When Dirk Nowitzki was ruled out for this summer’s World Championships, Germany was ruled out with him. The German national team’s roster is beyond thin, and their only other notable player, Chris Kaman, is barely German. Oh, and not even playing. According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, Kaman’s involvement with the national team hinged on Nowitzki’s, so when Dirk bowed out, so too did Kaman.
Though Germany definitely went from mediocre to bad to worse with Nowitzki and Kaman’s drop-outs respectively, it shouldn’t have much influence on the overall result of the Championships. However, it’s conceivable that the Germans could actually fail to advance beyond the preliminary rounds, even though four of the six teams in each prelim group do so.
Germany is in Group A, along with Argentina, Angola, Australia, Serbia, and Jordan. Of those teams, Argentina and Serbia are absolute locks, and Australia is likely to advance, even without Andrew Bogut. That potentially leaves one spot between Angola, Jordan, and the limited German team, and Angola is better than you think.
The Germans have Tibor Pleiss on their side, but seriously lack the firepower to make up for the absences of Nowitzki and Kaman. Enjoy the World Championships while your team lasts, Deutschlanders.
Last May, Magic Johnson tweeted that the Lakers chase LeBron James, Kevin Durant and DeMar DeRozan in free agency. All three players were still under contract with their teams until July 1.
In response to that apparent tampering, the Lakers announced Johnson had asked the team to remove his title of Vice President.
Too little, too late.
William Weinbaum and Steve Delsohn of ESPN:
Outside the Lines learned this week — and confirmed with a senior Lakers official — that the NBA fined the team over Johnson’s communiques about players under contract to other teams.
If Drake got the Raptors fined for tampering by pitching Durant during a concert, the Lakers deserved this fine.
Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian are dating. There are mixed reports about whether they’re engaged.
No matter their exact terms of their relationship, it brings increased attention to the Cavaliers – who are already in the spotlight as LeBron James‘ team and the defending NBA champions.
LeBron might not welcome increased scrutiny.
Gabriella Ginsberg of Hollywood Life:
LeBron James hasn’t been happy that Tristan Thompson is dating drama magnet Khloe Kardashian, and we hear that the teammates had a locker room showdown before the Cavs’ home opener game.
“Tristan isn’t taking any crap from his teammates anymore. As far as he’s concerned, Khloe’s coming to every damn game she chooses,” the insider reveals. “Tristan told LeBron straight up before last night’s game that Khloe was coming and that was that.”
There’s nothing wrong with LeBron, as a friend, advising Thompson about his personal life. They share an agent, Rich Paul, and that obviously means a lot to LeBron.
But at a certain point, LeBron should back off. Neither coworkers nor friends have a right to determine who someone dates.
76ers players are unsure how to respond to their franchise blocking Sevyn Streeter from singing the national anthem because she wore a “WE MATTER” jersey.
Justise Winslow is seemingly trying to nudge Philadelphia in a certain direction.
The Heat forward posted a photo with himself and the 76ers’ Jerami Grant raising fists and captioned it “WE MATTER”:
I’m unsure when this photo was taken, but my best guess is after the Miami-Philadelphia preseason game – which was preceded by the national-anthem singer kneeling during her performance.
Was Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha making the smart play to beat the defender or just showing off?
Either way, I’m glad he did it.