Former Trail Blazer and Buck Joel Przybilla retires

5 Comments

Joel Przybilla fit a stereotype when he entered the NBA.

A blue-chip recruit, he’d been suspended by his coach at the University of Minnesota. Then, with athleticism on his side, he turned pro early. Painting with a broad brush, he seemed like a high-maintenance and coddled player.

In the NBA, he proved anything but.

The No. 9 pick in the 2000 NBA draft, Przybilla scored fewer than 50 points in three of his first four seasons. In the outlier, he averaged just 2.7 points per game.

Really, that was just a sign of things to come. He never averaged more than 6.4 points per game.

But the 7-foot-1 center kept finding ways to contribute. He blocked shots. He rebounded. He finished near the rim, though in extremely limited usage.

All that dirty work gave Przybilla a 13-year-career, most of it with the Milwaukee Bucks and Portland Trail Blazers. He didn’t play last season, and now he’s ready to hang ‘em up for good.

Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press:

Przybilla signed a five-year, $32 million contract with the Trail Blazers in 2006 – a big payday, but a deal Przybilla struggled to justify on the court. Eventually, his contract was used to facilitate the ill-fated trade of Gerald Wallace to Portland from Charlotte.

After just five games with the Bobcats, Przybilla signed for a year with the Trail Blazers and then a year with Milwaukee, where he spent his first four seasons. He didn’t play anywhere last season.

Due to his contract and quiet contributions, Przybilla frequently popped up trade rumors. So, though he found on-court comfort in only two cities, fans all around the league were drawn to him – and we noticed his ability to positively impact game after game.

Przybilla didn’t fit the perception when he entered the NBA, and even once in the league, he didn’t fit the standard profile of a successful top-10 pick. But he was one.

GM Bob Myers: Steve Kerr can coach Warriors ‘as long as he wants’

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Rick Carlisle coached 13 seasons, including seven in Dallas, when the Mavericks stated he could coach them as long as he wanted.

Steve Kerr needed just three seasons with the Warriors.

Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area:

Kerr has done an amazing job in Golden State, implementing a pace-setting offense predicated on movement and fine-tuning a quality defense.

It helps to have great players like Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and eventually Kevin Durant. But Kerr has maximized them. He has also played a prominent role in establishing a productive culture throughout the entire organization.

Of course, health is the big catch. Kerr has missed significant time the last two years due to complications from back surgery. He’s looking forward to a long career, but those headaches and pains aren’t far in the rearview mirror.

Kerr clearly knows how to win with this super team, not necessarily as easy of a task as it appears. He has more than earned the right to stay on the bench for the Warriors’ next iteration, whenever that comes.

Hotshot coaches can fade quickly, but Kerr has established an unprecedented amount of goodwill so quickly. Hopefully, he stays healthy enough to take up Myers on his pledge.

Report: NBA not headed toward 1-16 playoff seeding

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
1 Comment

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the league would continue look at 1-16 playoff seeding.

Ken Berger of Bleacher Report:

Silver is well-intentioned on this issue, and open-minded, too—as he is on most agenda items that could, in theory, make the league better. But despite his willingness to discuss postseason reformatting, multiple people familiar with league discussions say it’s not anywhere near the top of the agenda.

After its analysis of the issue in ’15, the league concluded that, for a variety of reasons, it wasn’t sensible to change the playoff format. The two key factors, according to league sources, were 1) travel; and 2) a belief among league officials that conference imbalance was a temporary trend that would correct itself, as it typically has in the past.

For playoff qualification to truly be fair, teams would have to play a balanced schedule. As is, teams play teams in their own conference 52 times and teams from the other conference 30 times.

More 10 p.m. starts on the East Coast and 4 p.m. starts on the West Coast would hurt TV ratings.

Plus, as relative conference strength exists now and has existed for several years, 1-16 playoff seeding would make it harder for bigger Eastern Conference markets and easier for smaller Western Conference markets to qualify for the postseason.

Quality of competition matters, and there would be value in the NBA building a playoff field of its 16 best teams. But follow the money. There isn’t nearly enough urgency with this issue to overcome the direct financial setbacks reform would cause.

Draymond Green’s MRI comes back negative

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Warriors can exhale. Their status as overwhelming championship favorites remains intact.

Draymond Green injured his knee in Golden State’s season-opening loss to the Rockets, but it appears he didn’t suffer major damage.

Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area:

Even if Green misses a little time, the Warriors should be fine. They can cruise until playoffs – maybe even a round or two into the playoffs.

Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry are Golden State’s best players, but Green’s defense is so important, especially in small-ball lineups with him at center. The Warriors led Houston by 13 when Green left the game and then couldn’t get enough fourth-quarter stops in a one-point loss.

Golden State values rest and built a supporting cast around its stars to follow through. If Green misses tomorrow’s game against the Pelicans or any beyond, Jordan Bell, David West, Kevon Looney and Omri Casspi could all see bigger roles.

Report: Grizzlies starting power forward JaMychal Green out several weeks

Steve Dykes/Getty Images
1 Comment

The Grizzlies are undefeated, having topped another playoff hopeful (Pelicans) in their season-opener.

But things seem tenuous in Memphis.

Not only is Chandler Parsons feuding with Grizzlies fans, JaMychal Green is hurt.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The supporting cast looks rickety around Mike Conley and Marc Gasol unless second-rounder Dillon Brooks (19 points on 7-of-13 shooting +17 against New Orleans) keeps humming. And maybe even still then.

Green’s injury opens the door for bigger roles for Jarell Martin and maybe Parsons (gulp).

At least Green locked in his guaranteed money. This shows why he couldn’t afford to risk taking the qualifying offer.