What follows will be the strangest sentence I will type this week, no doubt:
There is a bill working its way through the legislature in the Philippines to make JaVale McGee a naturalized citizen so he can play for their national basketball team in time for the 2013 Asia Championships (which feed into the World Championships in 2014).
It’s still as strange as the day we first wrote about it, but the legislation is new, something we learned about from SB Nation. For clarification, we need to add this — the Philippines did not qualify for the Olympics or the pre-Olympic last-chance qualifying tournament this summer. They will not be playing in London this summer.
But that doesn’t make the fans in the Philippines any less basketball mad — they love the sport over there. They haven’t produced a lot of great talent (yet) but there is passion for the sport. Which was evident during some exhibition games there during the lockout.
Games that JaVale McGee looked awesome in. Of course he did, there is no structure, it’s just freelancing and athleticism. That’s what McGee does well, it’s the whole structure, know your defensive rotations stuff that he struggles with. It is those things that helped keep him off Team USA for the World Championships in Turkey in 2010 — McGee was in camp but lost out for a spot to Tyson Chandler.
McGee has tweeted he would love to represent the Philippines.
So, now they are working brining him on to their national team. Through national edict. He sure would make that team a lot more interesting to watch.
During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”
Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.
The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.
Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:
“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.
That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.
There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.
Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.
That place turned out to be the Pacers.
Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.
That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.
Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.
Pacers fans delivered.
They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.
Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.
The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.
“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”
Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.