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Western Conference

Seattle Agrees To Key Arena Renovation Proposal

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The City of Seattle made significant progress in bringing in an NBA or NHL team on Monday when Seattle’s City Council passed a Memorandum of Understanding on Monday that would allow for a proposed $650M renovation of Key Arena.

If all things go according to plan, the building could be ready to play by 2020, according to NBA.com’s David Aldridge.

The completely renovated Key Arena would hold 18,350 for NBA games and 17,150 for NHL games.

This moves Seattle closer to being NBA-ready by 2020, according to Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports.

Over the summer NBA commissioner Adam Silver said that Seattle “no doubt be on a short list of cities we’ll look at” when discussing expansion or relocation.

Seattle lost its franchise, the Super Sonics, to Oklahoma City, who are now known as the Thunder, back in 2008.

Memphis Grizzlies

Grizzlies’ J.B. Bickerstaff Looks Ahead to Upcoming Season

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Memphis Grizzlies new head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has some work to do if he wants to turn things around for the Grizzlies this season, and spoke about the team, as well as the 2018-2019 season, during an interview with The Commercial Appeal’s Mark Giannotto.

Bickerstaff talked about what the team’s strengths were heading into the season, and what people can expect from the Grizzlies’ offense moving forward.

“IQ and intelligence” Bickerstaff said. “We got a bunch of guys that know how to think the game and if you can think the game, you can make up for some of the things that we lack. If you look at our team, and I hope this doesn’t offend any of our guys, we’re not the fastest of teams. But we have to be able to use our brains to put us in spots so that we can defend well and score the ball because we’re always one or two steps ahead of our opponent.”

“We’re going to be a completely different team than you guys saw at the end of last season” Bickerstaff continued.

“Our front office and ownership group have done a great job bringing in different players with different skill sets that kind of fit the theme and the direction that we’re heading in. We’re not as young as we used to be. We’ve brought in some proven, veteran guys like Kyle Anderson, Garrett Temple, Shelvin Mack, those type of guys, who can accentuate what Marc (Gasol) can do.”

“We’ve been preaching playing a unique style of basketball. Obviously, not reinventing the wheel but playing a game where size, physicality and toughness prevails. I think we’re fortunate that we have some big guys, some long guys, that are very skilled as well, so that they can do both… So we’re fortunate to have guys that can do those things, so that’s where we’re headed. Our guys are excited about it in the conversations we’ve had with them and I think we’re built for it.”

Bickerstaff also discussed the role of Kyle Anderson, as well as the health of Mike Conley and Chandler Parsons.

“He’ll be used at his strengths, which is versatility” Bickerstaff said of Anderson.

“He can play multiple positions. He can impact the game on both sides of the floor. I’ve been impressed, just going back and watching him and seeing him, is just how smart he is and how easily he thinks the game. Very rarely do you find him in the wrong spot, offensively or defensively, and he’s always doing something to help his teammates. I think guys like that are invaluable and his ability to play one through four, you can throw him on the floor at any position.”

Regarding Conley…

There’s no doubt about it. Mike’s been playing pick up, those types of things. Chandler (Parsons) been playing pick up … For the first time in a long time, we’re looking at walking into training camp with healthy bodies and healthy, high caliber players. Not just guys who would be your 13th or 14th man. We’ve got our studs healthy, which we’re looking forward to.”

Bickerstaff also believes that the bench will be better this season.

“The key in all of this is having some experience when you’re trying to win like we’re trying to do. So having guys that have proven they can play in this league, they’re not second guessing themselves, and every single night, from a coaching standpoint, you know what you’re going to get out of guys, is huge… Not to take anything away from our young guys that were here with us last year, they were competing. They were giving it everything they had. They worked hard at it. But again, when you’re young, there’s always those ups and downs and you’re battling that inconsistency.”

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Thunder’s Russell Westbrook Has Knee Surgery, May Miss Games

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The Oklahoma City Thunder may be without All-Pro guard Russell Westbrook for the start of the 2018-2019 regular season after Westbrook underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Royce Young.

Westbrook, who will be re-evaluated in four weeks, could miss the first few games of the regular season.

However, if Westbrook is cleared after four weeks, he will be available to play in the Thunder’s opener against the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors.

 

 

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Los Angeles Lakers

Byron Scott Says Lakers Fans Need to Stop Hating On LeBron James

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Former Los Angeles Lakers head coach, and player, Byron Scott had some advice for Lakers fans who can’t stop hating on their newest player, superstar forward LeBron James, who was signed to a lucrative deal this offseason, telling them to stop the hate.

“I bleed purple and gold – that’s my heart,” Scott said, during an interview with The Score’s Christopher Carson. “I’ve been with that organization for so many years. Magic Johnson is a close friend of mine and I was so excited for him and Jeanie Buss. I was extremely excited for them to get the best player in basketball to come to Los Angeles. Obviously, it has given a lot of energy to Los Angeles.”

“A lot of people are excited and you got some people that are haters,” Scott continued. “That’s everywhere you go and LeBron has dealt with that his entire career. But I tell the people of Los Angeles that if you want to win, wouldn’t you want the best player in the league on your team? Don’t hate on LeBron James. Congratulate this man that he went there and chose that organization for probably his last stop.”

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