“This always happens in America. Kobe Bryant, for example — why does he get a two-year contract extension for $50 million? Because of what he is going to do in the next two years for the Lakers? Of course not. Of course not. He gets it because of what he has done before. It makes no sense. Why do you pay for what has already happened?”
—United State’s Men’s National Soccer Coach Jurgen Klinsmann on why he cut Landon Donovan from the US World Cup squad. Klinsmann was speaking to the New York Times (hat tip Lakers Nation).
Kobe would probably like to dispute this — he is sure he will return his dominant self. (And for the record, that’s a two-year, $48.5 million contract.)
Klinsmann’s point was simply that Donovan does not get to make the 2014 World Cup team based on past accomplishments, he had to earn it and there were others better now. Plenty within USA Soccer may wish to dispute that, but you have to like a coach with the stones to cut the best known American player because he doesn’t think he’s actually the best anymore.
If you believe there is a difference between being dunked on and being dunked around, this definitely falls in the latter category.
Still, it’s an impressive move by Toronto’s Anthony Bennett to make the move and dunk around Lakers’ big man Robert Upshaw during the Raptors’ 105-97 preseason win over the Lakers Thursday night.
Bennett only had four points, but Kyle Lowry had another impressive preseason outing with 25. He has looked sharp. Julius Randle had 17 for the Lakers on 7-of-10 shooting.
The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:
In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.