Friday And-1 links: Report Ricky Rubio signs deal with Adidas

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

• There is a report that Ricky Rubio has signed a shoe deal with adidas, which if true would be a coup for the shoe company. It would give Adidas a real international hoop presence to go with Derrick Rose (and to a lesser degree Dwight Howard). This report is coming out of the site tubasket.com in Spain and with no details as to length or money, so I’m a bit skeptical, but it would not be a shock. (Hat tip to minnesporta.com for the link.)

• The Thunder’s in arena PA announcer has been arrested for lewd acts with children, which if true are just vile. Needless to say he is not working the playoffs anymore.

• Kris Humphries is a Douchebag. (NSFW language but this cracked me up, loved that he did this.)

• How bad does Mike Woodson apparently want the Knicks coaching job? He is switching agents to one owner James Dolan likes.

• John Wall wants to be the guy to change things around in Washington. I’ll paraphrase Gandhi here: John, be the change you want to see in the Wizards.

• Or, John Wall can talk to his twitter buddy Arron Rogers about what it takes to win.

• Deron Williams is hanging out in Istanbul (where he played during the lockout) with Nets brass and owner Mikhail Prokhorov and watching the EuroLeague final four.

• Pacers coach Frank Vogel talking playoffs.

• Along those lines, the Pacers players don’t see themselves as underdogs.

• Photographic proof of the Hawks Ivan Johnson flipping off some Celtics fans. The fine will be coming soon.

• Danilo Gallinari tells an Italian blogger that the Lakers get all the calls? He has to go overseas to say that? He should just go to our comment section on any Lakers story.

• Golden State has settled a couple of sexual harassment lawsuits filed against the franchise.

• Baron Davis had his knee surgery Thursday.

• The Mayor of Columbus, Ohio, is making a pitch to the NBA to bring a team to his city. Must be an election year.

John Wall scores 37 as Wizards down LeBron James, Cavs 127-115

Associated Press
Leave a comment

CLEVELAND (AP) John Wall scored 37 points, Bradley Beal added 27 and the Washington Wizards began a challenging road trip by beating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 127-115 on Saturday night.

Wall scored 18 in the first quarter, when the Wizards shot 82 percent, and Washington held on down the stretch to avenge an overtime loss to the NBA champions last month.

James, who briefly wore goggles to protect an eye injury sustained Friday night, scored 24 and added 11 rebounds and eight assists. Kyrie Irving added 23 points and Kevin Love 17 for Cleveland, playing at home for the only time in a seven-game stretch.

Washington’s victory cut Cleveland’s lead in the Eastern Conference to a half-game over idle Boston.

Rudy Gobert calls out Jazz teammates after loss: “We’ve just got to compete. We’re too nice.”

Associated Press
Leave a comment

Utah and the L.A. Clippers are almost locked into a first round, four vs. five battle in the Western Conference. The only question is which team will have home court, and the Clippers took a big step towards that beating the Jazz at home Saturday. While the Jazz still has a half-game lead, the Clippers have a much softer schedule the rest of the way.

After that loss, Jazz center Rudy Gobert was ticked off and called out his teammates. Via Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

“We’ve got guys that compete, but some of us don’t compete. Some of us just think about scoring. That’s what it is. … Coach keeps repeating it: We’ve just got to compete. We’re too nice. Those guys, we know they’re going to get calls. We’ve just got to come out aggressive and ready to fight.”

Interesting comments for a team that is third in the NBA in defensive rating and 13th in offense.

Gobert is frustrated as Utah has dropped four of its last five, and the slump has been on both ends of the court. The defense has struggled, but if guys are looking to score too much they aren’t doing it efficiently because the offense has been worse.

This slide likely costs Utah home court in the first round, which could matter in what will be a tight matchup with Los Angeles. Utah needs to find its grinding rhythm again heading into the playoffs, at their best they can knock off the Clippers in the first round. Just not like they are playing now.

One thing to watch, Utah’s Gordon Hayward asked out of the game in the fourth quarter due to what is being called a bruised muscle in his leg. If he misses any time or if this lingers, it could be trouble for the Jazz in the postseason.

 

LeBron James starts game with protective goggles. That lasts about a minute.

Leave a comment

LeBron James suffered a scratched cornea Friday night when he went up for a layup late in the third quarter and Jeremy Lamb tried to contest and caught him clean across the face. LeBron got the and-1, but had trouble keeping his eye open in postgame interviews Friday.

Saturday he did play — wearing protective goggles. As you can see above.

That lasted about a minute.

LeBron was likely frustrated as the Cavaliers defensive woes had the Wizards up double digits much of the first half.

Kobe Bryant says he’s “only a phone call away” if organization needs his advice

4 Comments

For the first time since he walked off the court in his final game, Kobe Bryant was back at Staples Center Friday night.

The reason was Shaquille O’Neal was getting a statue out in front of Staples Center (a building that may not have gotten built without the two of them). The two famed feuders sat next to each other and joked around through the ceremony. Time heals all wounds.

With the new management of the Lakers — specifically Kobe’s former agent Rob Pelinka as GM — there has been speculation Kobe could take on a role. He’s not looking for something formal, according to reports, but he didn’t say no, either, when asked.

I picture Kobe as a guy who someday buys a team, not a guy who wants to haggle with agents over the details of a contract. He’s not going to take on a day-to-day role, he likes the retired life and what he is building with the Kobe brand.

That said, the Lakers front office can use all the smart voices it can get as they try speed up a rebuild. They should give him a call every once in a while.