NBA “European vacation” roundup: Kobe a long shot

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As the NBA lockout drags out — and the two sides are not expected to talk seriously until August — the rumors about NBA players heading overseas continue.

All these rumors should be taken with a grain of salt — for one, international basketball governing body FIBA has yet to rule if an NBA player under contract can play overseas during the lockout. That said, we bring them to you.

• Kobe Bryant (or his people) apparently had conversations with Turkish team Besiktas (the team that signed Deron Williams), but it seems a real long shot they could get him now, as Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski explained. It stems from the match fixing scandal tied to Besiktas’ soccer team, which led to Besiktas’ assets being frozen.

Besiktas has credibility issues with soccer scandal, history of properly paying players. Makes it harder to get corporate sponsors for Kobe.

Reportedly, Kobe wanted $1 million a month in salary. Which sounds crazy but would still be more than $17 million less than he would make for a full NBA season.

• Maurice Evans, the vice president of the players union, has had conversations with European powers Real Madrid and Anadolu Efes (the club that just signed Sasha Vujacic), Hoopsworld reports. This could be Evans just being the good union soldier, trying to help gain leverage in the talks. But as a 32-year-old free agent, these deals might be as good or better than what he can get in the NBA next season. Evans has already played seasons in Greece and Italy.

• Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov said he is considering playing overseas and has had offers. Right now he is with the Russian national team preparing for Olympic qualifying.

• Marcin Gortat has not yet signed a deal with a team in Russia, but that is still on the table.

• Nets draftee Marshon Brooks said he is not going to sign overseas. This makes sense for a first round pick set to make guaranteed NBA money — if he got hurt overseas he’d never get his NBA deal. Big risk for first round picks like Brooks to play in Europe. Second round picks, who don’t get guaranteed deals, are a different story.

Warriors F James Michael McAdoo leaves game vs. Rockets with head injury (VIDEO)

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There was a scary moment during the matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets on Tuesday night. During a change of possession, Houston’s Trevor Ariza and and Golden State’s James Michael McAdoo got tangled up and fell together on the floor.

McAdoo was under Ariza and wound up getting his head slammed into the hardwood. He was immediately taken off the floor and sent to the locker room.

Via Twitter:

The NBATV broadcast said McAdoo received stitches but did not test positive for a concussion. He is averaging 8.7 minutes, 2.9 points, and 1.7 rebounds per-game for the Warriors.

Jusuf Nurkic trolls Nuggets, tells former team to enjoy their summer (VIDEO)

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Jusuf Nurkic did not enjoy his time as a member of the Denver Nuggets. His trade to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Mason Plumlee was a welcome change of scenery.

On Tuesday night, Nurkic got to take on his old team with huge playoff implications at stake. Portland beat the Nuggets, 122-113, moving a game ahead of their rivals in the race for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference and giving them the best tiebreaker between the two.

Nurkic was impressive, blasting his old squad with 33 points on 12-of-15 shooting, adding 16 rebounds, three blocks, and two assists.

Nurkic was interviewed in the arena after the game, and he was obviously happy he helped his team while also sticking it to Denver. Speaking with Portland reporter Brooke Olzendam, Nurkic took one last shot at the Nuggets, telling them to enjoy their summer.

Via Twitter:

Nurkic quite possibly sent the Nuggets packing for the year with the game at the Moda Center on Tuesday, so he might have been the guy who helped start their summer.

Still, that is ice cold.

James Johnson decimates Marcus Morris with huge one-handed dunk (VIDEO)

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Miami Heat forward James Johnson is one of the NBA’s best in-game dunkers. On Tuesday night against the Detroit Pistons, he yammed down a huge one-handed slam that embarrassed Marcus Morris and drew gasps from the crowd at the Palace.

The play came midway through the fourth quarter with Johnson at the top of the key. After a quick pass over to him, Johnson gave a quick hesitation before driving to his left and past his defender.

With the quick step, Johnson’s only remaining opponent at the basket was Morris, who was unfortunate enough to find himself between the high-flying Heat and the rim.

This is what happened next:

Morris was whistled for a foul on the play.

Watch Hassan Whiteside beat the Pistons at the buzzer with tip-in (VIDEO)

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The Miami Heat took until the final moments on Tuesday night to beat the Detroit Pistons, but it was worth it. With just a handful of games left to play, the Heat need to stave off the Chicago Bulls for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Thanks to a tip at the buzzer by Hassan Whiteside, they’re one step closer to achieving that goal.

The play came with just seconds left in the fourth quarter. James Johnson missed a shot with six seconds to go, and the Heat grabbed the rebound. Goran Dragic then tried his hand, but he couldn’t get it to go, either.

That’s when Whiteside came back with a tip at the buzzer that ended the game.

Via Twitter:

Miami now sits at 36-38, a game above the Bulls for the No. 8 seed.

Whiteside, meanwhile, is never going to wash that hand again: