As you read this story, a lot of you will be testing out the mute button on your remote (something I tend to reserve for the Spurs broadcast team). But hear me out, this may not be a bad thing.
Isiah Thomas is going to be back on your television as a studio analyst for NBA TV, the station (run by Turner Sports) announced Wednesday. He will make his debut Friday night as NBA TV shows the Bulls vs. Knicks.
First off, it’s better than giving him a Knicks front office job again.
Thomas had a stint as a television analyst before, working for NBC from 1998-2000, before returning to the coaching ranks. I’ll be honest, I have little to no memory of how he did in that role.
But he has the potential to be good in studio. What are the requirements for that job? First, have good basketball knowledge. And no matter what you want to say about Thomas front office guy he is a Hall of Fame player who coached in the NBA and knows the game. Next, he’s charismatic (well, James Dolan thinks so). The question is can he pass that knowledge along — can he watch Joakim Noah’s play Friday night, see something and turn it into an insightful comment that helps us understand what is going on? We shall see.
Thomas has a bad rap online because he was a horrific GM for the Knicks. And ran the CBA into the ground. And was a mess as a college coach. And a few other things. All well deserved, we have certainly had our fun with Isiah here over the years. And will again.
But so long as he isn’t given personnel control over studio hosts, he should be fine. I’m willing to give him a chance.
James Harden had a historic season in Houston.
Since it’s Friday afternoon and your sports viewing options consist of watching guys about to be cut from NFL rosters try to impress, why not check out Harden’s best plays from last season. It’s worth a couple minutes of your time.
Jeff Withey‘s ex-fiancée accused him of domestic violence, but he was not charged.
That frees him to continue his basketball career, which he’ll do in Dallas.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
The Mavericks could use another center, even if they re-sign Nerlens Noel. Salah Mejri is the only other true center, though Dirk Nowitzki will now play the position.
Withey is a good rim protector. Just don’t ask him to do anything away from the basket.
Dallas annually brings excess players to training camp and has them compete for regular-season roster spots. Whether or not his salary is guaranteed, Withey will likely fall into that competition.
The Grizzlies’ Grit & Grind era has ended.
Zach Randolph signed with the Kings, and Tony Allen appears likely to leave Memphis, too. The Grizzlies are prioritizing younger/cheaper players like Ben McLemore and Tyreke Evans.
Marc Gasol via Ala Carta, as translated by HoopsHype:
I’m very ambitious and I’ve wanted Memphis to be a great franchise. We’ve grown a lot the last 6-7 years, but we have to keep growing. If this is not lined up, maybe we may have to revisit things.
Gasol has been loyal to Memphis, and his first wish is probably winning there. But Giannis Antetokounmpo put it well: Teams must also do right by their players. Gasol is 32 and doesn’t have much time in his prime left. I see why rebuilding wouldn’t interest him.
But what will he do about it if the Grizzlies don’t prioritize the present? They made their push last summer with a max contract for Chandler Parsons, but because Parsons can’t stay healthy, that deal only inhibits team growth.
Gasol is locked up for two more years before a player option. He doesn’t have much leverage. This is part of the reason LeBron James keeps signing short-term contracts. Gasol doesn’t have the same ability to steer his team in his desired direction
On the potentially bright side, rebuilding teams often don’t have much use for 32-year-olds guaranteed more than $72 million over the following three years. If the fit devolves, Memphis becomes more likely to trade him.
The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.
Now, we know when.
The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11
After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.