Kurt Helin

DeAndre Jordan, Samuel Dalembert, Dirk Nowitzki

DeAndre Jordan: “Ultimately, I made the right decision for me, and now I have to own that”

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It has been the story of the offseason: DeAndre Jordan verbally committed to the Dallas Mavericks, but had second thoughts as the moratorium wore on ultimately re-signed with the Los Angeles Clippers in dramatic fashion. Jordan took a lot of heat for not reaching out directly to Mavs owner Mark Cuban. Jordan apologized on Twitter, Cuban would have none of it. Chandler Parsons took his shot at Jordan. Through it all Cuban has gone from obviously frustrated to seeming to have moved on.

Jordan now turned to the Players Tribune to tell his side of the story directly.

“I woke up Monday morning feeling like there was something missing, something I didn’t do, something that was not covered, and that’s when I started to begin to have second thoughts… 

“Originally I said yes to the Mavericks because I thought I needed change. I thought I wanted change at that point in time…

“At the end of the day, we’re basketball players and great athletes but we are also human and we make mistakes, we have emotions and feelings just like everybody else….

“I’ve been here since I was 19 so this is what I know. I love this city, I love the fans, I love my teammates, and I love this organization.”

In the written part of the piece at the Tribune, Jordan also discussed his relationship with Chris Paul.

“I love Chris, man. Chris is a big brother to me. When you play sports, you’re competitive — especially when you play them at as high a level as we have these last few years. And of course, yeah, we all bump heads during the course of the game. But we know that whatever criticisms or arguments we have on the floor, they’re about one thing: winning….

“Ultimately, I made the right decision for me, and now I have to own that. What’s important to me now is to explain how it all happened.”

 

What Jordan did was not handled professionally — as Commissioner Adam Silver said it was not a good look — but it was well within his rights to do. There will be no rule changes, the NBA’s moratorium at the start of free agency will remain the same. What will change is that next year, when a team gets a commitment from a free agent early in free agency, that team will continue to recruit and babysit that player until they sign the contract.

Shaq, Scottie Pippen get into Instagram fight over who is bigger sidekick

2nd Annual Cartoon Network Hall Of Game Awards - Arrivals
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The lesson here? Don’t get into an Instagram fight with Shaquille O’Neal.

That’s what Scottie Pippen did. It didn’t go well for him. Everything started with a post from Shaq.

We would beat em by fifty "what you think". Let me know and don't hold back

A photo posted by DR. SHAQUILLE O'NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq) on

Then Pippen responded.

And it was on.

Anybody need a T MOBILE SIDEKICK. I GOTTa PRETTY GOOD ONE #BESTSIDEKICKEVER

A photo posted by DR. SHAQUILLE O'NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq) on

Easy big fella… if only you were as good at free throws as you are talking smack! @shaq

A photo posted by Scottie Pippen (@scottiepippen) on

Speaking of being a sidekick… if I recall correctly you know a thing or two about that as well. @shaq

A photo posted by Scottie Pippen (@scottiepippen) on

Just on creativity, I have to give it to Shaq.

Becky Hammon coaches Spurs to Summer League title

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The Spurs have been winning all offseason. They landed LaMarcus Aldridge as a free agent. They got David West to sign with them for pennies on the dollar. They retained Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.

Why not have them win Summer League, too?

Behind 23 points from Jonathon Simmons and 15 from Summer League MVP Kyle Anderson, the Spurs executed when it mattered and pulled away for a 93-90 win and the Las Vegas Summer League championship.

It gives the first woman ever to coach a Summer League team, Becky Hammon, another milestone — the first female coach to win the Summer League title.

Phoenix opened the game fast, pushing out to a 10-point first quarter lead thanks to hot shooting — they knocked down 53 percent of their shots in the first quarter, and that included a three from Devin Booker showing off some sick range.

In the huddle, Hammon snapped at her team for getting “too cute” and told them to get back to playing the right way. They did, going on a 23-11 run. The Spurs kept executing, and more importantly their defense got better

The Spurs retook the lead midway through the second quarter on a Kyle Anderson alley-oop to Simmons.

At the half it was tied 39-39, but the Spurs shot just 30 percent for the first 20 minutes and it felt like the shots would start to fall.

It stayed close and was 59-59 near the end of the third quarter, but that’s when the Spurs went on a 20-7 run that spanned into the fourth quarter. It was a lead the Spurs would not relinquish. Phoenix made it interesting with a late 10-4 run, but the Spurs victory never felt in doubt.

Treveon Graham also had 22 points for the Spurs.  Anderson looked like every bit the MVP and guy that the Spurs need to give some run to come the season. He played the point forward role we’ve seen in the Spurs offense for years, working out of the post, finding mismatches and making crisp passes to the open man.

Point guard Mike James had 32 points for the Suns — the most any player scored in a Summer League game all this run. James did it knocking down a few threes but mostly attacking (he got to the line 11 times, hit nine). Alex Len added 17, Archie Goodwin 12 and Booker 10.

Alex Len (17 points), Archie Goodwin (12) and Devin Booker (10) rounded out the foursome of double-digit scorers for Phoenix, who ended its stay in Las Vegas with a 5-2 overall record.

 

It’s official: Manu Ginobili re-signs with Spurs

San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Four
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This is very likely Manu Ginobili’s final season in the NBA, but with the Spurs reloaded for another run at the title he wasn’t going to miss out.

As had been expected, Ginobili officially signed with the Spurs on Monday.

Ginobili has averaged around 23 minutes a game for the past four years (22.7 last season) and while the skills of the 37-year-old (38 in a few days) are declining, he still provides some smart, above average play off the bench (with the occasional throwback game). Last season he averaged 10.2 points and four assists a game, and shot 34.5 percent from three.

But rather than talk about the magic Ginobili can produce on the court, why not watch some highlights.

Ginobili also may be the most popular Spur in San Antonio, you see more of his jerseys than Duncan’s around that town. He needed to be part of this last run with Tim Duncan.

While Ginobili signed a two-year deal for $5.7 million (the room exception) he likely doesn’t play the second year.

Boston Celtics reach four-year deal with second-round pick Jordan Mickey

Boston Celtics v San Antonio Spurs
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Among the guy who caught my eye (and many other eyes as well) at Las Vegas Summer League was Jordan Mickey of LSU. Way back on our pre-draft podcast, PBT’s draft expert Scott Isaacson said he would be a guy to watch, someone who seemed to be underrated by the draft process.

He looked it in Las Vegas. He played 30 minutes a night for the Celtics, averaging 13.8 points on 52.9 percent shooting, but more impressive was the rim protection — he’s a beast in the paint defensively. He averaged 2.6 blocks per game (we should have seen that coming, he led the NCAA in blocked shots last season). Mickey is a quality prospect.

The Celtics like what they saw and have officially signed Mickey to a four-year deal.

The terms are good too, as reported by Shams Charania at Real GM.

Basically, the Celtics get a couple of years of him guaranteed to see if it works out, and if it does they get a couple more years of him on a very affordable deal.

Add this to the lengthy list of quality assets Danny Ainge is stockpiling in Bean Town.