updates, news, Josh Giddey shooting, Ben Simmons return, Zion Williamson weight, Lonzo Ball injury – 21 Sports News

  • September 30, 2022

NBA training camps have opened and with it, both the media and fans have been given their first glimpse at some of the league’s biggest superstars ahead of the new season.
From seeing how Ben Simmons looks ahead of his Nets return to what sort of changes Josh Giddey has made to his shooting, there is plenty to keep an eye out for.
Here is the latest from training camp!
NBA TRAINING CAMP STORYLINES: Ben’s big challenge, Lakers’ trade drama
‘He’s an a***hole playing against him’ | 01:06

‘FEEL A BIT DISRESPECTED’: GIDDEY’S HILARIOUS REPLY TO SNUB
Even early in his NBA career, Josh Giddey has turned heads with his eye-popping skills on the court but it is not just his dazzling dimes that make the Australian so marketable.
Giddey’s luscious locks have also been described by fans as some of the best in the league, although when one cut a video of the Australian constantly fixing his hair, he joked it was “time to cut the hair”.
Giddey’s hair was another point of discussion at training camp, although the 19-year-old jokingly said he felt “a bit disrespected” after learning he had not got lots of love from his teammates for it.
They had been asked who had the best hair on the team, with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort, Jalen Williams and Jaylin Williams getting plenty of votes.
“I feel a bit disrespected,” Giddey joked.
“They all have good hair. Jeremiah with the afro is nice as well. There are a lot of great hairstyles on this team… I might have to try something different.”
While it is unlikely Giddey will be making a change anytime soon, the same can’t be said for his shooting.
The Australian is expected to be one of the beneficiaries from shooting coach Chip Engelland’s appointment, with Giddey describing him as a “genius”.
“It’s not a whole lot different to what it was last year,” Giddey said of the changes he has made already under Engelland.
“It’s just a few minor changes. He didn’t come in and try to completely restructure my shot or anything new, just minor things. Just hand placement. I used to flick the ball with my thumb.”
Can Engelland take Giddey to next level? | 01:45

‘WRECKING BALL’ ZION MAKES EARLY STATEMENT
A new NBA season means renewed hope for Zion Williamson. Perhaps this time there is good reason for it.
The Pelicans star hasn’t played in a game since May 2021 — more than 500 days ago — but looked lean, fast and like a “wrecking ball,” according to forward Larry Nance in New Orleans’ team scrimmage Tuesday night.
“He looks like Z,” Nance told reporters. “Dude hasn’t played basketball for 500-something days. It’s not like none of us are expecting that right away but shoot, I got to be honest with you, dude looks good. It’s going to take time for everybody to adjust to him. It’s going to take him time to adjust to everybody, but it’s hard not to be impressed.”
Added Pelicans coach Willie Green: “Z looked amazing. His strength, his speed. He dominated the scrimmage pretty much.”
So much for rust.
The 22-year-old first-overall pick in 2019 who missed all of last season after suffering a fracture in his right foot was happy to be able to go in the 5-on-5 practice. He also didn’t miss a shot according to Nance.
“He looks like the same wrecking ball we all know and love,” Nance said. “Very pleased to say the least.”
So, too, is Charlotte after inking the oft-injured 6-foot-6 All-Star forward to a five-year, $193 million rookie max contract this summer — a deal that includes a de-escalator clause that’s weight related. Already, he showed up for training camp looking svelte and healthy.
Now the only question is if Williamson, who has averaged 25.7 points, seven rebounds and 3.2 assists in 85 games over parts of two seasons, can stay that way and lead a promising Pelicans team that includes CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas deep into the playoffs after losing to the Suns in the opening round last season without their superstar.
— New York Post
SIMMONS ‘SHOCKED’ IN GOOD SIGNS AHEAD OF RETURN
Ben Simmons is back in Brooklyn and said he “feels great”, having undergone back surgery in May before being cleared to rehab from the injury in June.
So great that Simmons was even able to block David Duke at one point in training camp.
“I was surprised today, I got a block,” he told reporters.
“I blocked David Duke. I was shocked.”
Simmons ready for fresh NBA season | 08:43

