tony allen

Tony Allen pulls Kenneth Faried’s hair (VIDEO)


Normally, my stance on players with long hair in professional sports goes something like this: It’s a free country and all that, but just know what you’re doing might make you a target.

In the NFL, for example, it’s especially tantalizing for defenders when they see the long flowing locks of their opponent dangling out of the back of the helmet, and sometimes, if it’s the only option to make a play, they’ll grab the guy by his hair and drag him to the ground.

But in the NBA, it’s different because physical contact isn’t really encouraged. There isn’t a place in the game where grabbing a player — by his hair or anything else — is even legal, much less tolerated.

That’s especially true when a play is over, and has been whistled dead by the officials. But in the video clip above, you can see Tony Allen grab Kenneth Faried’s hair in frustration before he heads to the other end of the floor.

The Grizzlies like to use the words “grit” and “grind” as a motto to describe the way their team plays. That’s apparently just code for “dirty,” and something they’ll resort to when getting beaten by a lesser opponent at home, as they were by the Nuggets on Monday.

[via TBJ]

Tony Parker wants to play six more seasons with Spurs

Tony Parker
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Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.

Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.

Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”

That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)

Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.

But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.

I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.

Report: Pelicans signing Greg Smith

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The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.

Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.

Enter Greg Smith.

Scott Kushner of The Advocate:

Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.

But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.

Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.