For maybe the first time ever, the Vatican may be holding up a basketball signing.
We told you yesterday that Virtus Roma was close to signing Andrea Bargnani because they had found a sponsor to pick up the tab — AshleyMadison.com. For those unfamiliar, it is a site designed to help spouses looking to cheat find each other and hook up.
Sportando reports the obvious — that doesn’t fly well in the heavily Catholic nation.
The deal to bring back to Italy and Virtus Roma, Andrea Bargnani is done. But the owner of the Italian team, Claudio Toti, did not say YES yet. The biggest problem is ethics. In a country where Vatican has big influence in any aspect of life (politics included), having as sponsor AshleyMadison.com, a website who promotes infidelity, is not easy. And Vatican City is also next to Virtus Roma facilities (the arena where the team is playing is also the main gym of the club).
AshleyMadison just launched its Italian version, in case you were wondering.
Bargnani has put up a lot of points (21.4 a game last season) while not really impressing a lot of people in Toronto. But he has four years and upwards of $40 million left on his contract, so they need an amnesty clause in the new labor deal or they are stuck with him.
Frankly, I just find the whole thing funny. Unless my wife reads this post, in which case I officially find this morally outrageous.
Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.
This was not Marc Gasol‘s first attempt to head in the ball after a whistle, but this time, he converted.
Here was his January try:
As Rockets general manager Daryl Morey once noted, cherry-picking James Harden‘s worst defensive plays to create a video is unfair. Many players would look awful by that measure.
But Harden provides serious ammo for these worst-of videos.
This non-attempt to stop Lance Thomas is just brutal.
At least Houston buckled down to beat the Knicks, 116-111 in overtime. The Rockets have climbed to 26th in points allowed per possession.
So, Kobe Bryant‘s NBA career is officially going to come to an end after the 2015-16 season. That part he announced on Sunday.
What’s still up in the air is Bryant’s participation in one last Olympics. Bryant has been in consideration to make Team USA this summer at the games in Rio de Janeiro, and USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo tells ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that he hasn’t ruled that out yet:
Kobe was asked about this at his post-game press conference Sunday and said it was not a goal, but if it was offered he’d consider it.
“I’d be honored if that was there, it would be fantastic to be around that group and spend kind of the last journey with them,” Bryant said. “That being said, it’s not something that I’m obsessing over.”
‘When Bryant made it known that he wanted to play in Rio, he made it clear to Colangelo and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski that he wanted to earn a spot, not be given one as a lifetime achievement award. Watching him so far this season, it’s almost impossible to imagine him making the roster on merit.
But nobody should begrudge him if he wanted to extend the farewell tour just a little bit longer.