Dan Feldman

SPRINGFIELD, MA - SEPTEMBER 11: Michael Jordan to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame speaks during an induction ceremony on September 11, 2009 in Springfield, Massachusetts. 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 Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

President Barack Obama: Michael Jordan ‘more than just an internet meme’

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Barack Obama awarded Michael Jordan the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and that’s supposedly the highest civilian honor.

But Obama offered Jordan the highest praise imaginable:

He’s more than just a logo, more than just an internet meme.

Rick Carlisle on inspiring 2-11 Mavericks: ‘We could all be digging ditches’

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 08:  Head Coach Rick Carlisle of the Dallas Mavericks reacts to an officials call during the first half of a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on November 8, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.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 Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Mavericks are an NBA-worst 2-11 (yes, worse than the 76ers, who are suddenly “just” ordinarily bad). Gregg Popovich just tore into his Spurs for beating Dallas by just five. Several Mavericks are hurt, making it difficult to snap a six-game losing streak.

But as Dallas coach Rick Carlisle pointed out, it could be worse.

Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News:

I guess.

There’s nothing wrong with appreciating how fortunate anyone is to play or coach in the NBA. I’m just not sure that will have the team raring to go against the Clippers tomorrow.

Grizzlies’ Mike Conley: ‘Very frustrating’ never to make an All-Star game

AP Photo/Brandon Dill

Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley is building a case to become the best player never to make an All-Star game.

Rather than carry that distinction, it seems he’d rather just make an All-Star game.

Conley, via Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

“It’s very frustrating, but I know my team feels like I am, I feel like I am that All-Star-caliber guy,” said Conley, whose Grizzlies on Saturday played the Wolves for the third time already this season. “I just have to keep playing like that and get better as each year goes by.”

I understand Conley’s frustration. It’s easy to examine his career and believe it should have produced at least one All-Star appearance.

But it’s much more difficult to point to a certain year and a specific Western Conference All-Star and say, “Conley deserved it over him.” Absent that, any griping is moot. The Western Conference has produced great guards over his career. That might be frustrating, but that’s reality.

Besides, All-NBA should be treated as a more meaningful honor than an All-Star appearance, anyway (not that Conley has made an All-NBA team).

Derrick Rose invited himself to Carmelo Anthony’s Thanksgiving, doesn’t plan to bring anything

WHITE PLAINS, NY - SEPTEMBER 26:  Derrick Rose #25 of the New York Knicks looks on as Carmelo Anthony #7 addresses the media during the New York Knicks Media Day at the Ritz Carlton on September 26, 2016 in White Plains, New York.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Derrick Rose is happy to be with the Knicks after spending his first eight NBA seasons with the Bulls in his hometown of Chicago.

But it carries drawbacks this time of year, when his family is in Chicago for Thanksgiving.

Thankfully for Rose, he’s headed to Carmelo Anthony‘s for Thanksgiving.

Rose, via Ian Begley of ESPN:

“I just asked where his family’s (going) and asked if it was cool if I came over. He said yeah so I don’t think I have to bring anything but an appetite. Yeah, that’s the only thing I have to bring right now.”

It’s cool that Rose feels comfortable enough with Anthony to invite himself over for Thanksgiving (unless he awkwardly forced an invitation from a reluctant Anthony). Either way, good on Anthony for welcoming someone who had nowhere to go for the holiday.

But, Derrick, you’ve gotta bring a dish to pass. La La will appreciate it.

Chris Paul: Relationship with Blake Griffin ‘better now than ever’

PLAYA VISTA, CA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers and Blake Griffin #32 share a laugh during media day at the Los Angeles Clippers Training Center on September 26, 2016 in Playa Vista, California. 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. Mandatory copyright notice. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The fundamental question for the Clippers this season: Will they keep their pending free agents happy?

Though J.J. Redick factors, the Clippers can always outspend competitors to keep him. The bigger focus revolves around Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. The stars will have their choice of max offers, and their endorsement deals minimalize the effects of the higher raises and extra year the Clippers can offer.

The early returns for the Clippers are positive on the duo, who haven’t always meshed.

The Clippers are outscoring opponents by 22.4 points per 100 possessions when Paul and Griffin share the floor. And they’re also clicking off the floor.

Paul, via Sam Amick of USA Today:

“Oh, no question (it’s) better now than ever,” Paul told me on Friday. “Like I’m saying, we both have matured so much, and our communication is amazing right now, so sometimes it takes time. That’s what (happened) with me and BG, and there’s nothing like it right now. We are having some of the most fun that we’ve had in our time together.”

If you’re the Clippers, this is everything you hope to hear right now. But it means only so much.

The last couple seasons have ended in playoff disappointment, blowing a 3-1 lead to the Rockets in the 2015 second round and having injuries decimate the team in the first round against the Trail Blazers last season. Something similar could send Paul and Griffin into free agency on a sour note.

The final impression matters more than the feeling in November, but at least there’s positivity now. That’s all the Clippers can ask so for.