Derek Harper is one of those guys where the fans of that team just love him and people outside the city may not always get it.
Harper was drafted by the Mavericks in 1983 and spent his first decade in the league in Dallas. He was a strong defender (two-time NBA All Defense second team) who was just smart with the ball and he could score — he averaged 16 points or more seven of his seasons with the Mavericks. Now he is a broadcaster for the team.
He’s not a guy headed to the Hall of Fame — but he is headed to the Mavericks’ equivalent.
Owner Mark Cuban confirmed to ESPN that the Mavericks will retire Harper’s No. 12 later this season.
It’s fitting. He’s the best point guard in Mavericks’ history (Steve Nash wasn’t there long enough). Teams have different criteria for who goes up in the rafters but it should be a guy that was dedicated to the team and someone the fans love. That’s Harper in Dallas. Plus he still has the franchise records for assists (5,111) and steals (1,551).
No date is yet set for this.
To answer your next question (or so you can stump your friends with trivia) there are two other Mavericks with retired jerseys: Brad Davis (15) and Rolando Blackman (22).
Warriors center Anderson Varejao will miss the Rio Olympics due to a back injury.
Where will Team Brazil turn now?
Likely to Bulls center Cristiano Felicio.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Felicio came on strong late last season. He puts his 6-foot-10, 275-pound frame to good use protecting the paint and rebounding. He showed potential as passer and mid-range shooter, too.
At age 24, he’s a candidate to break out in the Olympics.
If he’s not ready, Brazil can turn to a steady veteran at center, Nene.
Blake Griffin broke his hand punching Clippers equipment manager Matias Testi in January.
Make that former Clippers equipment manager Matias Testi.
The L.A. Clippers equipment staffer who was punched in the face by Blake Griffin during a fight in Toronto earlier this year is off the team — and will NOT be back for the ’16/’17 season … TMZ Sports has learned.
We spoke with a rep for the Clippers who confirmed Matias Testi “no longer works for the team.”
The report that Kevin Durant told Russell Westbrook he’d re-sign with the Thunder before choosing the Warriors?
Royce Young of ESPN:
I misspoke in saying that Durant specifically told Westbrook he was coming back.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Center Anderson Varejao will miss the Olympics for host Brazil because of a herniated disc in his lower back.
The Golden State Warriors announced the injury Wednesday and say that Varejao should be ready for the start of training camp but will not be healthy enough to play in the Olympics. Varejao recently experienced back pain while training with the Brazilian National Team and returned to California to be examined by Dr. Robert Watkins earlier this week.
Varejao averaged 2.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 22 games after signing with the Warriors on Feb. 22. He re-signed with the team earlier this month.