Seems like every day one or more NBA players say they are open to the idea of playing overseas during the NBA lockout. While we have our doubts about how many will actually go (even if the lockout drags into the season), here’s a roundup of who is saying and doing what in the last 24 hours.
Sacramento Kings draft pick and soon-to-be marketing campaign focus Jimmer Fredette is not considering going overseas, that according to a tweet from Sean Cunningham of News10 in Sacramento. Not a real shock there, don’t expect any first round draft picks to head overseas — they will get paid a lot more to play in the NBA and they risk blowing all that by getting injured overseas. (The only exception is the guys drafted from European teams this past season, who may work out deals to remain until the lockout ends.)
We told you that Sahsa Vujacic is heading to Turkey, as had been expected.
Golden State point guard Stephen Curry said that he would consider options for playing in China if the lockout dragged on, as would teammate Dorell Wright, as reported in the Contra Costa Times. Guess which guy those teams want more. This is Curry following the players union company line, there are no offers now but if things drag out he may listen more seriously.
Also, Phoenix center Marcin Gortat said that he would entertain playing for a team in Russia if the lockout drags on, he told a Polish publication. He will also play for Poland in EuroBasket this summer.
The New York Knicks couldn’t get out of their own way on Thursday night, even with a historic performance from Carmelo Anthony. With the Washington Wizards in town, it was John Wall‘s finishing ability that pushed the Wiz over New York, 113-110.
The final 45 seconds were hectic, as Wall took the lead for Washington with just 32 seconds left after drawing a foul on Carmelo.
Down by 1, Anthony then missed a jumper with 18 seconds left and the Knicks allowed Wall to do this:
Wall would go on to steal the final possession from the Knicks, and the Wizards left MSG with a win.
Gregg Popovich can be a fiesty dude, and sometimes he just wants to get his team pumped up. After news that Pau Gasol was going to be absent from the San Antonio Spurs’ lineup against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday, perhaps this was his way of doing that?
Late in the second quarter in Denver, Popovich was seen arguing with a baseline official as play continued on. Pop was hit with an initial tech, and as the officiating crew walked away he blasted ’em with the best dad insult I’ve heard in a long time.
“You’re a terrible referee!”
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Mudiay was more than happy to assist with the second technical and ejection portion of Popovich’s tirade.
Long Live Pop.
Kristaps Porzingis is “The Unicorn” perhaps in part because of his high basketball awareness on the offensive end of the floor. On Thursday night against the Washington Wizards, the New York Knicks big man had an incredible putback dunk that surprised even his teammates.
Thanks to a missed Courtney Lee 3-pointer, Porzingis was able to fly in from beyond the arc to slam home two points.
Yeah, that’s crazy.
There’s putback dunks and then there’s flying in from beyond the 3-point line like this one. Wild.
The San Antonio Spurs will have to make do without PF/C for a while Pau Gasol thanks to a recent fracture in his left ring finger.
That’s according to a press release from the team, who said Gasol fractured his fourth metacarpal — the bone that connects the ring finger down to the carpal bones in the wrist area — during warmups before a game against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
No word yet from the team on recovery time, but estimates given similar recent NBA player injuries suggest anywhere from 4-8 weeks.
Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward missed the first month of the season after fracturing his finger in early October. Cleveland Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving missed around a month in 2012 with a similar injury.
Here’s hoping Gasol can make it back to the court quickly for the Spurs.