Kurt Helin

Courtesy Nike

Paul George to unveil new signature shoe Thursday in London game

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While Nike has signed a lot of NBA players to shoe contracts — many through the Air Jordan brand — only three active players have their own signature line from the company that dominates the basketball shoe market: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant.

Make that four — Paul George‘s new signature line PG1 will be unveiled when he wears them on the court in London as the Pacers take on the Nuggets Thursday.

Nike describes the shoe this way: It has distinctive forefoot strap anchored by Flywire cable loops providing a dynamic, contained feel, while a forefoot Zoom Air unit delivers low-profile, responsive cushioning. Also, the full-bootie construction delivers a snug fit, and the multidirectional scale-inspired blade traction provides impressive grip of the court.

What most people care about his the look, and this is the NBA2K colorway.

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About that face in the shoe:

Nike has bet Paul George can move some product. It is an interesting look, we shall see.

Trust the process: Former Sixer GM Sam Hinkie casts All-Star vote for Joel Embiid

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In a few years, when the Philadelphia 76ers have developed into a quality team, Sam Hinkie is going to look very smart. The pushed aside former Sixers GM was willing to play the “be bad to get good” game more aggressively than anyone, he had a long-term vision and more patience than anyone (including his own ownership), he mainly did a poor job of controlling his own narrative (he didn’t care much).

Hinkie still has his players’ backs — he cast his All-Star vote for Joel Embiid. After Embiid prodded him.

Joel Embiid’s Twitter campaign to make the All-Star team has been nothing short of brilliant.

Will he make it? Let’s assume that, per usual, there will be seven Eastern Conference frontcourt players on the roster, and that the three starters (as voted by fans/players/media) will be LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Kevin Love (the top three fan vote getters so far, all locks to get picked by the coaches if they are not voted starters). That leaves four spots… really three because Jimmy Butler is a lock. That means picking three more from a list of Embiid, Paul George, Kristaps Porzingis, Carmelo Anthony, Hassan Whiteside, Jabari Parker, Andre Drummond, and Al Horford. One could certainly make the case Embiid deserves to be one of the three out of that group, but I also could make a good case for a group that leaves him out. It’s tight.

I want Embiid to be in New Orleans — it’s an exhibition that should be about the players we want to see, who make the game entertaining. Embiid does that. But we’ll see if the fans will vote in, or the coaches will select, a rookie.

Miami’s Hassan Whiteside throws down against Warriors (VIDEO)

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Miami didn’t have the talent to hang with Golden State once the Warriors decided to take the game seriously — a late 11-1 Warriors run made the final score look better for GSW than their performance merited.

Hassan Whiteside was the one Heat player who had the talent — he finished with 28 points, 20 rebounds, and he was a force inside the Warriors did not have an answer for.

That includes this huge throwdown.

Gerald Green still has hops, finishes monster alley-oop (VIDEO)

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Remember, Gerald Green is an All-Star Saturday Dunk Contest winner.

Sure, as of this February that will be a decade ago, but the man still has hops. Tuesday night Isaiah Thomas threw it up and Green went and got it and finished the impressive alley-oop.

The Raptors came from behind on Green and the Celtics behind 41 points from DeMar DeRozan to get the win.

Report: Derrick Rose ‘talked about walking away from basketball’ during absence

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Derrick Rose seems to have gone to a very dark place.

He went AWOL from the Knicks Monday night for a game against the Pelicans — not contacting the team and not taking their calls because he needed space — but was back at the team’s practice facility on Tuesday. He got a fine from the organization but will suit up Wednesday night against the Sixers.

Rose said he left because of a “family issue” with his mother, but his existential crisis may have gone deeper than that reports Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.

“It was a family issue,” Rose would explain after turning up at work. “It had nothing to do with the team or basketball. That’s the first time I ever felt like that emotionally and I had to be with my family,”

Rose, according to two independent sources who spoke to the Daily News on the condition of anonymity, was such an emotional wreck Monday afternoon that his only solution was to abruptly leave the Knicks to be with his mother and his son.

In fact, Rose’s state of mind was such that for a brief time he talked about walking away from basketball for an extended period of time to clear his mind. That seems hard to believe since Rose is only 28 years old and could land a lucrative free agent contract this summer, something he talked about two years ago.

When things are going wrong, it all feels like it can pile up at once. This is the first time in Rose’s professional career he’s spent the season away from his son and family, which would be a hard adjustment for anyone. Rose has had tension with coach Jeff Hornacek about his role, he’s been benched at the end of recent games, and the Knicks as a whole are struggling. Throw in something happening with his mother and it may have been too much for him. We’re not him, we can’t say what is or is not going on for sure, but it’s pretty clear Rose was in a dark place emotionally for a while.

Does that excuse not making a call to the team when he bolted to go home? That’s a separate question.

Can Rose rebuild his reputation within the organization and league following years of knee injuries and rough seasons in Chicago? This certainly doesn’t help, but it’s all on Rose now.

The only thing that seems for sure is Rose’s goal of earning a long-term, lucrative contract with the Knicks after this one-year deal expires is gone. This appears to be a one-and-done situation now.