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“My game is not changed. It’s pretty much set in stone.”
- New York’s Carmelo Anthony.

Isn’t that the problem?

“They’re probably right.”
- Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni on James Harden being voted the best shooting guard in the NBA (ahead of Kobe) in the annual GM survey.

Does he have a death wish?

“Last time around, I was a knucklehead.”
- Miami’s Michael Beasley on his second go-round with the Heat.

Mike, Phoenix just paid you $12 million to go away and not play for them. Not sure you’ve solved that knucklehead thing.

“I call it ‘pissing the NBA gods off’. You’re making, making, making a lot of shots — and you mess with the basketball game and the game gets you back. And it definitely got me back.”
- New York’s J.R. Smith when asked why he struggled so mightily in the playoffs last season.

I’d call it ‘regressing to the mean’.

“I’m most comfortable in the bed.”
- New York’s Metta World Peace when asked if he’s more comfortable playing small forward or power forward on defense.

Yep, gold!!

“He’s a country Victorian, true Aussie that is a headbanger. He plays with reckless abandon. He at times might not be pretty, he’s a little bit Neanderthal in how he goes about his business, but he’s for real.”
- Sixers coach (and former Boomers coach) Brett Brown on Matthew Dellavedova.

That’s an interesting description of Delly but pretty accurate.

“I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer. To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up. Or if you want to start some sort of barbershop or car wash—those were the businesses back then. Things you can get in easily to get out of [that] life. At some point, you have to have an exit strategy, because your window is very small; you’re going to get locked up or you’re going to die.”
- Jay Z when asked how his past experiences will help him in his new role as a sports agent.

Of course.

“I don’t have a lot of bitterness other than I don’t understand. But not understanding when you are working in a world of millions, millions, and millions of dollars, there’s a lot of things I don’t understand. There’s a lot of contracts we give players that I don’t understand. There’s a lot of trades that I don’t understand. There are a lot of decisions I don’t understand. I can’t deny there’s an anger and frustration. But there’s much more celebration in my heart than anything else.”
- George Karl on being fired by the Nuggets.

We don’t understand either, George.

“I took human anatomy. I don’t remember any motors being in there.”
- Philadelphia 76er Lavoy Allen when questioned by the media about his ‘motor’ following an incident where he missed practice.

That’s a pretty good response.

“Love them or hate them, unfortunately bigs in the league are going to get paid. If you can walk in a straight line and be 7-foot, it’s a pretty good place in the NBA.”
- Golden State’s Andrew Bogut.

If there was an All-NBA Quote Team, Bogut would be on it.

“Yeah, I mean it’s the only place left that hasn’t had any NBA interaction, and that’s sad in my opinion. I know it’s not a country with a billion people or preferred sponsorships or whatever it is, but I think the time is coming that we deserve an NBA game there for the fans. What a lot of people don’t know is that on the NBA international League Pass, I think Australia is No. 1 in the world I believe, outside of the states. And I believe they’re No. 1, I think, in international merchandise sales. So the NBA is making a lot from Australia, and it’d be a pretty good thing for them to have a game out there in the coming years.”
- Bogut speaking to USA Today on his mission to bring the NBA to Australia.

You’re a bloody legend mate.

“Everyone is blowing us up, but we’ve only had one good year the last five or six. We still have a lot to prove…. We’re not going sprinkle some dust on the roster and sweep everybody in the playoffs and win a championship. There’s a process, and it takes a lot of hard work and commitment.”
- Andrew Bogut.

A necessary dose of reality for the Warrior faithful. 

“If Monta [Ellis] is an elite playmaker like he has been, you know, he’s a cornerstone piece.”
- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

Lol.

“There’s a lot of guys that take a lot of bad shots in this league. A lot of guys…. I’m going to play Monta basketball.”
- New Dallas Maverick Monta Ellis when questioned about his shot selection.

They’re screwed.

“I think I’m looking for the pass too much. I’ve got to be more aggressive attacking the basket, getting a couple to go down and then work to see how the defense changes…There’s a lot of shots that’s been there and I’ve been making the late pass. I think the majority of my turnovers come because instead of me taking that shot or making the layup, I try to pass. I’ve got to get out of that. I’ve got to be more aggressive and make the defense move.”
- Monta Ellis after a typical 5-of-13 shooting effort (and 6 turnovers) in a preseason game. 

He just doesn’t get it – volume shooting is not the answer, Monta.

(Question: Do anything fun this summer?) “No.”
- The Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard.

He’s not lying.

“I ain’t got no minutes in my pocket. I ain’t got no crazy cellphone plan.”
- Michael Beasley when asked if he can crack the Heat rotation.

Okaay.

“I think they should eliminate it.”
- New York’s Kenyon Martin on the preseason games.

I wouldn’t go that far but I would certainly cut it right back to a more sensible 3-4 games per team instead of the current 8.

