Kurt Helin

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Raptors’ Cory Joseph will not complain about demotion because it would be “un-Canadian-like”

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Cory Joseph is a Canadian who is proud to be playing for the Toronto Raptors. As a solid backup point guard behind Kyle Lowry, he was an essential part of the franchise’s record success last season.

But the Raptors are 3-8 of late and struggling, leaving coach Dwane Casey searching for answers. One of the things he’s tried, reducing Joseph’s role so that rookie Fred VanVleet could get more run — mostly because the rookie was bringing more on defense (Joseph’s offensive numbers are similar to a season ago).

Some vets stew, sulk and are a pain when they see their minutes cut. Joseph didn’t and had a great line to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.

“From my understanding, he wanted to give Fred a shot and you know, give Fred praise. He went in there, played his ass off, and we continued to go with him. He had a hell of a game, you know what I mean? I don’t know why people want me to be like a hater or something, or (sulk). That’s not me. I’m not a hater, nor do I sulk, that’s un-Canadian-like. I don’t do that.”

What Joseph did was get in the gym, get up a sweat, and work on his game. Not to go all old-guy here, but if you’re a young player coming up in the game take that advice — coaches make their decisions, but if you put in the work and get better, they will notice. You’ll get your chance.

Casey and the Raptors need to figure out something quick, they’ve fallen to the four seed in the East and the Pacers are hot and right behind them — Toronto doesn’t want to fall out of home court in the first round.

If you want a deeper dive on the Raptors, check out my podcast with Wolstat talking Raptors from a couple of weeks ago.

Zaza Pachulia says he plans to stay with Warriors beyond this season

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This summer, the Golden State Warriors are going to face some hard choices. Both Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant will demand contracts starting at north of $36 million a season (Curry’s current deal is up, Durant signed a contract with an opt-out this summer just so he could do this). The Warriors have Draymond Green and Klay Thompson already locked up, but all this is going to impact the team’s role players.

Zaza Pachulia knows that, but he still wants to return. Here is what Pachulia told the San Francisco Chronicle.

“I don’t want the season to end,” said Pachulia, who is expected to return soon from a right rotator-cuff strain that has sidelined him for Golden State’s past three games. “When people ask me about (free agency) this summer, I say, ‘I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying here.’ Even after June, I’m staying here.”

Pachulia came at a bargain, just $2.9 million, and after a bit of a slow start he has found ways to really blend in with this team — he’s had more than 10 points in half of the last 14 games he’s played.

If Pachulia is willing to accept another contract in a similar range to last season he likely returns if he wants, but he may have to turn down larger offers elsewhere. Meanwhile, if the Warriors will be able to keep Andre Iguodala and/or Shaun Livingston will become the real questions in July.

Kobe Bryant memorabilia stolen from ex-NBA star’s alma mater

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ARDMORE, Pa. (AP) — Authorities say memorabilia from Kobe Bryant’s high school career have been stolen from a display case at the former NBA star’s school near Philadelphia.

Philly.com reports (http://bit.ly/2lgF8nV ) the theft from “Kobe’s Shrine” outside the Bryant Gymnasium at Lower Merion High School was discovered by school officials on Sunday evening.

The thief busted a lock on the display case and took Bryant’s framed high school jersey, several pairs of signed Nike sneakers and the 1996 state championship trophy and net.

School officials say the items have little monetary value. The jersey is a replica of the one worn by the Los Angeles Lakers legend as a student.

Lower Merion police are reviewing surveillance video to try to solve the crime.

 

Report: As expected, Heat to waive Derrick Williams to make room for Okaro White

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It’s not this simple, but the Heat are 10-0 since Okaro White joined the roster. But White has earned the trust of coach Eric Spoelstra, who is now giving the Florida State forward regular fourth quarter minutes now.

The Heat were not going to let him go with his 10-day contract up, the only question was how they would create the roster spot to sign him. As had been expected as the most logical course of action, Derrick Williams is on his way out, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports.

Williams was out of the rotation anyway, mostly because his defense is an issue. The former No. 2 pick back in 2011 brings some offensive skills to the table, he can drive and score in the paint, he can knock down corner threes, but his offensive game is inconsistent. And again, the defense isn’t good. Pat Riley tried hard to trade Williams, but there were no takers.

A team can claim him (and a team looking to get closer to the salary floor might), but don’t bet on a team like the Cavaliers doing it, as noted by Bobby Marks of The Vertical.

Draymond Green on argument with Kevin Durant: Nothing to see here, move along

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There are times, when they get tested in a close game, that we see tension bubble up with the Warriors. They don’t get in this situation often, but it happened again in a loss to the Kings over the weekend, when Draymond Green and Kevin Durant had words. Something that has happened before.

In this case, late in the third quarter Durant had the ball in isolation, couldn’t create the shot he wanted against DeMarcus Cousins, then passed to Green as the shot clock was winding down, forcing him to jack up quick three.

Green did not like that, which led to this.

That video made news Sunday. Green then took to Snapchat to express how he feels.

Drayymond Green snapchat

Teammates have words occasionally, and usually it’s meaningless in the big picture. Green and Durant are competitive guys, and the Warriors had probably their worst game in a month in the loss to Sacramento (do give the Kings some credit here, Cousins, in particular, was phenomenal). This is probably nothing.

But as the Warriors rampage through the NBA this season, it’s fair to ask how they will respond when actually tested. We may not find out until deep in the playoffs, however.