Kenyon Martin

Report: FIBA clears Kenyon Martin to play in NBA now

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Kenyon Martin has making the rounds talking to teams — the Clippers, the Heat and more teams than we realized (more on that below) — but we thought he couldn’t play until Feb. 15 at the earliest. That’s because when he left the Chinese Basketball Association after signing there during the lockout the contract said he could not leave mid-season. When he left mid-season anyway the deal was he couldn’t sign with another team until the Chinese season ended (two weeks, but if his team made the playoffs it could go another month).

China was not going to grant him a letter of clearance. But FIBA did.

That’s what Adrian Wojnarowski is of Yahoo Sports is reporting on twitter.

After China failed to respond to request for Letter of Clearance for Kenyon Martin, FIBA made surprising decision to grant it, sources say…. Belief was China wouldn’t issue OK to let KMart play in NBA until Chinese season was done; FIBA ruled it OK in last 24 hours, sources say….

Because of FIBA clearance, KMart selection process will move faster, sources say. Scenario: Weekend decision, physical w/ team on Monday.

Martin is a quality big man who can change the title hopes for teams. Where is he going to land? More from Wojnarowski.

Kenyon Martin is on visit to Atlanta today, intrigued w/ significant role he could play w/ Hawks, sources say. Clips, Heat high on list too… Martin’s list of suitors also includes Knicks, Lakers, Spurs. NBA may make a Denver sign-and-trade an unlikely scenario, sources say.


Howard Beck of the New York Time
s says the Knicks interest is modest, which makes sense since they need guards not front court help.

If it is minutes he wants, he might get the most with Atlanta. But if it is a ring, hanging with the Clippers or Heat for a few years seems like it would give him a legitimate chance.

Of course, the big issue is always money and years.

We’ll see what is important to Martin, probably by this weekend.

Enjoy 50-best circus shots of last NBA season

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As of tomorrow, training camps around the league open, and all the focus goes to the 2016-17 season.

For fun, let’s look back one more time at last season — the 50 top circus shots of last season.

Stephen Curry driving the lane and throwing up prayers once he draws contact (and hitting them), there is Russell Westbrook throwing the inbounds pass off an opponent’s back, and so much more. Enjoy. Then let’s get on with next season.

To avoid trash talk, Steven Adams told Kevin Garnett he didn’t speak English

Kevin Garnett
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Kevin Garnett intimidates people. In the machismo-fueled world of professional sports nobody comfortably admits they were intimidated, but in the wake of Garnett announcing his retirement, a number of players stepped forward to say exactly that. And that KG trashed talked them fearlessly.

Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams found a way to avoid that — tell KG he didn’t speak English.

Brilliant.

Adams was lucky, KG had a reputation for going harder at foreign-born players with his trash talk and intimidation. Then again Adams is not the kind of guy prone to be intimidated.

Pistons’ Stan Van Gundy “encouraged” by players speaking out, protesting social issues

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 17: Head coach Stan Van Gundy of the Detroit Pistons yells to his players during the first half of the NBA Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on April 17, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)  *** Local Caption ***Stan Van Gundy
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Athletes are injecting themselves into the needed national conversation about race, violence, and policing in this nation. That has taken some very public forms, including LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony speaking at the ESPYs, and Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem and leading others to do so. Some NBA players likely will follow Kaepernick’s lead.

Pistons coach/GM Stan Van Gundy likes seeing players speak out.

A couple of his Detroit players — Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris — said they backed the 49ers quarterback. Here is what the never shy Van Gundy said about all of it, via Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.

“I’m encouraged by the fact of what some of those guys stood up and did at the ESPYs and had a conversation,” Van Gundy said. “I’m really proud of the fact that we have guys that not only see the problem, but want to try to do something about it…

“To me, in some ways, (police brutality is) just the most visible to focus on and it goes to deeper inequities in our criminal justice system, our education system so there’s so much to focus on,” Van Gundy said. “I think it’s great that we have players that want to be part of that conversation, and a lot of players that want to go beyond the conversation and be part of the solution.”

Van Gundy has been telling his players part of that solution is to vote.

The players union and NBA sent out a release saying they wanted to work together to create positive change, but details are still vague on what that might be. The only thing we know for sure as we head into the NBA season — with as divided a nation and election as anyone can remember as a backdrop — is that some NBA players are going to try and keep the conversation going.

Sunday is 16th anniversary of greatest dunk ever: Vince Carter over Frederic Weis

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It was the last game of the group stage of the 2000 Olympic basketball tournament at the Sydney Olympics, the USA was taking on France, another USA win on its way to another gold medal.

But what we all remember is this one play — Vince Carter dunking over the 7’2″ French center Frederic Weis.

Best. Dunk. Ever.

By anyone.

Weis was never the same.

In an impressive career — two-time All-NBA, eight-time All-Star, hours and hours of crazy highlights — this is always going to be the highlight at the top of the list. So we will use the anniversary of this dunk to look at it one more time.

Hat tip to nitramy at NBA Reddit.