Toronto Raptors' Bargnani sits on the bench during their NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in Toronto

Pneumonia will keep Knicks’ Bargnani out of Eurobasket


Getting pneumonia in the middle of summer has to just suck.

But it’s especially bad news for the Italian National Team, which just lost a floor spacing big — something that really matters in the international game.

Andrea Bargnani is out for Eurobasket — the European championships that start in two weeks — because of pneumonia, reports Sportando. While Bargnani is recovering from the illness he’s not going to be right in time to join the team as it heads to Slovenia for the tournament.

If you are not familiar, pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that does improve with treatment but can tend to linger.

Don’t expect it to linger into training camp, Bargnani should be good to go when the Knicks are in five weeks. Just not when the Italian team (already well into training) tips off for games in a couple weeks.

The Knicks traded for Bargnani and his oversized contract to bring them a floor-spacing four. Of course, in part due to injuries he shot just 30.9 percent from three last season and 29.6 percent the season before that. He doesn’t play much defense or get you rebounds, so New York needs him to get healthy and find that outside shot.

Is Stephen Curry the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Lionel Messi
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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.

Jahlil Okafor fights man in Boston (video)

Jahlil Okafor

The 76ers lost a heartbreaker to the Celtics last night, dropping Philadelphia to 0-16.

Jahlil Okafor was apparently in a foul mood after the game.


We’re told everyone got up and fled the scene and no arrests were made.

We’re told the altercation began because one of the men in the other group yelled at Jahlil, “The 76ers suck.”

We spoke with a rep for Jahlil who tells us … Okafor says he was being heckled from the moment he left the club and felt threatened because people swarmed him on the street.


This video obviously doesn’t show everything, but it certainly makes Okafor look like the aggressor.

Okafor will probably face punishment from some combination of the legal system, NBA and 76ers.

Kristaps Porzingis envelops Victor Oladipo’s dunk attempt (video)

Nikola Vucevic, Kristaps Porzingis
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Scott Skiles moved Victor Oladipo to the bench, because the Magic coach wanted to give Oladipo a chance to be more aggressive.

It worked.

Oladipo scored a season-high 24 points in the Magic’s 100-91 win over the Knicks.

But Oladipo’s aggressiveness also produced this fantastic Kristaps Porzingis block: