Damian Lillard Shares Opinion on Jeff Van Gundy’s Proposed NBA Rule Change

Jeff Van Gundy turned heads on Wednesday when he proposed some major rule changes for the NBA, with the goal of speeding the game up.

Among the rule changes Van Gundy floated was to eliminate free throws until the final four minutes of a game, suggesting players would just receive the points instead of taking trips to the line. 

Additionally the 61-year-old suggested the NBA does away with halftime, or at the very least, shorten it.

His suggestions caught the eye of Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, who shared his thoughts on one of Van Gundy’s proposed adjustments.

“I’m w him on halftime lol… I do not fw it,” wrote Lillard on Twitter, indicating that he’d be more than happy to see the NBA cut down on the length of its halftimes.

Lillard didn’t reveal his stance on Van Gundy’s proposal for free throws, however.

Halftime in the NBA is currently 15 minutes. Van Gundy suggested eliminating it entirely, or shortening it to around five minutes, allotting players enough time for a bathroom break before playing the game’s second half. 

It would certainly be a big change to the rhythm of an NBA game, but one of the league’s biggest stars appears to be on board.

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Author: Karl Rasmussen

Heat’s Jimmy Butler Explains Why He Spurned Eastern Conference Championship Trophy

After the Heat punched their ticket to the NBA Finals following the team’s Game 7 victory against the CelticsJimmy Butler was seen turning down the opportunity to hold the Eastern Conference finals trophy.

Miami center Bam Adebayo offered Butler the trophy amid the team’s celebration, but the star forward and series MVP declined to hold it, saying, “I’ll take the next one.”

During a recent sitdown with Malika Andrews of ESPN, the 33-year-old explained his decision.

“That’s how I view it… I’m very grateful to be able to win the Eastern Conference. I’ve done that before. I have. I want to win an NBA championship. That’s the reason why they put this squad together,” said Butler. “I don’t play for the Eastern Conference finals MVP. I won’t play for the Finals MVP, could care less. I play for Mr. O’Brien.”

Butler was adamant that there’s only one prize he’s honed in on, and that’s the Larry O’Brien Trophy and an NBA title.

After being named Eastern Conference finals MVP, Butler already has some hardware to take home with him from Miami’s playoff run. Of that award, Butler revealed that he’d already given the trophy to his father.

“Every time I play basketball, the end goal, the end I result that I want it to be, is the championship trophy. That’s it… I really only want to win a championship,” said Butler.

He’ll have a chance to do just that with Game 1 set for Thursday, June 1. 

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Author: Karl Rasmussen

Detroit Pistons to Hire Monty Williams As Coach, per Report

Monty Williams is expected to become the Pistons’ new head coach, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Wednesday night.

The deal is reported to be for six years and worth $72 million, and is expected to be finalized in the coming days.

The news comes after Williams and the Suns parted ways following five seasons in Phoenix. The coach was fired after the Suns lost in the second round of the 2023 NBA playoffs to the Nuggets.

Williams replaces Dwane Casey, who moved from the bench to Detroit’s front office after this past regular season.

Various NBA teams were reportedly interested in hiring Williams, including the Bucks and Raptors. Milwaukee has since hired Toronto assistant Adrian Griffin as its next head coach.

Williams is the winningest NBA coach since 2021. In his five seasons with the team, he posted a 194–115 regular-season record and a trip to the NBA Finals in 2021.

The Pistons finished last in the Eastern Conference this past season with a 17–65 record. It was the fourth season in a row in which Detroit finished in the bottom three in the conference.

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Author: Madison Williams

Heat’s Caleb Martin Received Celebratory Call From Rap Star After Game 7 Win

Caleb Martin may not have won the NBA Eastern Conference finals MVP award, but he was certainly one of the most critical contributors to the Heat’s series victory against the Celtics.

Following another strong showing in Game 7, in which he helped Miami clinch the seventh NBA Finals berth in franchise history, Martin told reporters that he received a celebratory phone call from a big-time rapper.

Martin revealed that one of the first people to call him after the Game 7 victory in Boston was none other than J. Cole, a close friend of the 27-year-old.

“He called me before I got undressed,” said Martin, who also stated that he expects the hip-hop star to attend some NBA Finals games.

“He called me before I got undressed after Game 7. Just hype, just screaming, jumping up and down. That’s like my brother. You know, he was just as hype as my family was,” Martin said. 

Back in 2021, Cole gave Martin a big assist of his own by helping him land with the Heat. Cole, who had spent much of the summer working out and playing basketball with Martin, urged Miami assistant coach Caron Butler to give Martin a workout. 

Martin impressed enough to land a roster spot with the team, which subsequently signed him to a three-year, $20 million deal.

During the Heat’s Eastern Conference finals win, Martin averaged 19.3 points on a remarkable 48.9% clip from three-point range. He poured in 26 points in the pivotal Game 7

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Author: Karl Rasmussen

Naismith Award Winner Zach Edey Makes Decision on NBA Draft

The face of college basketball in 2023 will take another crack at winning a national championship in 2024.

Purdue center Zach Edey is returning to the Boilermakers for a fourth season, he announced in a tweet Wednesday evening just hours ahead of the NBA draft withdrawal deadline.

“Run it back,” Edey tweeted, alongside a GIF of Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street.

Edey swept college basketball’s major awards in ’23, winning the Naismith and Wooden Awards as well as the Big Ten’s Player of the Year awards. He averaged 22.3 points and 12.9 rebounds per game, both of which led the conference.

However, Purdue’s regular-season accomplishments were overshadowed by an astounding 63-58 upset loss in the first round of the NCAA tournament to No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson. Edey scored 21 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the loss.

Aside from his accomplishments in ’23, Edey also made the Big Ten’s All-Freshman team in 2021 and was a second team All-Big Ten selection in 2022.

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Author: Patrick Andres