San Antonio didn’t have plans to let Michael Finley go, he wanted out. He asked out. He bounced the idea off teammates for a few weeks then, according to the San Antonio Express News, went and talked to the man.
When Finley finally presented his request to Popovich, the coach was caught unaware.
“I was very surprised,” (Gregg) Popovich said, “but we granted his request…. We didn’t let him go. He requested a buyout so he could leave, and we granted that. That’s different from saying we let him go, or it could be to people that read the paper. I want to make sure that distinction is made.”
We get it Pops, wasn’t your idea. It was Finley’s, because he has overestimated his worth.
The 2007 Finley had a lot of value to a contending team, but the 2010 version does not. Finley was a starter for the Spurs coming out of training camp but lost that and kept seeing his minutes go down as the season wore on. He even earned some DNP-CDs. The reason is he is not a deadly shooter anymore, hitting just 38 percent overall and 31.7 percent from three this season. Simply put, if Popovich benches you, it’s not because you’re playing well.
Apparently the Celtics have interest, thinking he still is an outside shooter of note. ESPN’s Bill Simmons put it best:
Celts looking to add Michael Finley so Rasheed “doesn’t feel so washed up”
The other rumor is the Lakers. Sort of. The rumor doesn’t come from the Lakers but rather Yahoo is reporting that a league executive thinks the Lakers could become interested to help their bench. Again, based on the theory that Finley can still knock down threes under pressure.
Do any team executives still think that?
The New York Knicks couldn’t get out of their own way on Thursday night, even with a historic performance from Carmelo Anthony. With the Washington Wizards in town, it was John Wall‘s finishing ability that pushed the Wiz over New York, 113-110.
The final 45 seconds were hectic, as Wall took the lead for Washington with just 32 seconds left after drawing a foul on Carmelo.
Down by 1, Anthony then missed a jumper with 18 seconds left and the Knicks allowed Wall to do this:
Wall would go on to steal the final possession from the Knicks, and the Wizards left MSG with a win.
Gregg Popovich can be a fiesty dude, and sometimes he just wants to get his team pumped up. After news that Pau Gasol was going to be absent from the San Antonio Spurs’ lineup against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday, perhaps this was his way of doing that?
Late in the second quarter in Denver, Popovich was seen arguing with a baseline official as play continued on. Pop was hit with an initial tech, and as the officiating crew walked away he blasted ’em with the best dad insult I’ve heard in a long time.
“You’re a terrible referee!”
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Mudiay was more than happy to assist with the second technical and ejection portion of Popovich’s tirade.
Long Live Pop.
Kristaps Porzingis is “The Unicorn” perhaps in part because of his high basketball awareness on the offensive end of the floor. On Thursday night against the Washington Wizards, the New York Knicks big man had an incredible putback dunk that surprised even his teammates.
Thanks to a missed Courtney Lee 3-pointer, Porzingis was able to fly in from beyond the arc to slam home two points.
Yeah, that’s crazy.
There’s putback dunks and then there’s flying in from beyond the 3-point line like this one. Wild.
The San Antonio Spurs will have to make do without PF/C for a while Pau Gasol thanks to a recent fracture in his left ring finger.
That’s according to a press release from the team, who said Gasol fractured his fourth metacarpal — the bone that connects the ring finger down to the carpal bones in the wrist area — during warmups before a game against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
No word yet from the team on recovery time, but estimates given similar recent NBA player injuries suggest anywhere from 4-8 weeks.
Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward missed the first month of the season after fracturing his finger in early October. Cleveland Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving missed around a month in 2012 with a similar injury.
Here’s hoping Gasol can make it back to the court quickly for the Spurs.