Draymond Green says no one blames the ‘sh-tty’ franchises’ when a draft pick busts

Chris Cwik | Yahoo Sports

Golden State Warriors big man Draymond Green has a take about NBA draft busts: It’s not their fault. While showing support for teammate Marquese Chriss, Green suggested teams should get more blame when a highly drafted player becomes a bust.

Green used more colorful language when talking about the issue.

Here’s Green’s full answer when he was asked about Chriss:

“He seems like he’s turning the corner. But I think he’s been in some pretty tough situations. No one ever blames the situation though, it’s always the kid. No one ever blames the s—– franchises. They just always want to blame the kid. It’s not always the kid’s fault.”

Chriss, 22, was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft. He was selected by the Sacramento Kings, but immediately traded to the Phoenix Suns. Chriss failed to put up strong numbers in Phoenix. He averaged just 8.5 points per game in his two seasons with the team. He split time between the Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers last season, and failed to establish himself in either spot.

After three rough years, Chriss signed with the Warriors in the offseason. He’s emerged as a useful contributor in four games this preseason, and could open the regular season with the Warriors.

Green may have been blunt — and taken a massive shot at the Suns — with his assessment. But he’s not wrong. Organizations play a big role in whether players are successful. It often falls on those organizations to develop those players, and find ways to get them to improve and adjust to the NBA. Sure, sometimes players fail because they don’t have the talent, but that’s not always the case. Some players have plenty of talent but fail to reach their potential due to the situation around them.

It remains to be seen where Chriss falls on that scale. While he’s looked better this preseason, it’s still just four games. If Chriss can take those gains into the regular season and become a steady part of the Warriors’ rotation, the Suns are going to look even worse for how they handled Chriss.

Emotional Michael Jordan unveils first of two medical clinics in Charlotte

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An emotional Michael Jordan unveiled the first of two medical clinics he and his family funded in Charlotte, North Carolina, that will provide care to underprivileged members of the community.

The six-time NBA champion and Hornets owner was on hand Thursday for the grand opening of the $7 million Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic. Tears streamed down Jordan’s cheeks as he said, “this is a very emotional thing for me to be able to give back to a community that has supported me over the years.”

The clinic, located in a lower-income section of the city, will provide vital access to primary and preventive care to individuals in the community, including those who are uninsured or underinsured.

Jordan vowed to do more, saying “this is just the start of a battle of being able to touch as many people as we can.”

Jordan first announced the $7 million gift in 2017.

Harrison Barnes to pay for funeral for Atatiana Jefferson, woman fatally shot in home by police officer

Torrey Hart | Yahoo Sports

Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes, who played two-and-a-half seasons for the Dallas Mavericks spanning 2016-19, will pay for more than half of the funeral services for Atatiana Jefferson, Fox 4 Forth Worth reported Thursday. The Dallas Morning news reported that the Philadelphia Eagles’ Malik Jackson will pay for the remainder.

Jefferson, 28, was shot and killed in her home by Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean on Saturday while watching her young nephew.

Read at HHCP: Ft. Worth Officer Arrested, Charged With Murder In Killing Of Atatiana Jefferson; Neighbor Who Called Police For Simple ‘Welfare Check’ Feels ‘Shaken’, Guilty and Regretful

The shooting occurred after a concerned neighbor called the non-emergency police line to ask for a welfare check, because Jefferson’s door was open, which he thought was unusual. Dean arrived with another officer, and walked the perimeter of the house, looking in through glass doors without announcing his presence.

According to investigators, when he got to a back window, Dean saw someone inside the home and said “Put your hands up. Show me your hands,” and then immediately fired a shot.

Dean was arrested and charged with murder that night and has since been released on a $200,000 bond.

Barnes has a history of giving back to the North Texas community. In 2018, Barnes, his wife and his mother put together and gave out Thanksgiving meals to dozens of South Dallas families. He also sponsored the renovation of two basketball courts at the Mesquite Boys & Girls Club, as well as hosted youth basketball camps and put on two back-to-school shopping events. He hosted additional youth events throughout his time in Dallas.

