Wednesday And-1 links: Mavericks officially sign Fab Melo for camp

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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 more than you love stumbling on a showing of “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” on cable….

• As we told you would happen, the Mavericks made it official and signed Fab Melo to a training camp contract. Same with D.J. Kennedy and  Richard McConnell. The Mavericks have no open roster spots, so don’t bet on seeing any of them when the season starts, at least with Dallas.

• Speaking of training camp invites, the Pacers have signed Ron Howard and Darnell Jackson in that role.

• Michael Beasley signed with the Heat for training camp. Mark Deeks gives you a good look at the reasons you should not expect much out of that signing.

• Stephen Jackson and Steve Francis got into a fight and had to be separated at a club. Follow this link to the video (I can’t run it, this is wildly NSFW), then skip ahead to the 25:30 mark or so to see all the fun.

• The Lakers made a mistake today, sending out a tweet meant to be a “never forget” 9/11 thought but instead the picture of Kobe Bryant — in the games after terrorist attacks when players wore a special patch on their uniform — came off as about them, not the day or thought. The Lakers pulled it and owned up to it.

• Personally, I thought the Suns tweet was worse (the gorilla mascot waving a flag), they wisely pulled theirs as well.

Who is the best shooter in NBA history from beyond 27 feet? Stephen Curry. Not that he should start taking them.

A good look from John Schuhmann at how the Nets can keep Kevin Garnett fresh this season.

• The Nuggets’ television broadcaster Chris Marlowe (who has a gold medal as an Olympic volleyball player, by the way) says JaVale McGee could play 35 minutes a night this season. One way or another, that will be good for all of us.

• Kevin Durant in Paris.

• Finally, this Guinness wheelchair basketball ad is just brilliant.

Celtics to retire Paul Pierce’s number after Cavaliers game in February

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The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.

Now, we know when.

Celtics release:

The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11

After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.

DeMarcus Cousins on Confederate statues: ‘Take all them motherf—ers down’

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DeMarcus Cousins grew up in Alabama, played collegiately at Kentucky and now plays in New Orleans.

So, yeah, the Pelicans star has an opinion on Confederate statues.

Cousins, via TMZ:

“Take all them motherf*ckers down,” Cousins said … “Take ’em all down.”

These statues glorify people because they fought a war against the United States in the name of preserving the racist institution of slavery.

Not whom I want to honor, either.

Kevin Durant: Kyrie Irving-LeBron James situation ‘just a regular NBA problem’

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Kevin Durant knows something about star teammates not always getting along.

So, the Warriors forward is not freaking out about the disconnect between Kyrie Irving and LeBron James and Irving’s subsequent trade request.

Durant, via Chris Haynes of ESPN:

“It’s just a regular NBA problem, right? A lot of teams have gone through this before,” Durant told ESPN. “They’ll figure it out. That’s a great organization, a championship organization. They’ll figure it out.”

“It’s not the end of the world,” Durant said. “Both of those guys won a championship together. They love each other. If Kyrie wants to do something else, that’s on him. I’m sure whatever happens, it’ll work out for the best for both of them. But it’s just a normal NBA problem. It’s just two big stars that it’s happening to.”

Durant is definitely right in the larger sense. Teammates spat and requests trades more often than we realize. Remember, both Irving and the Cavaliers probably prefer this never became public.

But I’m not sure Cleveland will figure this out with the ease Durant suggests. David Griffin, who had proven so adept at putting out these fires, is gone. LeBron’s free agency looms. This could be extremely destructive to the Cavs.

The fact that this “regular NBA problem” became public only intensifies it – and raises it something greater.

Report: Heat signing Jordan Mickey

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Jordan Mickey – the No. 33 pick by the Celtics in 2015 – became the first second-round pick in memory to sign the year he was drafted and receive a higher initial salary than first-round picks.

He’s keeping the checks coming.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Mickey will be the Heat’s 16th player with a standard contract, though Matt Williams (unguaranteed) will likely be waived to meet the regular-season roster limit.

I’m not sure where Mickey fits on this team, which already has several bigs. Hassan Whiteside, Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk will likely play ahead of him. Miami also has A.J. Hammons (who might be just dead salary) and Udonis Haslem (who might provide nothing more than veteran leadership).

The Heat could just see Mickey as someone they can develop. At that point, how he fits into the current roster doesn’t really matter.

Mickey – 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan – is a mobile defender with nice timing for blocking shots inside. He even possesses a work-in-progress 3-pointer in his arsenal. There’s plenty for Miami to help mold.