Mitch Marner chuckles about it now, the infamous list of lazy Maple Leafs teammates that Mike Babcock had him put together during Marner’s NHL rookie season in 2016-17.
Marner appeared on former teammate Connor Carrick’s podcast this week and Carrick asked: What has been among Marner’s greatest learning opportunities as a Leaf?
“I think one is to never grade your teammates on their work ethic in practice,” Marner said with a laugh. “That one is definitely the top. I was really young, I was really nervous, I didn’t know what to do, so I did it. Next thing I knew, it got reported to the team (by Babcock).”
The Toronto Sun was the first to report the incident last November, not long after Babcock was fired. At the bottom of Marner’s list were veterans James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri.
“Bozie, JVR and Naz have been great throughout my career,” Marner said. “At first, they were jiving me about it, because I didn’t know it was going to get shown to them. I think (Babcock’s) lesson was trying to show the older guys that I’m a young guy and I’m looking up to those three. It didn’t come out that way, but that’s what the goal was.”
During the podcast, Marner also revealed the NHL trophy he would be keen to win.
“The award that would be really cool to be acknowledged for is the Selke (as the best defensive forward),” Marner said. “The names on the Selke are the guys everyone is scared of on the ice.”
There is some real momentum now for a possible NBA return. The league has been looking into “bubble sites” such as Orlando’s Disney World as well as The Strip on Las Vegas. Orlando continues to gain momentum and traction as the spot for the league to resume and with the NBA allowing teams to begin to expand workouts beginning on June 1, there are now serious ideas for a resumption date.
Milwaukee Bucks co-managing partner Marc Lasry joined CNBC and he gave a rough timeline for when he thinks the league will resume:
I think we’ll have something, hopefully within the next 6 to 8 weeks, we should be playing.
A lot of people believe that whoever comes out on top as the champion in 2020 should have an asterisk next to it, but Lasry does not believe that as he added:
Everybody is going to talk about, ‘Well, it was difficult’. It was different. It was without fans. Yeah, but then you’re still an NBA champion. You’re still the champion.
The Philadelphia 76ers will be one of those teams fighting with the Bucks for a spot in the NBA Finals and a chance to eventually contend for a championship. It will be interesting to see how the teams look. Coach Brett Brown did say he does not want the Sixers to use the pandemic as an excuse to not be ready to go.
New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson‘s lawyers have asked a federal judge in North Carolina to void his marketing agreement with Gina Ford and Prime Sports Marketing, who sued him for $100 million in damages for breaching their contract. In a motion filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Williamson’s attorneys restated […]
Athletes from every major international sport will discuss the toll that the Coronavirus has taken on the sports world in the upcoming documentary titled The Day That Sports Stood Still. Antoine Fuqua is set to direct, with Imagine Documentaries producing the feature. Filming is said to already be underway. The idea for the documentary was […]
[nesn_embed service=dailymotion src=”https://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x7u1zhx?autoplay=1″ width=”640″ height=”360″] The Paul Pierce vs. LeBron James “rivalry” apparently started with a loogie. Pierce has done little to hide his disdain toward James over the years. The two superstars had some pretty incredible battles, especially dating back to Pierce’s prime with the Celtics and James’ ascent with the Cavaliers. Pierce reminded […]
Kendrick Perkins Reveals What Ignited Paul Pierce-LeBron James Feud — NESN.com The Paul Pierce vs. LeBron James “rivalry” apparently started with a loogie. Pierce has done little to hide his disdain toward James over the years. The two superstars had some pretty incredible battles, especially dating back to Pierce’s prime with the Celtics and James’ ascent with the Cavaliers. Pierce reminded the world he’s very capable of holding a long-term grudge this week when he inexplicably left LeBron off his list of the top five NBA players of all time. The omission rightfully took plenty of heat from an unforgiving internet. But when you hear this story from Pierce’s former teammate, Kendrick Perkins, on why Pierce and James “hate each other,” you’ll realize this thing goes back years and is fairly nasty — or at least as much as NBA rivalries can be these days. The spitting thing speaks for itself, but the video of LeBron wrapping up Perkins in a big hug before walking by an awkwardly smiling Pierce is all kinds of uncomfortable. Unfortunately for Celtics fans and Pierce himself, this is a rivalry that will favor James when it’s all said and done. He’ll go down as one of the two or three best players to ever to play the game — despite The Truth’s own list. Read more at: https://nesn.com/2020/05/kendrick-perkins-says-paul-pierce-spitting-spat-started-lebron-james-feud/
LeBron James is believed to be conducting private workouts with his Los Angeles Lakers teammates during the NBA’s shutdown, but safety protocols reportedly were followed in accordance with league-mandated social-distancing guidelines.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Jared Dudley is often a forgotten man on the team’s deep roster of talent. The 14-year NBA veteran is averaging just 1.5 points, in just under eight minutes a game this season, both lows for his career. However, Dudley is a vocal leader in the locker room, and considered part of […]
The 14-year NBA veteran is averaging just 1.5 points, in just under eight minutes a game this season, both lows for his career. However, Dudley is a vocal leader in the locker room, and considered part of the glue that holds the team together.
