Dirk Nowtizki Germany

Nowitzki, Kaman to suit up for Germany at EuroBasket

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We’ll see how good Germany is as a team, but they have one formidable front line.

Dirk Nowitzki has made it official and will play for Germany this summer as the team tries to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. He will be joined on the front line by Clippers center Chris Kaman, according to the official FIBA site (via Hoopshype).

“The rest was short but I would like to help the young German national team to gain success in Eurobasket,” Nowitzki said. “I will do everything to keep fit and I’m looking forward to spending time with the guys.”

Kaman is a naturalized German citizen due to his ancestry and he played for Germany in 2008 in Beijing (where the team went 1-4 in group play).

EuroBasket starts Aug. 31 in Lithuania and will feature 22 teams trying to earn one of two automatic berths to the London Olympics. Teams that finish third through sixth will take part in the pre-Olympics qualifying tournament next year for a second shot to get in. To follow the summer tournaments keep on reading PBT and also check out FIBA’s road to London site.

Gordon Hayward goes behind Jordan Clarkson’s back with dribble

Gordon Hayward, Nick Young
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Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.

First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.

Three quick takeaways here:

1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.

2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.

3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.

(Hat tip reddit)

Could Tristan Thompson’s holdout last months? Windhorst says yes.

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five

VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”

That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.

Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:

“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”

Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.

And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.