The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet
1. Derrick Rose’s rape civil trial begins Tues. Here’s what to expect – Michael McCann, Sports Illustrated
The much discussed Derrick Rose rape trial begins today, which coincides with not only Rose’s birthday but the New York Knick’s first preseason game of the 2016-17 campaign. Rose’s trial will be taking place in Los Angeles, but it is expected that Rose will not be present for the first day when the jury is selected. As of now, Rose is expected to play in tonight’s preseason game against the Houston Rockets, but this column from Sports Illustrated gives details about the case, and how it could potentially impact his immediate future both on and off the court.
2. Why Kevin Durant already fits with Golden State – Adrian Wojnarowski, The Vertical
Missing seven-of-nine attempts from the field in his first game in a Golden State Warriors jersey probably wasn’t ideal for Kevin Durant, but the seven-time All-Star was still smiling after his debut. This is why Durant chose Golden State in free agency because he knew it would be an environment where he’d have fun, be around people who embrace him win or lose, and of course, be able to flourish on the basketball court. In this column, the Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski details the important role that the Warriors’ culture played in Durant’s decision, as well as his current happiness.
3. It’s only preseason, but post-Durant drama already has begun for Thunder – Royce Young, ESPN
While KD isn’t sweating the preseason, his old club, the Oklahoma City Thunder, started off the new year with an international loss, in what might be considered “the single greatest preseason game of all-time.” We were treated to our very first Victor Oladipo poster highlight (see below), but the Thunder lost a 142-137 barn burner at the hands of the Spanish club, Real Madrid, in Spain on Monday. Perhaps more concerning had to be Steven Adams spraining his ankle, but the loss shouldn’t be too concerning as Russell Westbrook only played in the first and third quarters.
4. Rumor: Agent Rich Paul won’t let Ben Simmons play for Sixers this season – James Herbert, CBS Sports
In a bad story that’s apparently only getting worse, Ben Simmons fractured foot that was expected to keep him out for the first three months of the season, might be a season-ending injury. Well, the injury itself may not take the full season to heal properly, but rumors are coming out that Simmons’ agent Rich Paul will not allow his client to step on a basketball court this season as a precaution. In recent memory, we saw a similar injury derail Kevin Durant’s 2014-15 season, and Simmons’ teammate Joel Embiid missed his entire rookie season with the same injury, so even if it’s possible Simmons could return before the All-Star break we may not see the top pick from the 2016 NBA Draft until a year from now. Bummer.
5. The Trail Blazers are good, but let’s not get carried away with expectations – Paul Flannery and Tom Ziller, SB Nation
SB Nation’s Paul Flannery and Tom Ziller continue their 2016-17 NBA Season Previews by stopping in the Pacific Northwest and taking a look at one of last season’s most surprising teams, the Portland Trail Blazers. While the Blazers are expected to continue to be a Western Conference playoff team, Flannery and Ziller ask for people to dial back the expectations for this team, as they shouldn’t necessarily be expected to take much of a leap.