New York Knicks guard Kidd looks down during their NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City, Utah

Wednesday And-1 links: The Knicks expect Jason Kidd back


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.

• Knicks GM Glen Grunwald says after his exit meeting with Jason Kidd, he expects the veteran guard back for another year. I understand the groans, Knicks fans, but decision belongs to Kidd, he is under contract for next year.

• Carmelo Anthony wants to see free agent J.R. Smith back with the Knicks.

• In case you missed it, Harvy Araton at the New York Times threw the blame for the Knicks troubles this season where it really belongs — at the feet of James Dolan.

• If you read one thing today, it should be this fantastic oral history of the 1988 Eastern Conference Finals Game 7 between the Hawks and Celtics, between Dominique Wilkins and Larry Bird.

• There were some rather silly Eric Gordon trade rumors running around twitter the other day. We’re not going to repeat them because they are not going to happen.

• The Suns are starting the external candidate portion of their head coaching interview process with Rockets’ assistant J.B. Bickerstaff and Lakers assistant Steve Clifford. Don’t expect a quick process.

• Remember we told you Terrence Williams was arrested the other day on a gun charge related to a domestic disturbance with the mother of his child. Williams tweeted this about the incident.

Here’s a book review from a Lakers blogger of Phil Jackson’s 11 rings.

Of the teams that are left, who are the ABC/ESPN network suits rooting for? Miami and San Antonio.

• Carl Bennett, one of the guys who helped make the NBA a reality, has passed away.

• The math of why it will be hard for the Nets to keep Andray Blatche.

• Bradley Beal says he is still weeks away from basketball related activities. No rush, he’s got all summer.

• Look at two of the four teams left in the NBA playoffs — Memphis and Indiana — and you realize it may be more practical for a small market team to build a winner around defense. And more affordable.

Should the Bulls consider trading Luol Deng?

• Does the way the NBA Draft Lottery is structured right now still encourage too much tanking?

• Mario Chalmers’ father is being sued by a business partner.

• Chris Hansen congratulated Sacramento on keeping the Kings. Let’s just say some of the reactions out of Sacramento were not exactly those of graceful winners.

• DeAndre Jordan posterizes an unsuspecting ESPN anchor.

• Finally, all 272 three pointers Stephen Curry made this regular season. Enjoy going down that rabbit hole.

Brandon Armstrong impersonates Ray Allen (video)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Ray Allen is retired-ish, but he’ll always be running through screens – in our mind and in this video.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry
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The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott

Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.

Is Stephen Curry the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Lionel Messi

Stephen Curry has reached the transcendent point in his career. We’re now talking about if he has passed LeBron James as the best player on the planet (he has), and we’re starting to think about his legacy as the perfect point guard for a modern NBA small-ball, space-and-pace offense. Plus he’s just a joy to watch play.

Does that make him the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Curry was asked to compare himself to the Barcelona/Argentinian player who (arguably) is the greatest soccer player in the world, certainly as elite a finisher as that sport has ever seen. Here is his answer, via the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia. Is Curry the bigger international star now?

“I don’t know – it’s a chicken and egg kind of conversation,” Curry said while laughing.

“We both have a creative style, a feel when you are out on the pitch or the court. I’m trying to do some fancy things out there with both hands, making crossover moves and having a certain flair to my game and that’s definitely the style Messi has when he is out there in his matches.”

I love Curry, but Messi is the bigger international star.

But I love the comparison in terms of the must-watch nature of the two stars, the flair in their games, the sense that you have to keep an eye on them at all times because the spectacular could happen any time they touch the ball. When the ball comes to them, everybody leads forward in their chairs. That is the sign of a real superstar.