Kurt Helin

Associated Press

Popovich told Boban Marjanovic to take big payday, “Get your ass out of here”


In his rookie NBA season, Boban Marjanovic showed he was more than just a big body. Make no mistake, at 7’3″ and 290 pounds he is a load, but he has a surprisingly soft touch on his shot (60.3 percent shooting), he’s got pump-fakes and moves, plus he’s more mobile than expected.

Which is why a lot of teams were going to come after him as a restricted free agent last summer. Due to salary cap restrictions, the Spurs could only offer Marjanovic $3 million a year. The Pistons came in over the top and offered him $7 million a year for three years.

Easy choice, right? Not for Marjanovic — Spurs coach Gregg Popovich had to tell him to take the cash. Via Jeff McDonald of the Express-News.

“He’s such a good kid, at some point I had to work to get him to understand that $21 million was different than $3 million,” Popovich said. “I said, ‘Get your ass out of here. Go. You’ve got to do it.’ But he felt bad.”

“My first wish was to stay,” Marjanovic said. “But this is good now. I think I made a good decision.”

Marjanovic is going to be a cult hero in Detroit like he was in San Antonio.

He’s also going to have an expanded role — he’s the big in the paint that will anchor Stan Van Gundy’s inside-out offense when Andre Drummond rests. He was playing less than 10 minutes a night in San Antonio, that’s about to bounce north of 15 for sure, and with more opportunities to score when he is in the paint. If he remains as efficient as he was last season, the Pistons will have gotten a deal at that price.

Heat pay tribute to Marlins’ Jose Fernandez with shirts, silence

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MIAMI (AP) — Dee Gordon had a courtside seat to watch the Miami Heat on Tuesday night, for a very good reason.

The Miami Marlins second baseman was there to represent Jose Fernandez .

Miami’s first home preseason game of the season had a somber beginning, with the Heat paying tribute to the late Marlins ace right-hander by wearing his initials and jersey No. 16 on the back of their warmup shirts – then by offering a moment of silence before tip-off against the Brooklyn Nets.

The 24-year-old Fernandez and two friends died last month when the boat they were riding in crashed into a jetty off Miami Beach.

“It was a devastating blow to all of us in South Florida and our hearts go out to his family and everybody at the Marlins,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It’s just so tragic for a player so young. We also want to acknowledge the other two gentlemen who were on that boat as well, and their families.”

Gordon told Fox Sports Florida during their broadcast of the game that when he heard about the gesture – the Heat announced it a few hours before game time – he made arrangements to be at the game. Gordon wore one of the team’s shooting shirts with the Fernandez tribute on the back.

“He was the heart and soul of Miami. … It’s just still weird that he’s gone,” Gordon said. “That’s just the part we’re trying to get over, but I think it’s going to be tough.”

The Heat players and coaches all linked arms for the playing of the national anthem in a show of unity, while the Nets’ players and coaches draped their arms over each other’s shoulders.

HEAT 121, NETS 100

MIAMI – Hassan Whiteside had 21 points and 14 rebounds in 23 minutes for the Heat. Whiteside is averaging 19.3 points and 13 rebounds in three preseason games, shooting 71 percent and playing about 24 minutes in each.

Goran Dragic added 17 points and 11 assists for Miami. Jeremy Lin led the Nets with 16 points.

NETS: Brooklyn was down by 12 in the first quarter, then led by 11 in the second quarter and trailed again by 17 after three quarters. … Bojan Bogdanovic scored 13, while Luis Scola and Justin Hamilton each scored 12. … The Nets took 13 3-pointers in the first quarter alone.

HEAT: Whiteside made his first five shots. … Josh McRoberts (foot) and Josh Richardson (knee) remain sidelined, and veterans Udonis Haslem and Beno Udrih also were held out.

UP NEXT: Brooklyn (1-2) hosts Boston on Thursday. Miami (2-1) visits San Antonio on Friday.


MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Troy Williams scored 22 points for the Grizzlies, who pulled away with a 17-0 run in the third quarter.

Mike Conley and Zach Randolph each had 17 for Memphis. Joel Embiid and Timothe Luwawu scored 13 apiece for Philadelphia.

76ERS: Embiid scored his 13 points in only 12 minutes. He logged less time than any other 76ers player who saw the court Tuesday. … Luwawu led Philadelphia with nine rebounds.

GRIZZLIES: James Ennis had 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting. … Memphis led by 15 after one quarter, then got outscored by 15 in the second quarter, then led by 35 in the second half.

UP NEXT: Philadelphia (1-3) is at Washington on Thursday. Memphis (2-1) plays Oklahoma City in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Thursday.


DALLAS – Jonathan Gibson‘s three-point play with 1:43 left broke a tie and put Dallas ahead to stay.

