My job is to largely write words about something rather meaningless. While I hope those words serve as a form of entertainment and/or needed distraction from everyday life, I also don’t want them to disregard those things that are truly meaningful. In other words, we can’t and shouldn’t ignore what happened yesterday in Uvalde, Texas.
Watching the news trickle out in waves on Tuesday put a sharper and sharper pit in my stomach. I can’t even begin to fathom how those impacted by yesterday’s horrific events feel. And, as someone in their mid-20s who lives with no one other than his loving girlfriend, I also can’t even begin to fathom the fear this instills in parents and children around the country. Today is a hard day. And the world is a cruel world.
I don’t have any sort of grand proclamation that can sum up my thoughts. All I can say is that I wish something changes from this. Far too recent history tells me that will not happen. But hope is about the most unbreakable thing in our body, so I’ll at least hold onto that for as long as I can.
Below I’m going to attempt to type my silly words about basketball that will hopefully provide some kind of service. Before I do that, though, I want to share Steve Kerr’s thoughts from before last night’s Game 4. As someone not in a position of political power, I think his emotional response reflected how many of us felt watching yet another brutal act of violence unfold in our country.
Steve Kerr on today's tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas. pic.twitter.com/lsJ8RzPcmC
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 24, 2022
• DeMar DeRozan’s quest to prove every single hater wrong reached a climax last night with his third-ever All-NBA selection. The Chicago Bulls’ All-Star finished alongside superstars Ja Morant, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Joel Embiid. This marks the second time in his career that DeRozan has made the Second Team, and I think the class he sits alongside perfectly illustrates how elite his performance was this year.
Worst signing of the offseason, right?
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) May 25, 2022
• I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll truly never forget DeRozan’s first season in Chicago. To be sure, part of my attachment to it surely relates to the fact that this was the first winning season I got to cover here at Bleacher Nation. However, I think even while observing from the outside this would have proven to be one of the more memorable individual campaigns from a Bulls player in my lifetime. I mean, seriously, breaking a Wilt record!? Hitting back-to-back game-winning buzzer-beaters!? Scoring the most total 4th quarter points in the NBA!? And the 2nd-most total points in the NBA!? I haven’t had that much fun watching one specific player perform in a Bulls uniform since Derrick Rose.
• If Zach LaVine were to leave this summer – which I still do not see happening – isn’t the most reasonable destination the San Antonio Spurs? I’m talking about this strictly from LaVine’s perspective and not from the Bulls’, who would not at all want this to happen since LaVine could sign outright instead of through a sign-and-trade. But, for LaVine, San Antonio is one of the only cap space destinations that could offer both (1) a No. 1 scoring role and (2) a somewhat close to winning roster. The team showed something to build on with a Play-In Tournament appearance this season, and they also have another growing All-Star in Dejounte Murray. Not to mention, Murray happens to be one of LaVine’s best friends (also a Seattle native), and LaVine also played for Greg Popovich in the Olympics. I just think this is really the only spot outside of Chicago that makes sense.
• Now, do I see LaVine going that route? Nope. The Spurs are not known as a free-agent destination thanks, in large part, to their market size. As someone who recently transitioned to Klutch and is going through all this leverage shenanigans, LaVine seems very much interested in growing his personal brand and reaching that superstar status. All he needs to do is talk to DeRozan to know how lost in the shuffle a player can become in San Antonio.
• Speaking of LaVine’s contract situation, the All-NBA voting did officially set his price in the free-agent market. If the two-time All-Star was to crack an All-NBA team, he would have been in line to receive a supermax contract worth even more cash, but no nod means his ceiling sits at five years, $212.3 million. You can look at how the voting finished up here.
Zach LaVine (with no All-NBA)
Chicago: 5 years $212.3M
Not with Chicago: 4 years $157.4M
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) May 25, 2022
• In an interview with Complex, Idris Elba said he once told Michael Jordan he would love to play him in a movie. According to Elba, Jordan replied, “eh, I’m not ready yet.”
• So this is an absolutely bonkers stat:
On Tuesday, Luka Doncic led both teams outright in points, rebounds and assists for the 3rd time in his career when facing elimination.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 25, 2022
• And this is also absolutely bonkers:
Luka had to shake Draymond's hands after this free throws LMAO pic.twitter.com/LVW2JkVoXW
— Italo Santana (@BulletClubIta) May 25, 2022
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) May 24, 2022
• Familiarize yourself with the upcoming calendar:
The 2022-2023 NHL Offseason: Dates, Deadlines, and When to Expect Action from the Blackhawkshttps://t.co/4z9kKE10iv
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) May 25, 2022