New York Knicks forward Stoudemire shares a laugh with teammate and guard Smith after he entered their NBA game with the Portland Trail Blazers during the second quarter in New York

Amar’e Stoudemire to help coach Canadian team in Israel this summer


Remember a couple few ago, when Amar’e Stoudemire signed with the Knicks — the then savior of the franchise —  and he drew the eyes of the the basketball world? At least the parts not focused on South Beach?

At the time he had discovered his Hebrew roots through his mother and had studied up on it, even going back to Israel to further his knowledge. Now he is headed back but to further other’s basketball knowledge.

Stoudemire will be part of the coaching delegation for the Canadian basketball entrant in the Maccabiah Games, an every four years Jewish athletic games in Israel (long called the Jewish Olympics). The New York Times has the details.

For the eclectic Stoudemire, who has also written children’s books and is the subject of a documentary that will have its premiere April 19 on EPIX, the coaching role is new, but the destination will not be. …

“It was a bit of a dream scenario to reach out to Amar’e because of his discovering his Jewish roots and his playing basketball,” Alex Brainis, the head of Maccabi Canada’s delegation, said. “We figured that if he said yes, this would be a big recruiting tool.”

The games are big — 8,500 athletes from 70 countries are expected to compete. What kind of coach Stoudemire would make remains to be seen, but at this level of play he certainly has the knowledge of the game to be helpful.

First, he has to get back from another knee surgery to help the Knicks — he is expected to return around the start of the first round. The Knicks have found a groove entering the playoffs, with 13 straight wins, it will be interesting to see if Stoudemire’s return has any impact on that, positively or negatively.

Gordon Hayward goes behind Jordan Clarkson’s back with dribble

Gordon Hayward, Nick Young
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Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.

First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.

Three quick takeaways here:

1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.

2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.

3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.

(Hat tip reddit)

Could Tristan Thompson’s holdout last months? Windhorst says yes.

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five

VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”

That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.

Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:

“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”

Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.

And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.