There are so many NBA players both talking with and signing with overseas teams that we’re going to start putting them in a regular roundup (major stars, like Amar’e Stoudemire, still get their own posts). Why? Because I’m a blogger and therefore am drawn to bullet points like a moth to a bug zapper.
• Wilson Chandler has some decisions to make — he has a $1.7 million offer for a full season in China and also is listening to an offer from Italy, his agent told Hoopshype. Wilson Chandler (shipped from the Knicks to the Nuggets in the Carmelo Anthony deal last season) is a restricted free agent in the NBA. Which means he can sign for a full season overseas and not have an opt out clause. But he wants one (and the Chinese Government is going to say deals can’t have then) so it remains a sticking point in the talks.
• Dirk Nowitzki to German site Sport1 (translation via Hoopshype): “Obviously, there are offers. There are concrete offers on the table. I won’t rule out Germany. Everybody is always only talking about Germany. I might also (go) play in China or South America.”
• Look for the Knicks Roger Mason (a free agent) to sign with Hapoel Jerusalem during the lockout. Mason will have an NBA opt out. By the way, he played there six years ago so he knows what to expect in the Israeli league.
• Jan Vesely, the No. 6 overall pick of the Washington Wizards in the last draft, has said he will decide later this month what he will do about this season. He is considering returning to Europe for a year (the Wizards would retain his rights).
• Jerry Stackhouse tried to get a lockout gig with Italian club Virtus Bologna, but they turned him down.
• Justin Harper, a draft pick of the Orlando Magic, will play in France during the lockout but is trying to swing an out clause so he can come back and try to make the Magic when the lockout ends.
• Patrick O’Bryan, who spent last season in the D-League but has played for the Raptors and had nibbles around the league, is close to a deal with Greek team Kavala.
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 game 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.
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:
Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was a pretty consistent player in the NBA. Save for his final injury-laden seasons and the lockout year of 2011-12, Bryant played in no fewer than 65 regular season games in a single season.
Coaches also had no reason or want to ask Bryant — a notorious worker — to sit out in order to rest. That wasn’t really on the menu, and Bryant knew that.
Speaking to ESPN’s First Take, Bryant said no coach really asked him to ever take a rest, “I’ve never been approached by a coach and asked to rest.”
Bryant remarked that he took queues from Michael Jordan during tough stretches of the season — back-to-backs or four games in five night scenarios — where he could switch his game up, floating from perimeter to post, in order to save energy during those matchups.
Bryant also said during the same interview that he understands the complexity of the modern game, and that players like LeBron James deserve to take a rest if they’ve earned it.
“LeBron has done so much for the game. He’s earned the opportunity to take a rest,” said Bryant.
The debate on this subject will continue, it seems.
New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis is the future of the franchise, so any time he’s upended and nearly lands on his noggin it’s a cause for concern. To say the least.
That’s what happened on Monday night, as Porzingis got turned upside down during a play near the basket during a game against the Detroit Pistons.
Porzingis was OK on the play, and Detroit big man Andre Drummond did his best to help catch him so nothing too scary happened.
Still, Knicks president Phil Jackson had a pretty hilarious reaction to the whole thing. I guess that’s what happens when you watch your basketball life flash before your eyes.
Porzingis was unhurt and played a full 37 minutes. New York beat Detroit, 109-95.
Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler is a smart dude. He’s spent years of offseason work turning himself into a max-level player, and that shows he knows not only how to work but how to attack the game of basketball.
He’s also smart enough to know he shouldn’t go poking the bear when it comes to two future Hall of Fame players in LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
When asked whether the Cleveland Cavaliers star or the Golden State Warriors scorer was the toughest matchup in the NBA, Butler made sure he wasn’t adding any kind of blackboard material to rile up either player.
The best way to defend LeBron or Durant: don’t make them angry.
Smart move, Jimmy.