Greivis Vasquez has put club (and paychecks) before country, which should go over very well in Sacramento.
The likely Kings starting point guard has decided not to play for his native Venezuela in the upcoming FIBA Americas tournament, instead focusing on recovering from off-season surgery to help the Kings next season, reports liderendeportes.com (via Hoopshype).
The report says that Vasquez has been cleared to get back on the court and be involved in basketball activities (lateral movements, pick-and-roll plays) but it will take him a little while to get up to speed. He’s not going to do that in a tournament setting.
This is good for the Kings, who will likely start Vasquez and will bring Isaiah Thomas off the bench, plus rookie Ray McCallum behind him. Oh, and Jimmer Fredette would like to get into that rotation, too.
But know part of this is financial — Vasquez is coming up on the end of his rookie deal. Technically he could get an extension this summer but more likely next summer he will be a restricted free agent. Have another strong season this year like he did in his last campaign (13.9 points and 9 assists a game, shooting 34.2 percent from three) and he will get paid pretty well. He can play. So long as he healthy.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.
For two decades, Kobe Bryant saw everyone and everything as an obstacle to overcome: The Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic, Celtics, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Smush Parker, a torn Achilles. It didn’t matter. Kobe’s work ethic and drive had him rising above it all.
His focus hasn’t changed now. Kobe was on the Jim Rome show, and the topic of the new-look Warriors with Kevin Durant came up, along with the “woe is me” attitude of some players (and plenty of owners and GMs).
“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” he said. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”
Easier said than done to make that happen, but that attitude is the only one to have if you think you have a chance. You can be sure LeBron James is thinking that way and telling his Cavaliers teammates the same.
We’re going to miss Kobe.