Nicolas Batum is angry at Portland, except he’s really not

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What a long, strange trip it’s been this free agency than Nicolas Batum. And it’s not even close to over yet.

It’s an entertaining tale but we all know how the movie ends — he will be back in Portland as a key part of the rebuilding there.

Let me explain.

It all started last season, when Batum and his agent were trying to get the Trail Blazers to give up a large extension to Batum’s rookie deal, the team reportedly offered $26 million over four years, but that didn’t get it done. There was some bad blood built up and some sniping in the media. The bottom line out of all of it was Batum became a restricted free agent this summer (meaning Portland can match any offer Batum gets).

In the past few days, Batum and his agent met with Minnesota, and on Tuesday came this story from CSNNW.com.

Nic Batum does not want to return to the Portland Trail Blazers “under any circumstances for a variety of reasons,” according to an NBA source close to the situation.

To which Batum himself answered on twitter:

trust me I didn’t…

Okay… what is going on here? Jason Quick of the Oregonian summed it up well on twitter.

Sounds like agent for @nicolas88batum is at it again, trying to create contentious environment to provide some illusion of leverage. #rookie

Here’s where things actually stand (via Blazers Edge) — despite the talks Batum has no promise of an offer from Minnesota. At least not yet. Minnesota and Batum had discussions about a four-year, $45 million offer, but nothing is official. New Orleans and Cleveland also have expressed interest.

And pretty much whatever offer Batum gets, Portland will match. Which is why Batum himself is trying to distance himself from the comments of his agent/source, because he has to go back and play in the city.

Batum is too valuable — he is a great wing defender, gave the Blazers 30 minutes and 13 points a game last season and can drain the three. He is a quality swingman and a lot of GMs around the league covet him. They just know Portland is going to match pretty much any offer, so most GMs are focused on targets they can acquire.

It’s a long strange trip. That still ends in Portland next fall.

Lakers fan hits halfcourt shot to win $100,000 (VIDEO)

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The Los Angeles Lakers are having a pretty good January.

The team has a losing record overall but is 6-5 in 2018, despite the noise from the Ball family and the need for public confidence for Luke Walton as coach.

Still, I’m not sure they’re having as good a time as the guy who won $100,000 by banking in a halfcourt shot on Sunday.

Via Twitter:

The fan’s name is apparently Suni Strong, and he’s from Palmdale. He played high school basketball, works at Space-X, and was on a canceled A&E show about bounty hunting.

Seriously.

Via OC Register:

“When I first walked in I said have my check ready,” he said. “I knew I was going to make it. I had to.”

Asked if he called “bank,” Strong replied, “Why would I do that? I called money.”

That’s some serious scratch.

Spencer Dinwiddie hits game-winner for Nets over former team (VIDEO)

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Spencer Dinwiddie was once a member of the Detroit Pistons. They traded him to the Chicago Bulls back in 2016 for Cameron Bairstow, and the Bulls promptly waived him less than a month later. That same day, Bairstow was waived by the Pistons.

On Sunday, Dinwiddie got his revenge on Detroit by ending their matinee matchup with a step-through jumper that two Pistons failed to defend.

The play came with 4.7 seconds left and the Brooklyn Nets trailing, 100-99. Dinwiddie ran across the far side of the floor to receive the ball from the sideline, then to the near elbow before putting on a series of moves to get his shot off.

The play gave Detroit just 0.09 seconds left, and they couldn’t get an attempt off.

Brooklyn beat the Pistons, 101-100.

Meanwhile, Dinwiddie continues to have the best season of his career. He’s averaging 13.2 points, 6.5 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per-game, all career-highs. He’s also boosted his VORP to 1.1, another personal best.

Enes Kanter’s teammate told him “You’re about to get 50 dropped on you” after LeBron troll

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Enes Kanter likes to inject himself in situations he doesn’t belong in.

The New York Knicks forward likes to take aim at the biggest star in the game, LeBron James, and has said in the past that he would fight LeBron if he had to.

Some previous comments from LeBron riled up members of the Knicks organization, and there’s been animosity between the two sides ever since.

So it wasn’t too much of a surprise when Kanter had something to say on Twitter about his former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, dropping 148 points during a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday. Heck, even former Cavaliers coach David Blatt jumped in on that one, albeit immediately before his own team got 151 scored on them.

Kanter took to Twitter, using LeBron’s own catchphrase against him:

Of course, that’s probably not the best idea. Kanter is a role player and LeBron is one of the best who ever played. Even if the Cavaliers are stinking it up lately, you can’t go after the King like that. You just might miss.

Via ESPN:

“One texted [teammate] me just to say — I’m not going to say who — but he texted me ‘You’re about to get 50 dropped on you, boy.'” Kanter said before Sunday’s matinee against the Los Angeles Lakers. “I responded something back, but I’m not going to say what it is.”

Kanter added that he’s just “having fun” and wanting to put “a smile on people’s face” with his constant prodding.

We’ll see if he ends up smiling the next time Cleveland and New York meet on April 9 at MSG.

David Blatt’s troll on the Cavaliers backfires when opponent scores 151 (VIDEO)

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David Blatt, perhaps sensing his time to pounce as rumors swirl around Tyronn Lue’s departure, decided to troll the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. It did not go so well.

Blatt, who was fired from the head coaching spot in Cleveland in 2015, now heads Darüşşafaka S.K. in the Turkish Super League.

Blatt was also coaching Team Europe vs. Team Asia in the Turkish BSL All-Star Game on Sunday. During the game Blatt joked during a TV interview that he was just hoping his team didn’t give up as many points as the Cavaliers did to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday. That game ended with a score of 148-124.

Via Twitter:

So what happened to Blatt’s Team Europe in the All-Star Game?

According to Erik Gundersen over at LeBron Wire, Team Europe promptly got rolled on with a tally of … 151 points.

The final total in the Turkish All-Star matchup was 151-142 in favor of Team Asia.

Oops.