Biyombo says he will lead the NBA in rebounding, blocks


After some extremely shaky workouts, official 2011 Draft Bismack Biyombo has seen his stock go up and down in recent weeks, with some GMs now claiming that they don’t believe the defensive specialist who spent last season playing professional in Spain will be a lottery pick.

Still, the offensively-challenged Biyombo is extremely confident that he can step in and make an impact on defense and the glass right away for whatever team that drafts him, and he made his feelings clear in a recent interview with’s Scott-Howard Cooper:

“In the NBA, I’m sure that I can block a lot of shots, more than I do in the ACB. I can get a lot of rebounds than I do here in the ACB. Why? The reason is, in the NBA there is a lot of one-on-one. A lot of times I watch games, they’re trying to force stuff. They’re trying to go just one-on-one and get the basket. I can say for myself the best block shots are not with your man. It’s when you’re going to help someone.”

So, do you believe you will lead the NBA in blocks?

“I do.”

Will you lead the NBA in blocks?


Can you lead the NBA in rebounding?

“Yes, I will.”

You will lead the NBA in rebounding?

“Yes. Of course. Hundred percent.”

Biyombo went on to say that he loves watching Minnesota’s Kevin Love rebound the ball, and says that he’s absolutely strong enough, both mentally and physically, to hang in the NBA, saying “they’re going to come after me, I’m going to come after them.”

Biyombo’s offensive issues make him a huge risk for whatever team that drafts him, but I’m of the opinion that his combination of defensive awareness, shocking athleticism, and love of playing defense and attacking the glass will make whatever team that ends up drafting him very happy, especially if he applies any of his passion for rebounding and defense to making himself into a passable offensive player.

If Joel Anthony can be a key part of a conference championship team (and his defense was absolutely one of the keys to Miami’s defense-fueled victories over Boston and Chicago), then Biyombo can be an effective role player in the NBA if he puts any work at all into his offensive game. Biyombo is a risk, but he’s one worth taking. All that’s left to see now is which team will be willing to roll the dice on Thursday.

Report: Rockets will try to sign Alessandro Gentile next summer

Alessandro Gentile, Paulius Jankunas
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The Rockets tried signing Sergio Llull this summer, but he opted for a long-term extension with Real Madrid.

So, they’ll just turn to another player in their large chest of stashed draft picks – Alessandro Gentile.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Gentile, who was selected No. 53 in the 2014, is a 22-year-old wing for Armani Milano. He’s a good scorer, but he primarily works from mid-range – an area the Rockets eschew. He can get to the rim in Europe, but his subpar athleticism might hinder him in the NBA.

If Gentile comes stateside, he’ll face a steep learning curve. But he’s young enough and talented enough that he could develop into a rotation player.

Report: Hawks co-owner made more money by exposing Danny Ferry’s Luol Deng comments

Michael Gearon, Bruce Levenson
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A terribly kept secret: Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. wanted to get rid of general manager Danny Ferry.

Many believe that’s why Gearon made such a big deal about Ferry’s pejorative “African” comment about Luol Deng – that Gearon was more concerned about ousting Ferry than showing real concern over racism.

Gearon had another, no less sinister, reason to raise concern over Ferry’s remarks.

Kevin Arnovitz and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

While Gearon felt that Ferry, as he wrote in the June 2014 email to Levenson, “put the entire franchise in jeopardy,” Gearon also figured to benefit financially from a Sterling-esque fallout.

In the spring of 2014, Gearon was in the process of selling more of his interest in the team to Levenson and the partners he had sold to in September. The agreed-upon price for roughly a third of Gearon’s remaining shares valued the Hawks at approximately $450 million, according to reports from sources.

“We accept your offer to buy the remaining 31 million,” Gearon wrote in an email to Levenson on April 17, 2014. “Let me know next steps so we can keep this simple as you suggested without a bunch of lawyers and bankers.”

Approximately five weeks later — just a little more than a week before the fateful conference call — Steve Ballmer agreed to pay $2 billion for the Clippers, a record-smashing price that completely changed the assessed value of NBA franchises. Gearon firmly maintains he was acting out of the sincerity of his convictions to safeguard the franchise from the Sterling stench, but such a spectacle also allowed him to wiggle out of selling his shares at far below market value.

Gearon and his legal team later challenged the notion that the sell-down was bound by any sort of contractual obligation and that any papers were signed. Once the organization became involved in the investigation, the sale of the shares was postponed.

Arnovitz and Windhorst did an incredible amount of reporting here. I suggest you read the full piece, which includes much more background on the Gearon-Ferry rift.

Considering the Hawks sold for $850 million, Gearon definitely made more money than if he’d sold his shares at a $450 million valuation.

Did that motivate him? Probably, though it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Most likely, his actions were derived from at least three desires – making more money, ousting Ferry and combating racism. Parsing how much each contributed is much more difficult.

What Ferry said was racist, whether or not he was looking at more racism on the sheet of paper in front of him. His comments deserved punishment.

But if Gearon didn’t have incentive to use them for his own benefit, would we even know about them? How many other teams, with more functional front offices, would have kept similar remarks under wraps or just ignored them?