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). We’re trying out a bullet-point format to help the look and feel, tell us what you think of it.
• Conan O’Brien got a pair of Guinness colored Nikes. I’m not a sneakerhead, but I might buy a pair of those.
• Kevin Love leads the NBA in scoring in March, averaging 30.3 points per game.
• Brian Grant talks openly, honestly about his fight with Parkinson’s disease.
• Sports Illustrated follows the Dallas Mavericks around on a back-to-back to show the wear and tear of this season.
• Kevin Durant is about to sign with agent Rob Pelinka, reports Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal. Pelinka is the agent for Kobe Bryant and James Harden, among others. (Durant left Aaron Goodwin a while back.)
• There is no timetable on Richard Hamilton’s return to the Bulls. He can’t even lift his arm over his head yet.
• Watch Gerald Green almost hit his head on the backboard while making a block.
• On the other end of the spectrum, watch Markieff Morris make two of the worst passes you are going to see. Back-to-back.
• Nene says the future is bright with him in Washington.
• Nick Young talks about the Wizards and his transition to the Clippers.
• The Heat beat the Magic the other day in part by using Orlando’s own favorite play against them.
• Some good thoughts on the gray area of “clutch performance” and why that is so hard to define.
• Check out this Pau Gasol portrait. Interesting.
• Xavier Henry has been sent by the Hornets to the Iowa Energy of the D-League.
LeBron James will reportedly star in Space Jam 2.
Space Jam 3? Jeremy Lin already claimed the top role in a very, um, strange video.
Did LeBron James lead the Lakers to NBA titles in 2012 and 2013?
If you haven’t already gotten your fix of laughing at children, here’s a kid who guessed that happened:
The question, as you surely know, is who are the Miami Heat?
The Warriors signed Kevin Durant.
The Celtics claimed they finished second for the superstar free agent.
And the bronze medal goes to…
Doc Rivers on The Vertical Podcast with Woj, as transcribed by CSN Bay Area:
And we were in it. We were in the Top 3 at the very end
We asked a simple question, and the first question I asked was, ‘Are we in the Top 3?’ And they said ‘Yes.’ So that made us feel good. My next question was, ‘Are we in the Top 2?’ And we had made the decision if they say ‘No’ then we go, if they say ‘Yes’ we stay. And they said ‘No.’
This is all obviously quite silly. It mostly matters only where Durant plays, not where he came closer to playing. Golden State won. Everyone else lost.
But teams are fighting for perception, trying to send a message to the next superstar free that they’re a legitimate destination.
I just have a hard time believing the Clippers were actually third and ahead of re-signing with the Thunder. The Clippers didn’t have enough cap space to keep Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan and give Durant a max contract.
I believe Durant could’ve told the Clippers they ranked third because he liked their pitch and the statement was largely superficial. But if it actually came down to it, would Durant have taken a reduced salary or joined a team depleted by losing one of its stars? Those were the only two options for picking the Clippers.
I have my doubts, but at least Rivers has a narrative he can sell. And sell it he will.
A Malawian newspaper, writing about Michael Jordan’s statement on race, used the Crying Jordan photo accompany the article.
How did that happen?
A page designer who didn’t understand the meme? A joke never fixed before printing? A staff-wide ignorance of the photo’s cultural relevance?
Justin Block of The Huffington Post:
As it turns out, the newspaper is called The Nation, or The Malawi Nation. When reached for comment on Thursday afternoon, The Nation Senior News Analyst Joy Ndovi stated that using the Michael Jordan Crying meme was intentional, and said Sports Editor Garry Chirwa picked the photo.
Chirwa told us that when he read the story, he felt that the emotions packed within Jordan’s quote, “I could no longer keep silent,” were represented in the Michael Jordan Crying meme.
“I just imagined him crying,” Chirwa wrote via WhatsApp.
Ndovi echoed Chirwa’s sentiments:
The article on Jordan reacting to the violence in U.S. was just the perfect one for the meme to be used. It depicts the emotional state of the former NBA star. Though it might seem unconventional, what other photo could be more suitable than the infamous Crying Jordan meme?
I can think of a few.