NBA commissioner Adam Silver is confident that some changes to the take-foul rule will happen next season. The league has been experimenting in the G League for the last four seasons. Silver now expects it to be finalized this upcoming offseason.
Meanwhile, Devonte' Graham of the New Orleans Pelicans earned the "Buzzer Beater of the Year." Graham hit a 61-foot game-winning buzzer-beat last December 15th against the OKC Thunder. It's the longest game-winner in the last 25 seasons.
Here is the latest NBA news roundup for June 4th, 2022 brought to you by Sportskeeda.
Al Horford is number one in NBA Finals MVP Ladder
Al Horford led the Boston Celtics to a 120-108 win over the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Horford caught fire in the fourth quarter, finishing with 26 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. He also hit six three-point shots, which is a career-high.
The veteran big man was amazing on his Finals debut. Horford held the record for most playoff games played without making an NBA Finals appearance. He played 141 playoff games for the Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers.
In the first edition of the Finals MVP Ladder on NBA.com, Horford is currently in first place. He is ahead of teammates Jaylen Brown and Derrick White. Steph Curry and Andrew Wiggins of the Warriors round out the top five. Jayson Tatum and Klay Thompson have struggled for their respective teams.
Adam Silver confident about changes regarding take-foul rules
League commissioner Adam Silver is expecting some changes to the existing take-foul rules. Silver told the Associated Press in an interview that the proposed changes will happen this summer. The commissioner noted that they have been experimenting with it in the G League for the past four years. He said:
"I am confident that we'll see a change. I would not say I'm overconfident that it will be the last change, even though this is a rule that we've been experimenting with in the G League for last four years."
The take-foul happens when a defender intentionally commits a foul to stop a transition opportunity. It's one of the most hated rules in the leauge by its fanbase, as well as head coaches. The proposed change will give the fouled team possession and one free throw.
Nuggets president expects team to compete for championship next season
The Denver Nuggets are on the precipice of becoming a real contender for a championship. However, injuries have halted their progress this season. Jamal Murray missed the entire season due to a knee injury, while Michael Porter Jr. underwent back surgery. He was limited to just nine games.
Team president Josh Kroenke believes it's "championship or bust" for the Nuggets next season. They recently promoted Calvin Booth as general manager and are looking forward to the return of Murray and Porter Jr. Here's what Kroenke told NBA.com:
"We're entering a new phase of the organization, and with this squad in particular, which is: it's championship or bust. And this is the first time those words have been uttered around these halls, I think. We have a two-time MVP, we have two more All-Star-caliber players coming off injuries. And I think that we are poised in a way that perhaps this organization hasn't been in the past."
Darvin Ham's official hiring makes history for Black coaches in the NBA
The LA Lakers have officially announced that Darvin Ham will be the team's new head coach next season. Ham has been a longtime assistant coach, with stints for teams such as the Lakers, Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks. He took over from Frank Vogel as the top coach for one of the most storied organizations in league history.
According to Sports Illustrated, Ham is now the 15th Black head coach currently in the NBA. For the first time in league history, 50% of teams will have a Black head coach. NBA commissioner Adam Silver was proud of the historic feat while talking with Andscape.
"If you care about diversity and inclusion in your workplace, you've got to look at the data. You've got to constantly present it to your colleagues, to your department heads, to your teams, and it has to become a focus. It's my job in part to say that's a priority for this organization."'
Devonte' Graham wins Buzzer-Beater of the Year
Devonte' Graham had a solid first year in New Orleans. However, he was overshadowed by CJ McCollum and Jose Alvarado towards the end of the season. Graham averaged 11.9 points, 4.2 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 76 games, while shooting just 36.3% from the field.
Despite his role being reduced, Graham owns the record for longest game-winning buzzer-beater in the last 25 years. The Pelicans faced the OKC Thunder last December 15th and Graham hit a 61-foot shot for the 113-110 win. The shot has been voted by fans as the "Buzzer Beater of the Year," as per Sports Illustrated.
Here's what Graham told reporters about his game-winner (h/t NBA.com):
"The play is called Vegas. I'm not sure why it's called that, but it's like a gamble. You're betting on a crazy, crazy shot, putting all your chips in and hoisting one up. It's a play call with three different options. Thankfully we picked the right option."