UPDATE 10:59 am: Timofey Mozgov has confirmed that he did sign with BC Khimki to play during the lockout, speaking with the official EuroLeague site.
“I am glad that everything turned out perfectly. I grew up as a player in Khimki and spent great days in here. I have a lot of friends in the team and the adaptation period to the team will not be a problem,” Mozgov said. “Khimki is my second home and we quickly reached an agreement. I hope I can help the team in the upcoming season.”
8:36 am: Just a day after his agent was shooting down rumors that Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov was headed to Russia, there are multiple reports from European sites that he inked a deal.
Both Sportando and Sports.ru say he will play for BC Khimki, the Russian club where he played for four years before coming to the NBA (links via Hoopshype). This would be a deal that lets him out when the NBA lockout ends.
Because Mozgov is under contract in the NBA, he will need a letter of clearance from FIBA to play for his Russian team. The international basketball oversight body has not said yet if they will grant those letters to players locked out of the NBA.
While we wonder how some NBA players would fit overseas, you don’t feel that way in this case. He knows what he is getting into. Also rumored to be playing for Khimki is Chris Quinn, the former Notre Dame guard who spent last season on the Spurs bench.
This has to make the Denver front office a little nervous. Their goal is to re-sign Nene and keep him as their center, however if the free agent moves on then Mozgov would play a huge role in the middle for the Nuggets. The risks of injury have to make the Nuggets front office nervous.
Mozgov played half a season for the Knicks before being traded to Denver in the Carmelo Anthony trade last season, which was his rookie year in the NBA.
Good on Latrell Sprewell for doing this, poking fun at his image.
It would have been funnier with P.J. Carlesimo, but David Robinson is a quality contrast. Well done, Priceline.
Carmelo Anthony has the hammer — he has a no-trade clause in his contract. If he doesn’t want to be traded, he’s not getting traded. End of story.
Also, he loves New York.
So when he went on SiriusXM NBA Radio Saturday and was asked about the trade rumors linking him to Cleveland, ‘Melo shot those down.
There were exploratory talks involving Kevin Love going to Boston — the Knicks might have been the third team in such a deal — but the buzz around Toronto (where the NBA World has gathered for the All-Star Game) is those talks have stalled. It’s not impossible that they are revived, but don’t bet on it.
The Cavaliers are a win-now team, and if they move the floor-spacing Love they need to bring in pieces that get them closer to a title. They don’t see that now.
As for Anthony, he re-signed in New York and said he wanted to be there (and get paid.). While there may be people in his camp that think him moving on would be a good for his career, the man himself doesn’t want to go anywhere. And Carmelo Anthony has the hammer.
TORONTO (AP) — LeBron James is amused over all the fuss that accompanied Tyronn Lue getting the chance to coach the Eastern Conference in Sunday’s All-Star Game.
The honor typically goes to the coaching staff of the team leading their respective conference at the break, provided that staff didn’t also coach in the game the year before. So when the Cleveland Cavaliers fired David Blatt and promoted Lue from his assistant spot to being the coach in charge, that meant Lue also got the All-Star duty.
And while it might seem strange to some, James was quick to point out Friday at the All-Star media day that Lue “would have been here anyways, even if coach Blatt was still our coach.”
James has been criticized for what many presume to be his role in Blatt’s dismissal, and the four-time MVP says he isn’t letting that perception bother him. He also didn’t take the bait when asked to describe differences between Blatt and Lue.
James’ answer: “Their height.”
For the record, Blatt (6-foot-3) is listed to be about three inches taller than Lue.
TORONTO — Kobe Bryant has been loyal to the Lakers for 20 seasons (if you ignore some “trade me” tantrums along the way). He’s also been über competitive.
Those same qualities are what he most appreciates about Dirk Nowitzki.
Kobe talked a little Dirk during his All-Star media availability Friday.
“Dirk and I have always had a great relationship because we’re both extremely competitive. Also both extremely loyal to our teams,” Bryant said.
“I’ll tell you a story about Dirk. He was up for free agency, and I knew what his response was going to be. But out of respect, everybody’s looking around at all these free agents, I felt I’d shoot you a text, if you want to come to L.A. He goes, ‘I would love to play with you, but Dallas is my home. This is my team. I’m not leaving here.’ So he and I think a lot alike in that regard.”
Nowitzki’s last couple free agencies have been mere formalities, nobody around the league thought he would leave Mark Cuban or Dallas. The only questions were money and years — in 2014 the Lakers reportedly offered the max to Nowitzki, who took three-years, $25 million from Dallas so the Mavs could rebuild their roster. It’s all part of that loyalty — and it’s worked out, Nowitzki and Cuban have a ring.
Kobe’s respect for Nowitzki was clear when Dirk nailed a game winner against the Lakers this season, Kobe just nodded his approval from the bench.
One of the best things the past couple seasons about Kobe, and especially this season with just about to retire Kobe, is that he is giving honest answers. He doesn’t care what people think. That leads to honest moments and great stories.