Lee Merritt, the attorney representing Jefferson’s family, told the Dallas Morning News that the athletes “reached out to him about paying for the funeral and didn’t want to make a big to-do about their generosity.”

The wake for Jefferson is scheduled for Friday night, according to Fox 4, with funeral services scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Both will be held at Potter’s House of Dallas, a megachurch with a capacity of about 8,000.

Adam Silver: China asked for Daryl Morey to be fired over pro-Hong Kong tweet; financial losses to NBA ‘already substantial’

Jack Baer | Yahoo Sports

The discourse over the NBA’s relationship with China created by a single pro-Hong Kong tweet from Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey continues to rage, but league commissioner Adam Silver has already started to reflect on the events that occurred immediately after Morey hit that fateful “Tweet” button.

During an interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts at the Time 100 Health Summit on Thursday, Silver confirmed that the country’s government and businesses asked that Morey be fired for the since-deleted tweet.

Silver said the league shut down any possibility of that, or any other discipline, happening:

“We made clear that we were being asked to fire him, by the Chinese government, by the parties we dealt with, government and business,” Silver said. “We said there’s no chance that’s happening. There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him.”

The obvious consequence of the NBA refusing to discipline Morey was that what happened to the Rockets — effectively being erased from a country in which it had millions of fans — could go league-wide. Multiple teams are already exploring what they could do in a scenario where the league’s salary cap drops 10 to 15 percent, representing hundreds of millions lost in for the entire league in annual revenue.

Silver said the league is already seeing those consequences with game broadcasts still suspended in China, but also noted the league is willing to cope with whatever happens next:

Silver said the league is “not only willing” to cope with losses of millions in revenues, “but we are. The losses have already been substantial. Our games are not back on the air in China as we speak, and we’ll see what happens next.”

“I don’t know where we go from here,” said Silver in his first U.S. interview about the league’s emerging conflict with China since he returned home from the country. “The financial consequences have been and may continue to be fairly dramatic.”

Funnily enough, had Silver taken this stance — publicly affirming Morey will not be disciplined, saying the league will deal with China’s backlash but will not apologize — in the days immediately after the tweet, he might have saved the NBA from the domestic backlash it experienced over the matter.

The NBA’s initial statement criticized Morey’s tweet, which only said “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” as “regrettable” and having “deeply offended” Chinese fans. It evaluated the tweet in an even harsher light in a statement released in Mandarin. That first statement is what caused politicians on both sides of the aisle to condemn the league for acquiescing to an authoritarian government to preserve revenue.

Silver released a second statement days later that did a better job of not throwing Morey under the bus, but the narrative around the league’s treatment of China had already formed.

Players and coaches were asked about the matter and held off from supporting Morey to avoid a similar backlash, just as the NBA had done. And then LeBron James took it a step forward and criticized Morey for not considering the harm certain people could have experienced “not only financially but physically, emotionally, spiritually.”

However, Silver contended Thursday that he didn’t believe the league ever acquiesced to China:

Silver said that the media coverage of the NBA’s response to Morey’s tweet “frankly was confusing to me when I got home [from China]. Only because I had thought we’d taken a principled position. I thought we hadn’t so-called acquiesced to the Chinese.”

The NBA’s initial statement last week used the word “regrettable,” which Silver emphasized was describing the reaction of Chinese government officials, business executives and NBA fans in China — not the content of Morey’s tweet itself. “Maybe I was trying too hard to be a diplomat,” Silver said. “I didn’t see it as my role as the commissioner of the NBA to weigh in on the substance of the protest, but to say here’s this platform” for free expression.

Regarding Silver’s point of a principled position, treating Morey’s tweet as something regrettable and offensive when it was a simple show of support for a pro-democracy protest against a government with several reported human rights abuses is absolutely what China wanted. The country’s government clearly preferred Morey be fired to show even speaking out against China can carry consequences overseas, but the entire league declining to support Morey’s relatively tame statement was enough to show the country’s influence.

We’ll see if the NBA’s reputation comes back from that.