Tony Parker says Spurs no longer playing for a title

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It’s over.

It’s not just us saying that the championship era of the San Antonio Spurs has come to an end, it’s now the Spurs themselves.

Tony Parker was interviewed by French sports paper L’Equipe, translated by the official FIBA website (via the amazing Tom Ziller), and he was frank about the future of this Spurs roster.

“At the start of the season I said this was our last chance,” he said. “Tim (Duncan) and Gino (Manu Ginobili) are getting old. It’s going to be tough to regenerate ourselves.

“We will always have a good team but we can no longer say that we’re playing for a championship.”

Parker talks about the frustration and disappointment of the season’s ending, having a great regular season (top seed in the West) that came crashing down in the playoffs. The fixes needed to make the Spurs contenders again are not simple tweaks or Gregg Popovich forcing the team focus back to defense. The changes to the roster will be deeper.

On another note, Parker said he will play for France this summer in EuroBasket, with Olympic bids on the line.

But he also discusses the big issue with NBA players in that and other international tournaments this summer — the lockout and insurance.

“If there is a lockout, the NBA won’t pay their part for the players’ insurances (to play at the EuroBasket, FIBA Americas Championship, Afrobasket, FIBA Oceania Championship),” he warned.

“So that’s going to create a huge problem. There have already been some meetings and we will see what happens. We will see what Patrick Beesley (France national team director) and his team get out of it. We will have to see with Boris (Diaw) and Joakim (Noah) if we can get together and find a common accord. We’ll see.”

It’s over.

It’s not just us saying that the championship era of the San Antonio Spurs has come to an end, it’s now the Spurs themselves.

Tony Parker was interviewed by French sports paper L’Equipe, translated by the official FIBA website (h/t to the stud that is Tom Ziller), and Parker was frank about the future of this roster of the Spurs.

“At the start of the season I said this was our last chance,” he said. “Tim (Duncan) and Gino (Manu Ginobili) are getting old. It’s going to be tough to regenerate ourselves.

“We will always have a good team but we can no longer say that we’re playing for a championship.”

Parker talks about the frustration and disappointment of the season’s ending, having a great regular season (top seed in the West) that came crashing down in the playoffs. The fixes needed to make the Spurs contenders again are not simple tweaks or Gregg Popovich forcing the team focus back to defense. The changes to the roster will be deeper.

On another note, Parker said he will play for France this summer in EuroBasket, with Olympic bids on the line.

But he also discusses the big issue with NBA players in that and other international tournaments this summer — the lockout and insurance.

“If there is a lockout, the NBA won’t pay their part for the players’ insurances (to play at the EuroBasket, FIBA Americas Championship, Afrobasket, FIBA Oceania Championship),” he warned.

“So that’s going to create a huge problem. There have already been some meetings and we will see what happens. We will see what Patrick Beesley (France national team director) and his team get out of it. We will have to see with Boris (Diaw) and Joakim (Noah) if we can get together and find a common accord. We’ll see.”

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade on time they faced off 1-on-1: “We was out there killing each other”

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LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are good friends, they go together like peanut butter and jelly. They and their families hang out and ride banana boats together in the off-season.

They are also both incredibly competitive men.

So you had to figure they went 1-on-1 against each other at some point. It happened, once. Wade and LeBron talked about it on Channing Frye’s Road Trippin’ podcast(transcription via the USA Today).

James: “We played 1-on-1 one time in our whole life, and it was during the finals. Eastern Conference finals 2010 (they meant the 2010-11 season, that ECF was in May 2011). Our first year.”

Wade: “It was more-so to set a precedent for our teammates because we got our ass kicked the game before, Game 1 by Chicago. They tore us.”

James: “MVP Rose tore our ass up in Chicago, and we came in the next day, we was like we need to set the tone, so we was out there killing each other playing 1-on-1.”

Wade: “We never finished.”

James: “We never finished. We got to the point where (head coach Erik Spoelstra) blew the whistle, like bring it in.”

Wade: “Everybody was just watching us. We was going at it. We competitive, we was going at it, but we was setting a tone for this is how it’s gotta go. You gotta be able to go at this. We’re two of the best players in this game. We going at each other in the Eastern Conference finals right now. We out there killing each other, and this is what ya’ll better do tomorrow. Because we got beat on the boards by 20-something and we have to come with it, and we won four in a row.”

A 2011 Heat practice? There has to be video of this somewhere.

Miami did win that Eastern Conference Finals, but LeBron and Wade should have gone at it again during the NBA Finals, where the Heat lost to Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks.

Report: Rockets’ Luc Mbah a Moute expected to miss 2-3 weeks

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The Rockets’ rotation is excellent, and their deep bench is lacking.

That’s part of the reason Luc Richard Mbah a Moute posted a ridiculous +57 in a 30-point win earlier this season.

But Houston will miss the forward for a while after he injured his shoulder against the Hornets yesterday.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni’s first inclination might be to shorten his rotation. He should mostly resist it.

Home-court advantage is important, and P.J. Tucker and Trevor Ariza can play more power forward (with Eric Gordon absorbing more minutes at small forward). But it’s also better to play Troy Williams more now than to wear down the players Houston will rely on in the playoffs, when D’Antoni will surely keep his rotation tight.

PBT Podcast: Early trade deadline breakdown with Dan Feldman

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The NBA’s trade market did not collapse after the Jahlil Okafor trade.

There’s more to come, but with the trade deadline is less than two months away, we have more questions than answers. DeAndre Jordan very likely could be on the move from the Clippers (and Lou Williams, too). But what is Memphis going to do about Mark Gasol? New Orleans with DeMarcus Cousins? Oklahoma City with Paul George? And if any of those guys are available, who is a buyer? Cleveland? Milwaukee? Portland?

Kurt Helin and Dan Feldman of NBC Sports break down the high end of the trade market, plus talk about other guys who could be on the move — maybe Nikola Mirotic from Chicago, and what about someone like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist from Charlotte — before Feb. 8 gets here. The last couple of trade deadlines have been interesting, but will we see a move that changes the landscape of the NBA playoffs in a meaningful way?

As always, you can check out the podcast below, listen and subscribe via iTunes at ApplePodcasts.com/PBTonNBC, subscribe via the fantastic Stitcher app, check us out on Google play, or check out the NBC Sports Podcast homepage and archive at Art19.

Joel Embiid calls out Karl Anthony-Towns’ defense during Instagram trash talk

AP Foto/Hannah Foslien
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Joel Embiid often gloats on Instagram after 76ers wins.

Of course he did after Philadelphia beat Minnesota on Tuesday, specifically calling attention to this move on Karl-Anthony Towns (and this 76ers fan custom):

Embiid:

Towns commented:

That caption was as trash as your picture quality

Embiid replied:

Better quality than your defense

Embiid insisted it’s all in good fun.

Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia:

https://twitter.com/JCameratoNBCS/status/941395953113804800

I’m not sure Towns is having as much fun as Towns. But I know this:

Embiid had a valid point.