Chris Andersen ignored investigators who ultimately cleared him of child pornography charges – to focus on NBA playoffs

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I’ve heard players brag about the sacrifices they made to win an NBA championship, including putting family aside to focus on the team goal. While that sounds noble the way it’s often presented, take a step back and think about it.

Neglecting your family to complete a business project?

We glorify NBA titles to such a degree, that actually makes sense to a lot of people.

I’m not sure that level of hyper-focus on basketball is necessary, but it might be when so many other players are making those choices. Many players would prefer not to even risk distractions – under any circumstances.

Take Chris Andersen, who signed with the Heat during their championship run last season.

He’d been accused of child pornography a couple years ago, and though he knew the truth would – or at least should – clear him, not everyone had access to that information at the time. The Nuggets even amnestied him. Andersen began the season without an NBA contract.

Meanwhile, Shawn Cronce and Gord Olson were investigating the case – an investigation that continued through the 2013 playoffs.

Flinder Boyd of Newsweek:

Then, as the playoffs started, Andersen got the call he feared would never come.

It was Cronce, offering to explain for the first time some of what she and Olson had learned and asking for his cooperation. This was the moment Andersen had been praying for over eight agonizing months. But he also knew that any public revelations, even one that exonerated him, would distract his team on their quest for a title, so he did something almost unthinkable: He ignored Cronce.

His play in the playoffs was remarkable. At one point he played six straight games without missing a shot and set an NBA playoff record for field goal percentage. In late June, when the Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7, they had their title. Andersen, a pariah a few short months before, stood at half-court with LeBron James as confetti rained down on him. He was a champion.

While his teammates went out to celebrate that night, Andersen immediately returned home with his fiancée. He sat down in his living room in a subdued state, according to Bryant, silently sipping a cup of sweet tea.

That is a remarkable amount of sacrifice in the name of winning a championship. I can’t say whether or not Andersen’s choice was correct for him, but I can’t imagine being falsely accused of possessing child pornography and then putting work ahead of getting my name cleared.

For Andersen, it all worked out. The Heat won the title in the summer, and Andersen was cleared in the fall.

But I just can’t over how incredible his choice was.

PBT Extra: Three things to watch with Boston in wake of Hayward injury

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Gordon Hayward is going to have surgery on his ankle and leg, which should not be a surprise to anyone who saw the gruesome injury to his leg just 5:15 into his Celtics career. There is no timetable for his return yet, maybe he makes it back for the playoffs, but the Celtics are not going to rush him and he may well miss the entire season.

What next for Boston?

In this PBT Extra I cover the three things to watch for from Boston, which in the short term could mean the Kyrie Irving show. Longer term, not much changes.

Gordon Hayward addresses Celtics and fans from hospital bed (video)

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Gordon Hayward broke his leg early in his Celtics debut – a devastating injury. He’s preparing for surgery tonight, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN:

First – after a perfect introduction from Marcus Smart – Hayward addressed the Boston crowd from his hospital bed before tonight’s game against the Bucks.

Hayward:

What’s up everybody? Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has sent me your thoughts and prayers. I’m going to be alright. It’s hurting me that I can’t be there for the home opener. I want nothing more just to be with my teammates and walk out onto that floor tonight. But I’ll be supporting you guys from here and wishing you the best of luck. Kill it tonight. Thanks, guys.

At least this nice moment (and an outpouring of support) came out of such a gruesome injury.

And if Smart keeps setting up his teammates so well, maybe the Celtics’ offense will keep humming.

76ers coach Brett Brown: Joel Embiid’s minute restriction could quickly rise

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Joel Embiid‘s minute limit of below 20 bummed out everyone (especially Embiid).

But good news could be on the way.

Keith Pompey of The Inquirer:

The 76ers look like a borderline playoff team, Embiid’s health the biggest variable. There’s a direct correlation between his ability to stay on the court and Philadelphia’s postseason chances.

Plus, he’s just so darn fun to watch. The more he plays, the bigger victory it is for every viewer not rooting for the 76ers’ opponent that night.

Report: Bucks have offered second-round pick as enticement for Rashad Vaughn trade

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John Henson was on the trade block. Greg Monroe seems permanently affixed there.

Another player the Bucks apparently want to deal? Rashad Vaughn, who was the No. 17 pick in 2015.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Milwaukee has been working to trade several players to clear salary-cap space, including guard Rashad Vaughn and center John Henson, league sources said. The Bucks have been willing to attach a second-round pick in offers for Vaughn, league sources said.

It’s unclear whether the Bucks are still as motivated to move Vaughn. They slid under the luxury-tax line by stretching Spencer Hawes. One-time target Richard Jefferson already signed with the Nuggets. A roster vacancy and cap savings might not matter as much anymore to Milwaukee.

But Vaughn has struggled in two NBA seasons. The Bucks might be better off trying to develop someone else, even a D-League player, over the 21-year-old Vaugh.

Vaughn is due $1,889,040 this season. He faces a $2,901,565 team option for next season, which his team must decide on by Oct. 31. It seems unlikely that will be exercised.

This is what happens when you draft players for the wrong reason.