James Harden would consider signing with Suns in free agency, would have same answer for living on the moon

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James Harden will be a free agent in 2013 and there’s going to be a world of heat around the decision for the Thunder to retain him or let him free. He’s going to get max offers. If he doesn’t take a paycut to re-sign, the Thunder can’t afford to retain him if they want any future flexibility whatsoever, something they’ve always treasured. But as is usual with anyon eable to even sniff free agency, the talk has started about possible destinations.

Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic did his due diligence in asking the former Arizona State star if he’d consider a return to the desert he calls home when able to make the decision.

“Yeah,” he said. “Of course. I love it there. My mom lives there still. So that’s definitely my second home as far as my comfort level and going to school there. But obviously, I’m with the Thunder right now and what we have is special.”

“That’s out of my hands,” Harden said. “That’s not my decision. That’s the front office. I’ll let them decide that.”

via James Harden says he’s open to signing with the Phoenix Suns.

If you asked James Harden if he would consider living on the moon for a max contract, the answer is yes. If you asked if he’d consider signing with CSKA Moscow, the answer is yes. If you asked if he’d consider signing with the Bobcats, the answer is yes. The probabilities are in that order, but still.

For what it’s worth, a Dragic-Harden-Beasley-Scola-Gortat lineup would be downright spectacular. After failing to get Eric Gordon when the Hornets matched, that would be a monstrous get for the Suns.

Harden’t going to get these questions and this is going to be his life. He’s handling it the right way. “Love where I’m at, we’ll deal with it when the time comes.” The end. But he’s going to get offers. The question is whether the Thunder are willing to let him go.

One thing’s for sure.

They’ll consider it.

Jeopardy uses “crying Jordan” meme for question

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You know a meme has jumped the shark when it appears on Jeopardy. (Also, the phrase “jump the shark” has jumped the shark.)

The “crying Jordan” meme reached that level this week when Alex Trebek asked a question about it.

This in no way means we should stop using the crying Jordan meme — even if it bothers MJ himself, and it does — because it’s still funny.

Charles Barkley on new schedule: “These poor babies can’t play back-to-back games”

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Training camp hasn’t even opened yet, but Charles Barkley is already in midseason “get off my lawn” form.

Barkley — the man who can’t stand jump shooting teams, or analytics, or LeBron James asking for better players, or your newfangled technology — went off on another tedious rant at an SMU event Wednesday, this time about the NBA’s decision to start the season a little earlier and have fewer back-to-backs and eliminate four-games-in-five-nights.

Ugh. Like a lot of former players — and a lot of non-athletes, for that matter — Barkley is convinced his peak as a player coincided with the greatest era of basketball ever. Things were never better than the way they did it in his day.

Which means facts — like pointing to the studies that show players both are less likely to be injured and play better and more efficiently when rested — don’t matter. Barkley did it, so players now should have to do it. Who cares if all these packed in games can shorten their careers?

Then again, maybe a few days off would have helped Barkley in the second half of his career.

B.J. Armstrong, former Jordan-era Bull turned agent, told me last year that if teams and players knew in his day what they know now about rest and injury, you would have seen stars like MJ rest. Over time we learn more information, and the smart people and organizations adjust.

Barkley will make far more headlines over the course of the season, he gets paid to be brash, say whatever pops into head, and be generally draw attention to himself. It makes him entertaining, and that’s what Inside the NBA is about. But I will defer to Steve Kerr’s comments from last playoffs on all these old “get off my lawn” players.

“The game gets worse as time goes on. Players are less talented than they used to be. The guys in the 50s would’ve destroyed everybody. It’s weird how human evolution goes in reverse in sports. Players get weaker, smaller, less skilled. I don’t know. I can’t explain it.”

For a couple grand, Warriors fans can have Larry O’Brien Trophy visit their suite

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There’s so much money floating around the Bay Area right now thanks to another tech boom, this price almost seems low.

If you have a suite for the Golden State Warriors home games this season — and those are pretty much sold out, the Warriors draw big from the Silicon Valley crowd — you can have the NBA championship Larry O’Brien Trophy visit your suite. All for just a couple grand. From Gilbert Lee, via ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

The best part is it includes champagne… do you get to spray each other with it as you hold up the trophy? Now that would be perfect (goggles included, of course).

Have an issue with this? Why? To the victor goes the spoils. The Warriors may be able to sell this package for years.

Sixers new “Spirit of 76” court is fire

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First, the Sixers nailed the Nike “statement” jersey.

Now, they have announced a new “Spirit of 76” promotion, with seven tribute nights this season honoring the history of the franchise and of the Philadelphia area (and there is plenty of history to honor).

The best part — the “Spirit of 76” court with the bell logo.

Here is the promo vid

I just hope the Sixers team can live up to all the hype.