Kurt Helin

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Paul George trying to set up meeting with French gymnast who shattered leg

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Samir Ait Said is one of the biggest — and saddest — stories of the Olympics so far. On the first day of competition, Said fractured his tibia when he tried to land his vault, it was a gruesome moment that went viral (you can see the video by following this link, but know this is not for people with queasy stomachs).

Paul George knows what that is like.

The Team USA forward who suffered a compound fracture his leg in a USA exhibition in Las Vegas two years ago — and recovered, making it back to the Olympics — wants to meet with Said, reports Jeff Zillgitt at the USA Today.

U.S. Olympic basketball player Paul George is trying to set up a meeting with injured French gymnast Samir Ait Said. George has a level of empathy that most people don’t….

It was his idea to meet with Said, according to USA Basketball spokesperson Craig Miller. However, it is uncertain when or if that meeting can occur. Miller said Said was not yet accepting visitors as of Sunday afternoon.

Said just had surgery to repair the broken Tibia. He said in a Facebook video he plans to be back for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

George can tell him the rehab is grueling and unrelenting, but he can get back and succeed — George had 15 points in Team USA’s first game in Rio, a thrashing of China. Hopefully Said has the same success.

Looking back: Detroit Piston’s Top 10 plays of last season

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The last post on this site focused on the future of the Pistons — that owner Tom Gores is willing to pay to win and keep this young core together.

Time to look back at the bright moments from that core from last season — the Detroit Pistons top 10 plays.

Those Pistons made the playoffs last year and took a step forward, and most pundits and fans (myself included) expect another one next season. Maybe into the top four in the East, maybe into the second round of the playoffs. We’ll see if they can get that far, but this is a program on the rise, one that certainly had a fun last season.

Pistons’ owner Gores willing to pay tax to lock up Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

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Detroit’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made our list of top five guys likely to get an extension to his rookie contract this summer. The main reason — Stan Van Gundy likes him. He fits what SVG wants to do — Caldwell-Pope is a quality defender who averaged 14.5 points per game last season (although not efficiently).

The question is money — the Pistons have the fourth highest payroll in the NBA this season and have a lot of that money locked up for future years. Pay Caldwell-Pope and the Pistons could pay the tax.

Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press asked owner Tom Gores how he feels about that.

“Look, if we weren’t building a core, there’s really no point in paying the luxury tax. Because we are building a core, would I do it? Yeah, absolutely. This is a tremendous team. If you go down the line, player by player, and especially our young folks, these are real players. You look at KCP as a very diverse player. He keeps working at his game and you look at his improvement and just like anybody else, he will improve in other areas. Part of Stan’s coaching philosophy obviously is defense. So you say go into the luxury tax for nothing, then that would be silly because then we’re putting the franchise behind. But given that we have such a good core, if that’s what it took, and we feel we’ve made such progress this year, I wouldn’t hesitate to do it because we want to keep getting better.”

That the owner is willing to pay to win should make Pistons’ fans happy. If you read the entire Q&A, you can also see how badly Goes wants to win. It’s all part of the bright future in the Motor City.

As for an extension, I’m not sold KCP is a max player, if the two sides reach a deal it would be for a little under the max. The question is can the two sides agree on a number?

If not, next summer Caldwell-Pope becomes a restricted free agent and one another team could try to poach (especially if his progress continues). For the Pistons, do they want to risk letting the market set his value? For Caldwell-Pope, does he want to take the risk (injury and other) of betting on himself and turning down a good deal to plan on a better one down the line? Some players, Jimmy Butler for example, have made that bet and succeeded, but if Caldwell-Pope wants to stay in Detroit, he’ll need to think about all the options.

DeAndre Jordan with the seated bank shot from the bench at USA practice

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That’s just like Tim Duncan would have done it — the glass is your friend.

DeAndre Jordan is in Rio — he had 7 points, 7 rebounds, and was a +17 in the USA opening win against China — and when not taking pictures with gymnasts he is throwing in bank shots from the bench during practice.

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I know you’re all now going to make free throw jokes in the comments, at least try to be creative when picking the low hanging fruit.

Have 20 minutes to watch the best crossovers of last season? You know you do.

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The fine folks at NBA.com compiled a video of the 100 best crossovers from last season.

While we can debate if all of them are true crossovers, they are great plays and someone took the time to put them all in one place for us to watch. The least we could do is watch them.