Chris Kaman not happy he signed with the Lakers

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Chris Kaman, after doing it with the Mavericks last season, knows playing on a one-year contract comes with all kinds of complications. Before the season, he said:

There’s just so many things that can happen, and the biggest one is that you’re on a one-year deal and you’re worried about it the whole time and it stresses you out.“But you’ve got to just play basketball. That’s what I’ve been doing for 10 years and that’s what I’m trying to focus on doing now.”

Easier said than done.

Kaman hasn’t played in 11 of the Lakers’ last 12 games, even though he says he’s healthy. And that gets frustrating.

Kaman, via Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com:

“It’s absolutely not what I was looking for,” Kaman told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Monday morning after the Lakers’ shootaround. “It’s not really in my control. I just try to keep working hard and be ready if the time comes. And if it doesn’t, then it just wasn’t meant to be.”

“I haven’t,” Kaman said, when asked if he’d heard from the Lakers or anyone else about whether he’d be moved. “The conversations I’ve had have been, ‘Let’s stick with it. Let’s play it out a little more. Let’s see where things go.’ So I just try to be ready and be positive. I’m not going to let it take away from me having fun and being a good person. I just do the best I can with what I’ve got.”

“Never did I think I would come here and not play, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have come,” Kaman said. “I had a bunch of other options, but I saw opportunity here.”

Kaman clearly didn’t assess his situation properly last summer. The Lakers signed Kaman not necessarily because they were enthralled with him, but because they had so few options.

I’m sure the Lakers told Kaman they coveted him, but he should have realized they might be saying that only because they couldn’t get anyone better.

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Kaman should also realizing he’s not even the Lakers’ top priority when it comes to unhappy big men. They’ll figure out what to do with Pau Gasol, another center who’s not a great fit in Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo system, before Kaman lands on the radar.

It might be hard for him to accept, but Kaman is a bit player at this point. There are some teams that would give him a bigger role, but not many.

Remembering Notre Dame, Laker legend Tommy “the hawk” Hawkins

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Tommy Hawkins passed away recently at the age of 80.

The former NBA player was the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame (he still holds the school’s total rebounds record), was drafted in the first round, and went on to have a 10-year NBA career playing for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Cincinnati Royals. Los Angeles fans may also remember him as the long time director of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers after his playing days ended.

The NBA put together this well done video look back at Hawkins’ career.

Celtics’ Brad Stevens said early September tests will show if Thomas ready for camp

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Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.

Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.

Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”

The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.

Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.

Allen Iverson predicts LeBron James will win MVP

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LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.

Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?

Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.

LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.

It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.