The aboriginal preseason camps of the 2020-21 division opened Tuesday, with teams bound for the aboriginal few canicule to alone sessions with one drillmaster and one amateur at one basket. Individual amateur workouts run from Dec. 1-5 with Media Anniversary demography abode during the aforementioned time frame. The afterward week, accumulation amateur workouts activate (Dec. 6-10) in the lead-up to the alpha of the NBA preseason on Dec. 11.
Below is the latest account and notable quotes from players and coaches as Media Anniversary rolls on.
Point bouncer John Wall said on Sunday he had a “great talk” with James Harden and the brace are acquisitive to comedy calm in Houston. However, according to drillmaster Stephen Silas, Harden and P.J. Tucker absent the team’s aboriginal accumulation conditioning due to coronavirus protocols and would assignment out alone Sunday evening.
Wall, who spent the aftermost 10 years in D.C., said it “feels surreal” not actuality with Washington, the aggregation that drafted him with the No. 1 aces in 2010. But Wall said he’s been 100% advantageous aback March and is acquisitive to achieve his All-Star cachet with the Rockets.
As for Wall’s departing words to above Wizards assistant Bradley Beal? “This is your franchise. Go be that authorization guy.”
What do you get the backstab Kia MVP on his 26th birthday? If your assistant is Giannis Antetokounmpo and he’s yet to assurance a best addendum that would accumulate him in Milwaukee, the acknowledgment is accessible — a pen.
“Me and [Pat Connaughton] anticipation the absolute allowance to him from his teammates would be to accord him a pen,” Khris Middleton said on Sunday. “So, 19 pens in his locker for a altogether present. I told him those should be some of the best altogether ability he’s anytime gotten. So, hopefully he enjoys it and uses it.”
— 3:45 p.m.
Michael Porter Jr. was a adumbration in the Orlando balloon area he emerged as a key contributor for the Denver Nuggets during their playoff run.
Now Porter Jr. is assertive to booty the abutting footfall as a full-time amateur and the No. 3 scoring advantage abaft Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic.
“I would adulation to start,” said Porter, who averaged 22.0 credibility and 8.6 rebounds in the Nuggets’ agriculture amateur in Orlando. “Obviously, annihilation is accustomed to you, you’ve got to acquire it. But yes, I’d adulation to be the starter.”
With key accession players like Jerami Grant and Torrey Craig no best on the team, befalling knocks for Porter Jr., who does not abridgement aplomb or desire.
“I appetite to be one of the best players,” Porter said. “And I appetite to bouncer the best players and I appetite the best players on the added aggregation to bouncer me.”
— 6:50 p.m.
Tristan Thompson is accepted to comedy a cogent role for the Boston Celtics this season, but it ability not appear appropriate away.
Brad Stevens says Thompson will absence best of affected because of a hamstring injury.
“He had a hamstring ache from afore he got actuality aback he was alive out in the aftermost brace weeks. He’s accepting better,” Stevens told reporters in a video conference. “He’s done actual ablaze alone assignment with some backbone and conditioning assignment but is not accommodating in any of our actuality added than that appropriate now.”
The Celtics accept amorphous abounding aggregation workouts at the Auerbach Centermost in alertness for their Dec. 23 division opener adjoin the Milwaukee Bucks. The ambition for Thompson is to be accessible in time for that game, admitting he ability be a bit behind.
“We achievement to accept him ramped up as we get afterpiece to the alpha of the approved season,” Stevens said. “But he’s activity to absence a cogent allocation of this training camp.”
— 5:44 p.m.
Carmelo Anthony struggled through stops in Oklahoma City and Houston afore an abrupt late-career aperture that kept him off the NBA courts for a agenda year. He activate basement in Portland, accouterment a calm and occasionally clamp attendance during their blood-tingling balloon run to the through the Play-In Tournament.
Anthony slotted into the starting calendar for the Trail Blazers, averaging 15.4 credibility and 6.3 rebounds in 58 games. Portland afresh played an alive duke during the offseason, and drillmaster Terry Stotts abreast Anthony he’d be advancing off the bank in 2020-21, with new additions Robert Covington and Derrick Jones Jr. slotting in at the advanced spots.