On Wednesday, during a video conference call with reporters, Dudley provided detailed insight on the NBA’s plan to resume the season, as well as an insider’s perspective on how players are practicing now that the training facilities have reopened.
Dudley was a teammate of National Basketball Player’s Association President Chris Paul on the Clippers during the 2013-14 season, and said he’s spoken frequently to his former teammate during the current suspension of the NBA season.
Dudley added that he’s spoken to many players and executives during the stay-at-home orders in order to gain knowledge and perspective on the NBA’s plan to resume the season. It is with that knowledge that Dudley was able to share detailed information with reporters on Wednesday.
Dudley began by piggy-backing off of an earlier report by The Athletic, stating that Disney World in Orlando, Florida has become the frontrunner as the host site for the return of the NBA season.
Both Orlando and Las Vegas have been mentioned before, but Dudley added that Houston, and even Hawaii have been named as serious contenders to host the NBA recently, but said he believes it’s going to be Orlando when it’s all said and done.
“Orlando makes perfect sense because of Disney,” said Dudley. Disney owns ABC and ESPN, both broadcast partners with the NBA.
NBC LA reached out to sources with knowledge of the discussions, and they confirmed that Disney World is the frontrunner and that a deal is “close, if not imminent.” During the conference call with Dudley, he said that players would need at least six weeks of training and practicing to ramp up before the season resumes, and mentioned a start date of mid-June for training camp 2.0 to begin, and mid-July for the season to resume. Multiple sources confirmed both of those dates and scenarios as well.
Dudley said that he’s 90 percent confident that the NBA season will resume, and stated that the only reason he’s not 100 percent is because the coronavirus itself could change any current plans and scenarios rather quickly.
Dudley also cleared up a misconception that has been rumored when it comes to the one-site “bubble” scenario. Regardless of which site hosts the NBA, the original assumption would be that players would have to leave their families and quarantine at one location for multiple months in order to be able to resume play.
Dudley said that’s not true. Not only did he say players would be allowed to bring their families to Disney World in Orlando, he added that players would be able to come and go as they please.
“You will be allowed to leave,” he said. “Now just because you leave, if we’re going to give you that leeway, if you come back with coronavirus, you can’t play.”
Dudley agreed that there would be added pressure to not leave and return with the virus, thereby letting down teammates and the organization. Dudley even joked that, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the teams two superstars would be “wrapped in bubble wrap.”
Dudley said players would be tested every day, and that restaurants, pools, and even a golf course would be open during the season just for the players, staff, and their families.
When asked if he thought all 30 teams would have to return to Orlando to finish the season, or if the league would jump straight to the playoffs, with or without play-in games, Dudley said he’s heard rumors of all those scenarios, but ultimately believed the league would go straight to the playoffs with each round being the traditional seven-game series.
Dudley believes “older” teams like the Lakers, Rockets, and Bucks will be hurt most by the long layoff, but agreed that most of the players want to finish the season and crown a champion.
“The bench will be more crucial than ever,” Dudley said because of the long layoff.
When asked if he was concerned that the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, the Lakers, would have no home court advantage in the one-site scenario he said confidently, “Our advantage is we have LeBron and AD, and you guys don’t.”
Finally, Dudley shared his personal experience with going to the Lakers practice facility in El Segundo recently. The facility officially opened last Saturday on a limited basis.
“It’s similar to a hospital,” he said. “You pull up and get your fever checked. Then they ask you some questions. It takes about two minutes, it’s really fast. They make you slip off your shoes before you come in the building. You have to have a mask everywhere except the court. On the court, the assistant coach wears a mask and gloves and has to keep his distance.”
Dudley knows it’s different and strange to practice under those conditions, but said he’s been texting and talking to his teammates, encouraging them to return to the practice facility and get ready for the return of basketball.