Kurt Helin

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Derrick Rose makes odd statement about “penitentiary work outs”

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Sometimes Derrick Rose phrases things poorly. Or at least oddly.

The latest in a long line of those phrases came Saturday. Tuesday the Knicks tip-off their preseason schedule in Houston, but also Tuesday the civil trial where a woman is accusing Rose and some companions of rape starts in Los Angeles. Rose plans to fly with the Knicks to Houston, and it is possible this just gets settled out of court (it would be far from the first case settled at the last minute).

Rose was asked about staying in shape if he has to spend time in Los Angeles at the trial, and that’s where the odd answer came, in, via Marc Berman of the New York Post.

“No, I do penitentiary workouts, bro. I be in my room doing pushups, sit-ups. I got it from Lamar Odom. From when I played in my first World Championship team. The way he prepped himself before games, it was kind of like mini-workouts before the game.”

Anyone who travels and wants to stay in shape gets what Rose is trying to say — there are plenty of exercises that can be done in a hotel room. You don’t need much room for planks. Stretching and flexibility work can be done anywhere.

This reminds me of the “I want to walk at my son’s graduation” comment — his underlying meaning makes a lot of sense, but the phrasing of it seems odd.

One other thing we know about Rose: He doesn’t read about or care what anyone thinks of what he says. He’s not obsessed with his image. He knows who he is.

We’ll see if Rose is playing in Houston on Tuesday. Rose and the Knick are going to be one of the more interesting teams to watch on the court — and how all those pieces fit together — this season.

Kevin Durant was booed every time he touched the ball Saturday, that’s his new reality

Associated Press
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Kevin Durant and the Warriors don’t have to like it, they may not understand it, but this is going to be their reality on the road this season:

Boos.

During the introductions and every time Durant touched the ball Saturday night — in a preseason game in Vancouver against the Raptors — the crowd was not saying “boo-urns” they were full-throated booing. The other Warriors were roundly cheered by the fans excited to have the NBA back in the city (even if it is preseason), but Durant was greeted like a traitor in a town that doesn’t even have an NBA team. (If you want to argue there was a mix of cheers and boos you can, but the boos sounded louder.)

Durant himself shrugged at the reaction to his leaving Oklahoma City to form a superteam, as reported by Monte Poole at CSNBayArea.com.

“I heard more cheers than boos, to be honest,” he said. “But I was just so locked in, trying to get ready for the game, I wasn’t really focused on (the reaction) or listening too hard for any boos or anything. I heard the cheers, though.”

Stephen Curry was just confused by the reaction, as he told Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com, but he’s going to have to get used to it.

“It’s just funny,” Curry said. “I highly doubt anybody in this arena was affected by (Durant’s free-agent decision). It’s just funny kind of buying into a narrative that doesn’t really make sense. It probably won’t be the last time. But he handles it well and at the end of the day it’s just about playing basketball.”

Playing basketball is something Durant and the Warriors didn’t do terribly well in this preseason game, falling to the Raptors 97-93. The Warriors looked like a team still trying to fit the puzzle pieces together (which they are). Durant had nine points on 2-of-9 shooting, and with three turnovers.

The Warriors will figure things out and get better. The boos, however, aren’t going away this season. Golden State needs to embrace its new role as villains, whether it thinks it earned that reputation or not.

Fred Hoiberg allows Dwyane Wade to stop practice, call out teammates

Associated Press
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As a rookie NBA coach last season, Fred Hoiberg was seen as a friendly players’ guy who got walked all over by his players at times. Jimmy Butler begged Hoiberg to coach the team harder.

This season, Hoiberg doesn’t have to yell at his players — Dwyane Wade is doing it for him.

Hoiberg gave carte blanche to Wade to stop practices and call out teammates’ mistakes, and Wade is taking full advantage, reports Nick Friedell of ESPN.

“The coaching staff really doesn’t need to say much because before you know it, every time I turn around D-Wade is stopping the play and he’s cursing guys out as well,” Bulls power forward Taj Gibson said. “And it’s great and our young guys are understanding to it. They’re still in here early; they’re staying late. And they understand what we need to do and that’s really good for us early.”

“Yeah, that was so harsh, Taj,” Wade said. “I read that. I wouldn’t say cussing out. I would say getting my point across — tough love. But good love. I would stop practice if I see something. We got to police each other. And I want people to do the same to me. There are certain times I’ve done things that I need to be better at, and you’ll hear Rondo say something to me or Jimmy say something to me. And I want it to be like that with everybody. I don’t want it just be us three always talking. I want everyone to feel confident that they can maybe not yell at everybody but pull a guy aside and say, ‘Hey, D, you should’ve been there on this.’ We want to get everyone comfortable with that. I’ve been around a long time. If I see something that I think we can nip in the bud early, you want to nip it in the bud.”

Players holding each other accountable could be the start of the Bulls developing the culture they need to become more than a .500ish team. This team has some young players who need to be taught how to be a professional in the NBA. All of it are reasons for Bulls fans to have some optimism.

The big questions about these Bulls still linger: the lack of shooting and floor spacing, the defensive questions, and how Hoiberg is going to handle the team once there is tension amongst Rajon Rondo, Jimmy Butler, and Wade?

But at least Wade is helping set a tone.

Rare LeBron James rookie card could fetch $200K at auction

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AKRON, Ohio (AP) A rare piece of Cleveland Cavalier history – a LeBron James autographed rookie card – was put up for auction and could fetch up to $200,000.

Just eight bidders had vied for what’s being billed as the world’s rarest and most valuable James basketball trading card as of Friday, the Akron Beacon Journal reported (http://bit.ly/2dh0XRS). But the leading bid was expected to grow from its figure that day of $85,000 before the auction closed Saturday.

The one-of-a-kind card from Upper Deck’s 2003/04 Ultimate Collection series features a picture of the Cleveland Cavalier taking a shot, along with a swath of the NBA logo from his game uniform. It was randomly placed into a pack of cards more than a decade ago.

The card is graded as a “MINT 9” but Professional Sports Authenticator group and the card “reflects an untouched, impeccable appearance.”

Officials at New Jersey-based Goldin Auctions haven’t disclosed the identity of the seller, but they said the card would be sold, as the minimum $50,000 bid had been met.

While sought after, James hasn’t reached the collector’s status of “Mr. Basketball” George Mikan. A mint condition version of Mikan’s 1948 card fetched more than $400,000 last year.

Information from: Akron Beacon Journal, http://www.ohio.com

Welcome back NBA: Stephen Curry’s scoop alley-oop to Andre Iguodala

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The NBA is back.

Well, sort of. The NBA preseason is back, but for the Warriors there was still some showtime in Vancouver as Stephen Curry threw the scoop alley-oop to Andre Iguodala for the reach-back slam.

This team is still just fun.

On the whole, the game was as sloppy as you’d expect in the first preseason game — particularly for a Warriors team trying to fit in Kevin Durant and a lot of new pieces.

Before the game, the Raptors did lock arms as a sign of unity during the national anthems.