Bulls watch McGrady workout, say signing him "unlikely"


mcgrady_runs.jpgSadly, this is where Tracy McGrady has fallen to:

He wants to go to Chicago, even calling the team “we” in interviews. Then he went in and worked out for them and his shot looked fine but his movement was stiff, his once-formidable game remains a memory. Following that, afterward Bulls officials called the chances of him signing with them “unlikely,” according to ESPN Chicago.

The workout was part of it, but the interview may have been more important. They have a good team core in Chicago, maybe very good if the chemistry is right. Derek Rose at the point and Carlos Boozer at the four, good role players all around and new coach Tom Thibodeau preaching defense. McGrady just needs to come in and accept a role as a bench player scoring from the wing. Can you do that, Tracy?

“I won’t have a problem, but that’s not what I’m really shooting for,” McGrady said. “I think, yeah, if I was the player that I was in a Knicks uniform [at the end of last season], I would have no problem coming off the bench. But I’ve worked extremely hard and I’m far from being that player. Trust me.”

Chicago only has to look back to the disruption Allen Iverson caused last season in Memphis when he was vocal about not wanting to come off the bench to take pause at McGrady. He says he wants to earn it, and McGrady is more professional than Iverson, but what if he feels he should be starting at the three instead of Deng? How much will he talk, what kind of distraction would McGrady be?

Why take the risk? Even though they need wing scoring off the bench.

McGrady, Iverson and Shaquille O’Neal remain big names sitting on the sidelines because their games and bodies now say bench player but their egos won’t let them accept that. And teams, particularly good teams, are deciding it’s not worth the risk.

PBT Extra: How did Thunder, Pacers move up in PBT Power Rankings?

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As they do every Monday during the season, the PBT Power Rankings came out and while the top three remained the same there were some climbers.

Specifically, the Thunder at No. 4 and the Pacers at No. 5.

Why they are there is the latest PBT Extra topic with Jenna Corrado. The simple answer is they are both excellent teams. Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Paul George are all playing like Top 10 players.

PBT Podcast: We’re back talking Kobe, 76ers, Warriors, Pistons, more

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The ProBasketballTalk NBA podcast is back.

Sure we’re a month into the season, but we’re going to get this podcast rolling again and you can expect us on each Monday and Thursday, with a variety of guests talking everything around the NBA.

Today NBC’s own Dan Feldman joins Kurt Helin to talk Kobe Bryant‘s retirement announcement, and what that means both for the Lakers going forward this season and beyond, but also what that could mean for Byron Scott’s future as the Lakers’ coach.

We also delve into the “showdown” between the Lakers and Sixers on Thursday, talk about the job Brett Brown is doing there as coach (a good one), we talk some Warriors, some Draymond Green, Pistons, Spurs and Pacers to round it all out.

Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.


Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins probable to play against Dallas Monday

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It’s this simple: The Sacramento Kings are 5-5 when DeMarcus Cousins plays this season, 1-7 when he sits. (And that win number is a big misleading, they looked like they would have beaten Charlotte with him, but when he left with back pain they lost, they could easily be 6-4 with him.)

So it’s good news that Cousins is expected to return to the Sacramento lineup Monday night. Well not good for Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks, but good for the Kings, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea,com.

This season Cousins is averaging 27.9 points and 11.2 rebounds a game, he has a true shooting percentage above the league average (56.3 percent for Cousins) and he has a PER of 27.1 which is sixth best in the league.

Combine him with the numbers Rajon Rondo has put up lately the Kings become much more dangerous. They’d be even scarier if everyone stayed healthy and George Karl would settle on a lineup.

PBT Extra: Kobe Bryant understands now is time to walk away

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It was expected Kobe Bryant would retire at the end of this season.

It was not expected Kobe would make that official on Nov. 29 — it’s caught the media at Staples Center Sunday (of which I was one) and the fans by surprise.

In this PBT Extra, I talk with Jenna Corrado about the mood inside Staples Center Sunday.

More importantly, I discuss the sense I got that Kobe understands it’s time to walk away, and he is at peace with that.