Atlanta Hawks v New York Knicks

Thursday And-1 links: Shumpert almost dunked over a couch for Lin

1 Comment

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).

Iman Shumpert is out of the dunk contest, but he was going to jump over a couch in honor of Jeremy Lin. That would have been classic.

From the twitter of Brian Windhorst of ESPN: There were rumors that Obama might attend Heat-Knicks Thurs. But he’s scheduled to have 30K a plate dinner at Vince Carter’s house in Orlando

There’s a Jeremy Lin book. Of course there is a Jeremy Lin book.

Two straight Sports Illustrated covers for Jeremy Lin, which puts him in some pretty elite company.

By the way, Lin is not living out in White Plains (where he has a place at the Trump Tower), he is staying in a swanky place in the city.

Kobe Bryant says that his flirtations with an Italian club this summer were serious and he still would consider playing there at the end of his NBA career. File this in the “what else did you expect him to say” file.

Keith Closs tells some powerful stories about his alcoholism while playing in the NBA. There was not Gatorade in his Gatorade bottles.

Joe Johnson phrased it differently (“too self conscious”) but he basically called the Hawks selfish — more concerned with their own stats than the team.

Wilson Chandler is talking to Toronto about a contract, according to Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated. Denver has the right to match any offer.

Kevin Martin went out of his way to strongly deny a report that he is unhappy in Houston and demanded a trade.

JaVale McGee, still a knucklehead.

The Bulls still need some depth along the front line. How about Leon Powe?

The Sacramento City Council vote that clears the way for a new arena has been pushed back to March 6. While that is technically after the March 1 deadline the league gave the city, they will get an extension.

Nike has adapted it’s popular running technology and put together some cool features for basketball players (Basketball +). Want to know what your vertical leap is?

Mike Budenholzer smirks at lawyer calling Thabo Sefolosha ‘NBA superstar’

Mike Budenholzer, Thabo Sefolosha
Leave a comment

The funny part, via Robert Silverman:

The substantive part:

NEW YORK (AP) — NBA player Thabo Sefolosha, who was arrested outside a New York City nightclub in April following a confrontation with police officer, has a character “of the highest order,” his head coach, Mike Budenholzer, testified Thursday.

Taking the stand as the final defense witness in Sefolosha’s trial, Budenholzer described the Atlanta Hawks guard-forward as “highly intelligent” and a “hard worker.”

When asked by defense attorney Alex Spiro to describe his character, he said it was, “of the highest order.”

“Thabo is of the highest character,” he said during brief testimony in Manhattan Criminal Court.

The Swiss national is charged with misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges stemming from a confrontation with officers outside a trendy Manhattan nightclub early in the morning on April 8. He has pleaded not guilty.

Officers testified this week that Sefolosha and former teammate Pero Antic repeatedly disobeyed their orders to move off the block and away from a crime scene that had been established following the earlier stabbing of another NBA player, Chris Copeland, and two women.

One of the officers also said Sefolosha lunged at an officer with his arm extended but was intercepted before making contact, eventually taken to the ground and arrested.

Sefolosha has testified that he was complying with orders and moving up the block as a particularly aggressive officer screamed profanities at him.

His attorney has argued that his client was singled out by the officer, who is white, because Sefolosha is black.

Sefolosha testified Thursday that he was trying to give money to a panhandler before entering an awaiting car when he was grabbed by police. He said his leg was kicked in the scuffle and he was taken to the ground, handcuffed and hauled to a police precinct. He suffered a fractured right leg, which forced him to miss the playoffs.

The case is the second one involving high-profile athletes accusing New York Police Department officers of wrongdoing this year. On Wednesday, the city agency charged with investigating police misconduct substantiated claims by former tennis star James Blake that an officer used excessive force when he took him to the ground last month after mistkaing Blake for a fraud suspect.

As expected, Jimmy Butler says no issue between him, Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler
1 Comment

Is the Derrick Rose/Jimmy Butler relationship nothing but puppy dogs and rainbows? No. There will be sparks between two intense competitors.

Have those sparks started a fire Bulls fans should be concerned about? A report on Wednesday said the core problem was Butler doesn’t respect Rose’s work ethic, which provided some kindling for that spark to catch.

However, as you would expect, Butler said this was all much ado about nothing, that he and Rose are all good. Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

Spin this however you wish: Their relationship is fine and someone in the media is making this up; or their relationship has been rough, and this is all just leaking out now.

This is a Bulls team in a bit of a transition as Rose declines some and Butler has grown into a top-flight player. Clearly that dynamic has some people around the team — likely the people in one of one of the players’ camps doesn’t like the power struggle or where it leaves his buddy — talking out of school to the press.

But as Butler noted, winning cures all ills. If Chicago can get off to a fast start, nobody will be asking chemistry questions.

For now, however, tounges are wagging.