Detroit Pistons v Los Angeles Lakers

The Rip Hamilton situation in Detroit probably could get uglier, but we’re not sure how


Could be worse. I mean, Rip Hamilton could be lighting stuff on fire. Or Sheed could still be around. Or … yeah, that’s pretty much it.

From the Detroit Free Press:

But here is what we do know. Kuester said he “made overtures” and “reached out” to Hamilton. Hamilton said he did not meet with Kuester. If both are telling the truth — and I have no reason to think that anyone is lying — that means Kuester made an attempt to speak with Hamilton, but the two did not speak.

Which seems to clear things up a little bit. No?

via Pistons’ John Kuester: ‘We’ve reached out’ to Rip; Richard Hamilton says he did not meet with coach |

Basically, Kuester was asked if he’s met with Hamilton, said he’d “reached out.” They asked Rip if they’d met, Rip said no. No one knew to ask Rip if Kuester had reached out. Basically the lines of communication are an abject disaster right now.

What’s incredible is this issue should have been resolved a year and a half ago. When the Pistons decided to commit that money to Ben Gordon, they should have moved Hamilton when he still had value for young assets or at least some cap space. After last season’s disaster, they certainly should have moved him on draft day for something, anything really.

The fans are still chanting “We want Rip!” and the coaches still aren’t obliging them. Let’s be clear. The problem here is Kuester. If he can’t make it work with Hamilton, who has been a part of the organization for over a half-decade, he should have told Joe Dumars to move him, immediately. If there really are no trade partners for Dumars, he should have begun working on a buyout months ago. Maybe he has and Hamilton wants his money. But the way this has been handled isn’t just unfortunate, it’s an abject embarrassment.

Something’s got to give here, and soon. But then, we’ve been saying that for a while.


Kristaps Porzingis grew up a Kobe fan. Still is one.


When you hear player comparisons for Knicks rookie, the most common is Dirk Nowitzki — a European big with ridiculous shooting range and potential to embarrass anyone.

So did he grow up idolizing Dirk? Not so much.

Rather, like many of his generation, he grew up idolizing Kobe Bryant, he told Mike Francesa of WFAN.

“My favorite player growing up was Kobe. The Lakers were my team and I still love him.”

There is an entire generation of NBA players — and just fans — who would say the same thing.

In the interview, Porzingis laments his missed shots and turnovers, he thinks he can be a lot better. That is exactly what you want out of a rookie. It’s a huge adjustment playing at the NBA level, the speed of the game and IQ is a leap from Europe (or college). Recognizing the challenge is part of it.

There’s a lot to like in Porzingis. He could be special (we don’t know yet, we see only the potential). But idolizing Kobe — and if you understand the work he put in, the passion for the game — can be a good start.

(Hat tip NBA reddit)

Warriors’ interim coach Luke Walton’s car stolen

Luke Walton

If you’re looking for a “when are things going to go wrong for the Warriors” moment, we have one for you. But it may not be what you had hoped for.

Warriors’ interim head coach Luke Walton — the guy on the sidelines for the 15 (soon to be 16) game winning streak — had his car stolen during a crime spree, reports

One of the cars stolen during an Oakland Hills crime spree belongs to Golden State Warriors coach Luke Walton, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said late Monday.

Walton’s Mercedes Benz was stolen Tuesday by two suspects, who police believe are also responsible for a violent attack on a 75-year-old woman outside her home on Thursday. The suspects also took the woman’s car during the attack, according to police.

Yikes. That’s serious.

I’m sure Steve Kerr has like 14 cars, he can loan one to Walton.

Pacers guard George Hill returns Tuesday against Wizards

Paul George, Marcus Morris
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Pacers guard George Hill returned to the lineup Tuesday night against Washington after missing three games with an upper respiratory infection.

Hill is averaging 14 points and just under 37 minutes in 10 games this season. He was on the bench in case of emergency in Saturday’s victory over Milwaukee.

Coach Frank Vogel said Tuesday Hill’s infection had improved “to the point where he’s fine to play,” but would keep an eye out for fatigue after an 11-day layoff.

Hassan Whiteside on intentional fouls: “It’s not working, so keep fouling me”

Hassan Whiteside

Remember how Adam Silver was preaching that the league didn’t want to change the intentional foul rule — the hack-a-Shaq strategy — because it was really about two players (DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard) and a handful of others now and then. The fact that it’s not basketball didn’t matter.

Well, it’s not just two — Miami’s Hassan Whiteside has gotten the treatment this season. He’s a 53.4 percent free throw shooter this season.

And he says bring it on. From Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post:

“I’m enjoying this,” he said. “Foul me so I can get a double-double and we can win. It’s not working, so keep fouling me.”

He’s even smart at not getting fouled.

Whiteside also is liking that teams are looking at their options against the best defense in the NBA — yes, Miami at 94 points allowed per 100 possessions, is the best defense in the NBA right now — and deciding to attack Whiteside.

“There’s teams that’s out there that say ‘Stay away from Hassan,’ and there’s teams that say, ‘We don’t care if Hassan’s down there. Attack Hassan.’ I love them teams that do that. God bless them coaches. I love them teams.”

Whiteside is not as great a defender as the block totals would indicate — if he doesn’t see a block in it, his rotations can be a bit slow. One scout recently called him a selfish defender to me recently, suggesting he is in it for the numbers, not the sacrifices needed for an elite defense. True or not, the Heat have an elite defense and Whiteside is at the heart of it.

And if the strategy is to try to exploit him, Whiteside plans to make people pay.