Darko Milicic this season has been… okay. Pedestrian. Average. Giving the Timberwolves 9 points and 5 rebounds a game, shooting about as well as he has the last few years, getting more chances, turning the ball over a little more. He’s been a big body that has given the Timberwolves a passable big to play beside Kevin Love.
But if you ask Minnesota GM David Kahn you’d find a man convinced Darko — now in his eighth NBA season — is just starting to break through. He’s turning the corner. He really deserves that $20 million contract! Kahn was on the Minnesota Timberwolves broadcast and got a softball of a question about how great Darko looked and came back with this response (transcribed by CBS Facts & Rumors):
I met with Darko today because I hadn’t talked to him in awhile, and I think there’s just still so much more to come. And I think that we expect it out of him. It’s not enough, is what I’m trying to say. We think that Darko can actually get to sort of a near All-Star if not All-Star level. There’s not a lot of quality centers in our sport. There’s no reason to think that a year from now if Darko were to continue his trajectory upwards, he couldn’t be in the mix about a year from now for the All-Star game.”
I’ll grant you that the Western Conference center pool is not that deep, especially with Yao Ming out. But let’s go down the list of people I would vote for before Darko just for fun: Andrew Bynum, Nene, Marc Gasol, Marcus Camby, Emeka Okafor and maybe even DeMarcus Cousins as a rookie. Chris Kaman would be on the list, too, if he were healthy. Darko will never get the fan vote, and coaches will go to players from winning teams first, so that leaves the Wolves in a bad spot for a couple years.
I will never fully understand the fascination with Darko on Minnesota.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.