Report: Besiktas officials met with Kobe’s agent, to do so again

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Officials from the Turkish team Besiktas finally did meet with Kobe Bryant’s agent Thursday, but Bryant himself wasn’t there. The two sides are supposed to meet again Friday.

That’s the word via twitter from Turkish journalist Ismail Senol (the Turkish side of these talks continues to be the leaky one).

According to club sources, Besiktas-Pelinka meeting was positive. Kobe wasn’t there. Club made an official offer. Today they’ll meet again.

What does that mean? Nothing really. If you want to say it’s not serious yet you point out Kobe wasn’t in the room. If you want to say it is serious you point out they are meeting again and an offer is now on the table. Besiktas was serious enough to sign Deron Williams for next season and Allen Iverson last season.

I don’t think he’s going. First, he doesn’t seem that into it. An exhibition/barnstorming tour in China, maybe, but a season with another team, no. That could get in the way of ring No. 6, a season would wear him down.

Senol suggests in later tweets that Kobe could make more money in Turkey than China because the season is a couple months longer, but this move would not be about the salary. What Kobe gets paid anywhere overseas is a sliver of the $25 million he would make in the NBA next year. Kobe already has set his family for generations. It’s not about the money. It’s about legacy and global branding. And I’m not sure a sixth-place team in Turkey — one not in the EuroLeague — really contributes much to either of those.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)

LeBron James blows wide-open dunk (video)

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J.R. Smith (slightly out of context): “We don’t start paying attention until after All-Star break.”

Report: Raptors’ Delon Wright out a month

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Raptors guard Delon Wright dislocated his shoulder, but at least he won’t need surgery.

Raptors media relations:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The Raptors (11-5), off to a surprisingly strong start, are second in the Eastern Conference. They’ve bought themselves margin for error. All in all, a month-long absence for Wright isn’t so bad.

Wright had been a key part of an excellent all-bench unit that included Fred VanVleet, O.G. Anunoby, C.J. Miles and Jakob Poeltl. Two-way player Lorenzo Brown has assumed Wright’s role, and Norman Powell – returning from his own injury – will provide a boost. Toronto can also stagger Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan more.

The chemistry of the bench mob was something to behold, but the Raptors should withstand this.