Dwight Powell scored 16 points and J.J. Barea added 15 for the Mavericks. Ersan Ilyasova had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma City, while Kyle Singler added 17 points.

THUNDER: Russell Westbrook had 12 points and seven assists in 24 minutes. … Enes Kanter grabbed 13 rebounds. … Oklahoma City had 42 points at the half, then scored 40 in the third quarter alone to rally from what was a 20-point deficit.

MAVERICKS: Deron Williams scored 11 for Dallas and Dirk Nowitzki had eight in 16 minutes. … Andrew Bogut had 11 rebounds and three blocks in 16 minutes.

UP NEXT: Oklahoma City (1-2) hosts Memphis in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Thursday. Dallas (2-2) is at Phoenix on Friday.

Watch Damian Lillard drop 30 on Lakers in preseason OT win

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Damian Lillard was in midseason form Tuesday night.

Maybe better than that — at one point he scored 15 points in 2:45 seconds.

The Blazers guard finished 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting — 6-of-9 from three — in what went on to be a 109-106 Portland win in overtime. Maurice Harkless pitched in 14 points off the bench for Portland.

Derrick Rose says on witness stand he suspected ‘rape’ setup soon after act


LOS ANGELES (AP) — The night after Derrick Rose and two of his friends had sex with his ex-girlfriend, he had a hunch she was going to claim they raped her, the NBA star testified Tuesday.

Rose said he became suspicious of the woman when she texted later the same day of the alleged attack in August 2013 to say how inebriated she had been and to describe burns she claimed she got on her hands from a fire pit outside his Beverly Hills house. Rose said he believed she was sober and never witnessed any burns the night before.

“It looked like a setup,” Rose said. “It turned out to be what I thought.”

Rose was testifying for a second day in the $21.5 million lawsuit that claims he and his friends had sex without the woman’s consent when she was incapacitated from drinking and, possibly, drugs.

The woman claims the three entered her apartment and had sex with her while she was blacked out after drinking tequila at Rose’s rental house earlier.

Rose said the woman was sober and he assumed consent based on their past, a text message she sent out of the blue that morning saying he made her “horny” and her behavior throughout the day and night.

Rose testified he was raised by a single mother, who was his mentor and had taught him to respect women.

Attorneys for the woman showed video taken of Rose in June testifying at his deposition in which he said he didn’t understand the word consent.

When asked by his own lawyer, he said he was nervous at the deposition and he defined consent as both parties being in agreement. He said the woman had consented all the previous times they had sex over an 18-20 month period.

Although they had split up a couple months before, he said he took her suggestive text the morning of Aug. 26 as offering consent.

“When she sent me texts like that 99 percent of the time it ended up in sex, so what do you expect?” he said.

The Associated Press is not naming the woman because it generally does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault.

Rose was expected to wrap up his testimony in the afternoon.

The trial is proceeding even as a judge considers a declaring mistrial after criticizing the plaintiff’s lawyers as “unbelievably careless” in production of exhibits.

Rose’s lawyers asked U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald to declare a mistrial because they had not been given three text messages important to their case until Friday, when Rose was on the witness stand.

Fitzgerald, who used the phrase “unbelievably careless” several times, said it was not a frivolous matter and he told the lawyers to prove the texts had been disclosed.

“You have been very careless with the exhibits,” Fitzgerald said. “I was not happy about it.”

The judge said that if there is a mistrial it would push a new trial into the NBA regular season.

Rose testified that he has permission from New York Knicks President Phil Jackson to miss the next three preseason games until the trial is concluded.

The texts at issue were sent by the woman to Rose. The defense lawyers said they happened to be looking at exhibits handed to them in a binder Friday and noticed texts that hadn’t been disclosed before the trial.

The judge did not indicate when he would rule on the mistrial request.

Jeremy Lin predicts Warriors will win 73 games

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Since pretty much the second the Warriors signed Kevin Durant to form a superteam, they have tried to tamp-down regular season expectations. The general manager has done it. Draymond Green has done it. To a man, the Warriors have said they expect bumps at the start of the season as they figure things out, and that they have no intention of chasing 73 wins again.

But with all that talent, if they wanted it…

The Nets’ Jeremy Lin thinks they will do it.

It’s debatable whether the quest to set the NBA’s regular season win record was part of the reason the Warriors were down 3-1 to the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals, then blew a 3-1 lead to the Cavaliers in the Finals. There were a lot of factors involved in both (including that the Thunder and Cavaliers were very good teams). What matters is the Warriors believe it played a role.

They are not going after the record; they are going after the ring. Lin isn’t wrong, they could do it, the issue is they don’t want to.