2022-23 NBA regular season dates announced

The 77th NBA regular season, which comprises 82 games per team, will tip off on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022, and conclude on Sunday, April 9, 2023.

All 30 teams will play on the final day of the regular season (Sunday, April 9).

The 2023 NBA Play-In Tournament will take place from Tuesday, April 11 – Friday, April 14, followed by the start of the 2023 NBA Playoffs on Saturday, April 15.

Game 1 of the 2023 NBA Finals is scheduled to be played on Thursday, June 1.

Bill Russell’s No. 6 jersey to be retired throughout the NBA

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced today that they will honor the life and legacy of 11-time NBA champion and civil rights pioneer Bill Russell by permanently retiring his uniform number, 6, throughout the league. The iconic Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer will be the first player to have his number retired across the NBA.

“Bill Russell’s unparalleled success on the court and pioneering civil rights activism deserve to be honored in a unique and historic way,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “Permanently retiring his No. 6 across every NBA team ensures that Bill’s transcendent career will always be recognized.”

“This is a momentous honor reserved for one of the greatest champions to ever play the game,” said NBPA Executive Director Tamika Tremaglio. “Bill’s actions on and off the court throughout the course of his life helped to shape generations of players for the better and for that, we are forever grateful. We are proud to continue the celebration of his life and legacy alongside the league.”

In addition to retiring Russell’s number, the NBA will pay tribute to the Boston Celtics’ legend throughout the 2022-23 season. All NBA players will wear a commemorative patch on the right shoulder of their jerseys, and every NBA court will display a clover-shaped logo with the No. 6 on the sideline near the scorer’s table. The Celtics, for whom Russell played his entire career and coached, will have a separate and unique recognition for him on their uniforms, to be announced soon.

Russell’s jersey number, which he wore for his entire 13-season career from 1956-69, will not be issued again by any NBA team to any player. Players who currently wear No. 6 will be grandfathered.

Regarded as the ultimate winner and model teammate, Russell transformed the game with his dominant defense and graceful athleticism at the center position. He won a record 11 NBA championships in 13 seasons, which followed back-to-back national championships at the University of San Francisco (1955 and 1956) and a gold medal with the U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team (1956). Russell, who led Boston to eight consecutive NBA championships from 1959-66, was so synonymous with success that the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award was named for him in 2009.

His myriad accomplishments included five NBA Most Valuable Player awards, 12 NBA All-Star selections and 11 All-NBA Team honors. Russell was named to all four NBA anniversary teams (25th, 35th, 50th and 75th) and inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975. A four-time NBA rebounding champion, he ranks second in league history in total rebounds (21,620) and rebounds per game (22.5) in the regular season. The Celtics retired his No. 6 jersey in 1972.

Russell’s impact on the NBA extended far beyond his playing achievements. In 1966, he was hired by the Celtics as the first Black head coach in the history of the NBA and major U.S. professional sports. As a player-head coach, he guided Boston to back-to-back NBA championships in 1968 and 1969.

During and after his extraordinary basketball career, Russell passionately advocated for the values of equality, respect and inclusion. He marched for civil rights with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and was steadfast in his belief that all people should be treated with dignity. Russell was awarded the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, for his athletic feats and lifelong commitment to social justice.

NBA legend Bill Russell passes away at age 88

BOSTON CELTICS TEAM STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF BILL RUSSELL

To be the greatest champion in your sport, to revolutionize the way the game is played, and to be a societal leader all at once seems unthinkable, but that is who Bill Russell was.

Bill was a champion unlike any other in the history of team sports – an 11-time NBA champion, including winning eight consecutive titles, a five-time MVP, an Olympic Gold Medalist and the NBA’s first Black head coach.

Bill Russell‘s DNA is woven through every element of the Celtics organization, from the relentless pursuit of excellence, to the celebration of team rewards over individual glory, to a commitment to social justice and civil rights off the court.

Our thoughts are with his family as we mourn his passing and celebrate his enormous legacy in basketball, Boston, and beyond.

STATEMENT FROM WYC GROUSBECK, STEVE PAGLIUCA AND THE BOSTON CELTICS OWNERSHIP GROUP

Bill embodied character and commitment and he was truly one of the finest people to ever live. He will be remembered forever and deservedly so.

STATEMENT FROM NBA COMMISSIONER ADAM SILVER

“Bill Russell was the greatest champion in all of team sports. The countless accolades that he earned for his storied career with the Boston Celtics – including a record 11 championships and five MVP awards – only begin to tell the story of Bill’s immense impact on our league and broader society.

