George Maloof, Gavin Maloof, Joe Maloof

Maloofs throw support behind GM Petrie amid swirling rumors

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You know how when you move it’s time to go through the closet and do a little pruning? Like throwing out the Neil Diamond sequin shirt that seemed like such a good idea when you were drinking in Vegas. You know, just pare down and clean up your life a little.

Rumors have been making the rounds the Kings owners are thinking like that.

With Kings address change to Anaheim next season — which is not certain but looking more and more likely — would come a house cleaning of the front office including GM Geoff Petrie, if you believe the rumors. Mark Stein had this to say at ESPN:

Sources close to the situation say that Kings co-owners Gavin and Joe Maloof, after years of patience, are giving strong consideration to starting all the way over should the team complete its increasingly anticipated relocation to Anaheim … which would mean a change in the front office, as well, before deciding whether to retain or oust (coach Paul) Westphal.

The Maloofs, sources say, are fans of former Trail Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard and increasingly considering him as a potential hire for the looming new era in Orange County as the Anaheim Royals.

That prompted the Kings to release this statement to the media Friday night.

“There is absolutely no truth that we are considering anyone else for our General Manager position. We consider Geoff Petrie to be the best in the business and look forward to continuing our resurgence with him at the helm.”

Well, that’s more of a statement than they have issued about the Anaheim rumors.

But it’s a little hard to totally buy in. Reports the Maloofs have been thinking house cleaning have been going on for a while. There may well be more than smoke there. That, however, is very different the Maloofs walking in the room and firing Petrie. But it’s something to watch after the move is announced in April.

LeBron says “get it done” message was for both Cavaliers, Thompson

LeBron James
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Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.

So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.

When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.

At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.

The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.

China basketball qualifies for 2016 Olympics

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China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.

China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.

This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.

The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.