Gary Payton #20

Report: Gary Payton assistant-coaching candidate with Lakers, Bucks


Jason Kidd has never hid his respect for Gary Payton.

Kidd grew up in Oakland behind Payton, learning from the former Seattle SuperSonic. You can hear Kidd express his admiration for Payton in the above video.

Now the coach of the Bucks, Kidd is positioned to take advantage of Payton’s knowledge once again.

Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times (hat tip: Matt Moore of Eye on Basketball):

There would definitely be something cool about Kidd and Payton uniting, and that would be a lot of point guard knowledge for Brandon Knight, Nate Wolters, Kendall Marshall and even Giannis Antetokounmpo to draw from.

I also like the idea of Payton joining Byron Scott, officially hired since Woelfel’s report, and teaching Jeremy Lin to defend better. If The Glove could help him on that end of the court, Lin might become a strong NBA starter once again.

Either way, I’d like to see Payton back in the league if for no other reason than the trash talking from the bench.

Greg Smith fails physical, will not join Pelicans

Greg Smith
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With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.

Greg Smith was going to be that man, but the 24-year-old failed his physical, reports the Times-Picayune.

The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.

And so the search goes on.

The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.

With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.

Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker

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Welcome to America, Fenerbahce Ulker.

The Turkish powerhouse was in America playing some exhibition games this preseason, and they got a first-hand reminder that Kevin Durant is back. KD had 13 points in the Thunder’s easy 111-81 win.

Not to be outdone, Russell Westbrook got in on the act.