“Bill stood for something much bigger than sports: the values of equality, respect and inclusion that he stamped into the DNA of our league. At the height of his athletic career, Bill advocated vigorously for civil rights and social justice, a legacy he passed down to generations of NBA players who followed in his footsteps. Through the taunts, threats and unthinkable adversity, Bill rose above it all and remained true to his belief that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity.

“For nearly 35 years since Bill completed his trailblazing career as the league’s first Black head coach, we were fortunate to see him at every major NBA event, including the NBA Finals, where he presented the Bill Russell Trophy to the Finals MVP.

“I cherished my friendship with Bill and was thrilled when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I often called him basketball’s Babe Ruth for how he transcended time. Bill was the ultimate winner and consummate teammate, and his influence on the NBA will be felt forever. We send our deepest condolences to his wife, Jeannine, his family and his many friends.”

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Per ESPN.com, “a five-time MVP and 12-time All-Star, Russell was an uncanny shot blocker who revolutionized NBA defensive concepts. He finished with 21,620 career rebounds — an average of 22.5 per game — and led the league in rebounding four times. He had 51 rebounds in one game and 49 in two others and posted 12 straight seasons with 1,000 or more rebounds. Russell also averaged 15.1 points and 4.3 assists per game over his career.”

Gary Payton II wins 2021-22 NBA season Bob Lanier Community Assist Award

The NBA today announced it will rename the Season-long NBA Cares Community Assist Award in honor of late Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer and NBA Global Ambassador, Bob Lanier, for his dedication to teaching NBA values and making a positive impact on communities across the globe.

And the first winner of the new Bob Lanier Community Assist Award for the 2021-22 season is Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II.

Payton was selected by fans during a 12-day public voting period and by an NBA executive panel for his sustained community outreach in support of youth in the Bay Area over the course of the season.

PER THE NBA:

Payton II has prioritized engaging with and giving back to his community, particularly through initiatives related to youth with learning disabilities and those dealing with hardship. This season, he founded the GPII Foundation, a nonprofit that acts as a conduit for Dyslexia-awareness, an educational disability he has dealt with throughout his life. The foundation provides funding for educators to become certified in early intervention services and support for students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, including early screening, detection and certified assessment for youth and young adults.

Payton’s own personal struggle with dyslexia, and his passion and efforts to uplift young people impacted, led to the Warriors expanding their Read to Achieve program to specifically include students with learning disabilities. He also led attended a rally at San Francisco City Hall in support of universal screening for risk of dyslexia via Senate Bill 237 and hosted his first-ever Reading Rally with Decoding Dyslexia for students affected by learning disabilities. Additionally, Payton participated in the Warriors’ Black History Month celebrations and 75th Anniversary Live, Learn or Play Center dedication, among other events. He was awarded the January monthly NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente.

Lanier, a League Office executive and NBA Global Ambassador for more than 30 years, had an enormous influence on the NBA family and young people globally, traveling the world to teach the values of the game and making a positive impact through his kindness and generosity. An author and humanitarian, Lanier was the recipient of many distinguished awards throughout his lifetime, including the National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Award for his significant contributions to civil and human rights and the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award as a player. The legacy he built will continue to live on through the seasonlong Community Assist Award recognition, which honors the next generation of players’ commitment to positively impacting their community throughout the NBA season.

2021-22 NBA All-Defensive Teams announced

Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics and Mikal Bridges of the Phoenix Suns lead the 2021-22 NBA All-Defensive First Team, the NBA announced today.

Smart and Bridges comprise the two guards on the NBA All-Defensive First Team. Smart, the 2021-22 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, received 198 points (99 First Team votes) to earn his third selection to the NBA All-Defensive First Team. Bridges, who finished in second place for the Defensive Player of the Year Award in his third NBA season, received 193 points (95 First Team votes). This is Bridges’ first selection to the NBA All-Defensive Team (First Team and Second Team).

Joining Smart and Bridges on the 2021-22 NBA All-Defensive First Team are Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (171 points; 76 First Team votes), Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (156 points; 63 First Team votes) and Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (153 points; 55 First Team votes).

Gobert, a three-time Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year, has been voted to the NBA All-Defensive First Team for the sixth consecutive season. Antetokounmpo, the 2019-20 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, is an NBA All-Defensive First Team honoree for the fourth straight season. Jackson, a four-year NBA veteran and the 2021-22 season leader in blocks per game (2.27), is making his debut on the NBA All-Defensive Team.

The 2021-22 NBA All-Defensive Second Team consists of Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo (152 points), Bucks guard Jrue Holiday (89 points), Philadelphia 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle (87 points), Celtics center Robert Williams III (70 points) and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (34 points).

This is the third NBA All-Defensive Team selection for Adebayo, the fourth for Holiday and the second for Thybulle. Williams joins Bridges and Jackson as a first-time member of the NBA All-Defensive Team. Green, the 2016-17 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year, has earned his seventh selection to the NBA All-Defensive Team.

