Very smart hire by the Charlotte Bobcats.
Rich Cho — who the Blazers surprisingly let go last month because of “chemistry issues” with owner Paul Allen (which seems to happen to a lot of GMs) — has been hired by the Charlotte Bobcats as GM, the team announced late Monday night (via IamaGM.com).
It was a bit of a surprise because nobody knew Charlotte was in the market for a GM. Cho will work with promoted Rod Higgins, now the president of basketball operations. This is a smart hire for Charlotte in another way — Cho is not part of Michael Jordan’s inner circle. It’s a different voice, and it’s good to have different voices in an organization.
The challenges are very different in Charlotte — in Portland the owner is ungodly rich where in Charlotte Michael Jordan is not poor but he’s not in a position to lose a lot of money. The payroll needs to be more in line with league norms. He’ll have to build a winner within the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (whatever that looks like). The Bobcats have 10 guys on the roster — Stephen Jackson might be the only one you trust to score regularly, unless you now believe in Tyrus Thomas — and have $50 million committed in salary for next season.
Cho did a solid job in his one year as GM in Portland, one where the best laid plans of mice and men ran into Brandon Roy’s knees, leaving long range plans to be reworked. Cho made a great move to bring in Gerald Wallace — a trade with Charlotte — at the trade deadline and left behind some good pieces for the net GM to work with. Before that Cho was the No. 2 guy with the Oklahoma City Thunder and he is well respected around the league.
Michael Jordan also may not fire Cho when he speaks out publicly. That will be a nice change of pace.
Joakim Noah hasn’t set foot on an NBA court since Feb. 4, and his season was all but ended when he had knee surgery at the end of February. It was a $72 million gamble that has not worked, and left New York with an anchor o a
Tomorrow it will be official he is done for the season, but not because of the Knicks or his injury.
During his recovery, Noah violated the NBA’s drug policy and will pay for a 20-game suspension, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
Noah tested positive for an over-the-counter supplement that is prohibited under the outgoing Collective Bargaining Agreement, league sources said.
Noah, 32, is expected to serve 10 games of the suspension to finish out the 2016-17 regular season and 10 games to start the 2017-18 season, league sources said.
The National Basketball Players Association’s investigation concluded that Noah hadn’t “knowingly or willingly” violated the policy and cooperated fully with the league’s probe, league sources said.
Over-the-counter supplements could be something put in his regular workout recovery drinks that he was unaware of, although we are unsure of the details.
Traditionally, the player has to be healthy enough to play before the league starts the suspension. Noah has been out for more than a month, but if a league doctor says he is healthy enough to play the then the clock on the suspension can start. But that is interesting.
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is just 20 years old. He’s a League Pass favorite, and indeed he should be a favorite in Phoenix for years to come. On Friday, Booker dropped 70 points — yes, 70 — in a loss to the Boston Celtics.
Booker’s 70 points is the best outing of the season. It also made him the youngest player to ever reach 70 points.
His final stat line, as you might imagine, was ridiculous. Booker shot 21-of-40 from the field, going 4-of-11 on 3-pointers and a whopping 24-of-26 from the free-throw line. The Suns phenom also grabbed eight rebounds to go with six assists.
Despite the loss to Boston, 130-120, it’s still an incredible milestone for Phoenix and for Booker. There’s a bright spot out there for the Suns.
Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.
As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.
Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.
Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.
Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.
Maybe a little too pumped.
That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.
Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.
(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)