NBA Media Day 2013: Photos, Highlights and Reactions from Monday's Events
With the lights and cameras turned off for the evening, there's plenty of action from NBA media day to look back on.
Players delivered plenty of intriguing quotes (here's looking at you, Kawhi Leonard), everyone not named Jason Richardson apparently gained 15 pounds of muscle and both coaches and players are fired up for the 2013-14 season to begin. If you're curious, J-Rich looks like he gained about 150.
Hell, we may even have the beginning of a feud between the Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons!
By reading on, you can see all the goodies from today's action. The best pictures, the best quotes, the best videos.
We've got it all.
Detroit-Milwaukee is going to be fun this year.
Larry Sanders when asked for response to Brandon Jennings' comments on playing with better bigs in DET: "He has to pass it to them first"— Andrew Gruman (@AndrewGruman) September 30, 2013
For those of you who are curious, they meet on November 25. Circle your calendars and get ready for Sanders to be willing to jump way out of position for a chance to swat away one of Jennings' many shot attempts.
The first shots have been fired. Is this only the opening salvo?
Well this is interesting.
Blazers C Meyers Leonard says you'll see him shooting more three-pointers this year and has set 40 percent as his goal.— Ben Golliver (@blazersedge) September 30, 2013
Meyers Leonard took seven three-pointers as a rookie, and he drilled three of them. Was that a fluke created by small sample size?
Apparently we're going to find out during the 2013-14 campaign. If that's the case, he'll be a nice source of offense off the bench.
Did you know that red is Robin Lopez' color?
Personally, I just love the haircut. Brook Lopez should grow his hair out as well, just so we can see if it does the same thing.
All kidding aside, though, Lopez should be in for a great season. He's one of the more underrated defensive centers in basketball, and he won't have to worry about scoring while playing alongside Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum.
Expect him to have a big year.
Is it just me, or does Brandon Jennings not look all that enthused to be introducing himself as a member of the Detroit Pistons? That video almost appears scripted.
That said, it's understandable because media day is a long event for everyone involved. He'll come around, Detroit.
Jennings was a little bit more enthusiastic about a member of the coaching staff, though.
Milwaukee Bucks fans everywhere should be breathing sighs of relief right about now.
Hammond is excited to have Giannis exposed to NBA game. The key to him is that he isn't overexposed.— Eric Buenning (@ericbuenning) September 30, 2013
Hammond defines success for Giannis as something fans can see. No expected numbers or minutes, but flashes of potential that excite everyone— Eric Buenning (@ericbuenning) September 30, 2013
Giannis Antetokounmpo has the making of an NBA star down the road, but not if the Bucks don't handle him right. He can be thrown into the fire during his rookie season, but he can't be left in so long that he starts to burn.
The lanky Greek forward is an incredible talent with an abundance of physical tools, but he's years away from making a big impact. Milwaukee has to remember that throughout the year.
Does this mean that the Boston Celtics don't have to worry about losing the intimidating Kevin Garnett factor?
I asked Celtics center Vitor Faverani about his playing style. The first words out of his mouth: "I like to fight."— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) September 30, 2013
Vitor Faverani just gets more and more interesting. He should be a fun player to follow throughout his first season in the states.
This could explain a lot.
Channing Frye, asked if he’s watched his teammates play pickup this summer: “No, because pickup’s not real basketball.”— Brett Pollakoff (@BrettEP) September 30, 2013
If I were Channing Frye, I'd be using every opportunity to hone my skills and prove that I had a future with the organization. Lackluster play isn't going to cut it moving forward.
Damian Lillard is ready to go this year.
Damian Lillard pic.twitter.com/1V9PKckwU4— Ben Golliver (@blazersedge) September 30, 2013
And if he's correct, you can expect to see him shoot far higher than 42.9 percent from the field during his second go-around with the Blazers.
. @Dame_Lillard said he got used to taking tough shots last year but plans to work on being more efficient offensively this season— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) September 30, 2013
Lillard was often relied on too heavily during his rookie season, and he did indeed have to take quite a few tough shots. Given the more balanced nature of this year's Rip City squad, that shouldn't be the case.
