I have to admit that my love of the sport of basketball does not typically extend to watching the Summer League games. But while I’m not tuning in to watch these games, I did take note of the bit of historical news coming out of the San Antonio Spurs this year.
The Spurs have their assistant coach Becky Hammon running their summer league squad. It might not seem like much at first glance, but Hammon is the first woman to ever be the head coach of a NBA summer league team.
When she was first hired as a full-time assistant, people wondered what in the world the Spurs were thinking. But it wasn’t like she didn’t have some basketball pedigree. She was a highly successful WNBA player (not too mention playing overseas) for a number of years.
When she was out injured for her San Antonio Stars team, she started unofficially watching Spurs practices etc. Greg Popovich saw what he liked and when Hammon was going to retire as a player, he offered her an assistant coach position.
It may have taken pretty much everyone by surprise but given Pop’s track record, it almost doesn’t seem fair to question what he was thinking.
The L.A. Times had a good write on Hammon’s early start to coaching the summer league team that you can check out HERE.
I don’t know how this will turn out for Hammon, but judging by her comments in the article, she seems pretty well equipped for the job.
In other news:
Boston Celtics – The Celtics had a pretty busy time in the transactions column over the past couple of weeks.
Setting aside what the team has been doing in summer league play, it is those comings and goings that have been capturing my interest.
The team made a trade with the Golden State Warriors that saw both teams get rid of an unwanted player. The odd thing about saying “unwanted” is that neither player was an issue in terms of attitude or what have you.
They both, for a variety of reasons, just didn’t fit in with the team’s plans for the future. So Gerald Wallace went on his way to the Warriors while Boston got back David Lee (pictured below) in return.
I know that Wallace wasn’t happy about riding the bench with Boston, but if you read the articles about him during this past season, he didn’t make a pest of himself about his situation either. He mainly focused on being the veteran presence that helped out the younger players on the team. That presence will be missed next season.
As for Lee, you can read more about his contributions to the Warriors in this Yahoo! Sports article.
Next up for the Celtics traded for Oklahoma City Thunder forward Perry Jones III. When I first saw news of the trade, I wondered what the heck was going on. It didn’t really seem like the trade brought over a franchise type player. After reading his career stats, it would hardly seem that Jones would make much of a contribution at all. But it seems he might have value to the Celtics in a variety of ways. And his departure from the Thunder sure helps their financial bottom line. You can read all about that stuff HERE.
And then of course came the news that Phil Pressey had been waived by the team after two seasons. This was one of those “only a matter of time” moves that had been days/weeks in the making. After the Celtics drafted 3 guards, it was pretty obvious Pressey would probably not be in the plans for Boston.
But while it may not have been a surprise, his departure is still kind of a bummer because when he did actually get the chance to play in the games, he usually did a pretty good job.
Sacramento Kings – The news broke before the deal could be officially signed but now that the ink is dry on a contract and ex-Celtic Rajon Rondo has signed what in his mind has to be a humiliating deal in comparison to what he THOUGHT he’d be getting (RE: Max Contract), the Kings have their starting point guard for next season.
But the questions abound as to whether or not Rondo can fit in with the new team. There’s his questionable attitude to be sure. And while he’ll be playing for a much bigger contract negotiation after this upcoming season, you have to wonder if things don’t go well for him, how will he react.
After all if he couldn’t get along and follow orders from Rick Carlisle (see below), how’s he going to deal with George Karl, who will never give anyone the idea he’s a soft and cuddly teddy bear (see all this summer’s news about him trying to get rid of Demarcus Cousins).
For what it is worth, during the press conference to introduce Rondo to the Sacramento media, the player did at least say all the right things.
Los Angeles Lakers – This news galls me to no end. From a business viewpoint, it makes perfect sense for ex-Celtic Brandon Bass to sign with the Lakers.
They wanted him and he obviously didn’t fit in with whatever plans Danny Ainge has for Boston.
But that doesn’t mean that I have to like the fact Boston is letting him go. He did a pretty damn good job overall while he was in Celtics green and I would’ve loved to seen him return to the team.
Sometimes, the business aspect of the NBA and roster construction just bites you in the ass.
Thanks for what you brought to the Celtics, Brandon!
Toronto Raptors – I wrote about the well traveled Luke Ridnour in the first installment of Thursday’s NBA Takeaways. And he gets to make a return appearance because, as expected, Ridnour got waived by Toronto this week.
You have to ask yourself, what’s a guy gotta do to keep his job these days?
Los Angeles Clippers – I know everyone…EVERYONE…has weighed in on the DeAndre Jordan free agency debacle, but here’s my takeaway from the story.
For a guy who is reportedly a vastly limited player, it would seem his biggest limitation might just be his own personal character.
If not his overall sense of self, then at the very least he’s demonstrated that he is not to be taken at his word.
And if you can’t take a person at their word, what good are they really?
Yes, he’s free to have a change of heart because of the preposterous waiting period between players agreeing to terms and actually being allowed to sign the contract. But you can’t even be up front and meet with the guy you are screwing over? Seems like an act of cowardice to me.
Another reason to side against Jordan in this matter is that he managed to make people feel sympathy towards Mark Cuban, if even for just a few fleeting seconds. And that is something that should never be allowed to happen.
So the Clippers got their man back (and let’s not forget that it was after first botching their free agent pursuit of him in the first place).
The Mavericks lost their big signing and are left in such a state that I’ve seen reports and heard talk that Dallas may consider trading Dirk Nowitzki to a team where he has a chance to win while the Mavs go into “Tank Mode”.
I don’t know what’s going to happen down in Big D for sure but I don’t think it is a huge leap of prognostication to say that next year could be a VERY LONG season for the Mavericks.