Chicago Bulls:Horace Grant and Michael Jordan

Horace Grant tells about the time Michael Jordan punched Will Perdue


Michael Jordan was legend for going after teammates in practice — not just talking trash and playing hard, I mean physically go after them and throw punches. Steve Kerr got it once. Jud Buechler another.

Even Will Perdue once — that would be 7-foot, 250 pound Will Perdue.

Horace Grant was on the radio on New York’s HOT97 and told this story, thanks to No Coast Bias for finding this gem.

“Our practices were so intense because Phil, the mastermind behind everything, would put MJ on the second team, me and Scottie would be on the first team, and being competitive like he was, man. Unreal, unreal. Of course punches got thrown, many fights. I’m just so happy that social media wasn’t (around) back then.”

“I hate to tell the story but Will and I are still good friends… Typical Phil (Jackson) we run this play and Will set an illegal pick on MJ, and MJ said,’Will, don’t do that again.’ ‘Whatcha talking about’ that’s Will. MJ says alright; Phil says run it again. So naturally we run it two more times, illegal pick. MJ walks up to Will — boom. Lit him up. It was over; we grabbed Will — you’re not going to hurt MJ. MJ can take care of himself. The next day on the plane, Will gets on with this huge shiner.”

The best part is Grant says they separate anybody from going after Jordan — they need Jordan — that means he can just go after whomever he wants.

Good luck pulling that off in today’s media world.

Reports: If Hawks hesitate on fifth year, Thunder among teams lined up to poach Al Horford

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 14:  Al Horford #15 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after being charged with a foul against the Miami Heat at Philips Arena on December 14, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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The Atlanta Hawks are the kind of franchise that sometimes has to overpay to get or keep elite talent. The Hawks may not like to picture themselves that way, but that is the reality of things.

Enter free agent Al Horford.

The four-time All-Star may have spent his entire nine-year career in Atlanta, but that doesn’t exclude the Hawks from needing to overpay to keep him. Horford is an obvious max player — and the second best player available when free agency starts July 1 — but the Hawks are going to have to offer the fifth year of guaranteed money to keep him. It is the one thing Atlanta can do no other team can, his other suitors can only offer four years. Will Horford be overpaid and not nearly as valuable at age 35 in the final year of the deal? Yes. But the Hawks have to do it anyway, or they lose him and have to start a rebuild.

But the Hawks are hesitating, reports Zach Lowe of ESPN.

The Hawks are reluctant to offer Horford the fifth year only they can dangle, and if they hold firm, they are at grave risk of losing him for nothing, per league sources. (Watch out for the Pistons on Horford; with Wednesday’s trade of Meeks, they are one tiny move away from being able to fit his max. They are working to schedule a meeting with Horford over the first 48 hours of free agency, sources say. Horford’s fit alongside Andre Drummond is another question entirely.)

It’s not just the Pistons, the Thunder may make a pitch to Horford to come to them and win, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

As they prepare to make their pitch to Kevin Durant, the Oklahoma City Thunder have been making calls around the league looking to clear a massive amount of salary-cap space in a move rival executives believe is an effort to go after free agent Al Horford in addition to Durant, multiple sources told ESPN.

Horford played for Thunder coach Billy Donovan at Florida, where they teamed up to win two national titles, and they remain close. The Thunder have an opening at power forward after trading Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic last week.

To sign Horford likely would mean the Thunder having to move Enes Kanter — and they are willing to do that because they understand that’s the kind of bold move and sacrifice needed to keep a star like Durant and win a title.

Would the Hawks do something that bold?

If not the Thunder or Pistons, Horford will have other options — the Wizards, Rockets, Lakers, Heat, and Warriors have all been rumored as potential suitors.

If the Hawks lose Horford in free agency, they might as well also let Kent Bazemore go (he’s also a free agent), then trade Paul Millsap and start the rebuild. Refusing to offer Horford the fifth year is just a team trying to be safe and thrifty. Which would be very Atlanta Hawks.

Report: Knicks “strong favorites” to sign Joakim Noah in free agency

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah dunks the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, and maybe Joakim Noah all on the same team? Now all the Knicks need is a DeLorean with a flux capacitor to get back to 2011.

Anthony remains under contract and the Knicks made a big trade to upgrade at the point and get  Rose from the Bulls. Now the Knicks are looking very likely to land long-time Bulls big man Joakim Noah, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

The New York Knicks have emerged as strong favorites to sign free-agent big man Joakim Noah, according to league sources.

Sources told that multiple teams interested in Noah have all but conceded already that the Knicks are his runaway preferred destination in free agency.

Since the Knicks shipped out Robin Lopez (currently a better player than Noah), they need a new big in free agency. Noah, a native New Yorker”  is great in the locker room and he’s still fierce on the defensive end, but at 31 years old his body has started to betray him — he has missed 68 games in the past two seasons. Even when he does play the injuries and age show, he doesn’t move the same way and with the same athleticism that made him so special in the past. There are teams not chasing him because they think he is “done.”

How much will the Knicks offer Noah? More than $15 million a season? And for how many seasons? Noah is exactly the kind of player who gets overpaid — because a team pictures his past glories and not his current realities. The only question is will the Knicks be the team to do the overpaying, or will they strike a more reasonable deal (by this wild market’s standards)?

It’s going to be an interesting couple of days when the calendar flips to July 1.

Report: Iggy Azalea dumped Nick Young because Lakers guard impregnated ex-girlfriend, not because of D’Angelo Russell video

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 17:  Athlete Nick Young and musician Iggy Azalea attend the 2015 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 17, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
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D'Angelo Russell might be off the hook.

Iggy Azalea and Nick Young broke up after Russell recorded and published a video of Young discussing cheating on his former fiancée.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

Life & Style:

Life & Style has exclusively learned the real reason Iggy Azalea broke off her year-long engagement to basketball player Nick Young: he once again impregnated his baby mama, Keonna Green!

“Nick waited until Keonna was four months pregnant to tell Iggy the news,” an insider reveals, adding that he told her “he was drunk and had a lapse in judgment.”

To whatever degree Young can compartmentalize this, it probably won’t affect his NBA career.

For Russell, the stakes are different. Some will still resent him for the video, but if it didn’t directly break up Young’s engagement, that reduces the scorn he’ll receive. It’ll still take time for this to pass, but the clock is shorter.

Report: Clippers promote Lawrence Frank, who will reshape Doc Rivers’ front office

Lawrence Frank
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The Clippers have dug themselves into a hole with their roster construction.

Barring Kevin Durant accepting seemingly unfavorable terms or a great trade for Blake Griffin emerging, the Clippers’ ideal offseason is probably just overpaying Jeff Green, Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford and hoping Cole Aldrich somehow accepts the mid-level exception. Too close to the salary cap and possessing the trio’s Bird Rights, the Clippers don’t have many other options.

One thing they can do: Try to avoid similar binds in the future.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The Los Angeles Clippers have reached agreement with assistant coach Lawrence Frank on a promotion to executive vice president of basketball operations, reporting directly to president and coach Doc Rivers, league sources told The Vertical.

Frank will be charged with reshaping the franchise’s front office, including building out the infrastructure of its scouting, sports science and long-term strategic planning, sources said.

Rivers is a good coach, but he has struggled running the front office. It’s too much work for one person, and Rivers has just fallen into acquiring players he previously coached, had success against him or are related to him.

Maybe Frank, whose background is also in coaching, will do better. At minimum, the former assistant coach will be committed to just the one job.