Nuggets to sign Brian Cook. Yes, that Brian Cook.


How desperate are the Denver Nuggets for another big man? Two words for you: Brian Cook.

According to Hoopsworld, Denver not only worked out Cook yesterday and are on the verge of signing the former Big 10 player of the year to a deal. He is there to fill the void left by Kenyon Martin being out to deal with his knee problem.

Cook is theoretically a “stretch four,” and those are the hot new toy everybody wants. We say theoretically because he shot just 22.2 percent from three in 15 appearances for the Rockets this season and barely ever takes a long two. But to be fair, he is a career 39 percent guy from three; he could find his touch again.

But the book on Cook is pretty simple — run at him and don’t let him set his feet at the arc. Because if he has to put the ball on the floor, shoot on the move or create his own shot things fall apart fast. More than 70% of his baskets came with an assist from someone, when that dropped to 40% last season in Houston (meaning he had to create his own shot) his shooting percentage plummeted. He does not finish well at the rim.

And the reason the Lakers early on and Orlando next let him walk was the fact they like defense and rebounding. Cook does not (he is at best an average rebounder for a four, and because he likes the wings he rarely gets offensive boards).

This is not to knock Cook, too much, his game is his game. But the fact Denver likes his game at this point speaks volumes about where they are.

Kobe Bryant says his age 37 is not like Michael Jordan’s age 37

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Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.

There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.

Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.

“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”

Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.

Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.

That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.

And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.

Celtics ease to 124-91 win at Olimpia Milano in Global Games

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MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.

Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.

Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.

Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.