The 2021-22 Kia NBA All-Defensive Team was selected by a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Players were awarded two points for each vote to the NBA All-Defensive First Team and one point for each vote to the Second Team. Voters selected two guards, two forwards and one center for each team, choosing players at the position they play regularly. Players who received votes at multiple positions were slotted at the position at which they received the most voting points.

Memphis Grizzlies’ Zach Kleiman wins 2021-22 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year award

Memphis Grizzlies EVP of Basketball Operations and General Manager Zachary Z. Kleiman has been selected as the winner of the 2021-22 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year, the NBA announced today.

“This is an organizational honor,” said Kleiman. “I wouldn’t be in this position without Robert (Pera)’s vision and support, and I’m grateful to be pursuing NBA championships in Memphis with such a driven and competitive group of players and staff. Thank you to my peers for this recognition.”

Kleiman received 16 of the 29 first-place votes and 85 total points from a voting panel of team executives across the NBA. Executives were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote. Kleiman, 33, is the youngest recipient of the NBA Basketball Executive of the Year Award, which has been presented annually since the 1972-73 season. He also becomes the second person to earn the honor with the Grizzlies, joining Jerry West (2003-04).

In Kleiman’s third season leading the team’s Basketball Operations, Memphis recorded the second-best record in the NBA (56-26) and tied the 2012-13 franchise record for winning percentage (.683). The Grizzlies earned the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs (a franchise record) and captured the Southwest Division championship, the first division title in franchise history.

Under Kleiman, the Grizzlies assembled a roster that set a franchise record for scoring average with 115.6 points per game (second in the NBA) as the second-youngest team in the NBA. All 9,480 of the Grizzlies’ points this season were scored by players under the age of 30. Memphis led the league in rebounds (49.2), offensive rebounds (14.1), steals (9.8), blocks (6.5), points in the paint (57.6), second chance points (18.7) and fast break points (17.7), setting single-season franchise records in every category except blocks (which ranked second in club history). The Grizzlies became the first team to lead the NBA in rebounds, steals and blocks since steals and blocks became official statistics in 1973-74.

This is the first NBA Basketball Executive of the Year Award for Kleiman, who has served seven seasons with the Grizzlies and three in his current role.

Tyler Herro wins 2021-22 NBA Sixth Man of the Year award

Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro has been named the 2021-22 NBA Sixth Man of the Year for his contributions in a reserve role, the NBA announced today. This is the first Sixth Man honor for Herro, who becomes the first player to win the annual award with the Heat.

Herro received 488 total points (96 first-place votes) from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love finished in second place with 214 points (three first-place votes). Phoenix Suns forward Cam Johnson finished in third place with 128 points (one first-place vote).

Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote. To be eligible for the Kia NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, a player had to have come off the bench in more games than he started.

In his third NBA season, Herro averaged 20.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 32.6 minutes in 66 games (10 starts). His scoring average of 20.8 points as a reserve was the highest in the NBA. He became the fifth player to average at least 20.0 points off the bench (minimum 50 games as a reserve) since starts began being tracked in the 1970-71 season, joining Thurl Bailey (1987-88), Eddie Johnson (1988-89), Ricky Pierce (1989-90, 1990-91) and Lou Williams (2017-18, 2018-19).

Herro’s eight 30-point games off the bench were tied for the third most since the 1970-71 season and his 20 25-point games were tied for the fourth most. He ranked 20th in the NBA in free throw percentage (86.8), 21st in points per game, 26th in three-point field goal percentage (39.9) and 32nd in three-pointers made (175).

Setting a single-season franchise record with 1,162 points off the bench, Herro helped the Heat finish with a 53-29 record and earn the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the 2022 NBA Playoffs presented by Google Pixel. Miami is currently facing the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, with Game 2 to be played on Wednesday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT.

Herro, 22, the 13th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, has averaged 16.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 175 games over three seasons with the Heat. In the 2019-20 season, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team and set a Miami single-game playoff rookie scoring record with 37 points against the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

NBA names Joe Dumars as Executive Vice President, Head of Basketball Operations

The NBA announced today that Joe Dumars, a Hall of Fame player, distinguished team executive and NBA champion with more than 30 years of experience in the league, has been appointed Executive Vice President, Head of Basketball Operations. Dumars will begin with the league office on May 9 and report to Byron Spruell, President, League Operations.

In his new role, Dumars will oversee all Basketball Operations matters for the NBA, including the development of playing rules and interpretations, conduct and discipline, and policies and procedures relating to the operation of games. He will engage with players, coaches, team executives, officials and other key stakeholders to sustain the highest level of play and competition. Dumars will also lead the overall talent strategy for Basketball Operations and reinforce a culture of inclusivity and innovation.

