The former franchise savior in a heartfelt post on his own personal Facebook page announced the news that he will be leaving the NBA, at least for now, to play for the Qingdao Eagles in China.  One chunk from that status update stood out:

Isaiah Thomas, Rich Devos, Leslie Alexander and John Gabriel, you believed in me and I thank you. Jeff Van Gundy, you exemplified the brilliance of what a great coach is. Steven A. Smith, you gave us players a voice and for that I thank you. Doug Christy, Charles Oakley, Dee Brown, Mugsy Bogues, Antonio Davis, Dell Curry, Kevin Willis, you all showed a young kid from Auburndale Florida how to be a better player. Kobe, you made me work harder and it was an honor to play against you. And Yao, we shared an experience together that will always be with me, thank you.

The Stephen A. Smith dynamics were interesting because I can’t recall another athlete, at least in this sport, outright showing appreciation to a media figure for serving as an outlet to the public.  But what hit home more was the mention of Jeff Van Gundy, the only such mention in the post of a former coach.

We’ve heard Van Gundy rave about McGrady’s talents over the years on national broadcasts, even recently going so far as to say that T-Mac was the closest thing he had ever seen to a perfect body and a good mind.  Until now, we didn’t know if the appreciation was mutual.

I’ve contested that Jeff Van Gundy was the best coach this team has had in the now-close-to-20-years I’ve been following it.  I felt this way because, despite his reputation as an authoritarian, Jeff was a realist.  He knew how to get through to people in unconventional manners.  His communication skills are precisely why Kelvin Cato and Cuttino Mobley enjoyed career years under his tutelage.

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A piece on ESPN.com the other day shed conclusive light upon the curious Royce White situation from last week when the Houston Rockets’ rookie forward decided to skip the start of training camp citing his anxiety disorder.  In the article, the author, Myron Medcalf, explains that for White, the decision revolves around a desire to ensure a degree of trust from his new employer.

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More thoughts on the Royce White situation

Via ESPN:

“What it’s going to look like is every game that’s drivable, I’m going to get a bus for myself,” White said. “And I’m going to make that bus feel like home so that there’s a level of consistency in a job where inconsistency is very apparent because of the schedule. I’m going to try and level that out and make sure that my stress levels stay low and that my rest is regular and that my meals are regular and that as much as I can, draw consistency from a very inconsistent schedule. …

I can’t really quote the whole article here without filling up the page so take a look over there for context.  But essentially, part of the treatment outlined by Royce’s doctors is that he travel by bus to those games for which that can feasibly be done.






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On the NBA: Lakers, Irving, Kevin Martin

  • Why is everyone so sure that Kobe will defer to Steve Nash just because of Nash’s stature?  What in Kobe’s history would lead anyone to believe that he’ll defer to anyone?  When has he ever played with another ball dominating guard?  The only player that even comes to mind is Nick Van Excel and that was before Kobe could even legally drink.
  • Here’s the thing: Lebron and Wade were friends.  And there was also a mutual understanding.  Wade had a ring.  And I think Lebron understood/understands his own flaws in not really being a closer.  And so you saw Lebron let Wade take the last shots up until this last year’s playoffs when the former just killed everyone and it didn’t even matter.  But there’s more complicated dynamics at play with Nash and Kobe, mainly, the awkward reality that Kobe has five rings but Nash is the more efficient option (especially with Howard as a roll-man.)  Like I said before, the rags will explode the first time that team loses two in a row.

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via Rookie Royce White not with Rockets for opening of training camp – Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston:

“We are trying to figure out a plan for me to be healthy and successful long-term,” White said. “It’s not really anything that’s going on right now. It’s more of trying to take a pro-active approach and trying to put together a solid plan.

“It is definitely linked with my anxiety sure, but it’s not so much as far as my anxiety now. Basically what happened was my doctor, we discussed it, and it was decided the way the plan was now just wasn’t logistically healthy.

“So what can we do strategically to try and improve the chances of everybody being successful in this situation, my success and the Rockets success? If I fail then that’s not good for them either, because it’s an investment.”

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