Arenas, who was in Memphis the past two days, passed a physical and signed a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum. Memphis will pay him a prorated salary worth about $300,000. The 10-year veteran is expected to join the Griz Wednesday in Portland. Memphis begins a four-game West Coast road trip tonight at Sacramento.
Mike Conley will still be the starter and see the bulk of the minutes at the point for Memphis. But behind him has been Josh Selby and Jeremy Pargo, and coach Lionel Hollins clearly does not have a lot of faith in them. They needed to take a shot and Arenas was out there.
The problem is Arenas was not good at all playing for the Magic last season — he shot just 34.4 percent on the year, compiling a sad PER of 8.6. And is defense was actually worse than his offense. He was better the first part of the season in Washington, but not much. He blamed all that on health issues.
Arenas has worked out for a few teams and reports have been consistent that he has lost weight and is moving pretty well. He said he had the Kobe Bryant procedure on his knees and he did pass the Grizzlies’ team physical.
What’s the risk? Well, this is Gilbert Arenas, a guy not exactly known for taking this seriously in the locker room. And bringing in guns. So Memphis is banking on him having grown up and will not screw up the chemistry of everyone’s favorite Western Conference dark horse. The easy part is if he doesn’t work out on the court, you just bury him on the bench with the other PGs. And run Conley into the ground.
Memphis feels they have nothing to lose on this, so they are taking their shot and giving Arenas one.
Dwyane Wade ‘honored’ to be Prince’s favorite player
The officiating crew missed a host of calls during those final 13 seconds, but they have at least owned up to the most egregious one — missing Dion Waiters pushing off Manu Ginobili while the Thunder guard tried to inbound the ball. (Yes, Ginobili’s foot was on the line, but sorry Thunder homers that was not close to the most egregious miss at the end.)
After the game, the lead official Kenny Mauer admitted that error.
Did that decide the game? No. We like to focus on things we can blame as going wrong, but the Spurs offense started 2-of-15 shooting on the night, was inconsistent, and they still had a chance at the end. This one play is not why the Spurs lost. Manu Ginobili said it well postgame.
Raptors’ Bismack Biyombo given after-the-fact Flagrant 2 for elbow to Pacers’ Turner, no suspension
However, no mention of a suspension for this incident alone. The Raptors catch a break there, as Biyombo should have been tossed from the game and/or given a suspension for that elbow. That said, one more flagrant and he does get a suspension.
NBA’s Basketball Without Borders to host first event in Australia
Australia has brought a fair amount of talent — and scrappy players — to the NBA, and now the NBA is taking one of its outreach programs there.
Yesterday the NBA, FIBA, and Australia’s National Basketball League announced a Basketball without Borders event June 23-26 at Dandenong Basketball Stadium in Melbourne. It’s the first time the community outreach program will come to the island nation of Australia.
“We are pleased to partner with FIBA and the NBL to bring the first Basketball without Borders camp to Australia,” NBA Asia Managing Director Scott Levy said in a statement. “The league has seen a surge of Australian talent in recent years, and we look forward to supporting the next generation by giving them a platform to showcase their skills alongside their peers from throughout the region.”
These events bring in youth basketball players and work with them, both giving young players highest quality instruction and raising the profile of the sport in the nation with a little star power. Basketball Without Borders will celebrate 15 years this summer and has been all over the globe with similar events.