Hornets owner Michael Jordan said in an interview with Cigar Aficionado that he is concerned about the NBA’s superteam era: “I think it’s going to hurt the overall aspect of the league from a competitive standpoint. You’re going to have one or two teams that are going to be great, and another 28 teams that are going to be garbage. Or they’re going to have a tough time surviving in the business environment”. He also elaborated on the never-ending debate of which player is the greatest in NBA history: “I never played against Wilt Chamberlain. I never played against Jerry West. To now say that one’s greater than the other is being a little bit unfair…I won six championships. Bill Russell won 11. Does that make Bill Russell better than me or make me better than him? No, because we played in different eras.”
He also spoke about why he doesn’t desire to coach: “I have no patience for coaching. My biggest problem from a competitive standpoint is the focus of today’s athlete. For me to ask an individual to focus on the game the way I played would, in some ways, be unfair. And if he didn’t do it, there’s no telling where my emotions would be.” As for Jordan’s comments about 28 teams being garbage this season, it’s unclear which two teams he believes will be great.
More than likely, one of those teams is the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Is the second team LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers? A Boston Celtics team with a fascinating young core led by Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward? The Houston Rockets, led by Chris Paul, James Harden and one of the league’s most dangerous offenses? The trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in Oklahoma City? The always dangerous San Antonio Spurs behind Kawhi Leonard and head coach Gregg Popovich? While the superteam trend has absolutely brought on its own set of concerns in recent years—and while another Warriors title feels like an inevitability barring major injuries to the team—the crazy 2017 offseason set up an NBA season that would appear to have more than a few excellent teams.
Warriors PF Draymond Green confidently said other NBA title contenders “don’t have a f-king clue” how to handle the defending champion Dubs. On Thursday, Clay Skipper of GQ passed along Green’s response to comments by Rockets GM Daryl Morey, who said the Warriors “are not unbeatable”: “What the f-k are you talking about? They are really trying to rethink their whole strategy because teams know they don’t have a fucking clue. That’d never been done! They don’t come out and hit twenty-four threes and they’re swept. And that’s the second best team in the world. It’s pretty f-king sick to see how everybody is just in a f-king panic about what to do. You sit back and think, like, these motherf-kers, they know. That’s the fun part about it: They know they don’t stand a chance. It pissed me off we didn’t sweep them, though.” Green isn’t buying into his own team’s preseason hype, though. He believes expectations are being made intentionally high so “everybody got something to talk about” if the Dubs fall short: “That’s motivation for me. Everybody wants to anoint us as the greatest team ever, or whatever. The Warriors are gonna win the next 5 championships. It’s so hard to win a championship. And if you win three in a row, and everybody said you were going to win the next five, they’re gonna s-t on you. Because if everybody places you on the top, you only got one place to go. And that’s down.”
The Timberwolves announced the team has signed forward Andrew Wiggins to a multi-year contract extension. The terms of the contract agreement were not released. Wiggins, 22, registered a career-high 23.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 37.2 minutes in 82 games last season, making a career-best 103 three-pointers on a career-high 35.6% shooting percentage from beyond the arc. Wiggins averaged 26.0 points over the final 30 games in 2016-17, including 28.3 ppg in eight April starts. The 6-8 forward registered five 40+ point games a season ago, including a career-best 47-point performance on November 13 vs. the Los Angeles Lakers. Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor stated: “I’m pleased that we’ve reached an agreement with Andrew on a contract extension. Andrew is one of the best young players in the NBA and he has the talent and work ethic to get even better and be a foundation for our franchise for many years”. On that Wiggins added: “I’m very excited to continue my career with the Timberwolves. I love it here. The fans and organization have supported me from my first day here in Minnesota. I want to thank Glen Taylor, Tom Thibodeau, the entire coaching staff and my teammates for believing in me. We’ve had some good times over the last three seasons, but the best is yet to come. I look forward to doing right by them and bringing this team to the postseason”.