Maybe it’s contagious: Wizards play with Obama, his shot goes cold

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Maybe it’s just something about the Wizards.

The Wizards’ biggest names — John Wall, Bradley Beal, Nene and Emeka Okafor — got to play ball with Barack Obama Monday after the White House annual Easter egg roll event. And the Commander in Chief went ice cold, according to J. Michael at CSNWashington.com. He missed about 13 shots in a row.

But he did knock down his last jumper.

“People got nervous at the moment,” Nene said as the President kept missing. “The message is never quit. He made the last shot. It took a while, but he made the last shot.”

Beal blushed when talking about it.

“He missed a lot in a row. We told him to move in a little bit. He missed a lay up. It got out of control,” Beal said. “He was in slacks and he had a collared shirt on. He’s got a few excuses he can use. It was my first time ever going over there. …. That’s a tremendous thing. Not a lot of people have that honor.”

What happened to the president’s midrange game? I think it’s just the Wizards rubbing off on him.

Washington is not a great shooting team — 23rd in NBA in overall team eFG% (which gives shooters a percentage point bump for making threes). They are a solid three point shooting team — 36.5 percent, 11th best in the NBA — but they hit just 37.2 percent of their shots from 10-15 feet (second worst percentage in the NBA) and 34.6 percent from 16 feet out to the arc (again second worst in the NBA).

As I imagine Obama wasn’t hanging out at the arc playing Ray Allen, my guess is he was shooting midrange jumpers at first and just being around the Wizards players made those rim out.

Beal, by the way, almost went House Republican on the president.

“I was about to offer some political tips,” he said with a smile. “Lower some taxes.”

Said like a newly minted 19-year-old millionaire.

Report: Clippers hiring ex-Cavaliers executive Trent Redden

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The power dynamics within the Clippers are shifting, and the ground apparently hasn’t settled yet.

Doc Rivers has been stripped of his presidency. Jerry West became a consultant. Lawrence Frank now holds the most prestigious title in the front office, and newly hired Michael Winger will report to him. Also falling under Frank in the organizational chart? Trent Redden.

Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:

Longtime Cleveland Cavaliers executive Trent Redden will join the LA Clippers’ front-office staff as assistant general manager, league sources said on Monday.

Redden was ousted in Cleveland with David Griffin. He’ll help the Clippers simply by providing another capable executive. They’ve long needed to add front-office employees (and pay for them).

But Redden also exacerbates the issue of Frank’s underlings having far more front-office experience than him. As the Clippers try to establish their new setup, we’ll see whether that creates complications.

Warriors’ Steve Kerr: I expect to coach all season and for many years ahead

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Warriors coach Steve Kerr has missed significant time the last two seasons due to complications from back surgery.

Could those issues derail his career?

Kerr, via Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:

“I fully expect to coach all year,” Kerr says in a no-nonsense tone. “That’s my expectation. And for many years to come.”

On the most basic level, it’d be good if Kerr feels well enough to coach. The headaches sound miserable, regardless of his job.

But it’d also be ideal if the NBA didn’t lose one of its best coaches just as he’s getting started. The 51-year-old Kerr might wind up the greatest coach of all time. Obviously that’s a long way off, but he has that potential – health permitting.

Quinn Cook signing two-year contract with Hawks

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The Hawks began last season with just two point guards, one fewer than most teams – especially notable because neither starter Dennis Schroder nor backup Malcolm Delaney was experienced for his role.

Schroder and Delaney return, but Atlanta is adding another option – Quinn Cook.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Cook is a borderline NBA player. He might not make the regular-season roster. He also might supplant Delaney for a rotation spot.

A 24-year-old who has spent most of the last two years in the D-League (also getting stints with the Mavericks and Pelicans), Cook is a good outside shooter. He’s also steady, if unspectacular, in his lead-guard duties.

This is a solid flier at a position the Hawks could use depth.

Knicks sign Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Jamel Artis

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The Knicks signing Nigel Hayes leaked first.

But New York didn’t stop there.

Knicks release:

The New York Knickerbockers announced today that the team has signed forwards Jamel Artis and Nigel Hayes and guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes.

Like Hayes, Artis (Pittsburgh) and Rathan-Mayes (Florida State) went undrafted this year – making them eligible to be waived and assigned to the Knicks’ minor-league affiliate. That’s likely all three’s fate.

But first, each will have an opportunity to make the regular-season roster. The Knicks have just 14 players with guaranteed salaries, leaving one roster spot for someone on a standard contract. Chasson Randle (unguaranteed) is the incumbent choice, but these three could supplant him.