East Notes: Nets, Kevin Durant, Cavs, Pacers


While the Warriors trail the Finals series vs. the Celtics 2-1, NBA legend Charles Barkley says the fact they are even there hurts the legacy of Nets star Kevin Durant.

“You know it has an effect on his legacy,” Barkley said, via Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “If you go back and look, and I talked about it on the [TNT] show, LeBron James has said it before — he said, ‘I had to win a championship without Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.’ And Kobe Bryant’s said it before, Rest in Peace, ‘I’ve got to win a championship without (Shaquille O’Neal).’ “So Kevin and (Kyrie Irving), before we elevate them among the old guys, they’re not going to get the credit they deserve until they win a championship by themselves and be The Guy.”

As someone who never won a title, Barkley said he knows.

“We grade harshly. And rightfully so,” he said. “They get to give me s–t because I didn’t win a championship. Rightfully so. We know how this works.

“This ain’t got nothing to do with the media. This ain’t got nothing to do with the fans. This has to do with your peers. This 100 percent has to do with your peers. And we’re going to judge you on that. And people are going to get mad. They can tweet at me and whatever they want to. But that’s just the standard. When you jump on somebody else’s boat and win, we don’t count that. You got to be the driver of the boat or the bus. Simple.”

  • Ben Simmons is well into the rehab phase of his recovery from back surgery on May 5, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Simmons has suffered no setbacks, Lewis added, and those around the league seem to believe he’ll be ready for camp in the fall.


  • The Cavs are scheduled to work out West Virginia forward Gabe Osabuohien ahead of the NBA Draft, per Quinton Mayo of BetMGM. Osabuohien also has a workout for the Knicks, and has already done so with the Wizards and Hornets, Mayo reported.
  • Ohio State shooting guard Malaki Branham and G League Ignite swingman MarJon Beauchamp were among several who worked out for the Cavs on Wednesday, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Branham has labeled himself one the draft’s best shooters. (Full post.)


Former agent Happy Walters has has already joined the Pacers as scouting consultant, as relayed by Scott Agness of FieldHouse Files.

“I’m from here and the Pacers have always been my team,” Walters told Agness. “(Pacers chief of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard) I’ve known forever and (GM Chad Buchanan) too. They’re two of the best guys with no egos and that’s Indiana people in general.

“The front office is small and they’re very collaborative. So I’m just here to learn and to help where I can — just from the agent side and 15 years of doing that and looking at things in a different way. But these guys are the experts. I’m just really here to help when they need it and learn the other side of the business.”

Walters joins other agents-turned-front-office men such as the Knicks’ Leon Rose, Lakers’ Rob Pelinka and Jazz’s Justin Zanik.

“Between free agency and the draft and all that kinds of stuff, agents evaluate players in their own way,” Walters told Agness. “It’s just a different way of looking at it.” 

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