Metta World Peace

Friday And-1 links: Video of World Peace taking his talents to bed

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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) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.

• Metta World Peace posted that video on his Web site. I pass it along without snarky comment.

• Knicks center Tyson Chandler did not practice with the team Friday due to flu-like symptoms, and coach Mike Woodson said he didn’t expect Chandler to play in the game one against Miami. You want to bet on that? Still, Chandler not at 100 percent could be a problem for New York.

• Thursday could have been Ben Wallace’s last NBA game. Which would be sad. If it is he went out in a fitting way.

• Carlos Delfino has a “significant tear” to his groin muscle, which will require surgery.

• How LeBron James took his game to the next level.

• Celtics GM Danny Ainge says that Doc Rivers told him privately he thought this team could come together and contend.

• There were times in his youth Kevin Durant almost gave up basketball.

• Tony Allen is going to be key for Memphis against the Los Angeles Clippers, guarding Chris Paul for key stretches. Here is an interesting Q&A with Allen.

• Nets fans are looking for any reason to believe that Deron Williams will stay with the team. I’d be more optimistic if I were a Mavs fan.

• Shannon Brown wants a multi-year deal to stay in Phoenix.

• The Pistons new owner says his team is making the playoffs next year. The Pistons were the best of the NBA’s bad teams this year, but that is still quite a leap to the playoffs.

• Toronto picked up the option on the third year of coach Dwane Casey. Good move. He really got as much out of that Toronto roster as could be expected. I’ll say now the Raptors are a team I think takes a big step forward next season.

• Robin Lopez is looking at his options, he likes it in Phoenix but wants a bigger role (and the center role there belongs to Marcin Gortat).

• Don’t be surprised if the Cavaliers make a run this summer at Omer Asik, the Bulls backup center who is a restricted free agent.

• A 104-year-old Spurs fan sees her first game in person.

• Timberwolves GM David Kahn assumes he will make a trade or two this summer. You can write your own joke for that one.

• One of those Timberwolves trades could be for Kevin Martin.

• A Q&A with Golden State’s just demoted GM Larry Riley.

• Quietly, teams are already starting to line up players for their Summer League teams. Here are some from Orlando.

Russell Westbrook laughs off question about Kevin Durant

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 21:  Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant #35 discuss play during the first half against the Los Angeles ClipperLos Angeles Kingsat Staples Center on December 21, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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At some point, Russell Westbrook will sit down with members of the media and discuss Kevin Durant leaving the Thunder, how he felt about the move, and how it impacted him both personally and professionally.

But not right now. He remains silent.

This Vine making its way around, where Westbrook laughs — probably at the question, although read into that whatever you want — when asked about Durant sums up where we are.

https://platform.vine.co/static/scripts/embed.js

In the full Facebook clip, Westbrook walks away, too. It’s his right. He can talk about it on his schedule.

Rudy Gay, Vlade Divac clear the air

Rudy Gay
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Rudy Gay expressed displeasure with how the Kings were handling trade rumors. Sacramento general manager Vlade Divac retorted that Gay had his phone number.

Apparently, Gay found it.

Sean Cunningham of ABC 10:

Following those comments, Gay told ABC10 on Thursday afternoon that he had since spoken with Divac.

“I have talked to Vlade,” Gay said from his Nike Skills Academy at Hardwood Palace in Rocklin. “I can’t say since Monday stuff has changed, but I just feel like we have a little bit of time to start changing things.”

Gay, who will be entering his 11th NBA season, has insisted he hasn’t demanded a trade and should he remain a member of the Kings by the time training camp opens in October, he says he’ll report and be ready to go.

“At this point in my career I just want to be happy,” said Gay. “I talked to Vlade and we’re trying to make that happen.”

Even if he hasn’t demanded a trade, it sure sounds like Gay would welcome one. I doubt the Kings would mind moving on, either.

But it takes another team to trade for Gay, and so far, one hasn’t emerged.

In the meantime, tensions appear to be eased. Open communication usually helps.

 

Jimmy Butler: I didn’t move Derrick Rose or Joakim Noah from Bulls

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 30:  Joakim Noah #13, Derrick Rose #1 and Jimmy Butler #21 of the Chicago Bulls react during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on January 30, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Bulls 99-93. 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 Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Jimmy Butler said of the Derrick Rose trade, “It had to be one of us.”

Butler also says not blame him for the Bulls losing Rose — or Joakim Noah, who’s also headed to the Knicks.

Jimmy Butler, via Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago:

“That has nothing to do with me, I don’t move guys,” Butler said. “People are gonna think what they’re gonna think. I don’t let it bother me. I know where I stand, I know who I am. It’s one more thing for people to talk about. I don’t pay too much attention to it.”

I can believe Butler didn’t directly urge Chicago to trade Rose, but Butler’s presence matters.

Rose and Butler clearly didn’t ideally mesh on the court, and there might have been off-court issues, too. If it weren’t for Butler, the Bulls might have kept Rose.

Noah is a little different, because it seems he, more than the team, was ready for a breakup. Still, that might have also had to do with Butler.

Butler is trying to grow into a leader, a natural progression for someone who became his team’s best player. But that was awkward with the Bulls’ previous leaders — Rose and Noah — still in the locker room. There’s no simple solution, though moving on without Rose and Noah will clear that cloud.

So — without other information — it’s too much to “blame” Butler for Rose’s and Noah’s departures. But Rose and Noah moving from Chicago to New York can still be ascribed to Butler.

It might not have been something asked for directly. It’s just the reality of the situation.

Dwyane Wade: “It’s Jimmy Butler’s team”

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Dwyane Wade is back in sweet home, Chicago.

Wade met with the media for the first time and talked about the pairing of himself and Rajon Rondo with the Bulls’ existing star in Jimmy Butler — Wade used the term “three alphas” more than once. But he also was clear about whose team this was going to be on the court.

“We’re not going to go through this all year. It’s Jimmy Butler’s team. Myself and Rondo are here to bring what we bring as athletes.”

Wade added that he would not be a Bull if Jimmy Butler had not personally called him and asked him to come.

Wade took that cue from Shaquille O’Neal when he joined Wade’s Heat team — which eventually led to the Heat’s first title in 2006. The Bulls would love for that kind of result here, although it’s much tougher to see this Chicago roster having anywhere near that kind of impact.