Kurt Helin

Glen Davis

Glen Davis says Doc Rivers has changed as a coach, DeAndre Jordan should get more touches

7 Comments

Big Baby is still available.

Glen Davis is still out there on the free agent market, the Clippers and Bucks have reportedly had conversations with him. Or, he could just go play overseas.

But with no imminent deal, he was very honest when he appeared on the “Gio and Jones” show on CBS Sports Radio in the morning, with Gregg Giannotti and Brian Jones. He talked about Donald Sterling and playing for the Clippers, but maybe the most interesting thing is how Doc Rivers has had to coach Clippers differently than he did the Celtics.

“I think he’s changed as a coach. In Boston, I think when you have players like Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, so experienced and understanding of policing. He has to do more coaching with these guys, with Blake (Griffin) and DeAndre (Jordan) and Chris (Paul). Kind of walk them through the process of understanding championship basketball. You got to kind of change your tone and the way you talk to these younger guys. So he’s changed for the betterment of the team so he can get everybody on the same page.”

Is Davis saying anything here we didn’t already know? Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan (as well as the rest of the Clippers) are talented but inexperienced. Rivers was hired in part to take them to the next level, and he has to play to their personalities rather than what Boston needed. Coaching is not one size fits all.

Which brings us to when Davis discussed the Jordan/Paul dynamic, and why Jordan was unhappy enough with the Clippers to agree to play for Dallas (before changing his mind).

It was a false reality,” Davis said of the reports of a CP3/Jordan feud. “It was like they had problems, but they didn’t have problems. We can hang out, have a good time off the court, it just some players rub each other the wrong way. I think that’s what it was and they never really talked about it until DeAndre said ‘I’m going to go to Dallas….’

“I thought D’Andre needed more attention, because he’s a guy who dominates on both sides of the ball. He doesn’t have no plays run for him, and he gets every rebound, how about we give him some confidence? Throw him a couple bones down there and see if he can get us a bucket. He can’t shoot free throws, but he’s getting people in the bonus, he’s making things happen out there. So you gotta show him some love because he’s a vital player.”

Davis said the Paul/Jordan dynamic was part of the problem in the Houston series, when it all started to come to a head as the Clippers blew a 3-1 series lead and were eliminated.

It’s one of the things the Clippers need to sort out if they are ging to be serious title contenders next season. On paper, they fixed the depth problem, but chemistry remains the question. And it’s one the Clippers can’t answer until the playoffs.

NBA impersonator Brandon Armstrong takes on Joey Crawford

Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors
7 Comments

Is there anyone in the NBA more ripe for parody than Joey Crawford?

The legendary ref gets the Brandon Armstrong treatment, the guy who has already impersonated Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, James Harden and others. But this one may be the best.

I bet even Crawford finds it funny.

Toni Kukoc returns to Bulls as special advisor to owner

KUKOC
2 Comments

Scottie Pippen as been a special advisor to President & COO Michael Reinsdorf for three years.

Now he has a new running mate in one of his old running mates — Toni Kukoc. The Bulls made the announcement this week.

“You only have to be around Toni for a few minutes to appreciate his personality, passion, and professionalism and recognize the contributions he will make to our team in his new role,” Reinsdorf said in a released statement. “Toni will work across the organization and his duties will be wide-ranging. He will bring valuable perspective that comes with experience to many areas, whether it is relating to the international players on our team or sharing what it means to be a Chicago Bull when talking to partners and fans. Toni will be a strong representative of both the team’s legacy and its future.”

“It is a thrill and an honor to again be a part of the team that helped define my basketball career here in the United States and in Chicago,” Kukoc said in his statement. “The Bulls have become my extended family, and I am really looking forward to the future and being a Bull for life.”

Kukoc was the sixth man for the Bulls second back-to-back-to-back title run from 1996-98 (he won Sixth Man of the Year in 1996). He’s a Bulls legend.

The only interesting thing here is that when Pippen and Kukoc were teammates there was a lot of tension between them. Kukoc was then GM Jerry Krause’s golden boy, and that led to issues between Kukoc and the locker room power structure of Michael Jordan and Pippen. Kukoc was considered Jordan’s whipping boy.

Going on 20 years later, you would think everyone is mature enough to have moved past all that.

Dorell Wright agrees to deal in China, could return for end of NBA season

Portland Trail Blazers v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Two
6 Comments

Dorell Wright was buried on the Portland bench last season, then when you add in the fact the small forward is now coming off hand surgery, there wasn’t much of a market for him. There were whispers of Miami and other spots, but these were all minimum contract deals.

So instead, he’s going to get paid in China.

David Pick was first with the report.

Wright has now confirmed this on his Twitter account.

Wright shot 38 percent from three last year and still has some value on the court. This is a situation where he chased a bigger paycheck in China, but he will be done there sometime in February to March (depending on how deep the Dragons go in the playoffs).

Which means he can sign on for the end of the NBA season with a team. By then there will be a team looking for some depth and floor spacing at the three, and he will draw interest.

Phil Jackson’s concern: Could Kristaps Porzingis turn out like Shawn Bradley?

porzingis
11 Comments

Shawn Bradley wasn’t as bad as Twitter seems to remember him, even if he ended up on the wrong end of a lot of dunks. The 7’6″ center with a stick-figure build had six NBA triple-doubles — not with assists but with blocks — and was double-digit a game scorer with a PER above the league average at his peak. He lasted a dozen seasons in the league.

Still he is widely seen as a bust (it doesn’t help that Penny Hardaway and Jamal Mashburn were taken right after Bradley). He was so thin he simply could be muscled around by guys with lower centers of gravity.

Could the same thing happen to Knicks’ rookie Kristaps Porzingis?

Phil Jackson backs his man but expressed this concern at the possibility when speaking to Charlie Rosen at ESPN.

Jackson projects that Porzingis will add at least 10 pounds of muscle before his first season commences, yet concerns still linger over his prize draft pick. “Like Shawn Bradley, who was nevertheless a pretty good player, KP might almost be too tall for the game. What I mean is that his core strength might never be good enough, and that he might not be able to get low enough to get himself into prime defensive position to body power rebounders or drivers.”

Porzingis showed promise at Summer League, but what also was clear was his need to put on some weight and get stronger because guys like Jahlil Okafor pushed him around with ease. And even if he puts on that weight, as Jackson said his center of gravity may be too high. That said, he showed a skill for using his length to compensate.

Porzingis showed far more skill and potential on offense than Bradley did — and he showed some shot-blocking chops. Not Bradley level, but he could develop into a rim protector.

It’s far, far too early to say how any of this draft class will turn out (Summer League is not a good predictor). But if I were a Knicks fan, I’d not be too worried about the Bradley comparison.