Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points like Bobby Flay loves chipotle.
• Knicks coach Mike Woodson was on ESPN radio in New York that the Knicks would not be trading Iman Shumpert. Now, Woodson doesn’t get to make that call, but I think it’s a sign he is on the part of the Knicks front office that doesn’t want to see Shumpert moved. Most likely he will not be, unless the deal is too good to pass up.
• One guy who is ending up in more and more trade scuttlebutt is Brandon Jennings. He switched agents to a guy known for getting his clients into big markets and Jennings is a restricted free agent this summer — you can see the big poison pill free agent offer coming, and so can the Bucks. So they may have no choice but to move him now and get something in return.
• If you read one thing today, it should be the fantastic piece by former 76ers beat writer and current ESPN employee Kate Fagen about the sexism in the culture of sports.
• Over at Grantland Zach Lowe has a great Q&A with Dirk Nowitzki.
• While we’re talking great interviews, here is one with Nicolas Batum over at SLAM.
• Dominique Wilkins says that before the legendary 1988 dunk contest against Michael Jordan he didn’t even practice.
• Covering the NBA can warp your perspective of what a tall human being looks like, and then there are some guys who even NBA regulars look at and think, “damn.” Yao Ming is one of those guys. Check out the picture at this link of him standing next to NFL defensive end J.J. Watt.
• Quincy Pondexter missed five weeks with a sprained knee, came back and played one game for the Grizzlies, and now will be out through the All-Star Break. At least.
• The Clippers eight-game road trip as seen through Civil War style correspondence.
• An attorney has been convicted in the murder of Eddie Curry’s ex-girlfriend and daughter.
• Donald Sloan is leaving Sioux Falls of the D-League to play in China. Why? Money.
Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.
There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.
Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.
“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”
Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.
Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.
That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.
And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.
MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.
Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.
Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.
Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.
Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.