Kurt Helin

Isaiah Thomas said he should be healthy, ready for training camp

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Isaiah Thomas‘ All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a hip injury he initially suffered back in March but was playing through.  The good news is that he does not need surgery on the hip.

Thomas said he thinks he will be ready for training camp the last week of September, he told Stephen Hewitt of the Boston Herald.

“The hip is great,” Thomas told the Herald on Saturday during his annual basketball clinic at BU, where he was hosting more than 400 campers. “It’s going well. Rehabbing it, but it’s going well. It’s a real slow rehab process, but it’s getting better and that’s what it’s all about…

“The decision (not to have surgery) was to sit and rest, and get my legs stronger, get my muscle back working again,” Thomas said. “We’re just going to try to get to 100 percent as quick as possible…

“I should be ready by camp, but I’m getting back in the gym shooting and being able to work out in the weight room and get my cardio back, because I’ve been down for two and a half months since the season ended. It’s getting there though. This week has been great progress for me.”

That’s good news for the Celtics — they need the Thomas who averaged 28.9 points a game and was the team’s offensive catalyst back full force next season to make a push to beat Cleveland. They also need Thomas and Gordon Hayward together in camp to work on chemistry and how to share the ball and playmaking responsibilities.

Him being healthy is also good for Thomas, who is entering a contract year and has every intention of cashing in big next summer. Whether the Celtics or other teams will give him a full max contract (Boston could give Thomas five years at around $172 million, starting at about $30 million a year) is up for debate, but to have a chance he needs to be healthy and perform well this season. Thomas is going to get a major raise from the $6.7 million he will make this season, but teams are going to be hesitant about going four or five years with him, and in a tight market he may need to take a little less than that max.

Clippers’ center Willie Reed arrested on domestic violence charge

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New Clipper reserve center, who played last season for the Heat, was arrested on Sunday in Miami on a battery charge tied to domestic violence, reports the Miami Herald.

Miami-Dade jail records show Reed, 27, who signed with the Los Angeles Clippers last month, was still in jail as on 7:30 a.m. He was charged with misdemeanor battery.

Details about the alleged crime were not immediately available.

Reed, who is working out in Miami this offseason, was arrested at 3 a.m. Sunday and is expected to be in court later in the day on the battery charge, at that time he can post the $1,500 bond and get out of jail. Obviously, there will be future court dates, how many and when depend upon how the case progresses (without details it’s difficult to comment further).

In addition to the legal system, Reed could face a suspension from the league if found guilty, Darren Collison was given a lenient eight games last season, former Hornet Jeff Taylor got 24 games back in 2014. However, the new CBA calls more than just punishment for abusers, it calls for them to get counseling, potentially intervention, and resources to deal with whatever the issues to prevent this violence in the future.

Reed played 71 games as a backup center, and occasional starter, for the Heat last season. Reed was one of many players who saw how much players were paid last summer, when the salary cap spiked, and thought he could cash in. Instead, he settled for a one-year minimum deal with the Clippers after the Heat had moved on after drafting Edrice Adebayo and planning to play a little smaller at times next season.

Slimmed down DeMarcus Cousins: “Probably the best I have felt my whole career”

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It’s the NBA offseason, which means we should be on “he lost weight/he gained muscle” watch. Between now and when training camps open the last week of September, every team will push the story that some player lost weight or has gained muscle, and everyone will suddenly be in the best shape of their lives.

That said, DeMarcus Cousins does look slimmed down.

He previously said he lost 20 pounds, and at the NBA Africa game this week he said this is the best he has ever felt.

Alvin Gentry will be happy.

Since the day he entered the NBA coaches have been pushing  Cousins to slim down and get his conditioning up so he could run more in an up-tempo offense — when he does he’s an almost unstoppable NBA big man. Mike Krzyzewski really pushed that with Team USA (which plays up tempo). And over the years, Cousins has lost some weight and gotten in better shape.

He also seems to have made a leap this summer.

Will that translate to success in New Orleans next season? We’ll see. Plenty of executives on other teams have doubts that Cousins and Anthony Davis can play well as a big front line, especially with the lack of shooting around them on this roster. If it doesn’t work this year, expect major shakeups coming to the Pelicans.

But a thinner, better-conditioned Cousins gives New Orleans a better chance.

Tony Allen said Memphis “Grit and Grind” started as insult to Rudy Gay

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The “Grit and Grind” era in Memphis is over. It will continue on T-shirts and in the hearts of Grizzlies fans, but with Zach Randolph in Sacramento and Tony Allen unsigned, it’s not the same. The era has ended.

But how did Grit and Grind get its name?

Allen took part in the Basketball Hall of Fame’s “60 Days of Summer” program last Friday and told the story of how that motto started as Allen’s dig at Rudy Gay back on Feb. 8, 2011, after a game against the Thunder.

“Rudy Gay said ‘I’m not playing this game, my toe hurts,’ I said, ‘your toe hurt? Your toe hurt? You just did a windmill dunk last night, your toe wasn’t …’ I said ‘Alright, your toe hurt.’…

“To make a long story short, we win, Y’all can YouTube this too, in case you think it’s fabricated. I was so upset with Rudy for not playing … I end up having 27 points, eight rebonds and like five steals. Mind you, I hadn’t played in 22-some-odd games, and this is to let you know how in shape I was. Durant had like 35, but they lost. When they gave me my interview, the first thing I said was, ‘It’s just all heart. Grit and grind.’ That’s how that phrase blossomed in Memphis. I was still upset. That was really a jab at Rudy Gay. But he’s my man today, I’ve forgiven him for that. But yeah, that’s where it started at in Memphis.”

Rudy Gay wasn’t amused.

To be correct, Allen missed 10 games that year in January but was back with the team regularly at that point, including playing the night before against the Clippers.

Whatever the circumstance, that comment started a movement in Memphis, one that helped that team bond with the fan base. It was a great run, one it’s sad to see end.

Other NBA players back Mark Cuban’s Collin Kaepernick opinion

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Recently, Mark Cuban told the Washington Post that what happened to Collin Kaepernick in the NFL wouldn’t happen in the  NBA.

“I don’t know what his status is in the NFL, but I’m glad the NBA doesn’t have a political litmus test for our players, I’d like to think we encourage our players to exercise their constitutional rights.

It’s not quite that simple, but a couple of NBA players had Cuban’s back.

Let’s be honest: When Kaepernick took a knee to make his protest, he knew it could cost him money and his future prospects on some NFL teams, and he felt it was worth it to do it. NBA players knew they would get fined for kneeling and did not make that same protest, and Adam Silver did help make sure that happened.

However, that doesn’t change the core issues — if an NBA player kneeled during the national anthem he would get fined but it wouldn’t keep him out of the NBA. Cuban is right. The younger, more urban, left-leaning NBA demographic would not have the same reaction that has blacklisted Kaepernick, and with that owners wouldn’t care. The NFL is different that way.