Author: Brett Pollakoff

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Clippers

Report: No changes to playoff seeding, ‘hack-a-Shaq’ after competition committee meets


The NBA’s competition committee met in Las Vegas on Monday, but made no decisions regarding making any changes to two of the league’s most talked-about issues.

Kevin Arnovitz of

The NBA’s competition committee met Monday in Las Vegas to review several potential rule changes, including playoff seeding, “Hack-a-Shaq,” the free-agency moratorium period and the replay review center.

Sources at the meeting said no concrete decisions were made in the room, but a full summary of the discussion will be presented to the NBA’s Board of Governors, which is scheduled to meet on Tuesday in Las Vegas.

The conversation surrounding playoff seedings addressed whether division winners should be given an advantage in tie-breaker scenarios and a top-four conference seeding despite record.

The occasionally-effective but always-ugly strategy to intentionally foul poor free throw shooters got national exposure during the playoffs in multiple rounds, but was most egregious during a contest where the Rockets were sent to the free throw line a ridiculous 64 times.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said he’s on the fence about whether or not to eliminate this as an option, and evidently the committee members saw it the same way.

The league’s moratorium on free agent signings was also discussed, in light of a loophole that DeAndre Jordan exposed when he backed out of a verbal commitment to the Mavericks and chose to remain with the Clippers instead. A day-long circus unfolded that was hilarious to watch in real time, but was ultimately a bad look for the league and this particular side of the business.

Celtics’ Gigi Datome leaves NBA to play overseas

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Four

Gigi Datome was traded from the Pistons to the Celtics at the deadline last season, and averaged just 10.7 minutes per game in 18 regular season appearances.

But he was a fan favorite of sorts in Boston, and was able to score in double digits in the few instances where he was given enough playing time to do some damage.

As a free agent this summer, he had more than one team interested. But wanting a larger and more consistent role, Datome chose to leave the NBA entirely and play overseas instead.

Datome agreed to a a three-year contract with Turkey’s Fenerbahce squad, and took to Facebook to explain his decision.


Phil Jackson says Knicks need to be competitive before big-name free agents will consider them as a destination

Phil Jackson

The Knicks didn’t make any splashes this offseason in free agency, at least in terms of adding a big-name talent to the roster.

But the moves they did make are the kind that can build a foundation.

This summer was Phil Jackson’s first chance to make a real impact in re-shaping the New York roster, a process that begun at last season’s trade deadline when he jettisoned multiple players and essentially tanked the remainder of the season to get a high lottery pick in this summer’s draft.

In free agency, the Knicks focused on adding lesser pieces, rather than chasing guys who would be unlikely to sign. And as Phil Jackson explained, that was the necessary path to take when looking to rebuild almost from scratch.

Tim MacMahon of

Team president Phil Jackson believes the New York Knicks must prove they can be a winning franchise before they can be considered a destination for the NBA’s premier free agents.

“We need to win, be a competitive team,” Jackson said Monday at the Las Vegas Summer League in his first public comments since the Knicks signed center Robin Lopez, shooting guard Arron Afflalo, and forwards Derrick Williams and Kyle O’Quinn in free agency. “I think we showed agents and players around the league a serious nature of what we’re trying to accomplish. People who know basketball will recognize that, and we’ll have people who want to come here.” …

“We made a defensive attempt in free agency to really kind of solidify our team and give ourselves a basis from which we can work from,” Jackson said. “I think everything went according to how we thought it would go. There were some long shots out there that we took, but the reality was, we wanted what we got.

The Lakers might want to pay attention here.

The reality in today’s NBA is that All-Star caliber players are no longer willing to sign up to play in large markets like New York or Los Angeles simply because they’re desirable cities in which to live. Winning matters, especially when the money can be similar at so many different destinations.

This will become even more true in advance of the 2016-17 season, when the salary cap will spike upwards of 30 percent, and literally every team will have money to spend.

Jackson has done a good job making the necessary moves that can provide a significant increase to the team’s win total from last season. And if things go as expected, that will go a long way in making New York an exciting place for free agents to realistically consider — possibly as soon as next summer.

Shabazz Napier impresses during 20-point Summer League performance for Heat (VIDEO)


Before LeBron James bolted Miami to return to Cleveland as a free agent last summer, he made it known that he liked Shabazz Napier, who was projected as a late first-round pick.

The Heat traded up to grab him, and of course, Pat Riley denied that LeBron’s comment had anything at all to do with that decision.

In advance of the draft this year, however, Riley made a comment that let us all know just how much influence LeBron happened to have.

Napier may turn out to have value after all. He looked great at Summer League on Monday, and finished with 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting, to go along with six rebounds and six assists in a little more than 24 minutes of action.

Players who played significant NBA minutes last year tend to tear it up at Summer League, so any optimism gleaned from this performance should be done with caution. But Napier did plenty to show he’s capable nonetheless.

Report: Ty Lawson arrested for DUI

Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers

The Nuggets have three capable point guards on the roster in Ty Lawson, Jameer Nelson and the recently-drafted Emmanuel Mudiay.

It’s been believed by many around the league that Lawson would be traded at some point, due to a combination of issues both on and off the court that has the franchise wanting to move in another direction.

After a reported second arrest for DUI this year, the level of difficulty of doing so on the Denver side just increased significantly.


TMZ Sports has learned Lawson was pulled over by CHP for speeding on the 101 Freeway early this morning … and officers determined he showed signs of intoxication … so they gave him a field sobriety test.

Didn’t go so good for Lawson. He was arrested around 2:30 AM.

Lawson is still capable of producing at a high level, and averaged 15.2 points and a career-best 9.2 assists while starting 75 games for the Nuggets last season. Some team is going to get him for almost nothing, and he may prove to be a steal — if he can get these silly issues eventually sorted out.