This time of year the NBA is predictably dull as players are ending their summer vacations and preparing to get back in the gym. But Russell Westbrook got married, Shaq and Kobe buried their feud, Kyrie Irving might not see game time for a while, Derrick Rose is a defendant in a civil suit, Darryl Dawkins suffered a fatal heart attack, Jim Buss is his usual psychotic self talking about Lakers blood. It was a week that didn’t disappoint.
Russell Westbrook: He married his college sweetheart, Nina Earl, who he met when they were both students at UCLA. She was on the basketball team and so was he. They were married in Beverly Hills Saturday night. In case you care, Westbrook’s tuxedo was by Tom Ford. Earl’s two dresses were by Vera Wang and Monique Lhullier. R&B singer Miguel gave a surprise performance. Watching the happy couple unite was Westbrook’s close friend Kevin Love, another UCLA baller, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Dorrell Wright and James Harden and Khloe Kardashian.
Kyrie Irving: His three month recovery has been pushed back a little bit. Irving who broke his kneecap in the first game of the NBA Finals and was expected to be out 3-4 months, won’t return until January. In the interim, Mo Williams will return to his familiar role on the Cavaliers as the starting point guard. Despite the Cavaliers downplaying the significance of the updated timetable, they insist it’s not a setback, Irving’s injury history makes this latest news unsettling, not for the Cavs, they should handle his departure without too much of a downslide, but for Kyrie Irving who just can’t seem to stay healthy.
Kobe/Shaq: Kobe appeared on Shaq’s podcast to discuss their acrid relationship and the ensuing regrets. Truth to be told, their feud was over a couple of years ago when Kobe made nice-nice with Shaq after his taste of Dwight Howard’s diva-ness. Howard was the punishment Kobe needed, the cold water in the face that made him appreciate the Big Aristotle’s game. A few years too late, Kobe finally appreciated and gave Shaq love despite how damned lazy he was. So all’s good with the duo who have both matured immensely. When they were on the Lakers, they were the two best player’s in the league which explained the three titles and four NBA Finals appearance.
Derrick Rose: A civil suit was filed against Derrick Rose. The plaintiff is a former girlfriend who accuses Rose and co-defendants of sexual misconduct. Rose’s lawyer explains the lawsuit as a shake down for money. Rose claims his innocence. More to come when all parties have to submit to depositions.
Darryl Dawkins: The biggest entertainer the NBA has ever seen passed away because of a heart attack. For those who saw Dawkins up close, his life was one big party as he took dunking to a new level. He was given the nickname Chocolate Thunder by blind Stevie Wonder. Dawkins shattered his first backboard in Kansas City. Then in San Antonio. He was an exuberant personality who named his dunks. There was the Yo-Mama Dunk. The Cover-Your-Head Dunk. The-In-Your-Face-Disgrace dunk. His career was disappointing. The first non-college player drafted in the first round, he was expected to have a career similar to Wilt. He didn’t. But he was a lot of fun to watch destroy rims.
Jim Buss: The beleaguered owner and front office disaster was asked about Kobe Bryant’s retirement. It wasn’t a gotcha question. It wasn’t a trick question. He will be asked a thousand times about Bryant. Buss took the high road and said it would be Kobe Bryant’s decision to retire, not his. And then he couldn’t resist being Jim Buss. His follow-up revealed what he really thought. He is going tell Kobe his role for next season and if Kobe agrees to it, then he can come back. Otherwise sayonara.
He wasn’t finished. Buss went on some song and dance about Byron Scott having Lakers blood, that’s why he is the right coach for the job. Okay, Jim. Stay informed about the NBA. Stay classy.
photo via Wikimedia.org