Andrew Wiggins reacts to joining Minnesota Timberwolves on Twitter

Today, Andrew Wiggins started his journey as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves as he along with Anthony Bennett and Thaddeus Young landed in Minneapolis to meet fans and folks within the Minnesota organization.
Only a few short moments ago, Wiggins posted the below tweet on his official Twitter account where he states that he’s ready for his new journey:
New journey in the great state of Minnesota #GoWolves
— andrew wiggins (@22wiggins) August 25, 2014

Hopefully, Andrew will have a great career in Minnesota.
***
Wiggins image courtesy of Getty Images

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Damian Lillard has hilarious response for Twitter troll

Team USA announced their final 12-man FIBA World Cup roster Friday and Damian Lillard did not make the cut, but he’s keeping his head up and had a hilarious response to a fan who decided to poke fun at him for not playing a single minute in Team USA’s exhibition game against Puerto Rico Friday night at Madison Square Garden. “@Vin_Lee_: @Dame_Lillard we played the same amount of mins today bro” did we make the same amount of money today too? — Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) August 23, 2014 The post Damian Lillard Has Hilarious Response To Fan Who Poked Fun At Him For Lack Of Team USA Playing Time appeared first on Beyond The Buzzer.

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Twitter Reacts as Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and More Are Dealt in 3-Team Trade

Weeks after it was originally agreed upon, the three-team deal that sends superstar forward Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Cleveland Cavaliers was completed Saturday, according to ESPN.com.

SportsCenter offered the full details of the trade:

While Love is certainly the main piece in the deal, the T’Wolves came away with a good haul of their own as they acquired each of the past two first-overall picks in the NBA draft in the form of Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins. They also picked up athletic forward Thaddeus Young from the Sixers.

This trade is one that has been a very long time in the making. In fact, the wheels started to turn after the Cavs signed LeBron James. That resulted in Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert being allowed to court Love, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

In the end, there was never much doubt that the deal would get done, as evidenced by this Minnesota newspaper ad, courtesy of CBS Eye on Basketball:

Losing a player like Love is never ideal, but the Wolves were able to come away with a good haul. With that said, Lucas Mayer of NewsWest 9 believes that Cleveland did what it needed to do in order to become an immediate contender:

Boston Celtics announcer Sean Grande seems to agree as he has put the Cavaliers in a class of their own within the moribund Eastern Conference:

Both the Cavs and T’Wolves seemed to accomplish exactly what they wanted to do in this trade, and Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press is impressed with how everything came together:

It may take some time and luck for the Timberwolves to become true players in the Western Conference, but NBA.com’s Jeff Caplan isn’t sleeping on the package that Minnesota got in return:

Wiggins has been considered an elite NBA prospect for the past couple years, and pretty every team in the league would love to have him. Zach Harper of CBSSports.com quipped that the Timberwolves’ incompetence helped them land the Kansas product in the end:

The Cavaliers and Timberwolves are teams at different ends of the spectrum, so it will be difficult to judge this trade until several years down the road. Love gives Cleveland a Big Three with LeBron and Kyrie Irving, and they have a great chance to win a championship.

Conversely, Minnesota is now stacked with young, exciting talent. The 2014-15 season will feature some growing pains in all likelihood, but the future is bright.

The relationship between the T’Wolves and Love had clearly soured, so this is the perfect resolution for all parties involved.

 

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USA vs. Puerto Rico: Score and Twitter Reaction for World Cup 2014 Exhibition

Team USA saved its best for late, turning a five-point halftime lead into a second-half blowout, as the Americans cruised late for a 112-86 win over Puerto Rico in their final exhibition before heading to Spain. 

Steph Curry led the way with a game-high 20 points, and his USA side overcame an early Puerto Rico gut punch before putting the locks on in the second half. Team USA will play its final exhibition Aug. 26 against Slovenia in Spain. 

Once again, Team USA’s depth was on display, as seven players finished in double figures and the team pulled away from Puerto Rico with a dominating 60-39 second half scoreline.

The health of Derrick Rose remained a hot topic after he sat out of Wednesday’s exhibition, but the Chicago Bulls guard returned to the floor Friday. He didn’t start and played sparingly, but was a menace defensively and dished a couple of pretty assists to open shooters.

