Moral concerns with sponsor holds up Bargnani to Italy

Leave a comment

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.

Rockets’ Clint Capela on Warriors: ‘I expect to beat them’

Getty Images
Leave a comment

During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”

Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.

The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.

Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:

“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.

That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.

There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.

PBT Extra Player of the Week: Victor Oladipo

Leave a comment

Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.

That place turned out to be the Pacers.

Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.

That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.

Watch Pacers fan boo Paul George during introductions (video)

1 Comment

Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.

Pacers fans delivered.

They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.

John Wall returns for Wizards-Grizzlies

AP Photo/Nick Wass
Leave a comment

WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.

Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.

The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.

“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”

Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.