday, per TMZ Sports.

Speaking to reporters at NBA Finals media day in Oakland, California, James said hate in America remains “alive every single day.” 

“Hate in America, especially for African-Americans, is living every day,” he said, according to Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding. “Even though it’s concealed…it’s alive every single day.”

“No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are … being black in America is tough,” James added, per USA Today‘s Michael Singer

NBA TV relayed James’ complete comments: 

Per TMZ, the Los Angeles Police Department was dispatched to James’ Los Angeles residence early Wednesday morning when they were alerted to the graffiti.

James has long been outspoken about social inequality in the United States, and he recently discussed racism at length when asked about Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones being berated with racist taunts at Fenway Park in Boston

“It’s a delicate situation,” James said, according to the New York Daily News‘ Jake Becker. “Racism, we know, exists. You try not to put yourself in a position, for me as a father, I try to give my kids the blueprint on how life is gonna be. But at the end of the day, I can only tell them so much, and they have to go out and live it themselves. For me, I just try to be respectful, for one, respectful to others, and I feel like if you do that consistently, then I believe the karma will come back to you.”

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Austin Rivers Says Glen Davis Was ‘Constantly Out of Shape’ with Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers didn’t hold back when discussing former teammate Glen “Big Baby” Davis.

During an appearance on FS1’s Undisputed Wednesday, Rivers implied Davis was out of shape and failed to memorize plays when he played for the Clippers:

Rivers and Davis were teammates for part of the 2014-15 campaign.

Davis has been outspoken about both Austin and his father, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers.

Regarding the elder Rivers, who was his coach on the Boston Celtics, Davis said he was “lucky as hell” to lead the Celtics to an NBA title in 2008. On Undisputed in March, Davis also said Doc was “fishing for things that he once had” in trying to build the Clippers into a title contender:

During Wednesday’s episode, Skip Bayless also brought up comments Davis had made regarding Austin’s presence possibly creating friction inside the Clippers’ locker room. Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding reported something similar in March, writing, “The in-house resentment toward [Rivers] being favored as Doc’s son, according to team sources, still very much exists, but it isn’t out of control.”

Based on Austin’s remarks Wednesday, it’s doubtful the bad blood between Davis and the Rivers family will subside anytime soon.

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