Rose sat out late in the game, but Sam Smith of Bulls.com sees that as more proof that he’s cleared for Spain:

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, a Team USA assistant, was impressed with Rose’s play per the team’s official Twitter:

The other big story surrounding Team USA is the looming final roster cuts for head coach Mike Krzyzewski, which ESPN’s Marc Stein reported will take place Saturday. Among USA players who didn’t get into Friday’s game were Damian Lillard, Demar DeRozan, Andre Drummond, Gordon Hayward and Kyle Korver. 

Both Drummond and DeRozan made waves with strong performances Wednesday, but the New York Post‘s Tim Bontemps thinks the four cuts are already decided:

It became obvious early on that Friday wouldn’t prove to be as much of a cakewalk as Wednesday for Team USA, when it demolished the Dominican Republic by more than 40 points. Instead, things started somewhat concerning for Coach K and crew as the two teams traded leads early on.

A pair of NBA names wreaked havoc early on in the backcourt, as J.J. Barea and Carlos Arroyo took their turns gashing the American defense with swift passing and sharp shooting. 

Barea finished with 16 points, and Arroyo 15. But it was the former Dallas Maverick who caught the eye of The Washington Post‘s Michael Lee:

While Barea is having no problem getting work in the Association, things haven’t been as easy for Arroyo. He hasn’t played in the NBA since 2011, but the 35-year-old proved he’s still worthy of playing at the top level, as The Salt Lake Tribune‘s Tony Jones observed:

Basketball Insiders’ Nate Duncan was critical of Team USA’s personnel in defending the dangerous guards:

Puerto Rico’s dynamic duo were the story early, but the Americans’ leg up in athleticism and skill eventually shone through. Irving and Klay Thompson provided a boost late in the opening half, and Puerto Rico had trouble containing Anthony Davis’ size in the post.

Thompson’s buzzer-beating three before the half gave Team USA a five-point lead heading into the break, spurring this tweet from Bontemps:

Just a few possessions separated the teams at half, but the Americans quickly extended the gap during the third quarter. Puerto Rico was outscored 35-20 in quarter No. 3, and faced a 20-point deficit heading into the fourth that only ballooned to more before the final buzzer.

Switching to a zone defense against a team with so many sharpshooters might have led to Puerto Rico’s demise, as Hardwood Paroxysm observed:

There’s no doubt that Coach K has plenty to work on before his squad heads to Europe. Barea and Arroyo are a handful, but they won’t be the toughest backcourt the U.S. faces at the FIBA World Cup. Defensive improvement has been a priority for this team, and early on it looked like much progress hasn’t yet been made.

However, Coach K’s side responded like you’d expect. Team USA settled down, got into a dominating defensive system in the second half and allowed for their sheer athleticism advantage to propel them to another win.

Friday was the last chance Team USA players had to impress the coaching staff before the final roster is set. As per Stein, the 12-man roster will be agreed to Friday after the game, and players cut will be notified Saturday. 

Given the contrast between the two halves of Team USA basketball on Friday, Coach K has some tough decisions looming—both in how to improve his team before Spain and which notable players to cut. 

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Byron Scott gives initial thoughts on Lakers roster via Twitter

Newly hired Lakers Coach Byron Scott took over the team’s Twitter feed Friday, giving his thoughts on the team’s prospects this season.

His top priority, Scott wrote, is “to get our team to play defense on a consistent basis every single night.”

That’s a welcome thought. given the Lakers gave up 109.2 points per game last season.

How does he intend to make that happen?

“Accountability is obviously the first step. Desire & dedication are the next steps,” Scott wrote.

The Lakers announced Scott’s hiring on July 28. As a player, Scott contributed to three NBA titles during the Showtime era.

In his final season in the league as a player, 1996-97, Scott was a teammate of Kobe Bryant.

“He was the most mature 18-year-old I had ever come across. He kind of kept to himself,” Scott wrote of Bryant.

Scott has an idea how he wants to deploy Bryant along with point guards Jeremy Lin and Steve Nash.
lRelated Byron Scott sees tough road ahe…

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LeBron James Homecoming Rally: Twitter Reaction, Photos, Videos and More

LeBron James officially reclaimed his kingdom on Friday night.

