Charlotte ‘wins’ Brendan Haywood amnesty auction

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This is legitimately a good move. The Bobcats need a true starting center, and Bismack Biyombo is not it. You can pair Brendan Haywood with Biyombo and have incredible length and size and Biyombo can focus on improving in space and be a weak-side help guy. This is a fine move. It’s really cheap, as the Bobcats nabbed Haywood today off the amnesty waiver wire for just $2.05 million according to David Aldridge of NBA.com, with the first year at $4.19 million, which still isn’t bad. There’s nothing wrong with getting a good starting center for less than $2.5 million per year.

It’s just…

The Bobcats will pay Haywood and Desagana Diop over a combined $11.5 million next season. That’s just so much for two guys who the Mavericks literally paid to go away. With the amount of cap room the Bobcats have, it’s not a big deal, it’s just also not a good thing on the surface. The Bobcats have to hit the salary floor, and that’s an issue, but you’d think they could find someone on the open market to give a one-year deal for a moderate amount of money to based on upside, and fill out the rest of the roster with D-Leaguers. Haywood’s contract is more than manageable, it’s just awkward.

But the Cats get a veteran on the cheap, will play him moderate minutes, and maybe get some production. He can help the kids develop and protect the rim some. He’ll be paid his value. But as a rebuilding team, the Cats are hosting some contracts that make you understand why the lockout happened, and boggle that owners and GM’s don’t understand it was these types of decisions that lead them there.

Watch Kawhi Leonard chop boards ‘karate styyyle’ (video)

AP Photo/Eric Gay
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Kawhi Leonard, enabled by the Spurs’ no-nonsense culture, is probably the NBA’s most boring superstar.

He’s widely recognized as the league’s best defender, and he has worked himself into an elite offensive threat. He has already won a Finals MVP, and regular-season MVP could eventually be in the cards.

But Leonard is notoriously reserved. For someone who has been on this stage for so long, we know little about him.

Except we now know he apparently likes karate.

Leonard:

Gonna chop y’all up. Look at all of us. Karate styyyle.

If “karate styyyle” doesn’t become Leonard’s catchphrase, I don’t even know what we’re doing.

Leonard will finally have the chance to chop up an NBA opponent tonight, when he makes his return from injury.

Michael C. Wright of ESPN:

Kevin Durant brings fan to tears with autographed shoes (video)

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Kevin Durant has become a villain to many.

Clearly not to this Warriors fan, though.

Carmelo Anthony leaves without speaking to media, will probably get fined

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
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Lately, Carmelo Anthony has parsed whether the Thunder are frustrated or angry and said he’s going through the roughest stretch of his career.

It didn’t get any better last night.

Anthony scored 11 points on 12 shots with three turnovers, and Oklahoma City got outscored by 21 points with him on the floor in a home loss to the Hornets. The Thunder have now lost two of three, falling to the lowly Nets and Hornets and needing overtime to beat the freefalling Grizzlies.

Royce Young of ESPN:

Anthony today:

I’m sorry. My bad. I had a FaceTime session with my son, so I skipped out on you guys yesterday. I apologize. It’s true, though. That’s true. It’s true. He had a school night.

The NBA’s media-access rules state: “All players must be available to the media for a minimum of five to 10 minutes during the postgame media access period.” It’s been a while since someone got punished for violating the policy, but Kevin Garnett was fined $25,000 for not speaking to the media after Game 7 of the 2012 Eastern Conference finals.

I’m sympathetic to Anthony wanting to speak to his son, who’s still in New York. But the league tends not to take these personal concerns into consideration, which is probably for the best. There’s a rule. Anthony violated it. Assessing which personal calls should supersede the rule is a can of worms not worth opening. Besides, Anthony probably could have returned to the locker room for an interview after concluding the call.

Anthony earns a lot of money. If he wanted to risk a $25,000 fine to speak with his son, I have absolutely no problem with that. But that’s probably the choice he made.

In my experience, Anthony has been forthright with the media. He spent years as the face of the Knicks, dutifully answering for problems created by James Dolan and Phil Jackson. Because he was available nearly daily while his superiors avoided interviews, Anthony was the grilled by the New York media.

I bet he expected a reprieve in Oklahoma City. Instead, the spotlight has shined on him as a problem with the underwhelming Thunder.

It’s understandable he’d rather talk to his son than reporters. But it’s also understandable the NBA wants to promote its business through the media, and the league has power to enforce its rules.

Grizzlies fan absolutely owns kids halftime scrimmage (video)

AP Photo/Brandon Dill
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The Grizzlies lost for the 15th time in their last 16 games, a 25-point drubbing at home against the Heat, last night.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom in Memphis.

This young fan – while playing in the halftime scrimmage – stopped his dribble, stepped on the ball, whipped off his youth jersey to reveal a Marc Gasol jersey, flexed, re-started his dribbled then drove for a basket.

Matt Ellentuck of SB Nation:

The Grizzlies don’t deserve this hero.