Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Five

Jeff Green thinks he was overshadowed by Durant, Westbrook


Jeff Green has never lacked for confidence.

He has lacked for defense. He has lacked consistency. He has been a guy who shows flashes of brilliance but now both in Boston and Oklahoma City the team outscores opponents faster when he is siting on the bench. They were better when he was benched.

But Green’s confidence remains unshaken. He tells the Boston Herald that he was overshadowed by some guys named Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in OKC but if he comes back to the Celtics next year — he’s a restricted free agent — he’s going to show you what you’ve been missing.

“Yeah, man, you know a lot of people don’t know what I can really do,” he said. “In Oklahoma, I was kind of overshadowed by Kevin (Durant) and the way Russell (Westbrook) picked up, but, excuse my language, I can really (expletive) play. I can really play this game, man.”

That belief was supported by discussions he had following the season.

“I had some good meetings with (coach) Doc (Rivers) before the lockout, and I’ve been talking to P (Paul Pierce) and Ray (Allen),” Green said. “Next year they’re really going to allow me to play, and I think that’s what I need. I need to go out there and just play. Sometimes I think too much, but I just need to go out there and play the game. I’ve got great confidence in myself, but things were a little difficult last year.”

No doubt the pressure that came with being part of the Kendrick Perkins trade made it tough on the court and in the locker room in Boston. Thing is, if you want to get mentioned with Durant and Westbrook and Pierce then you have to thrive in pressure situations. It’s not a matter of Green just playing his game, it’s him being consistent on both ends and not making mental mistakes.

Boston wants Green back at the qualifying offer ($5.9 million) and it’s hard to imagine, after this lockout where owners complained about bad contracts, anyone is going to offer him more. (And while Boston fans can get frustrated with Green, there are not better replacements in this free agent market.) He’s going to get a shot to live up to the hype. If he does he’ll get paid, if not he fades like last season.

Either way, he’ll be confident.

Sixers to retire Moses Malone’s number next season

Darryl Dawkins, Moses Malone

Kobe Bryant‘s pregame tribute video stole the show in Philadelphia, but Tuesday night was Moses Malone tribute night. The former league MVP and Hall of Famer passed away in September, and his legacy was honored by the Sixers during a halftime ceremony. During the festivities, Malone’s son announced that his No. 2 will be retired by the organization next season.

There’s no question that Malone, one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, deserves to have his number retired. The only relevant question is: why didn’t this happen years ago? The ceremony next season should be good, but it would have been better if they had done it when Malone was alive to participate in it. No Sixers player has worn No. 2 since Malone anyway, but it’s been over 20 years since he last wore a Sixers jersey. Why couldn’t they have found some time in those two decades to have a ceremony and hang a banner?

LeBron James with two-handed halfcourt bounce pass for assist (VIDEO)

LeBron James
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Perhaps LeBron James‘ most underappreciated skill has been his passing. He is rightly hailed as the most unselfish superstar of his generation, but being a willing passer is only part of it: he’s also as good at it as any point guard in the league. Case in point: this two-handed halfcourt bounce pass on Tuesday night, finding Richard Jefferson for an easy dunk:

Kobe gets great introduction, loud ovation in Philadelphia

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Kobe Bryant‘s relationship with his hometown of Philadelphia had its rocky sections — the Kobe’s Lakers beat the Sixers in the 2001 Finals, and then Kobe was booed during the 2002 All-Star Game —  but all was forgiven on Tuesday night.

In his final trip to Philly, he was given a framed Lower Merion High School jersey — that’s Kobe’s school, in case you forgot — and it was presented by Dr. J.

Then the fans welcomed him like you see above.

That pumped up Kobe, who scored 13 first quarter points on 5-of-10 shooting, his best quarter of the season.

Rumor: Nets testing trade waters for Bojan Bogdanovic

Bojan Bogdanovic, Otto Porter Jr.
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If you play for the Brooklyn Nets, and your name is not Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, expect you will come up in trade rumors this season.

First up on the block, Bojan Bogdanovic. The report comes from Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.

Bogdanovic is in the first year of a three-year, $11 million deal, which isn’t bad for a guy playing nearly 25 minutes a night and scoring 8.4 points per game. There is a lot of potential in his game, if developed in the right setting — he’s a good shooter out on the wing who works well off the ball. He seems to have regressed this season, but how much of that is due to the Nets and their guard play (and just generally struggling) is up for debate.

Is there going to be interest in him? Probably. As always, it is about the price, what the Nets will demand. Whether the Nets can get anything back they want is up for debate.

Right now a lot of GMs are testing the waters for players, judging the market. That is a long way from a trade happening. But don’t be shocked if the Nets make a deal or two before the February deadline.