It’s here, it’s finally here…
After a busy summer and a fairly quiet September, the NBA is back. Not the regular season though – we are still one month away from that – but the preseason and training camp. All NBA players are officially back on the basketball floor ready to take on new challenges. And, like every year, before putting on their practice jerseys, they made one last stop: in the media booth. So what did they say?
Kobe Bryant’s Retirement Plans
Don’t hold your breath too long if you want to find out when Kobe Bryant will retire. Will it be next season after his current contract expires? Will he sign yet another lucrative deal?
“I’m going to miss it no matter what.” ICYMI: Kobe Bryant says he talked to MJ and Derek Jeter about retirement: http://t.co/lyKjdjTpw4
— ESPN (@espn) 30 septembrie 2015
Unfortunately for all the NBA fans, the start of the training camp didn’t bring enlightenment on that matter. Bryant said: “The question is: how do you know (when to retire)? I don’t know. I talk to (Derek) Jeter, Michael (Jordan) and all these guys and it’s different for all of us.” Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki though doesn’t have the same difficulties as Kobe when he thinks retirement. Nowitzki believes he is able to play two more season and only then, retire. “I want to play two more seasons under contract here, hopefully at a high level, compete, hopefully be efficient when I’m out there. And then retirement obviously comes soon enough,” the veteran told Dallas Morning News.
Low Expectations For The Most Notorious NBA Franchises
As Dwyane Wade said on Monday, training camp is a place brimming with optimism, high hopes and championship aspirations. Every team thinks it has all the right pieces to compete. Surprisingly, this year, the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks are much more cautious in front of the media. Lakers’ GM Mitch Kupchak said in an interview: “We’re realistic in who we are and we do feel we do have an interesting mix of older players and younger players and we think we can win a bunch of games and hopefully be in the mix somewhere down the line.” As for the Knicks, superstar Carmelo Anthony put it simply: it’s too early for expectations. Knicks’ president Phil Jackson made the error last year of telling the media of his playoff aspirations and we all know where New York finished in the NBA (L)eastern Conference.
— NY Knicks Fans (@KnicksViews) 28 septembrie 2015
Oh No, Not Again Derrick Rose!
Karma is a you know what and Chicago Bulls’ injury-prone Derrick Rose witnessed it first-hand. After talking in front of the media about his free agency plans – he is set to become a free agent in 2017 – and his need to cash in, D-Rose got hammered in the team’s first practice. He was elbowed in the face by allegedly Taj Gibson fracturing his orbital and now he has to face yet another surgery. His recovery process is yet to be determined. This is what happens when you speak without being asked – Rose wasn’t asked about free agency, he was asked about his civil lawsuit filed against him this summer by an ex-girlfriend:
Bulls’ Eastern rival, the Cleveland Cavaliers have the same struggles entering training camp. Iman Shumpert injured his wrist several days before the start of the NBA preseason and will be out of the court at least three months. The Cavs already had their share of injury problems before Shump: Kyrie Irving is still doubtful and will have a limited role to start the regular season while Kevin Love, Anderson Varejaoand TimofeyMozgov didn’t have a healthy summer at all. How will they fare in 2015 – 2016?
By: Florian Gheorghe