Steve Kerr will find time for all four Warriors All-Stars on floor

2 Comments

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Steve Kerr will find a stretch while coaching next month’s All-Star Game to get all four of his Golden State Warriors on the floor together.

“I am absolutely going to play them all four together,” Kerr said Friday. “Those four will be together for sure. I can guarantee you that’ll happen at some point because that will be a pretty cool thing. It’s very rare. … It’ll be fun at least for a couple minutes I’ll get them all out there at once.”

And center Zaza Pachulia will be with them in spirit for the Feb. 19 game in New Orleans.

The Warriors tied an NBA record with four players on the All-Star team – two-time reigning MVP Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant as starters for the Western Conference coached by Kerr, and Draymond Green and Klay Thompson as reserves.

“That’ll be really cool,” Thompson said of playing with his three Warriors teammates in the NBA’s midseason showcase. “I wonder who the fifth player will be. That will be really awesome. It will feel like a real game and we can even run some sets. It’s crazy. It’s really a unique situation and it doesn’t happen a lot for a lot of teams, so we’re going to enjoy the heck out of it.”

Only seven other teams, in fact.

Golden State, with the NBA’s best record at 39-7, is just the eighth franchise to land four players in the All-Star game and just the second in the West. The Los Angeles Lakers did so in 1998.

“That’s special,” Green said. “It says a lot about this team. First off the success that we’ve had here.”

In honoring the lone Golden State starter not there – Pachulia – Thompson has a plan in mind.

“I might set a hard screen or something,” he said.

Oh, and Green has his own idea: “We’ll all take Fatheads for Zaza, extra-large size.”

Green found out about making the team while taking care of his 1-month-old son, Draymond Jr., on Thursday – he was on feeding and diaper duty and the baby was “crying a lot.”

“My first 35 minutes was hell finding out I was an All-Star,” he said. “After that … he ate, I started burping him and he fell asleep, so I started responding to texts and he woke up like 10 minutes later and went crazy again. It was a cool couple hours for me, dealing with crying and diapers, milk. It was fun.”

Kerr and the Golden State staff will coach their second All-Star game in three seasons, and with so many familiar faces.

“It’s a great honor for those guys individually and for us as an organization,” Kerr said. “It’s pretty remarkable to have this group together right now and to see them all playing so well together, along with the rest of our guys. It doesn’t always work that way, where you put a group together, a group of stars, it doesn’t always click. But it’s clicked because our guys are unselfish and they enjoy playing with one another.”

Notes: Reserve F David West, who suffered a non-displaced fracture of his left thumb Jan. 18 against Oklahoma City, is doing some running and shooting. He will be re-evaluated at the two-week mark early next week with a follow-up X-ray. “The main thing is he can’t have contact,” Kerr said. “So he’s able to actually get some work done on the floor but the fracture has to heal, so any non-contact stuff he’s able to do, which is good.”

Report: Knicks not interested in trading Kristaps Porzingis for Kyrie Irving

Leave a comment

With uncertainty around LeBron James‘ future in Cleveland — and good luck finding anyone around the league who thinks he is staying; LeBron’s options are open, but the sense is he has one foot out the door — the Cavaliers are prioritizing getting a young star to rebuild around back in any Kyrie Irving trade.

At the top of the Cavaliers’ wish list: Kristaps Porzingis.

Except the Knicks have no interest in this trade, reports Steven Marcus and Mike Rose of Newsday.

The Knicks don’t appear interested in trading Kristaps Porzingis, including a possible deal for Cavaliers All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, according to a league source…

“[Knicks president] Steve Mills and [Knicks general manager] Scott Perry on the record were very clear that Kristaps was part of the future,’’ the source said in reference to comments made last month by both executives. “In all the discussions since then — there were other rumors before that Cleveland would want Kristaps — and it didn’t seem that [the Knicks] were interested at all in a conversation.’’

Nor should the Knicks give him up — even if they could dump the anchor Joakim Noah contract in the process.

Irving is a sure thing, an elite scorer and All-Star who averaged 25.2 points and 5.8 assists a game last season and shot better than 40 percent from three. Irving, entering his seventh season, can do more to help a team win next season than Porzingis. He can get more buckets.

But Porzingis could be better — and will be better suited to build a contender around — in the future. Entering just his third season and with the triangle gone, and maybe the shadow of Carmelo Anthony, too, Porzingis should become the focal point of the Knicks next season, and we can see what he will do. KP scored 18.1 points and grabbed 7.2 rebounds a game last season, shot 35.7 percent from three, and while still learning he brings more defense than Irving. Porzingis is a 7’3″ “unicorn” — there isn’t another player like him — and for many years he could be the future of the Knicks. He has the work ethic, he’s shown flashes, they just need to give him a real chance.

Also, the Knicks need to work starting this fall to mend the relationship that Phil Jackson tried to poison.

Bottom line, Irving is good, but the Knicks could build a contender around Porzingis if they handle it right. Not sure they can do that around Irving, and he is older. No way you make that trade if you’re the Knicks. That’s obvious… which is one reason Jackson needed to go.

 

Watch the best ball fakes from the past NBA season

Leave a comment

While we grind through the slow part of the NBA offseason — when even Kyrie Irving trade rumors come with “when we get close to the start of training camp” qualifiers — we continue to get our hoops fix from the best highlights of last season.

Like the top 10 ball fakes, as compiled by NBA.com.

You knew Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving would be on the list, but nice appearance and moves by Ricky Rubio and D'Angelo Russell, too.

Kobe, LeBron, other NBA players react to President Trump’s stunning speech

REUTERS
4 Comments

When President Donald Trump doubled-down on his support of the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who conducted a racist rally in Charlottesville, making a false moral equivalency with protestors of racism, it had television news anchors stunned, drew condemnation from both sides of the political aisle, and left most Americans queasy.

Count NBA players among those disgusted by the president’s comments.

That includes Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

(Note: As part of that press conference, Trump said he owns one of the largest wineries in the nation right near Charlottesville.)

On Monday and earlier Tuesday — before the president’s latest salvo of stupidity but after the “unite the right” rally to “protect” a statue of a man who fought to keep slavery in place, where violence the protesters courted broke out and left one woman, Heather Heyer, dead — the Bucks’ Jabari Parker took part in an anti-racism rally, and LeBron had said this about Charlotte and moving the country forward.

Chris Paul had this to say before the latest press conference.

Maybe the only good thing to come of all this, you can now own a T-shirt of vintage Team USA Vince Carter dunking over Trump.

Report: Grizzlies about to hire Tayshaun Prince for front office job

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Tayshaun Prince spent 14 years in the NBA as a long, defensive minded wing, one of the early “3&D” guys but one who, in his prime, could be more than that. He won a ring in Detroit in 2004 and was a four-time NBA All-Defense selection.

Now he’s stepping into the front office.

The Grizzlies, one of his former teams, is about to hire him, reports Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Retired forward Tayshaun Prince will soon be named special assistant to Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace, according to several NBA sources…

Prince is widely considered a big influence in NBA locker rooms and operated as a calming voice with Grizzlies players.

The Grizzlies believe Prince will bring a unique voice to front office decisions.

Prince came to the Grizzlies in the Rudy Gay trade and made a real impression there — and elsewhere — as a locker room leader and rational voice. He was in the NBA until last season.

This could and should be a good hire for a Grizzlies team transitioning out of the “grit n’ grind” era (albeit slowly, they could still bring Tony Allen back). The best GMs don’t go it alone but get information and perspectives from a lot of sources, and a high IQ former player would be a good one.