“I had to absorb that pill,” said Anthony. “If I sit actuality and say that the anticipation of that wasn’t adamantine or difficult to apprehend and take, does that comedy with your pride and your ego? Yes it does, abnormally advancing for accession like myself. But I had to booty a abysmal animation and we’ll amount it out. We’ll accomplish it work.”
The 17-year adept connected on to alarm how the abundance and assurance congenital up with the Blazers alignment helped beanbag a broad re-envisioning of his role:
“I’m 18 years into this game. The alone affair larboard is legacy. Aback you accept bodies in the organizaiton that appetite to go side-by ancillary with you through this adventure and be a allotment of your legacy, it gives you a altered blazon of confidence.It eases a lot of thoughts ahd questions.”
— 8:21 p.m.
Clippers brilliant Kawhi Leonard is accepted for his dry amusement and able successes, and both were on affectation in his recruiting angle to above Raptors assistant Serge Ibaka, a chargeless abettor alongside whom Leonard won the 2019 NBA championship.
“I allocution to Serge actuality and there … Once chargeless bureau came, I beatific him a argument and told him bright as day: ‘You advancing actuality or not?’”
— 7:11 p.m.
With the division starting up in New Orleans, bouncer JJ Redick is analytic for a abode to break — his ancestors remained at their home in New York. He’s briefly acquaint up with assistant Josh Hart, who’s allegedly been absolutely the accommodating host:
Redick, for his part, adduce tweeted that ‘None of this is absolutely factual.’
He additionally appear a new ’stache, in allotment a admiration to new Pelicans drillmaster Stan Van Gundy, who was Redick’s aboriginal NBA bang-up aback he was drafted to the Orlando Magic in 2006.
“There are a few factors activity on here,” Redick said, per Jim Eichenhofer of Pelicans.com. “First and foremost, I’m actuality (in New Orleans) solo, (because) my ancestors backward in New York. My wife doesn’t let me abound a mustache, so this seems like the absolute time to accept a mustache. Two, I capital to accommodate some affecting abutment for Stan in his aboriginal brace weeks on the job. So this is an admiration to him.”
— 6:47 p.m.
Wizards brilliant Bradley Beal has been aggressive his affections this anniversary afterwards his backcourt assistant John Wall was traded to the Houston Rockets for Russell Westbrook.
“It’s been an affecting week,” Beal said, via Fred Katz of The Athletic. “Definitely been some boxy 24, 48, 72 hours here, aloof affectionate of absolution it all bleed in and acumen that your brother is no best actuality with you no more. He’s off to article better.”
The duo played calm for about a decade and alike developed a accord off the court. Wall has declared that aback his mother died beforehand this year, it was Beal who was the aboriginal actuality to appointment him and accommodate support. “You are my brother 4L and that band is way bigger than this bold we play! We had amazing memories that’ll consistently be admired and never forgotten,” Beal said on Instagram.
On the court, the duo ranked aerial amid the best backcourts in the NBA aback healthy. Wall will acknowledgment to D.C. aback the Rockets comedy the Wizards on Feb. 15.
— 5:38 p.m.
Despite accepting the best almanac in the NBA aftermost season, the Bucks came up abbreviate to the Heat in the Eastern semifinals. That disappointment may serve as ammunition this division for Khris Middleton and Milwaukee.
“We fell way abbreviate of our goal,” Middleton said Thursday on a appointment call. “There’s a lot of action this offseason to appear aback and be better.”
With Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo still in their primes, the time may be now for the Bucks to booty that abutting step.
“There’s consistently a faculty of coercion to win,” Middleton said. “We gotta booty advantage of this time while we can because that window is not as big or accessible as it acclimated to be.”
— 10:15 p.m.
DeMarcus Cousins captivated his aboriginal account as a affiliate of the Houston Rockets on Thursday and discussed why he won’t accuse about the affliction he has faced aggressive injuries over the accomplished three years.
“I watched my mom assignment two jobs with six kids her absolute life. So who am I to accuse about some adversity? Activity is abounding of adversity. Me activity through the things I’ve gone through, I will be prepared.”
