Time to celebrate the significant other’s birthday … quarantine style!
For anyone else out there who’s celebrated their birthday under these circumstances … I’m sorry. I hope y’all made the most of it though and still had a great time. I’d drive by each and every one of your houses to honk my horn in celebration if I could!
• Let’s start this Saturday off with some housekeeping. Yesterday, ESPN reported that the NBA would officially postpone the Draft Lottery and Draft Combine indefinitely. All of this was to be expected, as both events were set to take place later this month in Chicago. The league has yet to make an announcement about the June 25th draft date, but all signs point to a pushback for this date as well. Rumors have circled that the draft would move to the end of the summer to better align with the potential offseason calendar.
ESPN Sources: As ownership support grows for the idea, NBA and Board of Governors continued discussions on Friday about delaying start of 2020-2021 season until December. https://t.co/wkYUyxjPtQ
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 1, 2020
• To go along with this, the NBA is finally discussing alterations to the league schedule. For years certain owners would ask about a delayed December start that would take the season into August or September. The main reason behind this would be to have less general competition with football and to provide the NBA with an opportunity to dominate the summer months. In a lot of ways, this idea has always made sense, especially with baseball being a far more regional than national sport. With that said, the NBA has only trended upward over the past several years, so it’s also more than fair to take into account the “if ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy.
• The COVID-19 crisis has given the NBA more reasons than ever before to experiment with this approach though. As ESPN’s Wojnarowski notes, the further the 2020-21 season is delayed, the better chance the league has at resuming the normal fan experience.
Among the discussion topics today on the call: The merits of moving back the start of the 2020-2021 until December, sources said. Part of that ongoing converation surrounds the opportunity a delay could give NBA teams to get more fans in arenas for more games next season.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 1, 2020
• My gut tells me this will happen. As of now, it feels like the league is bound for some kind of summer resumption, and if that’s the case, a normal offseason will have to be inserted into the calendar somewhere.
• Bleacher Report gave a prediction for each team during 2020 NBA free agency. Can you guess what super cool, awesome move they picked for the Bulls? Are you ready for this? Here we go … Otto Porter picks up his $28.5 million option. Wow. Dope.
• Some NBA executives gave the Marc Eversley hire a major stamp of approval.
One NBA executive was convinced Marc Eversley knew his stuff when he was high on a 2010 Fresno State prospect: Paul George.
More from NBA execs. on our new GM:
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) May 2, 2020
• This quote from Washington Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard is exactly why Eversley feels like the perfect guy for the job: “Tremendous relationships. He’s the kind of guy you absolutely love working with, a team player. Across the board, a great feel for the players, excellent relationships, a fantastic network. He knows how to get information. And that’s the biggest currency in our business with a good eye for talent.”
• Okay, wait, isn’t kind of crazy how much the Bulls have nailed these two hires? Sure, we don’t have much to judge either Arturas Karnisovas or Eversley on yet, but everyone around the league seems to agree these are the two right guys for the job. I’m just not used to this praise and general feeling of optimism. Even if two cardboard cutouts took the place of Gar Forman and John Paxson, I would be happy … but with these hires, I’m ecstatic.
• General content note: We’ll dive deeper into Marc Eversley’s quotes and impact over the coming days. He had a lot of great comments during his introductory press conference that can tie into some overarching topics. We’ve already shared some initial reactions though, so make sure you check out our post from yesterday.
• K.C. Johnson with NBC Sports Chicago had a great 1-on-1 interview with Eversley after his introductory press conference yesterday. The breakdown a lot of what Eversley is looking to implement in Chicago, which includes a strong player development department that can construct a plan for each and every player. Eversley said it best himself, everyone in this organization needs to be thinking “player first.”
• Karnisovas said he called Eversley after midnight on Sunday while both were watching the re-run of The Last Dance to offer him the gig”. “I was so emotional watching it, I was thinking, ‘Why do I have to wait until Monday? Let me check if he’s up,’… I thought it was a great moment for me, for Marc, for the organization, when we agreed on a deal to make him the general manager for the Chicago Bulls while watching that documentary.” It sounds just like when Michael called to offer me this job while we were both watching a Brett livestream outside Wrigley … *sheds single tear* (just kidding, I was just walking down the street).
• NBC Sports Chicago wrote about how the Karnisovas-Eversley dynamic will work behind closed doors. These were the four words Karnisovas used: Inclusion, transparency, communication, and functionality.
• For you sneakerheads.
.@MikeDSykes and I discuss plummeting sneaker sales, how "The Last Dance" is impacting Jordan Brand, the sneaker-brand landscape, how athleisure shoes changed the market, how shoe companies influence NBA transactions and much more. Time-stamps are here: https://t.co/sEfpJeNuns
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) May 1, 2020