Kurt Helin

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Tony Parker evades growling tiger on French game show (VIDEO)

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French game shows have not quite reached the Japanese level of crazy, but they apparently are working on it.

Tony Parker and other members of the French national team — Boris Diaw, Nicolas Batum, Ronny Turiaf — are set to appear next week on Fort Boyard in their native country. It’s a show that takes place in the actual fort of the same name and is filled with fear-based challenges. Like getting past a roaring tiger. I don’t care if you’re in a vehicle a metal cage, that’s going to spike the adrenaline.

This is fun — Parker is trying to calm the animal down, Diaw is roaring right back at it (from a very safe distance).

Hat tip to Eye on Basketball for finding this.

Carmelo Anthony to attend Team USA mini-camp in August

US forward Carmelo Anthony celebrates af
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The last time we saw Carmelo Anthony on a basketball court was the NBA All-Star Game, and the only reason he played there was he wanted to be an unofficial host of the event in New York. He should have shut it down and had knee surgery before that, but the All-Star Game kept him around for a while.

He will back on a court in August in Las Vegas, however.

That is where Team USA is hosting a mini-camp, looking at some potential players for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Marc Berman of the New York Post has the story.

According to a source, Anthony has informed U.S. Olympic Team officials he will attend the Aug. 11-13 minicamp as the team gears up for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Anthony is still rehabbing from February’s left-knee surgery so he will not be a fully active participant, according to a source. Team USA CEO Jerry Colangelo has encouraged roster members to come to the minicamp even if they can’t play due to injury.

Anthony is not and should not be rushing his return from injury. What to take away from this is Anthony wants to be on the roster in Rio. Anthony has two gold medals (2008 and 2012) plus a bronze (2004) but apparently wants more.

It also means Anthony should be good to go come training camp and the regular season this fall.

The purpose of the mini-camp is to get a look at some of the guys in the 34-man pool that coach Mike Krzyzewski and company will draw from. Not everyone will be there, but not everyone needs to be — for example, if LeBron James or Kevin Durant want to be on the roster, they will be, camp or no camp. But for a lot of guys — Anthony included — this is a show they want to make the cut.

Watch one ridiculous backyard basketball trick shot

Green backyard with trampoline
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That is insane.

It also looks legit to me. Clearly someone spent a lot of hours practicing this, still it is pretty impressive.

I’d say “do not try this at home” but my guess is your backyard isn’t that big and doesn’t have a trampoline anyway.

Hat tip Bill Herenda.

Suns wonder about Markieff Morris’ state of mind after they traded his brother

Phoenix Suns Media Day
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Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris are the kind of twins who are very tight, they are best friends. They played their high school ball together at APEX Academy in New Jersey, they played in college together at Kansas, and they have played together as pros the past two and a half seasons in Phoenix.

Then this summer the Suns traded Marcus to Detroit, part of their salary clearing moves in the chase for LaMarcus Aldridge (who chose San Antonio).

Markieff is apparently not thrilled about this.

Here is Suns GM Ryan McDonough speaking to Dave King of Bright Side of the Suns (hat tip Ball Don’t Lie).

“I think he’s at a reasonable place now,” McDonough said of what he’s heard via others in the organization. “I don’t know if it’s a good place or not. I think he’s processed all of it, he had time to let the rawness, the emotional part of it wear off.”

 

And here is coach Jeff Hornacek, speaking to ArizonaSports.com (hat tip Bright Side of the Suns).

JH: I’ve texted him a few times. We might try to go see him this week. We’ll be out on the East Coast.

BG: Does he seem like he’s doing OK with how everything went about?

JH: Yeah, I’m sure just like anything else, whenever a trade, especially with as close as him and his brother are, there was some hurt feelings for a little bit. It’s a case where they’re going to do their best wherever they’re at. Once you get into the season, and you get with your team, they’ve played apart before too, they will be fine.

The Suns locker room was not a place of harmony and love last season, and frankly the Morris twins were part of that. Bright Side of the Suns described them as “cranky.”

Hornacek and McDonough are taking the big picture view. As they should. And the Morris brothers should know very well by now that the NBA is a cold hearted business at its core. They were not going to get to play together forever.

But some guys let go of things easier than others. We’ll see how good Markieff is at that skill.

 

Pacers trade for Rakeem Christmas from Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers v Milwaukee Bucks
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Rakeem Christmas was not going to be part of the Cavaliers roster — they are win-now, he is a guy in need of development.

Indiana has time to develop guys, so they have traded for him. The Pacers announced the move, saying they gave up the future second-round pick they acquired in the Roy Hibbert trade.

“We really liked Rakeem when he came in for pre-draft workouts,” Pacers basketball operations guru Larry Bird said in a statement. “He is a solid player who was a contributor all four years at Syracuse and we look forward to having him on our team.”

Christmas showed flashes of good defense and shot blocking, plus a little offense, at Summer League. However, he shot 33.3 percent and didn’t exactly blow any doors off. He’s a guy who spent four years at Syracuse and still needs to develop his game.

Christmas is 6’10” and incredibly long — a 7’5” wingspan. He was a shot blocker camped in the middle of the Syracuse zone in college, but he has the body to defend in the NBA post. He seemed to struggle against more athletic, smaller players.

For a Pacers team that just moved Hibbert from the middle of their defense, taking a flier on Christmas makes some sense. We’ll see if he can make the roster behind Jordan Hill, Myles Turner and Ian Mahinmi. That seems a long shot, but he’s got a better chance there than Cleveland.