John Harper of Cleveland.com reported earlier in the day that around 30,000 fans were expected to pack the University of Akron’s InfoCision Stadium for a homecoming ceremony celebrating James’ return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Chris Fedor of the Northeast Ohio Media Group snapped a photo of the enormous crowd inside the stadium before things got underway:

Spencer Davies of the Akron Beacon Journal and WKYC in Cleveland provided snapshots after LeBron arrived:

You couldn’t help but to be reminded of the massive celebration the Miami Heat held after forming their “Big Three” of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The night became famous for its over the top nature and LeBron’s proclamation that the Heat were gonna win “not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven…” NBA titles.

The atmosphere around InfoCision Stadium was much more low key and personal. Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal spoke to a Cavaliers official who assured him that Cleveland wouldn’t be pulling out a ton of theatrics on Friday night:

After walking onto the makeshift stage, James said the night was less about him and more about the local kids from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America who had assembled on the field. One of the first things he said to the crowd was how proud he was to be able to help the younger generation.

LeBron also led elementary and middle school students in a promise that they would help their communities and stay in school, among other things.

The two-time champion didn’t stand on much ceremony. He closed out his brief speech with “I love you. I’m back” and dropped the mic, per Tom Withers of The Associated Press:

Before James appeared, a few video packages were presented, one highlighting the work being done at the local Boys & Girls Clubs and another about how LeBron bought new uniforms for each one of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School’s athletic teams.

Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, Cavaliers general manager David Griffin and St. Vincent-St. Mary head basketball coach Dru Joyce were among the many speakers.

Singer Skylar Grey was also on hand to perform “I’m Coming Home”:

It was a night those in attendance likely won’t forget.

Not only was Friday James’ triumphant return to Northeast Ohio, but it also served as an opportunity for him to answer some of the lingering questions still remaining after he signed with the Cavaliers as he spoke to a group of reporters before the event.

In his open letter in Sports Illustrated, James alluded to how little fans in Cleveland have had to cheer for over the years and how much it would mean for him to be the guy to help break the city’s title drought.

During the presser, he said that winning a title with the Cavaliers would be “the greatest achievement of my life,” per Turner Sports’ Rachel Nichols:

One of the ongoing stories left this offseason is the future of Kevin Love. Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported that a deal sending him to Cleveland for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a 2015 first-rounder is all but a formality. No trade can be done until Aug. 23 at the earliest because of Wiggins signing his rookie deal.

Love was a frequent topic of discussion for LeBron:

James insisted, though, that bringing in the three-time All-Star wasn’t a guarantee of an NBA title, per NBA on ESPN:

That’s quite a different statement from “not one, not two, not three…”

After years of watching their favorite teams come up short time and time again, Cleveland fans have come to expect the worst at almost any occasion. When it was revealed that James’ contract only lasted for two years and had an opt-out clause after Year 1, those fans began to reach for the panic button.

LeBron allayed those fears by reiterating that he doesn’t plan on leaving the Cavs a second time and the structure of his deal is strictly meant to maximize what he can make in the future, per Fox Sports Ohio’s Sam Amico:

LBJ also spoke about the new guy standing on the sidelines: David Blatt.

Some wondered if the hiring of Blatt was any sort of signal as to where LeBron’s future lie. Would Cleveland bring in an unproven international coach if it was at all confident that James was coming back?

According to Lloyd, the four-time MVP wasn’t familiar with Blatt‘s style at all before committing to the organization and did as much research as he could to learn about his new head coach:

James also quashed any talk that he might butt heads with Blatt, per Cavaliers play-by-play announcer Fred McLeod:

You can view the entire press conference below.

The NBA regular season doesn’t start for a few months, but Cavs fans are already imagining that championship parade rolling down Euclid Avenue. A sense of optimism is pervading throughout the entire city.

Even if LeBron fails to deliver an NBA title to the franchise, at least Cleveland will get to see him in a Cavaliers uniform from now until the end of his career.

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Roddy White finally pays up on NCAA tourney Twitter bet

The Falcons WR made a tongue-in-cheek bet that cost him.