Damian Lillard has a pretty realistic set of goals going into the 2013-14 campaign.
Damian Lillard says making the playoffs and making the All-Star team is his top two goals.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) September 30, 2013
During the offseason, the Portland Trail Blazers had to have two main priorities: shoring up the bench after last year's league-worst unit killed the playoff chances and finding a defensive center. Rip City did both.
As for Lillard himself, he enjoyed one heck of a first professional season, culminating in a Rookie of the Year nod. He's an offensive stud, but it's the defense that will have to improve if he hopes to displace once of the more established guards on the Western Conference's All-Star roster.
If you're expecting to see Carlos Delfino suiting up for the Milwaukee Bucks anytime soon, you might have to temper those expectations.
Delfino on when he might play again:"We don't have a time frame yet."— Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) September 30, 2013
The small forward had surgery on his right foot over the offseason and is already expected to miss the entire preseason. Now his status is in jeopardy for the start of the year.
In his stead, Caron Butler will likely play even more minutes, and you should see Giannis Antetokounmpo get thrown into the fire even earlier.
It's good to see that Giannis Antetokounmpo isn't worried about the external pressure that he's sure to receive now that he was a first-round pick in the NBA draft.
Giannis doesn't feel pressure to succeed from outside. "Friends, family, basketball. That's all that matters. Nobody else can touch me."— Eric Buenning (@ericbuenning) September 30, 2013
His rookie season is going to be a tough one. Not only is he a raw, inexperienced player, but he's also making the jump from a virtually unknown Greek league to the world's premier level of basketball.
It's going to be a few years before he's truly a positive contributor.
If you were ever curious what Kyle Singler's nickname is, be curious no longer.
It remains to be seen how much of a role the former Duke standout will have with the Detroit Pistons now that they've acquired Josh Smith. Will he still play a lot of minutes at small forward? Will he take a big step down in the rotation now that there's a more talented option?
Singler had a solid rookie season, but not one that's going to blow anyone away. He seems destined to become a solid NBA role player.
Is it bad that this has to be met with an extreme amount of speculation?
Cavs quotes of the day - Andrew Bynum on if he expects to play this year - "I'm definitely gonna play this year. Definitely gonna play!"— Kenny Roda (@TheKennyRoda) September 30, 2013
That's just what tends to happen after a frustrating year filled with one setback after another. Remember, Andrew Bynum was supposed to keep the Philadelphia 76ers in the playoff picture, but he didn't spend even a single second on the court.
Is this year going to be different?
Bynum and the Cavs certainly hope so.
So...Andre Drummond is a purple fan.
I wonder if he likes Alice Walker too.
I'm assuming this also has an impact on Detroit's evaluation of him as a player.
Purple makes the world go round.
I can't wait to see how this unfolds throughout the season.
Will Bynum gets asked who the better dunker is between Tony and Andre ... "Ooohh, good question" #PistonsMediaDay— Detroit Pistons (@detroitpistons) September 30, 2013
Andre Drummond used his ridiculous athleticism to throw down quite a few highlight-reel dunks during his rookie season. The man can flat-out fly, and he'll prove it time and time again.
But Tony Mitchell is a strong challenger. He was one of the highest fliers at the draft combine, and the rookies picked him out as the most athletic when surveyed.
It'll be one heck of a competition, one sure to thrill Pistons fans on numerous occasions.
Well, looks like we have a pair of young basketball fans who will be rooting for the Detroit Pistons for a long time.
Always good to see that type of fan involvement.
So what position is Orlando Magic rookie Victor Oladipo? It turns out the Magic aren't quite sure yet:
On Victor Oladipo... "He's a guard... He'll play guard for us." Magic refused to label him a point guard or shooting guard— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) September 30, 2013
He was a wing at Indiana University but spent most of his summer league at the point guard spot. Even without a traditional designation, though, expect Oladipo to play all over the backcourt and spend substantial time both on and off the ball.
Orlando Magic are excited about the young talent on the roster, but not to the point of putting unrealistic expectations on the team:
Couple of common concepts from Orlando... Young guys are eager to be great... No delusions of the process to get there.— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) September 30, 2013
If this team finds a difference-maker in next summer's draft, look out.
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