Frustrated Beasley calls Minnesota “The worst team in the NBA”

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It’s not going to be easy for the Minnesota Timberwolves to bounce back from a 15-67 season and become contenders again, but that doesn’t mean the Minnesota players and coaches won’t be frustrated after a loss like the the 109-89 beating the Memphis Grizzlies handed the Wolves last Saturday.

According to Ray Richardson of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, nobody was more upset with himself and his team after the loss than new forward Michael Beasley, who followed up two strong performances to start the season with a six-point, six-turnover abomination against the Grizzlies:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The word “Professional” was written in large letters on a chalkboard inside the Timberwolves’ locker room Saturday night. Somebody must have written it after the Wolves’ demoralizing 109-89 loss to Memphis at FedExForum.

Before the game, the board was filled with a checklist of items to remind Wolves players of their responsibilities. Whatever game plan Wolves coach Kurt Rambis had intended was never executed, prompting claims from Rambis of a lack of professionalism in his players and an alarming assessment from a frustrated Michael Beasley.

“I feel like everything we’ve been working on since training camp went out the window tonight,” Beasley said. “As of right now, we’re the worst team in the NBA.”

Beasley was so disturbed with the results that he sat in front of his locker stall staring at the floor with his uniform on. He was the last player still in uniform, but he had a reason. Beasley was preparing to go back onto the court to do some extra shooting.

Beasley didn’t address his performance, but he appeared to be speaking for the entire team. After an impressive win over Milwaukee on Friday night at Target Center, the Wolves failed to follow up and give indications that things really might be different this season.

“We played soft,” Beasley said. “With our record last year (15-67), we can’t come in thinking we have the game won already. Getting our first win last night was not good for us. We came in here on our high horse, and they knocked us off.”

It’s good to see that the Timberwolves haven’t resigned themselves to the cellar already, and that the notoriously flighty Beasley appears to want to get better instead of let himself off the hook for performances like the one he had on Saturday. Time will tell if the Timberwolves’ frustration and apparent resolve will translate into a return to respectability or just make another abysmal season that much harder for them to take.




Sixers to retire Moses Malone’s number next season

Darryl Dawkins, Moses Malone

Kobe Bryant‘s pregame tribute video stole the show in Philadelphia, but Tuesday night was Moses Malone tribute night. The former league MVP and Hall of Famer passed away in September, and his legacy was honored by the Sixers during a halftime ceremony. During the festivities, Malone’s son announced that his No. 2 will be retired by the organization next season.

There’s no question that Malone, one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, deserves to have his number retired. The only relevant question is: why didn’t this happen years ago? The ceremony next season should be good, but it would have been better if they had done it when Malone was alive to participate in it. No Sixers player has worn No. 2 since Malone anyway, but it’s been over 20 years since he last wore a Sixers jersey. Why couldn’t they have found some time in those two decades to have a ceremony and hang a banner?

LeBron James with two-handed halfcourt bounce pass for assist (VIDEO)

LeBron James
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Perhaps LeBron James‘ most underappreciated skill has been his passing. He is rightly hailed as the most unselfish superstar of his generation, but being a willing passer is only part of it: he’s also as good at it as any point guard in the league. Case in point: this two-handed halfcourt bounce pass on Tuesday night, finding Richard Jefferson for an easy dunk:

Kobe gets great introduction, loud ovation in Philadelphia

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Kobe Bryant‘s relationship with his hometown of Philadelphia had its rocky sections — the Kobe’s Lakers beat the Sixers in the 2001 Finals, and then Kobe was booed during the 2002 All-Star Game —  but all was forgiven on Tuesday night.

In his final trip to Philly, he was given a framed Lower Merion High School jersey — that’s Kobe’s school, in case you forgot — and it was presented by Dr. J.

Then the fans welcomed him like you see above.

That pumped up Kobe, who scored 13 first quarter points on 5-of-10 shooting, his best quarter of the season.

Rumor: Nets testing trade waters for Bojan Bogdanovic

Bojan Bogdanovic, Otto Porter Jr.
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If you play for the Brooklyn Nets, and your name is not Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, expect you will come up in trade rumors this season.

First up on the block, Bojan Bogdanovic. The report comes from Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.

Bogdanovic is in the first year of a three-year, $11 million deal, which isn’t bad for a guy playing nearly 25 minutes a night and scoring 8.4 points per game. There is a lot of potential in his game, if developed in the right setting — he’s a good shooter out on the wing who works well off the ball. He seems to have regressed this season, but how much of that is due to the Nets and their guard play (and just generally struggling) is up for debate.

Is there going to be interest in him? Probably. As always, it is about the price, what the Nets will demand. Whether the Nets can get anything back they want is up for debate.

Right now a lot of GMs are testing the waters for players, judging the market. That is a long way from a trade happening. But don’t be shocked if the Nets make a deal or two before the February deadline.