Author: Kurt Helin

Utah Jazz v Charlotte Bobcats

Report: Grizzlies in “serious discussions” to sign Tyrus Thomas from D-League


Tyrus Thomas has been out of the NBA for more than a year, his athleticism no longer able to cover poor decision making on both ends of court, so Charlotte amnestied him. Part of his decline was that the Bobcats tried to play him at the three (out of position) but that no other team had interest speaks to how far his game had fallen.

But now it appears he’s going to get another chance.

After playing well in the D-League the Memphis Grizzlies are interested, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.

Thomas, the former No. 4 pick (2006), had said previously he felt lethargic back with Charlotte two seasons ago, but he now believes that was due to a cyst on his spinal cord. He had that removed last year and this fall tried to make a comeback in the D-League.

Thomas had previously told Spears he was miserable in the D-League. Well, now he gets another chance. He reportedly has lost some of that athleticism, but if he’s making better decisions he may be able to stick.

If Charles Barkley leaves broadcasting in a couple years, could Kobe Bryant replace him?


It’s hard to picture TNT’s must-watch “Inside the NBA” working without Charles Barkley. Shaq is great, Kenny Smith fits perfectly, Ernie Johnson is a great straight man and facilitator, but Barkley is the engine of that show.

However, Barkley has hinted he could walk away from TNT when his contract is up in 2016.

If he does the suits at TNT are going to struggle to find the right guy to replace him, but Sports Illustrated’s smart media writer Richard Deitsch had an interesting suggestion:

Kobe Bryant.

There are certain traits shared by the best sports broadcasters: intelligence, passion, credibility and honesty. Personally, I like a bit of edge and distance from the establishment, too. Bryant possesses all of these. If you talk to NBA beat and national writers, Bryant has become one of the best interview subjects in the game. That he’s also an all-time great is a huge marketing bonus….

If Bryant indicates he is serious about a broadcasting career after his NBA career ends, industry sources say he’d command $4 million to $5 million annually, if not more, because there would be a heavy competition for his services. ESPN (whose studio show is based in L.A.) and Turner are guaranteed to be interested.

“He’s obviously smart and articulate and he would be a great candidate,” said Turner Sports senior vice president and executive creative director Craig Barry. “But like any job there is a certain amount of passion that the person needs to have for the day to day. That element of passion and wanting to share the game is a huge part of being able to connect with the viewer. That’s a huge part of being a successful broadcaster and I think Kobe would be great at it. But he would have to want to do it.”

Kobe has spent more time in recent years building up his business brand, Kobe Inc. It is that world he is expected to focus on when he hangs up his sneakers, he’ll be a businessman.

But few things are better for your brand than being on television every week.

That said, I’m not sure being in a barbershop style studio show like “Inside the NBA” really fits Kobe. He’s smart and sarcastic and can be funny, but he’s a little too intense and serious for that style show. Although him and Shaq in the same room once a week would be awesome. However, I could see Kobe as a studio analyst for ESPN.

I don’t expect Kobe to take that kind of role or do television at all, in fact I hope come 2016 Barkley has a change of heart and doesn’t leave TNT. But this is out there.

Elton Brand says Doug Collins was reason Sixers drafted Evan Turner over DeMarcus Cousins

Miami Heat v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Four

Draft hindsight is always 20-20.

Years after any draft you can find fans saying “I can’t believe we took Player X over Y and Z” when in point of fact that fan — and more importantly the scouts and GM — really thought at the time Player X was going to be the best of that group. Nothing brings out revisionist history like the draft.

Say, for example, taking Evan Turner over DeMarcus Cousins. Which is what the Philadelphia 76ers did back in 2010. At the time many GMs would have made that move, but now it’s a regrettable decision.

One that former Sixer Elton Brand laid at the feet of former Sixers coach Doug Collins in an interview with (via Ball Don’t Lie).

A year prior, leading up to the 2010 NBA Draft, many players on the Sixers were expecting the team’s front office to draft Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins with the No. 2 Overall pick. Then as Collins’ control of the Sixers’ roster moves increased, it became apparent Philly was going to go in a different direction.

“Doug Collins wouldn’t have coached DeMarcus Cousins,” Brand said…

“Rod Thorn was letting Collins do his thing and coach thought we reached our maximum potential and wanted to go another way,” Brand said.

I think it’s fair to say that the Sixers may have broken up the band and started this aggressive rebuild a little too early. That Sixers team was close but really it was going all in on Andrew Bynum and that miscalculation that set the team back and started them on the path they currently travel.

At the time of the draft, Turner was seen as a poor man’s Brandon Roy (pre-injuries) who had a decent all-around game and who was fantastic in transition. He seemed like a fit next to Jrue Holiday, but there were questions about how high Turner’s ceiling was. Everyone knew Cousin’s ceiling but also knew he would be a real challenge to coach.

Collins made his pick and honestly a lot of other teams would have made the same one at the time. Although now every GM would probably tell you otherwise. The draft and revisionist history go hand-in-hand.

Michael Beasley drops 59 in Chinese All-Star Game, named MVP (VIDEO)

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - 2014 NBA Finals Game Three

Is there any more perfect Michael Beasley setup than this: A defense-optional exhibition game where he has a constant green light against inferior athletes?

Nope. And Beasley proved that dropping 59 points for the South in the Chinese Basketball Association All-Star Game, which you can see highlights of above.

No, this does not mean we should expect Beasley to get another shot in the NBA after the Chinese season ends (in February or March, depending on how long his team stays in the playoffs). The question was never could Beasley score, but his play in China didn’t answer the other questions about him: Can he score efficiently against an NBA defense? Is he willing to buy into a team concept? Is he willing to play any defense? And if he does have a big game how exactly is he going to celebrate that? Not to mention Beasley has an ugly lawsuit hanging over his head.

(Hat tip Eye on Basketball)

PBT Extra: Thunder reach .500, still need to go on run to make playoffs reality

Golden State Warriors v Oklahoma City Thunder

If you’re a Thunder fan thinking that your team is just three games out of a playoff spot with half a season to make up that ground it will be no problem, you need to readjust your perspective.

It’s not going to be easy — they may need to go 30-12 the rest of the way — and the Thunder need to start winning sooner rather than later, something myself and Jenna Corrado discuss in the latest PBT Extra.

Dion Waiters can help Oklahoma City make a run — he has played well the last four games and he, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are clicking together. He’s been an upgrade over Reggie Jackson as a sixth man.