Here is our daily look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT).
Patriot tight end Rob Gronkowski and a number of his teammates were at the Lakers/Celtics game Thursday. Kobe Bryant told Gronkowski to go play for the Eagles.
Did you see that guy sitting courtside in Philly yelling at Kobe Bryant? CSNPhilly.com caught up with and talked to him.
Barack Obama did an interview with the Italian publication La Stampa before meeting with that country’s prime minister, and in it Obama talks about liking what Danilo Gallinari and Marco Belinelli bring to the NBA.
Doc Rivers had a lot of fun watching his son bury North Carolina.
The Phoenix Suns have partnered with Verizon to incorporate tablet computers throughout their organization, from the coaches through the business side.
Michael Heisley, owner of the Memphis Grizzlies, has emerged as one of the remaining candidates to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers. Let me just say on behalf of Dodger fans everywhere, “NOOOOOOOOO.”
Kareem Rush is trying to make an NBA comeback through the D-League.
Kemba Walker talks about his trip from UConn to the NBA.
ESPN Films will air a documentary about the Magic Johnson HIV announcement on March 11. That could be powerful.
The DeMarcus Cousins body language flow-chart. (Seriously, click that link.)
Timofey Mozgov’s foot injury likely will keep him out until Tuesday.
Three lessons young players can take away from from the Celtics/Lakers game.
Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.
But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.
He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.
LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.
Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?
In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.
But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.
Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.
“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”
It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)
With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.
President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.
“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”
There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.
It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.
The NBA now has a third female assistant coach.
The first was Becky Hammon, who has been part of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff for several years (and has coached their Summer League team). The second was Nancy Leiberman, who has been on the staff in Sacramento for a couple of seasons now.
Now the Kings have hired former Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek as an assistant coach on Dave Joerger’s staff. She will work as an assistant player development coach.
A former WNBA player in the league’s inaugural season, the past three years she has coached the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (she was fired midway through the last season), and prior to that had been the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09.