Andrew Wiggins

Sixers apologize for treatment of media during Andrew Wiggins pre-draft visit


The Sixers reportedly really like Andrew Wiggins, so much so that they are willing to consider all options to ensure they’ll be in position to secure his services.

But there’s also plenty of misinformation that teams near the top of the draft order like to put out there this time of year, in order to ensure the guy they truly want is still there by the time their pick comes around.

If the way Philadelphia handled Wiggins’ pre-draft workout on Monday is any indication, though, they may indeed have already decided that he’s the one they want.

From John Gonzalez of

Wiggins was at PCOM on Monday. So were a handful of reporters. At some point, campus security and a Philadelphia police officer asked the media to leave (see story). Something about it being private property, even though that same group of reporters is there all the time for various reasons. …

Tuesday morning, after the media reconvened at PCOM and took another crack at talking to Wiggins -– he was scheduled for his official workout — the Sixers dispatched an emissary. He said there was a miscommunication. He said PCOM security acted without the Sixers’ knowledge. He said the Sixers didn’t know the media had been asked to leave. …

With Wiggins, they cut off communication. Then the Sixers ushered Wiggins out the PCOM back door, into an SUV, and off to the airport — where he somehow avoided detection by CSN reporter John Clark, who has Philadelphia International wired better than an airline electrician.

It’s worth noting that not all teams behave this way with prospects in for workouts before the draft, and in fact, plenty of them invite the media in to speak with the coach and GM (and sometimes the players) about how the day’s workout unfolded.

The Sixers apologized for not communicating better where Wiggins was concerned, and a team spokesman went on video with reporters to further explain Philadelphia’s position — which, essentially, is that they’re not all that interested in providing formal access to interview prospects in advance of the June 26 draft.

And honestly, that’s fine. Maybe the reporters in attendance could have been notified earlier that there would be no availability to avoid the uncomfortable situation, but from a team standpoint, there is nothing to be gained from having young prospects who are inexperienced in dealing with the press potentially divulge which way the team is leaning with so much at stake.

Philadelphia has seven picks in this summer’s draft, but its highest is third overall. Wiggins may still be there, but he might not — which would require trade talks with either Cleveland or Milwaukee to truly ensure that he ends up with the Sixers, making the team’s somewhat clandestine approach all the more understandable.

Wiggins comes to Philly to work out for Sixers

Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver

Manu Ginobili, Harrison Barnes, Tim Duncan
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The Spurs are 12-3 and comfortably in second place in the West, they have the best defense in the NBA allowing just 93.8 points per 100 possessions, and they have a top-10 offense to go with it.

So, time to start making sure guys are rested.

That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.

Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.

What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.

Brandon Armstrong impersonates Ray Allen (video)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Ray Allen is retired-ish, but he’ll always be running through screens – in our mind and in this video.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry
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The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.

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

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott

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.