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

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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 | MLive.com.

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.

 

Kobe Bryant still has it, bounces shot in from near half court

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This was a Nike gala, an event with a basketball theme. The court was lit up from below, there were tables at half court, and people had drinks in their hands.

Kobe Bryant was there, stylishly dressed in black. So was famous model Winnie Harlow.

Know that regardless of the setting, Kobe still has game.

Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala cleared to play vs. Pelicans Friday

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Without Draymond Green in the fourth quarter Tuesday night in the opener, and with Andre Iguodala out for the game, the Warriors defense fell apart against Houston. The Rockets scored 34 points in the quarter and came from behind to beat a Warriors team that had been in control of the game up to that point. There was more to it than just Green’s balky knee, but without the Defensive Player of the Year they are not the same.

Bad news for the Pelicans: Green and Iguodala have been cleared to play in New Orleans Friday. Green had an MRI and it came back negative.

Green admitted he was concerned that the injury, via Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

Now it is the Pelicans who should be concerned. The Warriors will want to wash the feeling of that opening night loss off them.

Report: Kevin Love was frustrated with move to center

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With Derrick Rose having to start at point guard (until Isiah Thomas returns sometime in early 2018) and Dwyane Wade starting at the two, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue had no choice but to move Kevin Love to starting at center. The Cavaliers desperately need the floor spacing to open up driving lanes and options for LeBron James. Start Tristan Thompson at the five (with Love at the four and Jae Crowder coming off the bench) and it adds another non-shooter to the mix that allows opposing defenses to just pack the paint and force LeBron to be a jump shooter.

That doesn’t mean everyone liked the change.

Love admitted to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer he was frustrated with the move at first.

“It’s been a little bit of a change for me,” Love admitted. “I still find myself spacing a little bit wanting to roll a little bit more and on the defensive end just playing the primary big on their team the whole time on the defensive end. It’s been a little bit different figuring things out on that end, but it comes with the growth I’m talking about. We need to do that and hopefully be a machine when things start clicking.”

Lue put it this way.

“We’re going to try it out and see how it works. He was frustrated at first, but now he’s enjoying it.”

While in certain matchups, when the opposition has a more traditional center, the Cavs may go back to the Love/Thompson front line for a stretch. But the small ball lineup is the way Cleveland should be leaning, even with its clear defensive deficiencies. We saw that in the opener with Love’s dagger three in the fourth quarter.

Love is adjusting, he’s already sacrificed a lot to play with LeBron. This is just another step in that evolution.

Another wing down? Celtics’ Marcus Smart likely out vs. Sixers

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The horrific, probably season-ending injury to Gordon Hayward has left the Celtics with a shortage of players on the wing.

Going up against Philadelphia Friday night, that might be getting worse, reports A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.

Looking at the pictures, I doubt Smart plays.

As noted, Smart said he hurt both ankles in the second night of a back-to-back against Milwaukee, the left one in a collision with teammate Jaylen Brown. Smart started that game and played 32 minutes. That’s a lot of time to go to lesser players.

If he’s out Friday, that likely means either Terry Rozier or Abdel Nader get the start, and both are going to see a healthy bump in minutes. Whatever happens, the Celtics would miss Smart in a game where they need to defend Ben Simmons on the wing.