Purdue’s new athletic department intern looks familiar

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Brian Cardinal was a popular guy during the Mavericks’ run to an NBA title. First, he looks like your dad so you had to root for him when he came in the game. His twitter account was smart and funny, two things rarely paired together around the NBA. And he was winning — everyone likes a winner.

What is Cardinal up to during the lockout, you ask?

Interning at the Purdue Athletic Department. It’s where he went to school and he is back, the university announced (via Ball Don’t Lie).

Cardinal’s internship will include roles with the John Purdue Club and Purdue’s John R. Wooden Leadership Institute, as well as mentoring student-athletes and non-coaching day-to-day activities in various areas around the department. He will also have a hand in coordinating championship events at Purdue, such as the 2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball First and Second Rounds and the 2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships.

When the current NBA labor situation is resolved, Cardinal will have the option to pursue a playing opportunity in the league.

Good, his internship comes with an opt-out clause. We were worried.

Cardinal is not coaching, unlike Luke Walton (who did not go back to his alma mater). And he’s not funny like Blake Griffin. So I guess this works.

Jaylen Brown’s #drivebydunkchallenge video is awesome

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I love the drive by dunk challenge (if you prefer, the #drivebydunkchallenge), it would be the best thing on NBA Twitter this summer, if it wasn’t for Kyrie Irving.

But the best one yet comes from Boston’s Jaylen Brown.

He steals the ball, and the best part is the guy who comes over like he’s going to stop Brown from throwing it down.

Nets’ Jeremy Lin: ‘We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says’

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The Nets went 20-62 then traded their best player (Brook Lopez) for a worse player (D'Angelo Russell). Brooklyn’s biggest free-agent signing this summer (Otto Porter) plays for the Wizards. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert are nice developmental pieces but hardly seem on the verge of breakthroughs.

Still, Nets guard Jeremy Lin expects big things next season.

He set expectations in an Instagram Live video (hat tip: AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today):

We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says.

The Nets are on the right track given their asset constraints. Though worse than Lopez now, Russell – eight years younger and on a low-paying rookie-scale deal – is more valuable. Brooklyn made the favorable swap by absorbing Timofey Mozgov‘s awful contract, a wise use of assets considering the difficulty of attracting free agents. An aggressive offer sheet for Porter was a reasonable swing in that situation, as well.

But that’s all helpful in the long run. In the short term, the Nets are almost certainly stuck as lousy. Maybe they can sneak into the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference, but even that is a huge longshot.

Not that Lin cares what I say.

Check out Top 10 blocks from Summer League (VIDEO)

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When you think of Summer League basketball, sharp defensive rotations is not the first thing that comes to mind. Defense, in general, tends to be an after thought.

But there were some great blocks.

Here are the top 10 blocks from the Las Vegas Summer League. Enjoy the flashes of defense from Vegas.

 

Memphis Grizzlies sign former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Memphis Grizzlies have signed former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, a second-round pick in last month’s NBA draft.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Brooks was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 45th overall pick. The Grizzlies acquired him in exchange for a future second-round pick.

Brooks, 21, averaged 16.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a junior at Oregon last season. He was named the Pac-12 player of the year and helped Oregon earn its first Final Four berth since 1939.