They really need to end the lockout. Soon. So we can talk about basketball.
In that absence we bring you this bit of shocking news — things may not be “happily ever after” for free agent forward Kris Humphries and reality star Kim Kardashian.
First came reports that former Nets forward Humphries is weary of having reality show cameras following his every move. That he wants some space and privacy (or at least more money for the inconvenience). I’m not sure what he expected marrying a Kardashian — he should have talked to Lamar Odom — but I do get the request. Whatever.
Now comes this report blowing up all over the Internet Thursday — that Kardashian reality producers tried to set her up with the Knicks Danilo Gallinari first, but he shot the idea down. From WetPaint.com via The Big Lead.
last fall, a representative of E! … approached the New York Knicks to find out if Danilo Gallinari, the studly Italian who was then a forward on the team, would be interested in dating Kim. According to our source, both E! and Kim were interested in having her date a big New York athlete for the debut season of Kourtney & Kim Take New York, and the Knicks were their first choice … Gallinari — then 22 to Kim’s 30 — was told that such a move would be good for his career and that he would garner lots of media exposure. Gallinari declined, saying he would be happy to meet Kim but wasn’t interested in dating or being a reality-show star. E! had “no comment” when we called them.
I don’t know what really happened. I don’t care. I know the official story is Jordan Farmar introduced Humphries and Kardashian, but what really happened? I don’t know. Is the Humphries/Kardashian marriage real love or a reality television ploy? I don’t care.
Man, I miss basketball. Actual games. I’m going to take a shower now, I feel like I’ve been rolling around in the mud.
Kevin Durant might have left the Thunder, in part, because he grew tired of playing with Russell Westbrook.
But does that mean nobody wants to play with Westbrook?
Presented with that claim, Oklahoma City center Enes Kanter refuted it strongly:
Of course, many players want to play with Russell Westbrook. He’s a great player and even better competitor. People want to be around someone so maniacal about winning and capable of delivering.
But there’s an obvious difference between Kanter and Durant. It’s much easier for a pick-and-roll big man than a superstar wing to play with Westbrook.
Westbrook tends to over-dribble, and he can be selfish. I’d understand Durant preferring a team with more ball movement like the Warriors.
Kanter doesn’t have the cachet to pick any team at any salary like Durant did. Of his options, Kanter is probably genuinely happy to play with Westbrook. And the Thunder should be happy to have Westbrook (as long as they do). His strengths far outweigh his flaws.
No scoring star seamlessly blend with each other. Even LeBron James and Dwyane Wade — close friends and one an elite passer — struggled to mesh early in their Heat days. It’s just hard when there’s one ball.
So, it’s unfair to kill Westbrook for this drawback to his game. Maybe he’d click better with another star who’s more aggressive than Durant. And it’s not even as if Westbrook and Durant failed together. Oklahoma City won a lot of games with those two.
Plenty of players would sign up to replace Durant as Westbrook’s partner in crime.
Amar’e Stoudemire — despite spending more time and having more success with the Suns — signed with the Knicks to retire.
Why not Phoenix?
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:
Stoudemire was linked to the Suns last year, but a return never happened.
It didn’t make more sense now. Phoenix already has 15 players, the regular-season roster limit. John Jenkins and Alan Williams have unguaranteed deals, but why waive one for Stoudemire? The Suns are semi-rebuilding, and Tyson Chandler already serves as a veteran big.
There’s a reason Stoudemire retired rather then sign somewhere. Maybe nobody wanted him.
But it’s also only July, and teams are still filling out their rosters. If Stoudemire wants to keep playing, he might have opportunities later, especially after the trade deadline. He’s just 33. There’s now reason to believe his retirement won’t stick.
Derek Fisher is already stumping for his second head-coaching job.
Fisher has done plenty since retiring as a player — getting hired by the Knicks, getting fired by the Knicks and in between being attacked by Matt Barnes and finding another controversy about player relations.
All the while, Fisher counted against the cap for the Thunder, his last NBA team.
Oklahoma City finally renounced him to sign Alex Abrines.
Albert Nahmad of Heat Hoops:
This is one of my favorite salary-cap quirks, explained in further detail here.
These are becoming fewer and further between, because teams are using cap room more frequently as the salary cap skyrockets. Gone are the days of a team operating above the cap for a dozen straight years.
There’s also even less utility in old cap holds now that a player must have played the prior season for a team to be used in a sign-and-trade. (Not that these holds were useful except the rarest of occasions prior, anyway.)
Fisher’s quick transition from playing to coaching helped make this an exception, allowing this weird (and trivial) transaction.
Where will the NBA hold the 2017 All-Star game?
New Orleans? Probably.
New York/Brooklyn or Chicago? Maybe.
One more maybe: Las Vegas.
Scott Kusher of The Advocate:
The NBA held All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas in 2007. By all accounts, it was wild.
I’d be surprised if the league returned the event to Las Vegas, but at this point, I’d really be surprised by any option besides New Orleans.