“Our team isn’t good enough to win and we know it. So this season we want to develop and evaluate our young players, let them learn from their mistakes — and get us in position to grab a great player. The best way for us to do that is to lose a lot of games. This draft is loaded. There are potential All-Stars at the top, maybe even franchise changers. Sometimes my job is to understand the value of losing…. We’re not alone. Look at the 76ers. Since the draft in June, I don’t think they’ve signed a player or made a trade to add a legitimate player. A bunch of us realize that our teams aren’t good enough talent wise to do anything. You’re going to be bad. There’s no way around it. And even if you finish 0-82, there’s still a 75 percent chance you don’t get the No. 1 pick. We’re just going to take our lumps and hope our number gets called.”
- An anonymous GM to ESPN The Magazine.

I don’t know why people get so worked up about this – it’s part of the game and it’s just common sense to adopt this strategy.

“The first meeting I had with Doc, he pretty much told me I wasn’t anything. He told me I hadn’t done anything in this league, and he was right. You don’t always want somebody that’s going to tell you what you want to hear.”
- The Clippers’ Chris Paul on his first face-to-face meeting with new coach Doc Rivers.

The Clips will no doubt be a better outfit under Rivers but they’re kidding themselves if they think that frontline (defensively) can win a title.

“I couldn’t get involved in that whole thing. That was the strangest thing in the world. I was seeing the trade talks and I was saying, ‘Wait a minute! We don’t want to give away that guy!’ We wanted that other guy too. That was the home run to get both. [Jordan] is just too young and too gifted to let walk out your door, bottom line. He’s a game changer defensively. He can single-handedly change a game with his defense. There’s five guys, and that number maybe too high, that can do that single-handedly with their size and athleticism and he’s one of them. When you have one of those guys, you want to keep them.”
- Clippers coach Doc Rivers who insisted that DeAndre Jordan be kept out of any trade package (including for Pierce and Garnett) over the summer.

Clearly Doc is trying to pump up his tyres because the things he’s saying about Jordan have no basis in reality.

“I’m the second option. Let’s just point-blank say it.”
- Miami’s Dwyane Wade.

Yeah, I think we know that, Dwyane.

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“At retirement dinner 2nite NBA gave us Stern bobblehead but it’s defective. Head moved up & down instead of side to side!”
- Cavs owner Dan Gilbert on Twitter.

Don’t like the guy but that’s a good one.

“At times it’s confusing. I start speaking Italian to Patty (Mills) and Spanish to Pop, and then I know I have to back up a little bit and take it easy. But it’s fun. You feel like you have a little advantage that you can communicate in a different language the other ones are not understanding.”
- The Spurs’ Manu Ginobili on the challenges of communicating with the many different nationalities on the team. Ginobili is fluent in English, Italian and Spanish, and he serves as the team’s resident translator.

Funny, speaking Italian to Patty.

“I want to be a free agent. I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career. It’s like you have an evaluation period, you know. It’s like if I’m in the gym and I have all the coaches, all the owners, all the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate everything I do. So yes, I want that experience.”
- New York’s Carmelo Anthony.

Why say that now, just before the season starts, which virtually guarantees that it will be a topic of conversation ALL season? That’s typical Melo right there.

“I want to put an end to any speculation that we would allow Kobe to become a free agent. That’s not going to happen. Kobe is a top priority for us. He’s a Laker legend and always will be. I don’t think we’re done winning championships with him yet.”
- Lakers’ owner Jim Buss on Kobe Bryant, who will be a free agent at the end of the season.

So long as they view Kobe as the centerpiece, I think they’re done winning championships.

“Laker fans are spoiled. I don’t know how they’re going to react now, because this is going to be a tough season. This is going to be one of the roughest seasons that the Lakers have ever faced.”
- Laker legend Magic Johnson.

Yep.

“Sitting here watching the Lakers, and I feel sorry for my boy Jellybean when he comes back!”
- Tracy McGrady on Twitter.

He’s going to be a good analyst.

“Maybe I won’t have as much explosion. Maybe I’ll be slower. Maybe I’ll lose quickness. But I have other options. It’s like Floyd Mayweather in the ring. There’s a reason he’s still at the top after all these years. He’s the most fundamentally sound boxer of all time. He can fight myriad styles at myriad tempos. He can throw fast punches or off-speed punches, and he can throw them from odd angles.”
- The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant.

It won’t be pretty for Kobe this year. Just sayin’.

“Honestly, man, I don’t really give a s—. It is what it is.”
- Kobe Bryant when asked about Dwight Howard leaving the Lakers.

I don’t believe that. With Howard they had a chance to compete, but without him they’re going to be ruddy awful this season, and on some level Kobe knows that.

“It was very uncomfortable. I knew I was messing on (Gasol) last year. That’s not fair to him. But that was the situation we were in. How do we make the best of it? I was just trying to make the best of it. But no, it wasn’t fair to him. I think it was all (politics). It was all that. We wouldn’t do that (normally). If nobody had names on their jerseys, and we were just playing? You go through Pau. There’s not a question. No question.”
- Mike D’Antoni when asked about running the offense through Dwight Howard last season.

He’s got no balls, this guy.

“Yeah, well, I was on drugs back then.”
- Mike D’Antoni regreting saying that his team should “easily” average 110-115 points per game when he took the job in Los Angeles (at the time he was medicated up due to his knee op).