Cousins additionally affected on his action to comedy with above bookish assistant John Wall, who was acquired by the Rockets in a barter on Wednesday, and his all-embracing action to get aback on the floor, adage he “feels incredible.”
— 4:16 p.m.
Denver Nuggets centermost Nikola Jokic is aflame to get aback on the attic afterwards his adolescent band fabricated babble during the 2020 NBA Playoffs and accomplished the Western Appointment finals.
“Experience is activity to be the best important key,” Jokic said aback answer how he affairs to advance during the 2020-21 season.
— 3:57 p.m.
The arresting Eastern Appointment best Miami Heat will accept a quick turnaround amid their NBA Finals alternation adjoin the Lakers and the alpha of the 2020-21 season. But that doesn’t bother drillmaster Erik Spoelstra, who addressed the bearings during Heat media availability on Thursday.
“Historically this is different,” Spoelstra said. “It’s a quicker turnaround for those affectionate of teams, but if you consistently go to the Finals, guys like Golden State, all of LeBron’s teams, our above teams, those were quick turnarounds. Finishing in backward June and starting up in September. Regardless, those were quick turnarounds, but that’s the amount of block article great. It’s abundant easier to be a action team, to be a accident team, to be a aggregation that doesn’t accomplish the playoffs, be a aggregation that aloof gets agape out in the aboriginal round, that doesn’t booty a abundant accord of affecting amount or concrete expense.
“Our division aftermost year in abounding means acquainted like three seasons,” Spoelstra continued. “The training camp, and preseason, approved season. Afresh the apprehension and afresh gearing up for the balloon — afresh the bubble. We saw a lot of players absolutely abound from that experience, decidedly our adolescent players. So we’re aflame that we accept an befalling to alpha accession season.
‘Yes, for some of our guys, decidedly our adept players, I will accept to be alert to accumulate them fresh, decidedly mentally. They additionally accept some acquaintance abundant to apperceive how to administer themselves … you accept to booty some time architecture [a rhythm], and you don’t appetite to skip steps, but you don’t appetite to be alert of the continued booty as well.”
— 11:58 a.m.
After accident Klay Thompson to season-ending Achilles injury, the Warriors’ championship hopes are acceptable on authority for accession year. Alike authoritative the playoffs this division would be a abruptness to some.
Stephen Curry is accessible for the challenge.
“I apprehend it, but it doesn’t bore home at all,” Curry said Wednesday on a appointment call. “I didn’t get arrogant aback they best us aboriginal in the league. I won’t get afflicted with wherever they accept us advancing into this season.”
Curry, who hasn’t played a allusive bold in over a year, is aflame about the adolescent aptitude on the Warriors’ agenda and is acquisitive to prove the doubters wrong.
“I would achievement that maybe some of the adolescent guys, and our new guys who accept a lot to prove in this alliance booty it as the slight and dent on their shoulder, and we all affectionate of assemblage about that.”
— 6:18 p.m.
Houston Rockets assets advanced Danuel House Jr. addressed the media Wednesday for the aboriginal time aback the NBA appear in September that he’d be affected to abandon the Orlando balloon for actionable alliance protocols by agreeable an crooked bedfellow to his auberge room.
“First of all, I’d like to alpha out by answer to my team, the alignment and the buyer for the blow that happened in the bubble,” House said. “I’m focused, it’s abaft me, it’s in the past. New year, new season, acquirements and attractive advanced to growing and expanding. I’d like to acutely apologize to the admirers additionally if you acquainted I let you down. Sincere affliction from me, Danuel House Jr. to everyone.”
House played aloof the aboriginal two amateur of Houston’s 4-1 alternation accident to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Appointment semifinals, afterwards the alliance assured through an analysis the advanced had hosted an crooked bedfellow in his auberge allowance at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The NBA appear in a account that House would “not participate with the Rockets aggregation in added amateur this season.”
House started in 52 amateur for the Rockets aftermost season, averaging 10.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists.
A built-in of Houston, House said on Wednesday that he had “already talked to the team” about his transgressions in Orlando and bidding he’s acquisitive to move advanced as the Rockets adapt to alpha the division with a new arch drillmaster in Stephen Silas and a new accepted administrator in Rafael Stone.
— 4:48 p.m.
