Chris Douglas-Roberts shares a story about practicing with Kobe Bryant

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Chris Douglas-Roberts has been a fringe NBA player for the last couple of seasons that has been in and out of camp with the Los Angeles Lakers.

CDR is struggling to find a home on an NBA roster largely due to his jack-of-all-trades, master of none skill set, combined with a physical frame that simply does not scream professional athlete.

But given his time around one of the league’s most legendary franchises, the man has stories. Including this one, which he posted to his Instagram account regarding a practice duel he took part in with the great Kobe Bryant.

A lot of ppl wondered why Bean spoke so highly of me last yr. First day of camp Mike Brown tried to throw me in the fire right away. Made me & Bean 1 on 1 partners for the whole first practice. What Mike Brown didn’t know is that’s what I was waiting for. That whole day we went head up. At one point it damn near came to blows bc Bean will do anything for an edge. So he was elbowing me on the low for separation & I couldn’t let that go as a competitor. As a man. The refs were too scared to call the foul bc he was intimidating them all practice. But at then end it was all love. The respect is mutual. Gave me some pointers that are priceless. It’s a misconception on Bean. Ppl think he’s a sucker…hard to play with. It’s just that he expects the most of his teammates bc he works so hard. Easily realist hooper I’ve met. He never lies and I respect that. #ClosestThingtoJordan #HeNeverSleepsEither#ImOut

The work ethic is obviously there, or CDR wouldn’t keep being invited to play in Summer League or practices with NBA teams. (He was most recently in camp with the Knicks before being waived on Friday.)

The tale of his tangle with Bryant is interesting, if only to note how he supposedly didn’t back down, and how Bryant will bring maximum intensity to anyone that steps to him on the court — even a non-rostered player during a team practice session.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.