Keon Clark smiles

Wednesday And-1 Links: Former NBAer Keon Clark sentenced to 8 years in prison


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.

• Former NBA player Keon Clark has been sentenced to 8 years in prison, as reported by the News Gazette out of Illinois. Clark “faced 10 weapons, drugs and driving-related charges stemming from one 2012 case and four 2013 cases” according to the report. He is going to spend that time in a Department of Corrections-run drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility near Chicago as part of his effort to kick his additions. Clark was the No. 13 pick out of UNLV and played six seasons in the NBA with Denver, Toronto, Sacramento and Utah.

Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report wrote about Derrick Rose and said “the surgeon was able to preserve “100 percent” of the torn meniscus in his right knee.”

• If you’re a team that is only going to pay the luxury tax for a couple of seasons when you can make a run at a ring, when do you pull that trigger?

An appreciation of Jeff Teague’s game. He is having his best season as a pro by far.

Are the Trail Blazers for real? (This is behind ESPN’s pay wall.)

• Carmelo Anthony’s high school coach talks about his former star.

• Updated odds on the NBA championship from showed a few interesting things. The Indiana Pacers were 9-1 before the season but are 4-1 now and the second choice on the board. The Thunder are third at 6-1 and the Spurs have gone from 14-1 before the season to 7-1 now. On the other end of the spectrum, the Clippers were 9-1 to win it all before the season and they are 14-1 now. The thing that didn’t change is Miami is now and remains at 2-1 and the favorite to win it all.

• The Bulls let Mike James play on a sprained knee, which is kind of a trend with the Bulls team doctors. And you wonder why Derrick Rose took his time getting back.

• The Bulls have sent Marcus Teague to the D-League for seasoning.

• Will Forte has a really gross Clippers superstition.

• When asked about George Karl’s comments that he was doing some bush league things during the playoffs last year, Jackson took the high road.

• One of my favorite tweets of the season from Tuesday night:

• The Hawks have sent rookie point guard Dennis Schroder to the D-League. I think Schroder could be something special, but he needs time on the court and he can get that in the D-League.

• Former Suns point guard Kendall Marshall is now a member of the Delaware 87ers of the D-League draft.

• Finally, Grant Hill talks about the potential of Duke freshman phenom Jabari Parker.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott
Leave a comment

Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.

Is Stephen Curry the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Lionel Messi
1 Comment

Stephen Curry has reached the transcendent point in his career. We’re now talking about if he has passed LeBron James as the best player on the planet (he has), and we’re starting to think about his legacy as the perfect point guard for a modern NBA small-ball, space-and-pace offense. Plus he’s just a joy to watch play.

Does that make him the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Curry was asked to compare himself to the Barcelona/Argentinian player who (arguably) is the greatest soccer player in the world, certainly as elite a finisher as that sport has ever seen. Here is his answer, via the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia. Is Curry the bigger international star now?

“I don’t know – it’s a chicken and egg kind of conversation,” Curry said while laughing.

“We both have a creative style, a feel when you are out on the pitch or the court. I’m trying to do some fancy things out there with both hands, making crossover moves and having a certain flair to my game and that’s definitely the style Messi has when he is out there in his matches.”

I love Curry, but Messi is the bigger international star.

But I love the comparison in terms of the must-watch nature of the two stars, the flair in their games, the sense that you have to keep an eye on them at all times because the spectacular could happen any time they touch the ball. When the ball comes to them, everybody leads forward in their chairs. That is the sign of a real superstar.

Jahlil Okafor fights man in Boston (video)

Jahlil Okafor

The 76ers lost a heartbreaker to the Celtics last night, dropping Philadelphia to 0-16.

Jahlil Okafor was apparently in a foul mood after the game.


We’re told everyone got up and fled the scene and no arrests were made.

We’re told the altercation began because one of the men in the other group yelled at Jahlil, “The 76ers suck.”

We spoke with a rep for Jahlil who tells us … Okafor says he was being heckled from the moment he left the club and felt threatened because people swarmed him on the street.


This video obviously doesn’t show everything, but it certainly makes Okafor look like the aggressor.

Okafor will probably face punishment from some combination of the legal system, NBA and 76ers.