NBA Media Day has gone in a blur, which means that teams have opened their respective facilities for training camp.
Most of them went about the light scrimmage and shootaround for the first couple of practice runs, but some squads did more than the usual camp routine, enough to land a spot among the biggest NBA preseason headlines.
From celebrities hogging the basketball limelight to a few Top 10-worthy highlights, so much interesting stuff happened in the final precursor of the regular season.
Jimmy Butler 6.5 hours early for 10 am practice
Pat Riley must be ecstatic about his prized acquisition's work ethic; at the same time, the Heat president has started the countdown to the first flare-up between Jimmy and head coach Erik Spoelstra. At least he doesn't have to worry about the star forward pushing younger guns Justise Winslow and Dion Waiters around. Having respected veterans Udonis Haslem and Goran Dragic will also help rein someone like Butler in.
Michael Porter, Jr. sighting in Denver: is this the real life?
Aside from how trim and spry Nikola Jokic is looking (maybe that's just the Phantom Cam), the way the 2018 No. 14 pick is throwing it down in these runs is truly a sight to behold — and a scary one for the rest of the league. The Nuggets are already one of the Finals favorites because of their talent and continuity, but a [Red-Shirt] Rookie of the Year campaign from MPJ might just put them over the top.
Isiah Thomas leads Detroit welcoming committee
Any video of a healthy Derrick Rose is a feel-good story, even with the irony of two Chicago natives bonding over at the Motor City. He joins an odd Pistons bunch that also signed Markieff Morris and Joe Johnson. Good thing "odd" has translated to championships for the sputtering franchise (see Bad Boys 1 and 2). As much as we love some Zeke, don't let the former NBA executive near the front office.
J.Cole pulls up to the Charlotte Hornets workout
It's never a good sign when a rapper is the best player on your training camp. While that's clearly an overstatement, describing Michael Jordan's team as overpaid no-names isn't an exaggeration. Even the presence of the North Carolina hip-hop superstar can't take the sting out of their own fans roasting Buzz City. Just give J.Cole a one-year contract as halftime performer-player so we can all carry on with our lives.
Triple H gives the defending champs a shout-out
Norman Powell and the Raptors will need more than an appreciation post from the WWE legend and a shocking heel turn to repeat, especially with almost everyone counting them out this season. Among the Toronto players, Serge Ibaka — who has had run-ins with Metta World Peace, Matt Barnes, and James Johnson, among others — is most likely to pursue a wrestling career when all is said and done.
Josh Jackson set to join Memphis G...League
The 2017 fourth overall selection went from being the most physically ready prospect from his draft class to a telling assignment to the Grizzlies' minor league affiliate, the Memphis Hustle. After a decent rookie campaign, Jackson hit the sophomore wall hard before getting swapped for a couple of more reliable seniors. Here's hoping the athletic freak can get back on track and be part of the next-gen Grizz.
Lonzo to Zion oop offers preview of Pels mixtape
After ending their previous campaign on a sour note, New Orleans ticket holders are about to become the luckiest fans once the basketball calendar begins. Other than the thought of top pick Zion Williamson regularly catching impossible lobs like it's nothing, progress clips of ex-Laker pair Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram are also making season passes more bang for the buck. Anthony Davis, who?