Dallas Mavericks Victory Parade

Tyson Chandler no fan of the NBA’s age limit


Tyson Chandler jumped straight from high school to the NBA, the No. 2 overall pick in 2001. He and Eddy Curry were going to be the future of the Knicks. I don’t need to remind you how that went.

Chandler is why the owners like the age limit — he has developed into a very good NBA player, but it took time for him to get there. He had to mature, his game had to mature. NBA owners and management would love that development to happen on somebody else’s dime. Some guys never mature — see Curry — and the owners would love to have a better chance to figure that out.

Chandler, in a fascinating and wide-ranging interview at TrueHoop, says that the problem is teams see the talents but often struggle to see the person.

A lot of the young stars that have carried the torch for our league have come out of high school. Whether it’s Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, you can go on and on.

I definitely think that whole talk about high school players not being responsible is untrue. You can have guys play four years of college and not make it in this league. You can have guys go four years in college and do something crazy. We see that every day.

I think it’s more the person, the character of the person, than it is the age. It’s in human nature, to hopefully get older, and get wiser through experience. But not everybody does that. I think it’s up to the person that’s investing their time and their money in the product, and in this case the product is basketball players and young men. I think it’s up to them, the decision to decide if they want to invest their money and time in a particular young man with a particular character. You take millions of dollars to scout and make these decisions. Let them earn their check.

I agree — predicting how an 18-year-old will mature is risky, but you can get a sense of work ethic, passion, drive of the person. Kobe had it, KG had it, Kwame Brown didn’t. And you should be able to see that. Don’t tell the 18-year-old who is ready he has to do something else for a couple years because you don’t make good decisions.

That said, I think it’s more likely the age limit goes up, not down, with the new labor agreement.

Byron Scott isn’t thinking about next year’s draft

Byron Scott
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A month into the season, the Lakers the only team in the Western Conference that can absolutely be written out of any hopes of playoff contention. They’re in an awkward position with the upcoming draft: they still need talent long-term, and they owe their pick to the Sixers if it’s outside of the top three. Not surprisingly, Byron Scott isn’t thinking about it at all.

Via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

With the Lakers fielding the NBA’s second-worst record, how much effort will the franchise put in retaining its top-3 protected draft pick?

“I don’t think about that whatsoever,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “I probably won’t until April. That’s something I can’t control.”

The Lakers are in a precarious position. They appear likely bad enough to lose a lot of games. But will they lose enough to land in the top three? Otherwise, the Lakers owe Philadelphia their first-round pick as part of the Steve Nash trade.

“It’s impossible to think about the team, try to get our young guys better, the team better and also thinking about a pick,” Scott said. “That’s six months away and you might not even get it.”

Given Scott’s mentality, it’s not at all surprising that he isn’t thinking about the draft. But with his insistence on playing Kobe Bryant and Lou Williams more crunch-time minutes on this dismal Lakers team than D'Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson, it’s pretty laughable that he talks about wanting to develop their young players.

Scott may not be thinking about the draft, but with the position the franchise is in and the likelihood that they lose their pick, he should be.

Report: Jahlil Okafor stopped for driving 108 MPH three weeks ago

Jahlil Okafor, Derrick Favors

Jahlil Okafor‘s first month in the NBA has been eventful for all the wrong reasons. Early Thanksgiving morning, he was caught on video getting into a fight with a heckler in Boston. Then, a report surfaced of another altercation from October, in which Okafor apparently had a gun pulled on him. Now, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Okafor was recently pulled over in Philadelphia for driving 108 miles per hour:

Four sources independently confirmed to The Inquirer the 76ers center was pulled over on the Ben Franklin Bridge around three weeks ago for 108 miles per hour. Anything over 40 m.p.h. is considered reckless driving.

108 miles per hour in a 40-mile zone isn’t a minor speeding infraction—it’s incredibly dangerous. It might be possible to write off any of these incidents by themselves—particularly the one where he had a gun pulled on him, which doesn’t seem to have been his fault at all. But together, the Boston incident and this speeding report aren’t a good look at all for Okafor. He’s had a solid start to the year for the Sixers, but off the court has been another story.

Harrison Barnes could be out “a few weeks” with ankle injury

Harrison Barnes
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The Warriors’ Friday night 135-116 win over the Suns was bittersweet: Harrison Barnes suffered a sprained left ankle in the third quarter and left for the remainder of the game. He missed Saturday night’s blowout win over the Kings as well, which extended the Warriors’ best-ever start to the season to 18-0.

Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton didn’t have an answer for how long Barnes will be out, but he said it could be a few weeks.

Via ESPN.com’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss:

“He’s being evaluated [Saturday]. We haven’t gotten the results back yet,” interim head coach Luke Walton told reporters before Saturday’s game. “It’s all speculation. It could be a few weeks. It could be a week.

“We’re not going to rush him back because we want to be healthy for later in the season and we don’t want lingering injures, so we’ll have him take his time.”

Losing a starter is never good news, but the silver lining for the Warriors is that they have enough depth and enough of a cushion to be able to take their time and not rush Barnes back. Saturday night, Walton opted to keep Andre Iguodala in his usual sixth-man role and instead start the little-used Brandon Rush in Barnes’ place. Rush responded with a 16-point performance, shooting 4-of-5 from the three-point line. If they can keep getting that kind of production out of their reserves, the Warriors will be able to withstand the loss of Barnes just fine.

Emmanuel Mudiay with the no-look, behind-the-head assist (VIDEO)

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Emmanuel Mudiay is still a work in progress on the court — he’s a rookie, what did you expect? — but he has the court vision and flair you cannot teach.

As evidence, I present this pass from Saturday night, where in transition Mudiay goes with the no-look, behind-the-head dish to Darrell Arthur for the dunk.

The Nuggets dropped this game to the Mavericks 92-81 and have lost six in a row.