It’s that magical time of the year where we start talking about the NBA, which kicks off next month. And with us all talking from the wild weekend, what better time for the NBA to host their tip off of the season in NBA Media Day. There was a lot going on in today’s wild rush of interviews, so let’s give you some of the highlights.
LeBron Steals the Show
Yeah, King James was the talk of the Media Day presser with some of his Trump talk (more of that later), but he also really commanded the conversation in a way we haven’t seen out of James yet in the NBA. He looked really comfortable, and went through a variety of topics with some jokes and some serious wisdom. He spoke candidly about Kyrie Irving, saying he was ready to give him the franchise, and talked a lot about being content heading into the upcoming season. It was just a fun interview for James.
Watch LeBron James defend calling Trump a bum on Twitter pic.twitter.com/n96jby7gM2
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) September 26, 2017
Trump, Trump, Trump
We all knew we’d get a lot talk about this, and boy did we. John Wall talked about his displeasure in the way things are going and called on some familiar NFL faces to speak out.
— Hoop District (@HoopDistrictDC) September 25, 2017
We also saw a bunch of other players make similar statements to make their feelings known, including Russell Westbrook.
Russ on Trump’s ‘outrageous’ comments: pic.twitter.com/pn8wVluGm6
— Dime on UPROXX (@DimeUPROXX) September 25, 2017
And throughout the day we got trickling’s of team statements condemning Trump and supporting protest, with LeBron James topping it off with repeating “bum” as many times as he could.
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) September 25, 2017
Oh, and we got another legendary Greg Popovich rant. It was something to see.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich: Time to decide “the decent America we all thought we had and want is more important” than Pres. Trump’s conduct. pic.twitter.com/ImnHDOP43b
— ABC News (@ABC) September 25, 2017
Melo and the Thunder
It was a forgone conclusion that the Melo trade would dominate the attention of everyone in the gathering. Melo added to the theatrics by wearing his now-famous hoodie under his new Thunder jersey and talked about how excited he was to be in OKC. He got to laugh off a question about potentially not starting and expressed openness to play at the 4.
I’d love to be in the room if/when Billy Donovan tells Melo he may have to come off the bench someday pic.twitter.com/ndNx3LJ1o1
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) September 25, 2017
Paul George then sparked some intrigue in talking about how the Thunder were bringing something together he could see himself doing long term, and it looks like there’s reason to believe this could be something special.
Melo: “I’ve never played with an elite point guard before! Finally I have someone who will get me the ball.”
— Knicks Memes (@KnicksMemes) September 26, 2017
And we got a nice Russ moment when a reporter was literally too afraid to ask Russ a question. Poor guy.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 25, 2017
Lonzo Gets Star Treatment
A more bizarre moment in the Media Day affairs was the insane crowd that Lonzo Ball commanded in his debut. Ball showed up in his ZO2 shoes and Big Baller swag, and he commanded some big attention. This is a good sign that his dad’s crazy marketing strategies are working, and his son is profiting off it for now.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) September 25, 2017
We got to see the new, weird looking Isaiah Thomas in Cavs gear and Hayward and Irving in their Celtics green. It’s going to take some getting used to, and the Thomas look in particular was so bizarre to see. But this is the new normal, and media saw these guys blending in pretty well in their new world, aside from the occasional shade from Isaiah.
— clevelanddotcom Cavs (@PDcavsinsider) September 25, 2017
You know it’s not media day though without some angry players and coaches. The Rockets found themselves on the flip side of a failed trade attempt at media day, and Daryl Morey showed it. He was crass in the questions and talked about his new focus for this roster, and CP3 showed it too. They looked all business, which is a harsh shift from the Rockets of a year ago.
Chris Paul said Coach D’Antoni told them last night that the #Rockets team motto is “So what? What’s next?”
— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) September 25, 2017
Beyond that, we got to see Kenneth Faried on his soap box. He really went out of his way to voice his displeasure at the thought that he may not be a starter with the Nugget’s addition of Paul Millsap. Faried said again and again that he would fight for minutes, and even implied that if he doesn’t start in Denver, he would somewhere else.
“If this team doesn’t want or respect me enough to play me the minutes, then I understand that. Maybe I go somewhere else.” – Faried
— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) September 25, 2017
And in the land of weird, Rick Carlisle threw his prized trade acquisition Nerlens Noel under the bus at media day, implying the promising young center might not start in Dallas this year. That’s odd considering how much the Mavs liked the player, and makes you wonder what happened in those contract talks this offseason.
The Mavs will start Dirk at Center this season, and bring Nerlens Noel off the bench. pic.twitter.com/M9z0VRaVgP
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) September 25, 2017
And the Odd…
Just love how much fun Giannis is having at media day! 😂 pic.twitter.com/SW2B5BVQDu
— Leading NBA (@LeadingNBA_) September 25, 2017
— Kristen Ledlow (@KristenLedlow) September 25, 2017
Dwight Howard having some fun with the press on media day. pic.twitter.com/EmHQ8KLPR1
— The Charlotte Post (@thecharpost) September 25, 2017
looks like the sixers got plenty of chick fil a for fultz on media day pic.twitter.com/T2JnuW5fNk
— Drew Corrigan (@Dcorrigan50) September 25, 2017
Let’s start this season!