      
 

 

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Mugsy Bogues takes to Twitter over funny beef with NBA 2K15

Former NBA player Muggsy Bogues has a bone to pick with 2K Sports and the new NBA2K15 game, which will be released in October. Bogues tweeted the @NBA2K account, pointing out that the picture of him….isn’t him. Check out the hilarious conversation below:

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Twitter Reacts to Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh Reportedly Opting to Be Free Agents

After LeBron James decided to opt out of his contract with the Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have followed suit by reportedly making the same move.

Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press first reported Wade’s move, which would make the guard a free agent this summer:

This was shortly followed by Bosh making the same decision, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard:

Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald provides a look at the money involved and what this could mean going forward:

ESPN’s Dan Le Batard also points out that the move is clearly an attempt to make sure James returns:

Meanwhile, Udonis Haslem has also made a similar move, according to Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck:

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst points out how much room this creates in the salary cap:

Bleacher Report’s Ethan J. Skolnick points out that there is an organized plan:

That being said, Heat fans will have to trust their team president to make the right moves, as noted by Darren Heitner of Forbes:

Miami could end up with none of the players that helped reach the NBA Finals four years in a row while bringing home two titles. This is certainly enough to make everyone involved at least a little nervous.

Beck is one person excited to watch the next step:

Still, if the plan is what it seems, Wade and Bosh are making huge individual sacrifices for the benefit of the organization.

The good news is that this will help the Heat make better moves this offseason to bring in talent and help win another title. Pat Riley has done a great job in the past at creating the best possible roster, but it was extremely difficult to add free agents with three players earning max money.

With James, Wade, Bosh and others possibly reducing their yearly salaries, it could lead to more team success in the future.

 

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.

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Twitter Reacts as Joel Embiid Is Selected by 76ers in 2014 NBA Draft

 Although he was one of the biggest question marks in the class, the Philadelphia 76ers decided that Joel Embiid was worth the risk and selected him with the No. 3 pick in the 2014 NBA draft. 

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! was the first to report the pick:

NBA analyst Chris Sheridan seems to think this will be a dramatic turning point in the franchise:

Of course, this was not an easy decision for the 76ers, according to ESPN’s Dana O’Neil:

On the other hand, Eric Karabell of ESPN thought it was a smart pick to play for the future:

The Kansas center is coming off a fantastic freshman season where he helped the Jayhawks become one of the best teams in the country. He finished the year with 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 rebounds per game as he seemed to improve every time out.

Embiid was then considered a favorite to be the top overall pick until teams discovered a stress fracture in his foot, causing him to get surgery less than a week before the draft. Adding this to his already questionable back issues that held him out of the NCAA tournament, and it makes sense that he would drop on draft boards.

However, Embiid was confident in his ability to work hard to get back into shape, via ESPN’s Andy Katz:

If he can come back healthy, this pick could end up being a steal for the 76ers. He has the potential to one day be one of the best centers in the league as someone who can contribute on both ends of the court. 

Ryen Russillo of Grantland spoke to scouts before the draft who explained:

I think Embiid is the only difference-maker in the group. I like Parker and Wiggins, but if they are your best player, you are going to be in the lottery every year.

Embiid has natural instincts. I doubt he was coached on much of this stuff, considering how quick his stops have been, and that he just started playing basketball. When he takes the ball on the low block, he inside-pivots like Duncan, and he plays from there: Faces, rips through or passes. It’s awesome. I always want bigs that can punish the defense.

Meanwhile, a number of analysts thought so highly of him that they were willing to take him with the first overall pick even with the injury issues, like Bleacher Report’s C.J. Moore and ESPN’s Skip Bayless:

Although he was passed over by a few teams, Philadelphia did not wait too long to grab him with the No. 3 pick. The organization is still taking a risk with so many talented players left on the board, but it reached a point where the potential was too great.

Embiid will now likely take his time in recovery until he is at full strength. Even then, his new team will probably remain patient with his development to help him reach his massive upside. Philadelphia just went through a similar situation with last year’s first-round pick Nerlens Noel.

No matter what happens, you can be certain that many around the league will be examining this pick for years to come.

 

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