The college basketball world is still reeling from the FBI’s investigation into the allegedly corrupt business practices of coaches, agents and financial advisers. With many more names to be revealed, possibly more arrests to be made and more programs likely to incur significant NCAA penalties, quite a bit of uncertainty looms regarding the status of dozens — maybe even hundreds — of athletes enrolled in college or about to enroll this summer.
Beal scored 36 points and added five rebounds with seven assists to help the Wizards rally from 27 points down against the Knicks for a 118-113 victory at Madison Square Garden. Simmons led the 76ers, who were without Joel Embiid, to a 104-102 win over the Heat. Miami led by 24 with 9:13 remaining in the third quarter before Simmons and JJ Redick heated up.
Simmons recorded a triple-double with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. He even added four steals to lead the rally. Redick finished with 14 points despite going 2 of 12 from behind the arc, but his 3-pointer with 4:02 remaining gave the Sixers a 97-94 lead they would not relinquish.
It’s pretty easy to decide that you’re not going to chase two top-tier free agents in the coming summer after the reality strikes that you might not have the money available for those two free agents, or that one is too risky (Cousins, with a torn Achilles tendon) and the other two (James and George) are perhaps not totally committed to coming. It’s like announcing that you quit just as your boss is filling out your pink slip.
There’s still a chance things could fall into place for LA in the coming days, or before the NBA Draft. But the Lakers have disappointed their fans, badly, in recent years. Pelinka and Johnson, at least, have taken the sting out of what could well be an empty summer, five months in advance.
Manu Ginobili patented that football-style pass, thrown to a receiver sprinting down the middle. It takes touch, timing and guts. Ben Simmons and Ginobili release those passes early, when the target is still neck-and-neck with his defender — not even close to open. Mike Budenholzer and Brett Brown (pre-Simmons) have told me they tried to teach that pass to other players, and found none had the courage and accuracy to pull it off.