Arc Of History
If you watched an NBA game in 1990, not only did you see many more free throws than you'd see now, but you also didn't see anything like as many 3s. Here's how the game improved. Henry Abbott »Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports
Tom Haberstroh, Brian Windhorst, David Thorpe, Tim MacMahon and Tim Bontemps on the Cavs-Warriors game from Monday night, the importance of rest, All-Stars, Kawhi Leonard and Joel Embiid.
It was suppertime, and his father, Grady Rivers, a longtime Chicago police officer, was there. The father, who was scheduled to be on duty, who patrolled the night shift, never missed a day of work. Yet there he was, slumped in a chair in full uniform, huddled around the small black-and-white television set with Glenn's aunts and uncles.
As Rivers inched closer, he saw his father was sobbing.
"I had never seen my dad cry before," Rivers says. "My grandfather, who was tougher than my dad, was crying too."
The bewildered first-grader tried to piece together what had left his family so broken. Someone, he was told, had been killed. Panicked, he began counting heads in his grandmother's den. Was it a member of the family? A friend up the street?
Grady took his young son by the hand and drove him home in his patrol car.
"And that's when he told me all about this Dr. King guy they were all talking about," Rivers says. "It was the first time I had ever heard of Martin Luther King."
On that day, April 4, 1968, Grady Rivers tried to articulate to his son what Martin Luther King had done to advance civil rights, to fight for racial equality, to use words, not violence, to bring about change.
And now he was dead in a hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, at the age of 39.
From that day forward, Dr. King became a Rivers family companion, his words echoing the teachable moments Glenn's father imparted to him. Grady Rivers played King's speeches on the family record player over and over again, his booming voice literally weaving itself into the family narrative.
"Naturally, as a young kid you are curious," Rivers says. "Dr. King became an extremely important part of my life. He became our Gandhi, in many ways."
Amin Elhassan and BIG Wos welcome in Clinton Yates to talk about Obama's best moments, Rip Hamilton's Rose comments, Whiteside vs. Embiid. Black Tray and Mariano join the show.
The Timberwolves young superstar speaks to Marc Stein about the growing pains of losing, playoff expectations, shooting threes, Tom Thibodeau, baseball dreams and more.
David Locke, the voice of the Utah Jazz, drops by to chat about the Jazz, Warriors, NBA trends, and why broadcasters are such homers.
Tom Haberstroh, Ethan Strauss, BIG Wos and Zach Harper welcome USA Today's Sam Amick to talk DeMarcus Cousins, Kings Trivia, the Warriors issues and Derrick Rose.
The Grizzlies point guard speaks with Ramona Shelburne about being the highest paid player in the league, new coach David Fizdale, getting snubbed, the tribulations of injury and recruiting Chandler Parsons.
Brian Windhorst, Tim MacMahon, Michael Wright and Tim Bontemps on Derrick Rose, the Spurs, Paul Millsap and the Hawks, breaking up backcourts and trade hypotheticals.
(with reporting by Zach Lowe, Ethan Sherwood Strauss, Marc Spears, Marc Stein and Royce Young)
Steve Kerr's answer, of course, was "yes." There was no pause to consider how adding Kevin Durant to a 73-win team would affect chemistry. No worry that the four-time NBA scoring champion might disrupt the delicate ecosystem he'd created. Kerr needed no convincing. He had been a member of two NBA dynasties -- one in Chicago with Michael Jordan's Bulls, the other in San Antonio with Tim Duncan's Spurs -- and knew what it takes to sustain them.
The only question was whether Durant had the stomach to break hearts in Oklahoma City.
"I knew he was close," says Bruce Fraser, Warriors assistant coach and Kerr's best friend. "But I thought having to say no to people he loved was going to be harder for him and more painful than saying yes to the Warriors." KD, after all, was a man who'd walked the streets of Moore, Oklahoma, after it was destroyed by a tornado in 2013 -- then donated $1 million to the town. He was the man who, when named the NBA's 2014 MVP, told the people of Oklahoma City that, "You get knocked down, but you keep getting back up, keep fighting; it's the perfect place for me."
OKC was banking on that loyalty. It was only through a historic quirk that teams such as the Warriors, Clippers and Spurs had enough room under the salary cap to make a play for Durant. In the past, a franchise would have had to gut its roster to bid on a superstar of KD's proportions. But when the cap spiked by almost $25 million with the infusion of new TV revenue, that created an unprecedented opportunity. In the end, it would come down to Durant -- and what he wanted. And either way, the NBA would never be the same.