E! unveils the natural companion piece to the Kardashian-Humphries coverage: a list of 15 “Super Sexy Basketball Hunks”

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Just in case you’ve forgotten that the NBA is locked out, let me do my absolute damnedest to remind you: we could be talking about actual basketball right now, but instead, I’m going to point you in the direction of E! Online’s listing of 15 “Super Sexy Basketball Hunks,” (via Tim Griffin of Spurs Nation). The slideshow is complete with the ability for you to voice your own opinion — via the “So hot!” and “So not!” voting button — on the purported dreaminess of the NBAers in question. The concept itself is glorious, but the real selling point are the accompanying captions, which are everything you’d imagine and more.

Some personal favorites:

Kobe Bryant: The Lakers shooting guard may be known for his skills on the court, but it’s that impeccable physique (and smile) that puts him front and center on our list of the sexist NBA hunks.

Quite a typo there. Also, a bit surprised there was no mention of “COUNT THE RINGS!” It’s the only argument you need, Shawn, even in matters of hunkery.

Paul Pierce: Stare into his eyes and try not to feel a love connection. Not only is [Paul] Pierce an incredibly attractive hunk of man (in case you couldn’t tell) but he’s also a nine-time NBA All-Star! Not too shabby, sir.

…Alright.

Gilbert Arenas: The Wizards point guard affectionately known as “Hibachi” (get it?) is more than just a super hot NBA superstar. Arenas is also known for his charitable nature and even mentored a young boy in need, taking his sexiness factor through the roof!

1. What? 2. Nothing sexier than this.

Carmelo Anthony: Not only does Anthony fill out that Knicks uniform incredibly nicely, but he’s also the owner of a shiny gold medal from the 2008 Olympics. Now if only he wasn’t married (sorry La La Vasquez).

This list quickly devolved into “NBA Players we know are connected with celebrities/quasi-celebrities.” Mark Jaric even makes an appearance!

Tracy McGrady: This seven-time NBA All-Star has had a long career in the NBA, but at the end of the day we still chalk it up to that rock solid physique.

That must be it.

 

Reports: Pelicans to sign Jameer Nelson with Rondo out

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With Rajon Rondo out 4-6 weeks with a sports hernia, the New Orleans Pelicans were looking for a solid backup point guard.

This week, to make room to sign Richard Jefferson, the Denver Nuggets waived veteran Jameer Nelson.

While other teams such as the Rockets were calling, the Pelicans and Nelson have reached a deal, reports both Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports added this.

Nelson, in his 14th NBA season, became the top free agent on the market and received interest from contenders such as the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder and several other franchises that hoped to add the respected and accomplished veteran. But for Nelson, the Pelicans represent an opportunity to play significant minutes and provide leadership.

The Pelicans had a full roster of 15 players, they could have waited until next Tuesday and gotten a disabled player exception to add a 16th player, but they decided to go with something more permanent.

Jrue Holiday starts at the point for the Pelicans but with Rondo out — he was supposed to start next to Holiday — there is no depth at the position. The Pelicans can have Nelson step in and get minutes from the first time he steps on the court.

Nelson is still a solid pick-and-roll point guard, but what he brings to the table the Pelicans need more is shooting — he shot 38.8 percent from three last season and is a good spot up player. He can penetrate and make plays off handoffs as well, but it’s his shooting on a team that needs it that will be most valued.

The Pelicans have started the season 0-2 with losses to Memphis and Golden State. They take on the Lakers in Los Angeles Sunday night.

DeMarcus Cousins fined $25,000 for cursing at fan

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Near the end of New Orleans’ season-opening loss in Memphis, DeMarcus Cousins started getting into a war of words with a female Grizzlies fan, an exchange where allegedly “F-bombs” were dropped in both directions.

That’s going to cost Cousins.

Saturday the league announced that the Pelicans’ center has been fined $25,000 for “directing inappropriate language towards a fan.”

Cousins got a technical foul during this exchange, and that has been rescinded.

Cousins has averaged 31 points and 10 rebounds a game through two games this season, but it hasn’t been enough as New Orleans has started the season 0-2.

It’s not about the shoes: Kevin Durant loses his, blocks two shots anyway

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Shoes? Kevin Durant don’t need no stinkin’ shoes.

Early in the second quarter of the Warriors win in New Orleans Friday, Durant came out of his shoes on a layup in the lane. He then picked up his shoe, carried it to the other end, flipped it to the bench, and played defense without it, and while he got moved out of the way allowing an offensive rebound for the Pelicans he then proceeded to block Tony Allen twice at the rim.

Durant — after deciding to play the rest of the game in shoes — had seven blocks on the night, to go with 22 points.

Joel Embiid frustrated, wants more post touches, to play back-to-backs

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Joel Embiid remains a frustrated man.

He wants to be unleashed on the NBA, and he feels he’s being held back.

Part of that is not playing in back-to-backs — Embiid started Friday night against Boston but will sit out by plan Saturday night against the Raptors in Toronto. Embiid knows the plan to help protect a body that has played only 31 games in three seasons before this one and was not cleared for most of training camp, but that doesn’t mean he likes it, as he told Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

“I just want to feel like an NBA player,” Embiid said.  “I feel like I’m not an NBA player because I can’t play back-to-back.”

I get his frustration, but can you blame the Sixers for treating the guy like he’s made of glass at this point? Hopefully, later in the season, he can be cleared to play on both ends.

His second frustration came from the loss to the Celtics on Friday — he wants more post touches. In the video above he is clear, “I didn’t get the ball enough in the post.”

He’s right here. Embiid had three post-ups all game, one in each of the game’s first three quarters (stat via Synergy Sports). Embiid is efficient in the post — he has shot 9-of-12 on those plays overall this season and the Sixers score 1.33 points per possession when he does. That will work especially well against teams going small (for example, the Cavaliers with Kevin Love at the five), although Friday night Boston had big man Aron Baynes starting at center (in part because of Embiid, in part because Marcus Smart was out injured). Still, Embiid can score on Baynes.

Take a look at Embiid’s shot chart from Friday night.

Part of this is on him with all the threes, but they have to utilize him better. It’s part of the Sixers growing pains that will come this season.