Blocking is just one of the many things Simmons said he can now do since the successful surgery, adding he is “pretty sure” he is “good to go” ahead of the new season.
The Australian did add that preparation for games will be key for him as he looks to better take care of his body, describing it as a “must”.
“I think the older I get the more I know I need to take care of my body,” he said.
“So food wise, nutrition, and then everyday massage therapy, pilates I’m staying on top of my body this year. So it’s a lot, but it’s a must.”
Nets coach Steve Nash said he does not care if Simmons even shoots and that he is optimistic the Australian will be able to get back to play at his usual level, although patience will still be needed.
“I don’t want to get too carried away,” Nash said.
“We’ve had a few wobbles in the last two years. Nothing’s set in stone. That would be the plan, that he’s in a great place now where he can be ready (for a full load of minutes), but to build back into NBA rhythm, the demands, the travel, that’s the last adaptation process for him. But he’s in a great spot and there’s no reason to feel like he can’t get there.”
Nash also said the Nets are planning to use Simmons at all five positions but that the preference is to have him line up at point guard or center.
BULLS FACING DAUNTING LONZO SCENARIO
Lonzo Ball and the Bulls appear to be heading for a nightmarish scenario to start this season after the star guard’s knee injury helped derail last year’s campaign.
Ball, who missed the final two months of the 2021-22 NBA season, doesn’t sound remotely close to being able to return as training camp opened this week. The 24-year-old told reporters over a Zoom call on Tuesday that doctors are “a bit surprised” about how little progress he’s made recovering from his knee surgery and that he even has pain doing day-to-day activities such as walking up stairs. A second procedure is planned for Wednesday.
“Literally, I really can’t run. I can’t run or jump,” Ball told reporters per NBC Sports Chicago. “There’s a range from, like, 30 to 60 degrees when my knee is bent that I have, like, no force and I can’t, like, catch myself. Until I can do those things, I can’t play.”
The knee surgery the team announced for Wednesday will be Ball’s third since joining the NBA and he will be re-evaluated in 4-6 weeks, meaning he will not be ready to start the season.
“From my understanding they’re going in there to see what it is because it’s not necessarily showing up on the MRI,” Ball said.
“But it’s clear that there’s something there that’s not right. So they’re going to go in, look at it, and whatever needs to be done is going to be done.’’
Ball averaged 13.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists while shooting 42.3 per cent from 3-point range in his first season in Chicago, helping the Bulls to a 27-13 start before they finished 19-23. It appears they have to do without him a bit longer.
“I did rehab, it was getting better, but it was not to a point where I could get out there and run full speed or jump,” Ball said. “So surgery is the next step.”
— New York Post
Giddey’s plans to partner up with SGA | 01:07

LEBRON REVEALS PRIORITY AHEAD OF 20TH SEASON
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James said staying injury free will be his priority as he prepares for a 20th season in the NBA which could see him break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record.
The 37-year-old heads into the campaign determined to lead the Lakers back to the playoffs after a dismal 2021-2022 season that saw the franchise’s hopes torpedoed by a combination of injuries and poor form.
James, who played just 56 times last season, told reporters at the Lakers media day maintaining fitness would be his focus this season.
“Just being available, that’s what’s most important,” James said.
“Obviously some injuries you can’t control, but that’s my whole mindset. For me as one of the leaders of the team, availability is the most important thing in this league – to be available on the floor.”
James moved into second place in the NBA’s regular season points scoring standings in March, overtaking Karl Malone during a game against the Washington Wizards.
He enters the 2022-2023 season 1,325 points behind all-time regular season points leader Abdul-Jabbar – meaning that if he maintains his average points per game totals, the record should fall this season.
James meanwhile spoke warmly about new Lakers coach Darvin Ham, the former Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach who replaced the sacked Frank Vogel in June.
“Every single day it continues to get better and better and better, but I think the transparency that we have from the time he was granted the head coach here has been great,” James said.
“We’ve had multiple conversations, not only about the game of basketball but things off the floor as well. I think it was well overdue for him to be a head coach.
“I’m happy to be part of his journey and try to do some special things.”
Ben relives infamous missed dunk | 01:40

James, who last month inked a two-year contract extension with the Lakers, added that he remained firmly committed to the franchise that he joined in 2018.
“I came here because I believed in the franchise and I’m still here. It’s literally that simple,” James said.
“I’m committed to the franchise as long as my contract is here. I look forward to get going tomorrow.”
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