You know what deal Western Conference executives have been raving about this week in Vegas?
Tiago Splitter to the Spurs. A deal that became official now and at an incredible price of three years for $11 million. Splitter clearly wants to be here as a he took a paycut to leave Saski Baskonia, the team he just led to the Spanish League title.
Splitter is the best center in Europe right now (or was, technically). He is 6’11”, skilled but physical as well. The 25-year-old Brazilian is the entire package. Look for Antonio McDyess to remain the starter at first, but Splitter may push him out of that role later in the season, once he learns the system.
His game may look familiar to Spurs fans — he says he has been watching and trying to copy Tim Duncan for many years. If there is one thing Splitter can do, it’s help Gregg Popovich keep Duncan’s minutes down through the course of the regular season. Keeping him fresh for when it matters, and a fresh and healthy Spurs team in the playoffs could be dangerous.
Splitter was drafted in 2007, but was pretty ticked when he was drafted, he admitted to the San Antonio Express News. Not because the Spurs drafted him, but because he had been led to believe by his advisors that he would go in the top 10, not drop all the way down to the Spurs closer to the end of the first round.
So he stayed in Europe for three more years, meaning the time of what would have been his first rookie deal ran out and the Spurs were allowed to pay him more.
“I realize where you have the opportunity to be — on a team that is international and a team that won titles with such good players, Manu (Ginobili) and Tim Duncan and Tony Parker,” Splitter said. “Then I realized that I’m in good hands, and the team who had my rights was great for me.”
Do not sleep on San Antonio next season.
The Boston Celtics season has taken a turn for the worse.
During Tuesday’s opening game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, new Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward broke his leg after landing following a leaping back cut to the basket.
It became immediately apparent to those in the arena, and the broadcast angle of the left leg injury was not pretty.
Just be warned here, the resulting photo and media is pretty disgusting. I let out a big yell when I saw it live, so it’s not for the faint of heart.
This is just the most awful way to start the NBA season, for all of us. Get well soon, Gordon.
We Californians take a few things seriously. Surf reports, for one. Winemaking/tasting. Tech toys. Coming up with potential blockbuster movie franchise ideas, getting a star to buy in, then maybe or maybe not worrying about getting a decent script.
Also, In-N-Out Burger. If there is one thing all Californians can agree on, it’s that In-N-Out is the best burger chain in the world. It’s not up for debate.
Apparently Kings’ rookie De'Aaron Fox did not get that memo. He did a Q&A with Rolling Stone’s Seerat Sohi and crossed a sacred line.
“All I gotta say, you can tell everybody that lives in the state of California this: In-N-Out is not good.”
What’s your beef with In-N-Out Burger?
“Their burgers are overrated. They’re OK.”
Even Animal Style?
“Yes. People always say, you haven’t tried this. You haven’t tried that. I’m like, “Yeah, I looked up the secret menu. I’ve tried it all. It’s just not good.”
That’s controversial. What’s the best fast food spot then?
“Honestly, for me, I don’t count Chick-fil-A, because it’s way too good to be considered fast food. So I’m gonna say Wendy’s. Fat Burger in L.A. is better than In-N-Out.”
It’s this simple: Fox is flat-out wrong.
First off, Chick-fil-A is wildly overrated, so we know the taste of the 19-year-old point guard is off. Fat Burger is legit. But Wendy’s? Come on now, that’s just average.
If Fox had tried to argue Five Guys, I would have let it slide — I don’t think they’re as good, but I will admit a California bias. But Wendy’s? You lose the entire argument right there. It’s like saying Pixels was the best movie ever.
In-N-Out is the best. Fox needs to get on board with this.
It was going to be a difficult season in Chicago if everything went right — and two days before the first game of the season things have gone horribly wrong.
Bulls’ starting forward Nikola Mirotic got into a shoving match with Bobby Portis, and Portis turned and sucker-punched him, according to multiple reports.
The Bulls have confirmed the fight and have announced Mirotic suffered a concussion and maxillary fractures in his face — the upper jaw and nasal cavity area — which likely will require surgery. He is going to miss weeks of time.
Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports had more details.
Mirotic was taken to the hospital Tuesday after their shoving altercation during practice ended with an alleged cheap shot from Portis to Mirotic’s face, league sources told The Vertical. Mirotic is undergoing tests, but is expected to be out for the foreseeable future, league sources said.
Mirotic will miss weeks, according to a source, and you can be sure severe discipline from the team is coming down for Portis.
In the short term, this likely means more run for rookie Lauri Markkanen as well as just re-signed Cristiano Felicio.
Did we really expect anything else?
LeBron James was a game-time decision for the season opener in Cleveland against Boston and Kyrie Irving due to a sprained ankle. We expected he would go, but ankles can be tricky and are easy to re-injure once sprained, so the Cavs wanted to be careful.
He’s going to play. Coach Tyronn Lue made it official.
LeBron is the best player on the planet, but he can coast through the regular season at times. What teams try to avoid is giving him extra motivation… say bringing in a guy who left the team last summer on opening night. Expect full force LeBron tonight.