Chris Paul saw the aptitude in Devin Booker afore either of them played for the Phoenix Suns.
As Booker able for the NBA Draft in 2015, Paul got the adventitious to conditioning with the approaching All-Star in Los Angeles. The adept point bouncer was a affiliate of the Clippers at the time.
“We had absent in the playoffs, but I had still capital to bandage and train. So I went bottomward and formed out with him. He was like 15,” Paul said, laughing. (Booker was absolutely 18 at the time.)
The conditioning larboard Paul impressed. Booker has aback accustomed himself as one of the best scorers in the league, with he and Paul arena calm on Aggregation LeBron in the 2020 All-Star Game.
The duo is accepted to be a appalling backcourt in Phoenix.
The Zion Williamson appearance is set for division two.
The 20-year-old told reporters that he feels advantageous and is attractive advanced to the division beneath new arch drillmaster Stan Van Gundy. He accepted the drillmaster for his old-school approach, a appearance that reminds him of his step-father and Duke drillmaster Mike Krzyzewski.
“I can see his adulation and affection for the game,” Williamson said. “I adulation actuality like that. I’m actual aflame to assignment with him.”
— 1:39 p.m.
Atlanta amidst Trae Adolescent with several new pieces this offseason, including a accomplished backcourt affiliate in Bogdan Bogdanovic. The Serbian cutting guard, who averaged 15.1 credibility and attempt 37% from abysmal aftermost season, envisions a duo that will be adamantine to defend.
“I anticipate teams are activity to be absolutely in trouble, attention both of us together,” Bogdanovic said, per Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Bogdanovic said abutting Atlanta as a belted chargeless abettor was the absolute situation.
The Hawks additionally added veterans Rajon Rondo and Kris Dunn to a backcourt consisting of Young, Bogdanovic and above first-round aces Kevin Huerter.
— 11:15 a.m.
Speaking with reporters advanced of training camp, Damian Lillard discussed activity in the bubble, the Blazers’ offseason changes and his admiration to accompany a championship aback to Portland.
Asked about his conversations with Neil Olshey, the team’s admiral of basketball operations, Lillard accompanying a faculty of coercion as he enters his ninth season.
“Let’s put ourselves out there to do whatever we can do to accord ourselves a absolute shot, you know,” Lillard said. “Let’s try to accompany that celebrity aback to Portland … It has been a continued time and I appetite to be a allotment of that.”
So that’s what the chat has been. It’s been transparent, you know, it’s that simple.”
The Blazers added Robert Covington, Harry Giles III, Derrick Jones Jr. and Enes Kanter during the offseason.
— 8:42 p.m.
Speaking for the aboriginal time aback signing a five-year amateur addendum with the Celtics, said he’s beholden for the befalling to break in Boston continued term.
“It’s a dream appear true,” Tatum said Tuesday as the Celtics angled off training camp. “I’m acutely beholden and thankful; I don’t booty it for accepted or lightly.”
Tatum, who set career-highs in credibility (23.4) and rebounds (7.0) aftermost season, sees allowance for advance entering his fourth NBA season.
Tatum believes every allotment of his bold can get bigger aback it comes to efficiency, acquainted that he can abide to get stronger, extend his range, actualize off the distill and accomplishment through acquaintance at a college level.
— 7:25 p.m.
Sitting bottomward for a Zoom appointment alarm afterwards his aboriginal alone workout, Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic approved to acclimatized his long, disheveled hair.
“I’m ready,” Doncic said. “My hair’s not ready.”
Quarantine coif aside, Doncic fabricated it bright that he has one ambition this season: to win the NBA Finals a year afterwards accepting his aboriginal NBA playoff experience.
“Every year I appetite to be better,” Doncic said. “That’s the ambition for me. I additionally appetite to win the championship. That’s the ambition we entered aftermost year. And that’s the ambition we’re activity to access this year.”
After cutting alone 31.6% from 3-point ambit aftermost season, Doncic said he spent a acceptable block of the offseason commutual assorted cutting drills.
“Until you’re the best at something,” Doncic said, “you consistently got to assignment on it.”
— 6:28 p.m.
The Golden State Warriors will adjournment the alpha of alone workouts afterwards two players activated absolute for COVID-19, accepted administrator Bob Myers appear on Tuesday.
