File this under the “any time I think the players can wait out the owners slap me”…
Lockout hardliner and Trail Blazers owner — not to mention Microsoft co-founder — Paul Allen is going to enjoy the Olympics in London next summer like the rest of us. Heck, it might well be the next time we get to see NBA stars like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and others play with anything meaningful on the line.
But Paul Allen is going to have better accommodations than you. From the blog Haute Living (via Ben Golliver of Blazers Edge):
With the 2012 Olympics in London just around the corner, the race for position among megayacht owners is well underway. Berths for about 30 yachts are being prepared around London’s waterways for the big event, but most of them will only accommodate smaller vessels…. Only one of moorings will be able to accommodate a truly enormous yacht – and word is Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen has already snagged it for his 414 ft. Octopus, the world’s 12th largest, the Australian reports.
I don’t want to make this into a “why is he a hardliner he could afford to give back to the players and end this lockout” thing (even though he could). Paul Allen made his money in the tech industry and one would think has made money on the Blazers during his ownership (remember he bought the franchise for just $70 million it’s now worth more than $350 million, but his accountants claim he’s lot money). If he chooses to ruin a league for the sake of being frugal, that’s up to him.
But if you own a megayacht that has it’s own pool, a 63-foot “service ship” to go with it, two helicopters, two submarines, and (as Eric Freeman points out) its own Wikipedia page, why do you name it “Octopus?” Is that really the best, most creative name you could come up with? Really?
You can do better Paul Allen. On all fronts. Well, except yacht parking spots.
The Detroit Pistons’ playoff dreams hinged on them being able to hang around until point guard Reggie Jackson got back from this thumb and knee injuries. They have done just that — the Pistons are 11-10 and would be the eighth seed if the playoffs started today.
And now they get Jackson back. Stan Van Gundy made the announcement Sunday at shootaround, before the team takes on the Orlando Magic.
It will take a few games to get his conditioning back, but this is huge for Detroit. Jackson running the pick-and-roll with Andre Drummond is at the heart of Detroit’s offense – the Pistons were 2.3 points per 100 possessions better with the ball in his hands. Ish Smith played well for the Pistons in his absence — 10.8 points per game, 6.4 assists, and he’s been solid. Move his playmaking to the second unit and suddenly the Pistons become a lot more dangerous.
The scouting report on Jakob Poeltl coming out of Utah said he could run the floor well and he was a good finisher around the rim.
But we didn’t expect this.
During the Raptors win Sunday against the stumbling Hawks, Poeltl filled the lane on the break, got the rock, and nobody was going to stop that finish. Least of all Tim Hardaway Jr., he just ends up in the poster.
Entering free agency last July, Hassan Whiteside said his first choice was to stay in Miami — then Pat Riley gave him 98 million reasons to stick around. While the Heat have been up and down this season, Whiteside has thrived as the franchise player in Miami.
Last July he also met with Dallas, but it turns out that was not his second choice. Here is what Whiteside told Erik Gunderson of the Miami Herald before his team fell to the Blazers on Saturday.
“Portland was my second option,” Whiteside said at the team’s Saturday shootaround in Portland. “I would have came here.”
Interesting. There were reports the Blazers chased Whiteside, but it didn’t seem that serious. Apparently, it was. If The Blazers got Whiteside, would they still have spent $70 million on Evan Turner? Probably not. And suddenly a lot of things look better in Portland.
For Blazers fans, watching their team try to outscore opponents while playing terrible defense this season — in part because of a lack of rim protection behind their undersized guards — it’s easy to imagine how much Whiteside would have changed the picture in the Northwest. But at this point, that’s just fan fiction.
JaVale McGree has become a solid contributor for the Warriors off the bench, giving them a needed shot blocking presence. He’s not getting a ton of run (seven minutes a night), but he’s efficient when he’s out there.
Still, there is his reputation as the guy most likely to end up on Shaqtin’ a Fool. He hasn’t done anything like that for a while… until Saturday night, when after a made free throw he tried to inbound the ball for the Suns for a second.
The Warriors bench was laughing under their shirts and towels.