“Joe’s extensive track record of accomplishment as an NBA player and team executive and the leadership and expertise that he has demonstrated in various roles make him a natural fit to drive efforts to further enhance the game,” said Spruell. “As a respected longtime member of the NBA family, Joe has developed strong relationships across the league that will set the foundation for success in his new position.”

“My life has centered on the NBA for nearly 40 years, which makes the opportunity to serve the entire league incredibly exciting and rewarding,” said Dumars. “I’m looking forward to using my skills and experience to collaborate with all 30 teams on ways to shape the future direction of the league and help the game continue to evolve.”

The NBA Sportsmanship Award is named for Dumars, with the Joe Dumars Trophy presented annually to the NBA player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court. Dumars was the inaugural winner of the NBA Sportsmanship Award (1995-96 season). As a player, he also received the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for his outstanding service and dedication to the community.

Dumars joins the league office after working three seasons with the Sacramento Kings, the last two as Chief Strategy Officer.

Prior to Sacramento, Dumars served 15 seasons as a basketball executive with the Detroit Pistons (1999-2000 – 2013-14), including the final 14 as President of Basketball Operations. With Dumars overseeing player personnel decisions, the Pistons won an NBA championship (2003-04 season), made six consecutive appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals (2002-03 – 2007-08) and recorded at least 50 victories in seven straight seasons (2001-02 – 2007-08). He was named the NBA Basketball Executive of the Year for the 2002-03 season.

Dumars joined the Pistons’ front office after a decorated 14-year playing career in the NBA, all with Detroit, which selected him in the first round (18th overall pick) of the 1985 NBA Draft. A six-time NBA All-Star selection and three-time All-NBA Team honoree, Dumars helped the Pistons win back-to-back NBA championships in the 1988-89 and 1989-90 seasons and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1989 NBA Finals. He is the franchise leader in games played.

One of the top all-around guards of his era, Dumars averaged at least 20 points per game three times and was selected to the NBA All-Defensive Team five times. In international competition, Dumars won a gold medal with USA Basketball at the 1994 FIBA Basketball World Cup. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

In addition to his success as an NBA player and executive, Dumars served as President of Basketball Division for Independent Sports & Entertainment (ISE), an integrated sports, media, entertainment and management company, from 2017-19. He also founded the automotive supply company Detroit Technologies Inc. and Joe Dumars Fieldhouse, an indoor sports and entertainment complex with two locations in the Detroit area.

A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, Dumars holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from McNeese State University, where he had a legendary basketball career as a four-time selection to the All-Southland Conference First Team. Recognized as the Southland Conference’s 1980s Player of the Decade, Dumars is a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

On D’Angelo Russell and the Timberwolves

Here’s the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Minnesota Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell:

D’Angelo Russell, the man known for having “ice in his veins” — an ode to his clutch shot making — spent the most important minutes of the Timberwolves’ season on the bench.

Russell sat in favor of Jordan McLaughlin for the final five minutes of Minnesota’s Game 6 loss on Saturday at Target Center. That certainly wasn’t Russell’s preference. He noted Saturday that everyone wants to be in a position to do their job.

“Of course I want to be out there,” he said.

But he didn’t earn that opportunity. Not with his play Saturday, not with his play throughout the first-round series, and frankly not with his play over the past couple of months. Over his final 14 appearances of the regular season, Russell averaged just 13.4 points a game, shooting 37 percent from the floor and 29 percent from deep. Over the back portion of the season, Russell had the Timberwolves’ worst defensive rating and net rating.

Then came a dynamic play-in performance against the Los Angeles Clippers that helped Minnesota punch its playoff ticket. But that turned out to be a blip on the radar and not a precursor to playoff success. Russell averaged 12 points and nearly three turnovers per game in the first-round loss, shooting 33 percent from the field.

Full Article

On the future of the Utah Jazz beyond the 2022 playoffs

A factor to consider after these playoffs is the team’s age. If the Jazz weren’t on the older end of the age spectrum, management might be more patient. The team’s leader, Donovan Mitchell, is only 25, while Bojan Bogdanovic is 33 and Mike Conley is 34, making them two of four players over 30. Conley has been in the professional game for 15 years, one longer than Bogdanovic.

According to Sporting News, the Jazz were tied for second among the NBA’s oldest teams entering this season. The Lakers (30.0) were the only team that was older. At 28.1, the Jazz and Nets came in second and third, respectively.

The Celtics (25.9), Grizzlies (24.2), Timberwolves (24.3), Pelicans (25.0), Raptors (25.2), and 76ers (25.8) are all rising young teams. The Jazz are in the Western Conference with a lot of the league’s best young teams.

Via the Deseret News