Tag Archives: Golden State Warriors

Veteran Cavs don’t view age as a problem

The 50-plus year championship drought is over in Cleveland. And the group the Cavaliers are bringing back to defend that title seems almost as old as that ringless streak the Cavs ended back in June.

The Cavs open training camp Tuesday with the oldest roster in the league, with an average age of 29.7, according to RealGM.com. Their closest competition is the Los Angeles Clippers (29.6). The team they beat in the NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors, is significantly younger (27.5).

While the Warriors reloaded in the offseason with 27-year-old superstar Kevin Durant, the biggest names the Cavs acquired in the summer are closer to 40 than they are to 30.

Cleveland traded for 36-year-old swingman Mike Dunleavy and signed 38-year-old Chris “Birdman” Andersen as a free agent. They’ll join a roster that already features four other thirty-somethings in LeBron James (31), Channing Frye (33), James Jones (35) and Richard Jefferson (36). If and when the Cavs come to a contract agreement with J.R. Smith (30), half of their roster will be on the wrong side of the big 3-0.

The Cavs are aware of the perception that’s out there but point to the fact that three of their top four players — outside of James — are young and in or entering their primes, in Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson.

“You know, they talk about us being old and having an experienced team, but Kyrie’s young, Tristan is young, K-Love’s young, [Iman Shumpert] is young, so the core of our team and what we’re trying to do, they’re young,” said coach Tyronn Lue, ironically one of the league’s youngest head coaches at 39 years old. “Plus, LeBron has the body of a 19-year-old, so going forward I just don’t think our team is old. We do have to watch our minutes, and going forward we’ve got to have our health going into the playoffs.”

Cleveland actually got a little younger Monday when 33-year-old Mo Williams had a change of heart after announcing his intention to play one final season and instead chose to retire. His minutes at backup point guard will be occupied, most likely, by some combination of rookie Kay Felder (21), second-year vet Jordan McRae (25) or fourth-year guard DeAndre Liggins (28), who is a camp invitee on a partially-guaranteed deal, a team source told ESPN.com.

Cleveland could pursue another free agent on the market (35-year-old Kirk Hinrich, 30-year-old Mario Chalmers and 27-year-old Norris Cole have all been discussed internally, as first reported by Cleveland.com), but that is not necessarily the Cavs’ planned approach.

“We feel very comfortable with where we are at the point guard position, the versatility that we have to absorb that,” Cavs general manager David Griffin said. “We have other people that can guard the position. Because of LeBron, we have additional people that can also play the position offensively, and frankly we’re really excited about finding out what some of the younger players on our roster can do.

Now it’s up to new GM Bryan Colangelo to balance out the roster as the franchise looks to take the next step in its rebuilding efforts.

Even though he’s yet to suit up, Embiid’s fun-loving and affable personality has always been on full display. Just check out his social media accounts. After all, what other player has asked Kim Kardashian to slide into his DMs and arm-wrestled Justin Bieber?

It’s all part of the package that is Joel Embiid.

The process is about to be put to the test yet again. The Sixers and their fans have no choice but to trust it.

When it comes to this kid, you want to, even if it’s a risky proposition. Just listen to him talk.

“My coaches sometimes say I’m a little bit too competitive,” Embiid said. “But I want to win, and I feel like we should win every game. That’s all I care about — especially in this city where they’ve been looking for a team to win. I’m glad the Eagles are doing well, so I think it’s our turn.”

Michelle Obama tells Steph Curry to trash-talk President Obama next time they golf

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Tuesday with Michelle Obama to promote Drink Up, a campaign from the Partnership for a Healthier America that encourages drinking water.

Curry and President Barack Obama have become close golf buddies over the past couple of years, so Ellen DeGeneres asked Curry who the better golfer was between the two. Before he could answer, the First Lady interjected and said, “Stephen.”

O’Neal said he’s familiar with Simmons’ game because he attended LSU, O’Neal’s alma mater. O’Neal compared Simmons’ unique skill set and potential on-court impact to that of arguably the best player in the world: Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James.

“He’s a LeBron-type player,” O’Neal said Simmons, a 20-year-old forward. “What I mean by that, LeBron does a nice job of making everybody else around him better — passing the ball, doing the small things — and Ben is that type of player.”

Despite impressive averages of 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game — numbers not too far off of O’Neal’s collegiate production of 21.6 points, 13.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists over three seasons at LSU — Simmons was criticized because LSU failed to meet preseason expectations and missed the NCAA tournament.

O’Neal said he views Simmons’ freshman season differently, though.

“He took a lot of flack (sic), especially at LSU with not really taking over games,” O’Neal said. “But he’s young. He’ll get to that.

“When it comes to other aspects of the game, he’s very, very intelligent. He plays the game very well.”

In 1996, then-Denver Nuggets player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf created controversy when he refused to stand for the anthem before games, saying the flag was a symbol of oppression in the nation, and that the U.S. had a long history of tyranny.