Author: Kurt Helin

Milwaukee Bucks v Portland Trail Blazers

Giannis Antetokounmpo gives you tour of Bucks’ locker room (VIDEO)


When you’re thinking “who do I want to lead me on a tour of an NBA locker room” the Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo is probably the first name that comes to mind.

Or not. But the Bucks emerging star does a pretty good job in this video. If what you want in a tour guide is enthusiasm you get it.

Hat tip to Eye on Basketball.

Nets’ scout survives heart attack during team practice

Jim Sann
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Sometimes, surviving a life-threatening situation is about luck as much as anything.

Just ask Brooklyn Nets assistant coach and scout Jim Sann.

The father of two children less than 10 (who lost their mother to cancer three years ago), he was at the Nets’ practice Sunday when the 46-year-old suffered a heart attack and collapsed. If there was ever a right place to have a heart attack, Sann picked it reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

“I was on my way out,” Sann said by phone Tuesday afternoon from his bed in a Northern New Jersey hospital. “I was gone…”

And of all places that Sann could’ve gone into cardiac arrest on Sunday, he had been blessed with good timing, good fortune and the presence of one of the best trainers in the NBA: the Nets’ Tim Walsh.

Between CPR and a defibrillator, Walsh and his training staff brought Sann back to life. Sann awoke on his back unsure what had happened, only to see the trainers and coaches standing over him, and, yes, perhaps the surest sign he had returned to the living: “Kevin Garnett was yelling,” Sann said.

According to the report, Sann is a workout fanatic and is quite fit. However, he is also the poster child for ignoring the warning signs of heart trouble.

For maybe a month, Sann had dismissed the chest pains brought on by a valve blockage as heartburn, popping Zantac and fooling himself with one of the oldest cons of middle-aged men in the morgue: “Other people have heart attacks,” Sann told himself, “not me…”

“I had warning signs for weeks that this was going to happen, and I was stupid about it,” Sann told Yahoo Sports. “And my two kids were almost orphans because of that.”

I don’t want to do the “take it from someone who knows” thing, but I have been a guy who has battled high blood pressure for years and years, who saw some warning signs, who looked at his lifestyle and looked at his children and realized there needed to be a change. I finally became serious in the past year dropped some weight through diet and exercise (about 30 pounds).

I’ve been lucky. Yet that it is not enough. I need to watch the warning signs — and I am not alone. Sann’s story, if nothing else, should be a warning for a lot of us that it’s not someone else. It can be you.


PBT Extra: In honor of Atlanta, what are greatest streaks in NBA history?

Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West

The Atlanta Hawks had a perfect month of January — they are the first team in NBA history to have a perfect month, going 17-0. Not the Showtime Lakers, not the Jordan Bulls of 72 wins, nobody had a perfect month.

That got us talking at PBT: What are the greatest streaks in NBA history?

I put together my list of a top five, which I lay out here.

What is your Top 5? Put them in the comments.

Kevin Durant out again Wednesday night with toe injury

Kevin Durant
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If the Thunder are going to make a charge into the playoffs, there are some games coming up that matter more than others. The next two are those kinds of games — a home-and-home against Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans.

They will have to win the first leg of that Wednesday without Kevin Durant.

The reigning MVP has missed three of the last four Thunder games due to a big toe injury and will be out Wednesday night on the road in the Big Easy, reports Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman.

This is not a shock, Durant didn’t practice on Tuesday with the team, but it’s still a blow.

Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $600,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Wednesday’s NBA games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $50,000. Starts at7pm ET on WednesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

The Thunder are three games back of the current eight seed in the West, the Phoenix Suns. The Pelicans are the team in between the Thunder and Suns, just one back of Phoenix. If the Thunder plan to jump the Pelicans, these are the games they need.

LeBron James: “If it helped our team win, I’d come off the bench”

LeBron James

From the “things I can say with impunity because it will never, ever happen” file we bring you….

LeBron James came back to Cleveland to win and bring a title to Ohio (and play with a better team, and have more power in the organization, but that’s not the narrative we’re spinning here). And they are finally winning after LeBron took some time off and the Cavaliers traded for a solid rim protector, they have rattled off 11 victories in a row.

LeBron would do just about anything to keep that going, include coming off the bench. From my man Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“For me being the leader of the team, it doesn’t matter. Whatever this team needs in order for this team to win, I’ll come off the bench and I’m serious,” James said. “I’ll come off the bench. If it helps our team, that’s what it’s about, man.”

“No. No. He’s doing fine where he is,” Blatt said. “He’s doing quite fine.”

Two quick thoughts.

I believe LeBron. He is fully in legacy mode right now — he already is a lock Hall of Famer who will go down as the most gifted and one of the great players the game has ever seen. The only questions left is where he will stand on the all-time ladder when it is all over (and you cannot answer that question right now, despite how hard some people want to try). If LeBron thought he could get more rings as a sixth man, he’d honestly do it without complaint.

Second, his statement is moot. It’s like Pete Carroll saying he’s going to be the next president of the United States — he can say it all he wants, it will not become a reality. (After the end of the Super Bowl you want to trust him with decisions on ISIS?)
Lovely sentiment by LeBron, however. We’ll see how he feels about it near the end of his career, not at its peak.