Olympiacos' Josh Childress (C) shots bet

Josh Childress Invited to Washington Wizards Training Camp


Remember him? Josh Childress became a basketball pioneer of sorts when he left behind big NBA minutes with the Atlanta Hawks in favor of a bigger paycheck overseas.

Childress spent the prime of his career playing for Olympiacos in Greece, where he signed an unprecedented 3-year, $20 million dollar contract back in 2008. Childress has been back in the NBA the last three seasons, albeit in a much more limited role than he occupied before he left for Greece. Childress appeared in just 14 games for the Brooklyn Nets last season before being waived.

After turning down a deal to return to Greece, the 30-year-old small forward has accepted a training camp invite from the Washington Wizards.

It’s a curious fit, if only because the Wizards already have 15 guaranteed contracts on the books. Perhaps Childress is being brought in to push this year’s second round pick Glen Rice Jr. or perhaps replace 2011 first round pick Chris Singleton, who will be out 6-8 weeks with a foot injury. With Otto Porter, Martell Webster and Trevor Ariza already on the roster, it doesn’t seem like wing depth should be a primary concern.

When you also consider that Emeka Okafor is out indefinitely, the invite for Childress becomes even more strange. Are the Wizards really comfortable trusting Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker and Jan Vesely to handle the load in Okafor’s absence? Maybe so.

Stan Van Gundy rips ‘selfish’ Pistons

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The Pistons had just 19 assists – to 22 turnovers – in their 93-83 loss to the Nets last night.

Stan Van Gundy was none too pleased.

On offensive problems:

I told them in there – that was the first thing – we’re not playing together at all. I thought it was a very selfish performance, and guys wouldn’t just pass the ball to open men. They wanted to see if they could take one more dribble to get their own shot, so the passing angles were gone. I just thought we forced play after play after play. We’re not willing to move the ball

On Reggie Jackson, who scored seven points on 3-of-10 shooting with six assists and six turnovers, and was coming off Achilles soreness:

He was not good at all. He was forcing everything.

On injuries to point guards – Jackson, Brandon Jennings and Steve Blake – hindering the team’s flow in practice and that carrying over to the game:

We could probably make a lot of excuses for our guys, but we were selfish.

Van Gundy is clearly trying to send a message, and the preseason is the best time to do it.

But it’s somewhat troubling he had to do it after this game.

Eight of the 10 Pistons who played against Brooklyn project to make the regular-season rotation. Joel Anthony played over Aron Baynes, and once healthy, Blake could challenge Spencer Dinwiddie to become back up point guard – at least until Jennings is ready. Otherwise, Detroit – with Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marcus Morris, Ersan Ilyasova, Andre Drummond, Jodie Meeks, Stanley Johnson and Anthony Tolliver – looked similar to its opening-night lineup.

Van Gundy is blunt, but he doesn’t tell the media things he hasn’t already directly told his players. They appreciate that.

He’d appreciate them getting this message.

Report: Dwight Howard didn’t have offseason surgery

Dwight Howard
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Dwight Howard said he played with a torn MCL and meniscus in the Western Conference finals – pretty shocking news that few knew what to make of.

So, um, did he have offseason surgery?

Calvin Watkins of ESPN:

Howard obviously feels great about his health now, so maybe this was the right course.

We’ll never how Howard would have performed if fully healthy, but he averaged 14.4 points and 14.4 rebounds in 35.1 minutes per game against the Warriors during the conference finals. How bad could the injuries have been?