Author: John Krolik

It's like this, but not in an NBA arena and a much worse idea.

Video: Here are college students dunking out of a flaming trash can and while being pulled by a motorcycle


This is something you don’t see. With reason. Apparently nobody was seriously harmed. Even so, please do not try this at home, or at college, or anywhere, ever.

Happy Wednesday, everybody. Hat tip to The Basketball Jones’ J.E. Skeets.

Marcin Gortat and Robin Lopez are not best friends

Baron Davis, Marcin Gortat

After former Magic center and Dwight Howard backup Marcin Gortat was traded to the Phoenix Suns last season, he ended up taking the starting center job from the incumbent Robin Lopez. It didn’t take long at all.

In a recent Q+A at a kids’ basketball camp (hat tip to SB Nation’s Seth Pollack), Gortat talked about his feelings towards Lopez:

Marcin said that on his first day in Phoenix he asked Robin if practice started on the court or with a video session. Robin told Marcin that he didn’t know so Gortat went to the gym while Lopez went to watch video. According to Gortat, a coach came to get him and asked why he was late and Marcin said that he had asked Robin and was told he didn’t know where practice was starting. The coach said everyone knew where they were supposed to be. Marcin took that as a sign of where things stood between himself and Lopez.

Gortat went on to talk about the opportunity that Lopez had to earn and keep the starting job.

“This guy (Lopez) had such a big chance, such a big opportunity, to play in the best league. When I was Orlando, playing behind Dwight (Howard), I was praying to get a chance to play and he (Lopez) has had this chance for two years and he didn’t take.

So I thought, when you don’t want it, there will be 50 persons behind you, waiting to take this chance, and then I came by and I took (it). Sorry, that’s business, that’s life.”

(In an email, Lopez said that he didn’t send Gortat to the wrong place maliciously, but rather simply didn’t know whether the practice would start in the video room or the court that day.)

According to, Lopez wasn’t exactly doing everything he could to prove his worth both before and after the Gortat trade, as he had a team-low -8.09 adjusted plus-minus last season. We’ll see if this center battle gets genuinely nasty next season. Or if the Suns decide they need to ship one of them out of town.

Kobe Bryant to play in charity soccer game

Kobe Bryant Meets With FC Barcelona
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From Janis Carr of the Orange County Register:

Kobe Bryant is taking his soccer talents to Washington, D.C., where he has agreed to play in a celebrity soccer game Sunday.

Former soccer great Mia Hamm and her husband, former Dodgers player Nomar Garciaparra, are playing host to their fourth annual Soccer Challenge that benefits the Mia Hamm Foundation & Children’s National Medical Center.

Apparently Kobe’s knees are feeling good. And any lingering pain in his fingers is irrelevant here.

As Carr mentions, Bryant grew up playing soccer in Italy (he lived there while his father played professional basketball in Italy). Bryant is still a huge fan of FC Barcelona (yes, we know that’s not in Italy, but it’s his fandom not ours), he is friends with Ronaldinho and has been to Barca practices.

Considering that and Bryant’s legendary competitive drive, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Kobe ended up putting in a few goals on Sunday.

Ibaka says he will be an All-Star soon


Hoopshype’s Jorge Sierra recently sat down with the Thunder’s Serge Ibaka for an interview, and there’s a lot of interesting stuff in there. Here’s a quick excerpt:

Do you think you have the potential to be an All-Star?

SI: Yes, I see it happening in one or two years.

Playing for a team like Oklahoma City, with guys like Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook, do you think you can have a bigger role offensively than you’ve had so far?

SI: Well… I feel very good about my current role. They will both help me improve my offensive game. On the defensive end, the role I have is very important for me. If one day I become an All-Star, it will not be only because of my offensive game. My job on the defensive end will count too.

Ibaka had a breakout season last year. He established himself as one of the best shot-blockers and defensive players in the league, added a mid-range jumper and made huge leaps on the offensive end, and showed some shocking athleticism when he dunked from beyond the free-throw line at the dunk contest.

He along with Kendrick Perkins make maybe the best defensive front line in the league.

For more of Ibaka’s thoughts on his upcoming free-agency, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, which player in the NBA he idolized, and his charity work in the Congo, click through and read the full interview.

Moncrief to become assistant coach with Bucks

Sidney Moncrief
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From Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski we get the news an interesting hire in Milwaukee:

Sidney Moncrief, one of the Milwaukee Bucks’ legendary players, is finalizing an agreement to return to the franchise as an assistant coach, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Moncrief will replace Kelvin Sampson on Scott Skiles’ coaching staff, and have significant responsibilities on the defensive side. Sampson left the Bucks to become Kevin McHale’s lead assistant with the Houston Rockets.

The 53-year old Moncrief was a two-time defensive player of the year as a player, but the Bucks’ defense doesn’t need all that much fixing as is — the team finished fourth in defensive efficiency last season. It’s the Bucks’ offense, which ranked dead last in the NBA last season, that needs fixing — we’ll see what moves the Bucks make to address their abysmal offense this off-season.

Still, this is a hiring that should go over well with Bucks fans.