Michael Walton II writes about the NBA for We Are Regal Radio.
Michael is a student, freelance writer and burgeoning high school basketball scout based in Chicago. He’s previously been published in TrueStar Magazine, the Redeye Chicago and thelyricallab.com.
Stay with WARR.com for his wrap-up of the FIBA World Cup later this week.
In the wake of the recent incidents involving Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson and general manager Danny Ferry making “racial comments” we are all faced with yet another harsh reminder of how careless some in the ranks of NBA management can be when it comes to speaking shamefully in a business setting (or in any setting, for that matter).
It also is a depressing reminder that when we see major news outlets reporting on notable things said by an NBA owner/executive, it is usually something offensive. Just once it would be nice to hear about owners and GMs who actually have integrity. It would be nice to hear quotes from management discussing basketball intelligently instead of offering their clumsy to heinous views on race relations in America.
So in continuing my off-season breakdowns of each NBA division, as I turn to the Northwest Division I have decided to unearth some rarely seen transcripts that previously existed only in the executive offices of each franchise in the Northwest, but (for the most part), these hidden missives say something encouraging for a change. As usual, I list the teams will rank the teams in the order I believe they will finish next year.
1. Oklahoma City Thunder
OKC Thunder owner George B. Kaiser to Kevin Durant:
“You’re going to be 26 years old soon. You haven’t even entered the prime of your career, which makes your MVP award and all your playoff success even sweeter. But the reality of the situation is that we are a small market franchise and our fans are desperate for a championship. We have decided our formula for success is developing young talent at a reasonable price.
We added to our core by giving our team yet another ball handler (Sebastian Telfair). We also added some more outside shooting with Anthony Morrow, and this guy can really shoot the ball. I’m talking about a 45 percent rate from deep. While we’re on the topic of outside shooting, we need you to take less threes. You shoot great during the season. You’re always near or above 40% from three point range. But in the playoffs you seem to drop off a bit. Over the last two postseasons you’ve shot 31% and 34% from three point range.
Though you are the reigning MVP, I think taking more high percentage shots would take your game to the next level. You may be great at the three pointer, but you shoot over 70% on shots 0-3 feet from the basket! So go ahead and get on the LeBron James diet (less 3s, more 2s). Oh, and also cut out all the Washington Wizards talk…..it’s not funny.”
2. Portland Trailblazers
Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen addressing the city of Portland:
“Aren’t you guys glad to be Blazers fans! In 45 seasons of existence we have made the playoffs 30 times! We are also easily the hippest team in the NBA. We reside in Portland and we have cool jerseys, AND our franchise owner co-founded Microsoft (*smirks*). On the court, Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge are the best one-two punch in the league and they know it.
We lost a good back up in Mo Williams, but we (*cough cough*) somewhat remedied that situation by signing up for the last two years of Steve Blake. And while Robin Lopez is a great starting center, I figure backing him up with Chris Kaman can’t hurt (*mumbles*….unless they both get hurt). Our team didn’t need that many additions because our core is still young, and eventually we’ll get over the Spurs playoff hump and bring another title to this great city!”
3. Denver Nuggets
Nuggets GM Tim Connelly addressing the media during an awkward press conference in Denver:
“Soooo hey guys. Back in May when I said I planned to have an ‘aggressive’ offseason I meant like….aggressive in terms of umm….rehab. Yeah, aggressive injury rehab. And aggressive promotion of our players. You guys know Nate Robinson is in the Uncle Drew commercials now?! That’s crazy right? Ok…I’ll admit I did nothing this off-season.
Retaining Nate Robinson and Darrell Arthur was cool, but to be honest I’m optimistic for next year. Kenneth Faried is making his first steps towards becoming a superstar in this league. And we have Danilo Gallinari, JaVale McGee, and almost our entire roster coming back healthy. So we pretty much have no problems next year.”
Reporter: “What about Faried entering the last year of his contract?”
Connelly: *Awkward silence*
4. Minnesota Timberwolves
T’wolves owner Glen Taylor on a private call with T’wolves GM Milt Newton:
“Yeah, so like i was saying I’m glad we finally got rid of that whiny-no-defense-playing-rebounding stat-sheet-stuffing-non-leader Kevin Love. That guy was always such a curmudgeon. Anyway, good job netting us young players we can build our team around.
Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, and Little Big Dog (Glenn Robinson III) gives us one of the most athletic cores in the league. And Ricky Rubio’s favorite thing is throwing alley-oops so now we’ll definitely sell tickets. But we needed to make sure we at least seemed like we care about making the playoffs, that’s why I was happy you signed Mo Williams.”
*Milton says something*
“Hahahaha, yeah I wouldn’t leave the Trailblazers for our team either. Oh well, at least Rubio has a mentor now instead of Kevin the grouch. Let’s give out Wiggins bobbleheads for our first home game with the Cavs. I can’t wait to play that team. So….who should we draft with our lottery pick next year?”
5. Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz owner Larry H. Miller to Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey:
“WE SIGNED GORDON HAYWARD FOR HOW MUCH?!”
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