The Latest: Davis disappointed Cousins reunion on hold
The Latest from NBA media days on Friday (all times EST):
Anthony Davis is still disappointed that his Los Angeles reunion with DeMarcus Cousins was ruined by another injury.
Davis’ first media day with the Los Angeles Lakers Friday included his reaction to a likely season-ending knee injury incurred during the summer by Cousins. The former New Orleans teammates probably won’t get to play together this season as planned.
Davis says he “was shocked, just knowing that he worked so hard to try to get back from his quad and his Achilles. He hasn’t really had the opportunity to be the old DeMarcus, and he wanted this to be the year, and then the ACL happened. He’s in good spirits. He’s just happy to be here and still be around the team, and we support him all the way through.”
The Lakers have kept Cousins around the team despite his injury and the investigation of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge against the veteran center.
General manager Rob Pelinka says the Lakers are following the NBA’s lead in the legal matters surrounding Cousins, but they take domestic violence “very seriously.”
LeBron James had his longest summer in 14 years, but he didn’t relax much on the days that weren’t Taco Tuesdays.
James is back to work with the Los Angeles Lakers after missing the playoffs for the first time since his second year in the NBA.
With plenty of free time on his hands, James filmed “Space Jam 2,” which will be released next summer. But those early call times at Warner Bros. meant he had to rise before dawn to complete his daily workouts.
After shooting wound down and the Lakers completed their roster, James and Anthony Davis invited their teammates to Las Vegas for several days of workouts and bonding.
James says he is more motivated than ever to win big with the Lakers, who have missed the playoffs for six straight years.
The three-time NBA champion says “as a team and myself, we need to get the Lakers back to what they’ve been accustomed to over the years, so I’m excited about that.”
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka says LeBron James and Anthony Davis had an active role in the construction of the team’s roster this summer.
The Lakers opened their annual media day Friday with optimistic comments from Pelinka and new coach Frank Vogel about the roster assembled around the franchise’s superstars.
Pelinka says he had numerous three-way phone calls and text chains with James and Davis, who was acquired in July. James and Davis approved of the Lakers’ decision to sign Dwight Howard.
The GM says James “was incredibly locked in to the whole process, and has been great to work with.”
— Greg Beacham in El Segundo, California
Kyrie Irving believes Kevin Durant was rushed back to play in the NBA Finals before he was ready.
Irving said Friday during Nets media day the decision to bring Durant back in Game 5 in Toronto was made “to end up selling a product that came before the person, Kevin.”
Durant had been recovering from a calf injury earlier in the postseason when he returned to play for Golden State in Game 5. He lasted just 12 minutes before going down with a ruptured Achilles tendon that required surgery.
Irving adds that Durant “was not ready to play in that environment. We all know that, whether people want to admit it or not.”
The two All-Stars then signed with the Brooklyn Nets in July. The Nets say they expect Durant to miss the season, though the All-Star forward says he makes his own decisions.
— Brian Mahoney in New York
Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo still hasn’t set a target date for his return — but he is back on the court less eight months after rupturing a quad tendon in his right knee.
The two-time All-Star suffered the season-ending injury Jan, 24. Coach Nate McMillan and president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard have remained relatively quiet about when they expect to have Oladipo back.
But center Myles Turner is hopeful Oladipo returns in December or January.
“I’ve heard some people say after the All-Star break, but I just know how Vic’s wired,” Turner said Friday at the team’s annual media day. “He’s been attacking the whole process. He’s already doing stuff on the court.”
Oladipo says Wolverine has always been his favorite comic book character because he has the ability to heal himself.
— Michael Marot in Indianapolis
LeBron James is expected to speak about a season of great expectations for himself and the new-look Los Angeles Lakers, as the annual rundown of media days get underway around the NBA.
The Lakers are among five teams holding their media-day sessions Friday, the others include Houston, Sacramento, Indiana and Brooklyn. Reigning NBA champion Toronto holds its media day on Saturday.
Those teams were permitted to open training camps earlier than most because of the league’s rule allowing those clubs going overseas for preseason games to get some additional preparation time.
The Los Angeles Clippers have media day on Sunday because they’re headed to Hawaii for training camp. The remaining 23 teams have them scheduled for Monday.
The first preseason game is Monday, with the Rockets playing host to the Shanghai Sharks.