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Jason Sobel ESPN Senior Writer 

Among the sporting luminaries at the Ryder Cup today: Michael Phelps, Adrian Peterson and this guy -- Michael Jordan, who has served as a de facto vice captain for the U.S. team in previous years.

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

Gibson said coaches haven't had to do as much talking early in camp because Dwyane Wade stops practice and curses guys out to get them back on track.

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

Taj Gibson, on the differences he sees in Fred Hoiberg as the young coach heads into his second season: "He's more talkative," Gibson said after Friday's practice. "He understands the game a lot more from an NBA coach's standpoint. He understands where he went wrong last year and this year already he's been going at guys. Right away -- he's been cursing a lot more [at] the early group, in early parts of practice than last year. But it's great. He really hasn't needed to say much because everything's been so smooth and everybody's been doing the right things. This year it's a great start to training camp, but we've still got ways to go."

Tim MacMahon ESPN Staff Writer 

Mavs C Salah Mejri, who had offseason knee surgery, has yet to be cleared for full practice participation. "We don't want any setbacks or yo-yos," Rick Carlisle said. "We want him to get healthy and stay healthy."

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Calvin Watkins ESPN Staff Writer 

Rockets guard James Harden said Friday the team hasn't talked about any potential protest during the national anthem for Sunday's scheduled preseason opener against the Shanghai Sharks. Players in the NFL, WNBA, women's soccer, college and high school football games have either taken a knee, raised their fist or worn T-shirts protesting police brutality against African-Americans. "Each and every guy has their own voice and own opinion on that subject," Harden said. "They will act accordingly." The league has a rule that every player must stand during the national anthem.

Calvin Watkins ESPN Staff Writer 

Trevor Ariza said the work the Rockets have put in on defense during a training camp practices has been strong. "That's something we put an emphasis on," Ariza said Friday. "We work on that every day, we drill it every day (and) when you do something every day, it becomes a habit and that's what we're on our way to." The Rockets hired Jeff Bzdelik as the defensive coordinator in a sense to improve a group that struggled last season in that area. "I think every coach approaches things differently, there's no one right way," "Ariza said. "He's done a lot of research a lot of studying and what he studies worked and you can't argue with that. That's what we're here to do is get better."

Justin Verrier ESPN Staff Writer 

Pelicans rookie Buddy Hield, a noted workaholic, said he's trying to keep the long view in mind as he prepares for his first NBA season. "I've got that Kobe Bryant mentality, man. I'm always working, man," he said Friday, a day before his first preseason game. "You never settle for less, ‘cause you never know if this is gonna be the last game you can play. So I always prepare myself to be the best I can be and make sure I'm ready. I'm always putting in work. I understand when they say ‘Take care of your body' and everything, ‘Get your rest.' But I'm doing that, getting massages, stretching, cold tub and all that stuff. It's the best my body's felt in a little while. But I'm always playing like tomorrow's my last game. I'm always in the gym when I can be in the gym."

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

Hoiberg says there is no clear-cut leader at the 4-spot yet. He said earlier this week that Mirotic, Gibson and Portis were all getting some run with the starting group.

Tim MacMahon ESPN Staff Writer 

A slimmer Wesley Matthews feels great about 18 months removed from a ruptured Achilles' tendon. Proof:

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Calvin Watkins ESPN Staff Writer 

Get your legs in shape with the Rockets.

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Justin Verrier ESPN Staff Writer 

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said Anthony Davis' minutes will be "very limited" in Saturday's preseason game against the Dallas Mavericks in Shreveport, Louisiana. The plan, per Gentry, is to gradually increase Davis' minutes throughout the preseason. Davis underwent an ultrasonic debridement of his left knee in March,

Justin Verrier ESPN Staff Writer 

On "The Vertical Podcast with Woj," free agent Kendrick Perkins, who played last season with the New Orleans Pelicans, said he still texts and gives advice to Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday, and knows that "Coach [Alvin] Gentry love me." But: "How everybody else felt about me around there, that's kind of up for grabs. It [didn't] work out the best way," he said.

Michael C. Wright ESPN Staff Writer 

Because of all the new players (11 of the 19 on the roster), Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said the team is bringing along everybody at a slower pace than years past. Popovich anticipates the whole team will travel to the preseason opener because he thinks it'll help to develop camaraderie and chemistry. In the past, Pop would leave some of the vets back at home.

Calvin Watkins ESPN Staff Writer 

Mike D'Antoni and James Harden having a chat.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Joakim Noah said he skipped a team dinner with cadets at West Point last in which a colonel spoke because he is uncomfortable in a military environment and against war.

Marc Stein ESPN Senior Writer 

The Sixers say ROY favorite Ben Simmons will have a precautionary scan on his right ankle after rolling it late in a camp scrimmage Friday.

Royce Young ESPN Staff Writer 

Despite losing two of their top shooters from last season, Russell Westbrook is quite confident the Thunder have enough shooting.

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