Marshall v Kentucky

Nerlens Noel says he hopes to be able to play around Christmas


Fans of whichever team wins the lottery next week may have to wait until Christmas to unwrap their present.

Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel is the leading candidate to be the No. 1 pick in the draft. Yes, the same Noel who blew out his ACL last season. He was at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago Thursday, getting measured and meeting with teams but not working out.

When does he think he’ll be able to play? (Via the official reporter)

Noel injured his knee in February, so Christmas is around 10 months. Whatever team drafts him will not rush him back, so it could be longer.

Where Noel goes really depends on who wins the lottery. Does that team need size up front, or do they need a wing player and like Ben McLemore. How does the team that win grade those guys out? That said, he’s a top three lock.

If you’re wondering why a guy who blew out his ACL and is about to miss training camp is a possible No. 1 pick the answer is simple: It’s not about this season. It’s nice when you get a Damian Lillard to contribute as a rookie, but what really matters is how good he is three years from now. And Noel is a very athletic guy who measured nearly 7’0” in shoes, who can score and run the floor. There is a lot of potential in him. In a draft where there are no great players, teams will bet with the top picks on the guys with the highest ceilings. The most upside, if you will.

And that is Noel.

Dumped by Heat, Shabazz Napier hits game-winning 3-pointer against Miami (video)

Shabazz Napier, C.J. Watson
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After only one season, the Heat gave up on former first-rounder Shabazz Napier – sending him to the Magic in a salary dump.

Napier got some revenge by hitting the game-winning 3-pointer in Orlando’s 100-97 win over Miami.

It’s only the preseason, but Napier had to feel great about that shot.

Report: Matt Barnes texted friend that he beat up Derek Fisher, spat in wife’s face

Derek Fisher, Matt Barnes, Russell Westbrook
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Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes reportedly attacked Knicks coach Derek Fisher for dating his estranged wife, Gloria Govan.

New details are emerging, and they cast Barnes in an even worse light.

Ian Mohr of the New York Post:

Sources told The Post that Barnes became incensed when his 6-year-old twin sons, Carter and Isaiah, called to tell him that Fisher was at the house.

Following the dust-up, Barnes, 35, texted a pal that he had not only assaulted Fisher, 41, but also took revenge on Govan, one source said.

“I kicked his ass from the back yard to the front room, and spit in her face,” the text read, according to the source.

If this becomes a criminal case, Barnes’ text could incriminate him.

In the court of public opinion, the presence of Barnes’ children and his spitting in his wife’s face make this even more disturbing.

Unfortunately, not everyone views it that way. Too many are laughing off the incident.

Albert Burneko of Deadspin had the best take I’ve seen on this situation:

When an accused domestic abuser shows up uninvited at a family party to—as a source put it to the New York Post—“beat the shit” out of someone for the offense of dating his ex, that is not a wacky character up to zany shenanigans. It is not reality TV melodrama or a cartoon or celebrities being silly. It is the behavior of a dangerous misogynist lunatic. It is an act of violent aggression. It is a man forcefully asserting personal property rights over a woman’s home, body, and life. It differs from what Ray Rice did in that elevator by degree, not by kind, and not by all that much.

I suggest reading it in full.