Tag:Royce Young
Posted on: February 18, 2011 7:14 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2011 7:25 pm

All-Star Notebook: Bosh talks about Durant

Posted by Royce Young

LOS ANGELES -- A few interesting items and quotes I picked up from the mad rush that is All-Star media availability:
  • Dirk Nowitzki talked a little about the potential of playing overseas if there is a lockout. He said, "Everything's open now." He mentioned his age and how he couldn't afford to take a full year off. So while he'd have to negotiate being released from his Mavericks contract and risk having it voided if he was injured, Dirk at least sounds like he's ready and willing to consider playing in Europe. Said Nowitzki:"Right now it seems like both sides are pretty far apart but things could change in a meeting or over time. We'll just have to wait and see."
  • Blake Griffin media swarm rivaled that of anyone not named Carmelo or Kobe. Reporters piled in around the Clipper rookie as if he was as household a name as any other superstar in the room. He was asked about a lot of things, but when asked about his friend Wilson Holloway that passed away this past weekend, Griffin's eyes watered as he said, "He's just one of those guys that was always positive and always a great guy. To see him go through what he did and always keep smiling and stay positive was an inspiration to a lot of people."
  • Also of note: Griffin talked about the dunk contest quite a bit and while he wouldn't reveal anything specific, he said he has one dunk that he feels pretty good about, saying that no one has ever seen that one. He also said he'll be employing Baron Davis for a little help and that they practiced the dunk Thursday night and that he was "surprised at how well it went."
  • Kevin Durant started a lot of chatter after he called Miami forward Chris Bosh a "fake tough guy" a couple weeks ago. I asked Bosh if it's been awkward seeing Durant this weekend and Bosh joked about the two getting together for an NBA Cares event. "His comments after a game, I've made bad comments after a game before. Or I've made comments that I wanted to take back or just something that I felt very strongly about and just said it the wrong way. Sometimes after a game, especially a close one, it can be the wrong time to ask a guy something like that but it's the nature of the business."
  • James Harden who is town replacing Tyreke Evans in the Rookie Challenge makes it four Thunder players participating in All-Star Weekend. And with Durant in the 3-point contest, Russell Westbrook in the Skill Competition, Serge Ibaka in the dunk contest plus Ibaka and Harden in the Rookie game with Westbrook and Durant in the All-Star Game, someone from OKC is in every event. "Thunder up, Thunder up," Harden said. "That was the whole objective, that was key. We didn't really worry about the individual statistics because we're all a family over there but it's great to be rewarded for your accomplishments so I'm excited for everyone to be here. As for a Thunder sweep? "That would be a good look," Harden said. "We could go back to our city with something to carry home."
Posted on: February 18, 2011 6:24 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 2:53 am

For a weekend, the Kentucky trio reunites

Posted by Royce Young

LOS ANGELES -- It wasn't a coincidence that DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall and Eric Bledsoe all sat within arm's length of each other during media availability following their Rookie Challenge practice. The three have been separated for a few months, but if just for a weekend, it's like the good old days in Lexington.

"It's great for us to all be on the floor again together," John Wall said. "It's probably for the last time too unless something happens in the future with some trades or something. So it's cool."

The Kentucky supertrio all went separate ways with Wall staying east with the Wizards, with Cousins and Bledsoe stretching out west to Sacramento and Los Angeles.

It was a historic draft night for the Wildcats, with the three players all going in the first round. Wall was taken first overall, Cousins fifth and Bledsoe 18th.

Their rookie seasons have all been similar, but in different ways. All three are on struggling teams that are working to rebuild. All three have had some serious ups and down. Wall has battled some injuries, Bledsoe is getting used to playing as a backup behind Baron Davis and Cousins, well, he's had his own stuff to deal with.

Cousins has had a few incidents early in the season but caught a lot of attention with a locker room scuffle with teammate Donte Greene. But for the 20 minutes he sat next to Bledsoe and Wall, he looked to be right at home. He actually ignored questions at times because he was too busy messing with Bledsoe. When one photographer wanted a picture of Bledsoe and Cousins together, Cousins grabbed his former Wildcat teammate and pulled him over. Never mind that Bledsoe was in the middle of answering a question.

I talked to Cousins following the Kings loss in Oklahoma City which was his first game back after being ruled inactive because of the locker room incident. Of course the Kings had just lost, but Cousins overall mood was night and day different sitting next to Wall and Bledsoe. Whatever it is, you just can't substitute that camaraderie developed playing for a school. 

The three have been together so far the entire stay in Los Angeles, Bledsoe said. They try and stay in touch as much as possible, but it's been a challenge because, you know, they're busy. Bledsoe said they still communicate with John Calipari some, exchanging texts here and there. But for the most part, the three have been separated by the NBA.

They were prepared for it because when they all joined up for that one season in Kentucky, they had this vision. They knew they'd get one crack at playing together before they all went on to try bigger and better things. But a serious bond was formed for the three as they wound their way through the SEC and made a good run in the NCAA tournament. And to be back again, sitting together answering questions, even if just for a little while, was nice.

"It's a great memory," Bledsoe said. "Everybody's reminiscing. Just coming in and seeing how each other's doing, telling old jokes. It's been pretty fun."

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