Kurt Helin

Bulls’ Joakim Noah leaves game vs Mavs with separated left shoulder

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CHICAGO (AP) — Forward Joakim Noah left the Bulls’ game against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night after separating his left shoulder with just under 10 minutes to play in the second quarter.

Noah was in his fourth game back after returning from a nine-game absence because of an injury to the same shoulder.

The Bulls said Noah wouldn’t return to the game. No timetable for his return, but a second dislocation of the same shoulder often means even a longer time to recover than the first.

Noah got tangled up with the Mavericks’ JaVale McGee under the basket, yelled in pain while holding his shoulder, and immediately ran off the court and to the locker room.

Anthony Davis finishes game-winning alley-oop to beat Charlotte

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If Anthony Davis is the roll man, you may want to have somebody stick with him. Especially if the game is on the game is on the line.

The Charlotte Hornets had done a decent job of that all night, often leaving Ryan Anderson open for threes, which is why he had 32 points on the night. But on the game-winner, both Jrue Holiday and Cody Zeller went with guard Jrue Holiday. Davis rolled to the rim, the other big was near the top of the key not leaving Anderson, and Jeremy Lin was late and not big enough or physical enough to stop Davis anyway.

Kemba Walker had tied the game at 107-107 knocking down a three with 19.2 seconds left. Both he and Nicolas Batum had 25 for the Hornets, who have won just two of their last 10 games.

Ben Wallace looking forward to jersey retirement with Pistons

AUBURN HILLS - APRIL 18: Ben Wallace #3 of the Detroit Pistons celebrates during game one of round one of the 2004 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs April 18, 2004 at the Palace of Auburn Hills, in Auburn Hills, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images)
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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Ben Wallace understands the significance of a retired jersey and what it will mean for his legacy.

“When that jersey goes up, all fans that come to the arena look up there. … They want to know how those numbers get up there,” Wallace said. “I just feel honored and blessed to be one of those people that 20, 30 years from now, somebody’s going to come into an arena and see that jersey and be like, `Who’s that guy? What’s his story?’ I hope somebody remembers that story so they can help that fan out.”

Pistons fans certainly won’t forget Wallace any time soon, and the team will honor him by retiring his jersey Saturday night when Detroit hosts the Golden State Warriors. Chauncey Billups will have his jersey retired when the Pistons host Denver on Feb. 10.

Wallace played nine seasons with the Pistons, helping the team win the NBA title in 2004. He was one of the league’s top rebounders and won defensive player of the year honors four times in a five-year span from 2002-06.

Wallace retired after the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, when Detroit went 25-41. The Pistons haven’t made the playoffs since 2009, but Detroit (21-18) is making a bid to end that drought this season behind standout center Andre Drummond. Wallace says he still pays some attention to how his former team is doing.

“I watch basketball every now and then. … It’s still going to suck you in and make you feel like you can go out there and jump and dunk like Andre Drummond, maybe. But that ain’t going to happen,” Wallace said. “I peek at the team from time to time. I think they’re heading in the right direction right now. They’ve got a great group of young guys.”

 

LeBron James calls Tim Duncan the greatest power forward ever

San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Ducan (21) defends Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 99-95. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
Associated Press
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In our latest PBT Podcast, Spurs beat writer Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News postulated that if the Spurs win it all this season Tim Duncan will walk away, leaving on the high note of a sixth title. Even if the Spurs don’t win it all, there’s a fair chance this is the last tour for Duncan (although maybe he plays one more).

While Kobe Bryant‘s farewell tour is filling arenas and drawing headlines, Duncan is every bit as great a player as Bryant. Duncan may have played some center over the years (and does now), but he will go down as the greatest power forward the game has ever seen.

That’s not just my opinion; it’s what LeBron James posted on Instagram after the Spurs beat the Cavaliers on Thursday.

Reports: Nets have strong interest in Tom Thibodeau as coach, will hire GM first

Chicago Bulls v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game One
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Tom Thibodeau has a reputation for getting the most out of players, pushing them hard and getting them to play over their heads.

The Brooklyn Nets are going to need a lot of that in the coming years, considering the state of their rebuilding efforts.

So it makes sense that the Nets have interest in Thibodeau to take over as their coach, but they want to hire a GM first, reports Marc Stein and Mike Mazzeo at ESPN.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Nets, while in the early stages of a search for both a new lead executive and a new coach in the wake of ousting general manager Billy King and Lionel Hollins, are likely to pursue Thibodeau once they can secure a successor to King….

…there is a growing sense in league circles that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov wants to hire established NBA names with considerable experience in the league. Because of that, the appeal of Thibodeau is obvious. As perhaps the most accomplished coach available, Thibodeau posted a record of 255-139 (.647) during his five seasons in Chicago.

Does Thibodeau switch pizza style loyalties based on who pays him?

It’s easy to understand the appeal of Thibodeau, he had fantastic success with the Bulls. But you can ask John Paxson and Gar Forman in Chicago how much it matters that whoever gets the GM job in Brooklyn is on the same page as the strong-willed Thibodeau. This is a guy who pushes back against analytics or suggestions of resting players, and he has strong opinions on what kinds of players he will want on his roster.

The Nets have a massive rebuilding project ahead — they do not control their own first-round pick until 2019, and no matter what owner Mikhail Prokhorov thinks this is going to take years — so picking the best GM for that rebuild is the most important decision. By far. Then they can worry about the coach.