Troy Murphy is making $12 million this season, the Nets big summer acquisition that was going to bring some scoring punch from the four. He was going to mentor Derrick Favors. He would be a big part of the franchise — for a year, then the franchise would try to go get someone they really want next summer when Murphy’s deal expired.
But Murphy is not contributing much — 4.4 points a game on 30 percent shooting with 5.2 rebounds. Which led to the dreaded “DNP-CD” against the Clippers — Murphy never got on the court because Avery Johnson didn’t put him in.
That’s a lot of money being paid to a guy to sit, so Johnson was asked why Murphy didn’t play by the New York Daily News:
“Troy wants to play. But right now, we’re trying to get to a starting rotation we can live with. Get a bench rotation we can live with. Just unfortunately the last two games, he’s totaled eight minutes and hasn’t been a major part of it.”
Ah, well, that really… um. We still don’t know.
Murphy is coming back slowly from injury, that is part of it. But a bigger part is that Derrick Favors has turned out to be good more quickly than expected, and Kris Humphries has completely outplayed Murphy. Both are rebounding much better, both are shooting at a higher percentage, both are more athletic. The result is they get the minutes and Murphy sits.
Still, that’s a guy you need to see if you can make work — Murphy can help a mundane Nets offense if he can get going. And part of that will be getting minutes. Otherwise he’s a $12 million 12th man.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.
For two decades, Kobe Bryant saw everyone and everything as an obstacle to overcome: The Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic, Celtics, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Smush Parker, a torn Achilles. It didn’t matter. Kobe’s work ethic and drive had him rising above it all.
His focus hasn’t changed now. Kobe was on the Jim Rome show, and the topic of the new-look Warriors with Kevin Durant came up, along with the “woe is me” attitude of some players (and plenty of owners and GMs).
“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” he said. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”
Easier said than done to make that happen, but that attitude is the only one to have if you think you have a chance. You can be sure LeBron James is thinking that way and telling his Cavaliers teammates the same.
We’re going to miss Kobe.