Arron Afflalo

Friday morning one liners: Where Afflalo gets some love

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Our daily list of things you should know about that didn’t fit in our other posts.

Who is the most coveted free agent not over 6’11? Arron Afflalo of the Nuggets, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. He is restricted and Denver will match any reasonable offer.

Brandon Rush made some tweets that would have gotten him heavily fined if there was a CBA in place, but it doesn’t mean the Pacers are happy.

We’re still waiting on the details of the owners revenue sharing plan.

The Bulls need a two guard and are apparently interested in restricted free agent Marco Belinelli. Caron Butler would be a much better fit.

David Stern is not popular on twitter.

Derrick Rose says he is to blame for the Bulls loss to the Heat. That’s not true, we all know Benny the Bull is to blame.

The Jazz are apparently not showing a lot of interest in bringing back Andrei Kirilenko, but they are interested in Sebastian Telfair, Rasual Butler, and Roger Mason.

The Grizzlies owner reiterates that they will match any offer for Marc Gasol. As they should.

The Toronto Raptors are going hard after all the key bigs on the free agent market (Nene, Tyson Chandler, Marc Gasol).

Corey Maggette is going to have to carry the offensive load in Charlotte.

Nicolas Batum is open to talking contract extension with the Blazers.

The Portland Trail Blazers have reached out to the agents of Carl Landry and Chuck Hayes.

What the Nets need to do to make Brooklyn hipsters feel at home next year.

Josh McRoberts not feeling the love from the Pacers.

Don’t be shocked if Samuel Dalembert stays with Sacramento… although he will have plenty of suitors.

The Hawks Josh Smith has reportedly dropped 30 pounds.

Martell Webster does not like the idea of the Blazers using amnesty on Brandon Roy.

Toney Douglas showed up at the Knicks facilities looking stronger and saying his shoulder was healed.

Josh Howard’s agent has had conversations with Chicago, Washington, Boston, New Jersey, Denver, New Orleans, Atlanta and San Antonio, reports ESPN.

The Bucks would like to re-sign Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.

Bostjan Nachbar is coming back to the NBA after a couple of years in Turkey and the Celtics, Knicks and Nets have spoken to the forward.

There’s a report that if the Trail Blazers use their amnesty on Brandon Roy he might just retire. I don’t buy this one in the least but passing it along.

Chris “Birdman” Anderson is showing his ink off to help PETA.

Sonny Weems shows the right way to end a game with the and-1 dunk in EuroLeague.

Check out Shaquille O’Neal on Jimmy Kimmel. Complete with an impressive feat of strength by his Shaq’s girlfriend.

League executives, players wince watching this Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant
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Over the last few days, we’ve written in more detail about Kobe Bryant‘s shooting troubles. He’s jacking up threes his fastest pace ever, he can’t create space to get off clean shots, he’s hitting 31.1 percent overall and 19.5 percent from three. There are flashes of vintage Kobe, but they are fleeting (and mostly because poor shot choices are falling). Byron Scott is still in Kobe’s corner, saying they just need to get the veteran better looks.

However, talk to people around the league about Kobe and you hear some variation of the phrase “hard to watch.” After 20 seasons, more than 55,000 minutes on the court, and coming off two major injuries, Kobe clearly is not the same player everyone admired for so long.

Over at the Los Angeles Times Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner got a number of sources to wince about Kobe for a story — except nobody wanted their name attached to attacking a legend of the game.

“Man, I don’t want to see Kobe go out like this, looking this bad and not able to do what he once could do,” said a retired guard who faced Bryant. “He doesn’t have anything else to prove to anybody. He was one of the greatest. I know he’s owed that $25 million, but he should just walk away now. He ain’t got it anymore.”

“He’s one of the few players in NBA history to have gotten everything possible out of his body. Now his body has nothing left to give,” (an Eastern Conference executive) said. “But that’s life in the NBA, in professional sports. At some point, the body just can’t do it anymore and Kobe’s body can’t do it anymore.”

One West scout said Bryant looked “disinterested” at times. A current player in the West went a step further.

“Yeah, I’ve seen him play and it’s disgusting,” he said. “He’s one of the best of all time. But he really hasn’t played that much in the last two or three years. He’s got nothing left. It’s sad to watch because he used to be so great, and I mean great.”

Kobe is not going to walk away mid-season, and nobody wants an injury to force him out of the game.

But it’s hard to see how anything is going to dramatically change. Kobe may shoot a little better than his current but it’s not likely going to change in a meaningful way. Which will just make things hard to watch for a full season.

Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver

Manu Ginobili, Harrison Barnes, Tim Duncan
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The Spurs are 12-3 and comfortably in second place in the West, they have the best defense in the NBA allowing just 93.8 points per 100 possessions, and they have a top-10 offense to go with it.

So, time to start making sure guys are rested.

That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.

Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.

What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.

Brandon Armstrong impersonates Ray Allen (video)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Ray Allen is retired-ish, but he’ll always be running through screens – in our mind and in this video.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry

The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.