It was never a good mix (personality wise) but who knows what they could have done if everyone was healthy.

“This is my team; why would I want to leave? Why would I want out? I’ve never really backed away from a challenge.”
- Boston’s Rajon Rondo when asked if he wants out of Beantown.

When he sees how much they stink, I think he’ll change his mind.

“Me and Brad [Stevens] have become best friends. We talk every day, we laugh and joke. We just had dinner the other night. I’m going to help him; he’s going to help me. He has my full support. I told him from Day 1, when he came to my camp, that I’m behind him 100 percent. Whatever he wants to do, whatever he wants to change, I have an open mind. I’m ready to listen and to be accountable for what he has for me to do.”
- Rajon Rondo on his new coach.

We’ll see about that.

“That’s a very fair question. I do realize that, and I do want to win. I do want to be in a really good position to compete. I wonder. I do wonder what’s going to be our next move as a team. But for now, all I can focus on is this team, this year. But absolutely — I want to compete. I want to be part of a winning, successful, championship team. I do trust that Danny’s moving in the right direction, but like you said, I have been in seven years already. Some things are going to have to happen the next few years.”
- Atlanta’s Al Horford when asked how patient he is to see out the rebuild in Atlanta.

Expect Al to force a trade some time in the next few years – the Hawks are going nowhere.

“He has to pass it to them first.”
- Milwaukee’s Larry Sanders when asked for a response to former teammate Brandon Jennings’ comment that he will be playing with better bigs in Detroit.

Nice one, Lar’.

“It’s good. I mean, I think we know who we are, and that we have to work, or, excuse my tone, we’ll get our ass kicked. If we don’t gather some camaraderie, and play the game hard, we’re gonna get our ass kicked. That’s how this league is. Guys are just too good.”
- Larry Sanders when asked about this year’s Bucks team.

Straight talker – I like it.

“I won’t go into specific details of what I was wanting and dislikes and everything else when it came to building the business of basketball. But I will say this: One of the key things for me was not only Paul (Pierce) and ‘Jet’ (Jason Terry) coming here with me to make it comfortable, but Reggie Evans had to be on the roster. That was a huge key for me coming here.”
- Brooklyn’s Kevin Garnett on his decision to waive his no trade clause and accept a trade to the Nets.

Opponents will not enjoy playing against a frontline of KG and Evans – two of the biggest shit-stirrers in the league.

“It didn’t go too well. I understand what he’s saying. He just wants to make sure I’m durable. … I just don’t want to be told anything. I think I’ve earned the right to have an opinion on something that I’m doing. From a chemistry standpoint, I think it’s important for me to be out there with everybody.”
- Kevin Garnett on a conversation he had with coach Jason Kidd about playing reduced minutes this year.

I hope he eventually listens to Kidd because KG on reduced minutes would be best for all concerned.

“As a friend, it’s hard for me to sit back and act like it doesn’t bother me because I know how hard of a worker he is [and] I know the time that he puts in the gym to train and rehab. To see him go forward and then take some steps back every time, it’s just sad.”
- Carmelo Anthony on Amar’e Stoudemire’s injury struggles.

I think we can all agree with that.

“I think I’m way more explosive now, like getting to the rim. I think I can take contact a little bit better. And as far as jumping-wise, I think I can jump even higher. They tested my vertical — I increased it by 5 inches. I just didn’t show it yet because there’s no need to.”
- Chicago’s Derrick Rose.

Once he knocks the rust off, watch out.

“Something that I haven’t said publicly, I remember last year when we went to Europe, and I was kind of excited like I normally am, and we had gotten Darron [Collison], and we had gotten Kaman, and Elton Brand, and O.J., and I thought we kind of were fortunate to get the guys we did, and Dirk came up to me and said, ‘We can’t pass, and we can’t shoot. Our guards aren’t there.’ This is the preseason, and I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ and he’s like, ‘Sorry, bro.’ And Dirk is kind of a Debbie-downer. He and J-Kidd were always that way where it was always the worst ever, and then he digs in and he’s a warrior, but that was the first time I’d ever really heard him say anything that negative, and he was right. This year, you talk to Dirk, and he just smiles and shakes his head. And when you get that out of Dirk, that shows that I think he’s fired up, he’s ready.”
- Mark Cuban.

With that miserable roster, he needed Dirk to tell him that?

“We talk about a lot of things with the team. We haven’t gotten really specific with the shutdown… Most foreigners think we’re pretty silly… and they’re correct. It’s children fighting over their toys, so to speak. It’s got nothing to do with the public or what’s good for the country. It’s about winning and losing, and that doesn’t do any of us much good. Hopefully they’re going to get to some sort of agreement in the next couple of days that might be good for the American people.

It’s funny how each of them talks about what the American people want. The leaders from one side, they talk and say ‘The American People want…’ How the hell do these people know what they want? They live in a fishbowl. And then the other side says the same thing. It’s kind of comical, if it wasn’t so dramatically devastating for so many people.”
- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on the shutdown of the United States government.

I love it when he talks politics, or anything for that matter.

Check out Barry’s Tickets for Laker Tickets next time you’re in the US.


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