Report: Gilbert Arenas close to signing contract to play in China

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Since being amnestied by the Orlando Magic before the start of last season, Gilbert Arenas has been trying to make his way back into the league.

He finally caught on with the Memphis Grizzlies near the end of the season, making 17 regular season appearances and averaging only 4.2 points in 12.4 minutes a game. In the playoffs he played a total of 23 minutes, scoring a grand total of 4 points in the process.

It’s no surprise that after such a lackluster showing, Arenas still has not found an NBA team to employ him. So, he looks to be moving on to play in China. This according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports:

Free agent guard Gilbert Arenas is close to signing a one-year deal in China with the Guandong Southern Tigers, a source told Yahoo! Sports.

China has been a popular destination for NBA players over the years, especially for aging veterans with name recognition. Stephon Marbury has carved out a nice second stage of his career in China. Recently, Tracy McGrady retired from the NBA but noted that he’d be moving on to continue playing in Chinese Basketball Association. Arenas looks to be next.

It may be a far cry from the days where he was lighting up teams for 60 points and screaming “hibachi!” after made baskets but I refuse to treat this as a bad thing for Arenas. Playing basketball is a finite profession. You only have so many years in you before you can’t do it anymore for a living. If Arenas wants to continue to chase his dream as a professional baller, whether that’s in the states or two continents away, good for him.

Rockets’ Clint Capela on Warriors: ‘I expect to beat them’

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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.

PBT Extra Player of the Week: Victor Oladipo

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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.

Watch Pacers fan boo Paul George during introductions (video)

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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.

John Wall returns for Wizards-Grizzlies

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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.