The team’s alone amateur workouts will instead activate on Wednesday, with accumulation amateur workouts alpha abutting week.
The alliance declared in a health-and-safety agreement guide that was broadcast to teams aftermost anniversary that any amateur who tests positive, alike if asymptomatic, charge delay 10 canicule and afresh be monitored in alone workouts for an added two days.
To acknowledgment to work, both players charge go 10 canicule or added afterwards the aboriginal absolute analysis or access of affection or analysis abrogating twice at atomic 24 hours afar via PCR testing.
— 4:55 p.m.
The Brooklyn Nets had aerial hopes for 2019-20 afterwards they reeled in chargeless agents Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in the summer of 2019. However, Durant never played a bold for Brooklyn as he recovered from the Achilles abrasion he suffered in the 2019 Finals. Irving, meanwhile, appeared in aloof 20 amateur afore an afflicted appropriate accept concluded his aboriginal season.
The Nets accept a new drillmaster (and apprenticeship staff, for that matter) in Steve Nash and he said in Tuesday’s video account appointment with the media that both Irving and Durant are attractive sharp. Durant batten with reporters as able-bodied on Tuesday and said he has been through a arduous action in convalescent from his Achilles injury. But he added he is alive out generally with Irving and attractive advanced to actuality on the cloister again.
Nash said he is still accession out how the duo will be acclimated in Brooklyn’s two preseason amateur abutting week. In addition, he said there are no specific affairs to sit either amateur during the 2020-21 campaign. However, Nash additionally said he believed it was absurd the duo would comedy in all 72 amateur this season.
— 3:04 p.m.
The Minnesota Timberwolves no agnosticism captivated a ample camp of their fan abject by trading for above fan admired and adept point bouncer Ricky Rubio in the offseason. Rubio spent the aboriginal six seasons of his career with the Timberwolves and gave admirers endless memorable moments.
One of the standout moments associated with Rubio’s administration with the Wolves came aback in the 2012-13 division in a accident to the Los Angeles Lakers on TNT. During the advance of that game, Rubio was mic’d up and a chat he had with then-rookie bouncer Alexey Shved was bent on camera. In it, Rubio said to a aghast Shved: “Change this face. Be Happy. Enjoy.”
At Rubio’s anterior video account appointment Tuesday, he accurate his now-famous adduce afresh — except he said “Change that face. Be Happy. Enjoy.”
— 1:11 p.m.
Earlier this month, a address alike that Indiana Pacers brilliant Victor Oladipo was gluttonous a barter from the aggregation during the offseason. However, Oladipo was quick at the time to say he charcoal committed to the Pacers (per Shams Charania of The Athletic) and doubled-down on that during Tuesday’s account affair with reporters.
Oladipo, a backstab All-Star and above Kia Best Improved Amateur Award winner, will be an complete chargeless abettor in 2021. Aback apprenticed about his approaching with the Pacers, Oladipo was alone apropos himself with the present.
Pacers big man Domantas Sabonis did not participate in the NBA restart in Orlando because of plantar fasciitis in his larboard foot. However, he said he has no limitations from the abrasion and is accessible to go for the 2020-21 season.
— 11:48 a.m.
The Washington Wizards lived through a 25-47 division in 2019-20 after the casework of brilliant bouncer John Wall. He has been out the aftermost 1 1/2 years because of two operations (to his larboard heel and larboard Achilles tendon) but said in May he is “110%” and agog to return.
Wizards drillmaster Scott Brooks batten with reporters via Zoom about the cachet of Wall and he watched him conditioning in Los Angeles aftermost month. Per Brooks, Wall is attractive “as acceptable and as able as he’s anytime been,” and told reporters he is “ready to go” for the 2020-21 season.
Provided Wall is absolutely healthy, the Wizards accept a able amount of aptitude that includes him as able-bodied as All-Star bouncer Bradley Beal and assiduously Davis Bertans and Rui Hachimura. While the Wizards were a allotment of the division restart in Orlando, they ultimately absent the playoffs in 2020.
Hachimura told reporters Tuesday, though, that he envisions Washington in the playoffs aback the 2021 postseason gets going.