Kurt Helin

Moses Malone, Gerald Wilkins, Eddie Wilkins

Barkley talks Moses Malone, man he called “dad”

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The entire NBA community — from Commissioner Adam Silver down through numerous players any true fan of the game — have been saddened by the sudden passing of Hall of Fame big man Moses Malone.

Few felt that as acutely as Charles Barkley.

When Barkley was drafted into the NBA he spent his first two seasons in Philadelphia a teammate of Malone, and the two formed a close bond. Malone was Barkley’s NBA mentor, to the point that when Barkley was inducted into the Hall of Fame Malone as one of his presenters.

Barkley, now an NBA analyst for TNT, released this statement.

“The man I called ‘Dad’ passed today. Words can’t explain my sadness. I will never know why a Hall of Famer took a fat, lazy kid from Auburn and treated him like a son and got him in shape and made him a player. Every time I saw him I called him ‘Dad.’ I hope he knew how much I appreciated and loved him.”

Hopefully so. And hopefully Malone realized how many others around the NBA felt the same way. Including another former teammate, current Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who released this statement.

“I am saddened by the news of the passing of Moses. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. For me, Moses was a teammate, a friend and a mentor. He taught me what it took to be a true pro. The NBA lost a giant today and I lost a friend. Moses Malone – there was truly no one like him.”

Ty Lawson says Denver has “bad owners and gms”

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Ty Lawson is not one to turn the other cheek — he has a history of firing back at critics on social media. It’s left team PR reps scrambling before, and this season it will be the turn of the crew in Houston.

It might start now. Lawson posted a picture of himself relaxing on a boat, but when the critics came at him in the Instagram comments he responded by firing shots at the Denver Nuggets’ ownership and GM.

A photo posted by tylawson3 (@tylawson3) on

If you don’t want to scroll through the comments, here’s the money comments.

shannondizmang @taylorhodes he was a disappointment here in Denver. Capable of so much more but the dude just didn’t want to play. About every 20 or so games he would show up. If he would just play ball the way he does he would be making even more millions. #waste

tylawson3 @shannondizmang lol I wasn’t a disappointment…. I did my job.. Tim Conelly and the kronke are bad owners and gm’s

tylawson3 I’m happy af I’m a rocket

(Hat tip to Denver Stiffs.)

Lawson’s numbers were down some in Houston, but the franchise’s bigger problem with him was in the locker room where management saw him as a guy who caused distractions due to personal issues that had him showing up to practices with alcohol on his breath (he was arrested for two DUIs within six months, he has since been to a rehab center). Denver took a hit just to get him off the roster, and feel betrayed because they believe GM Tim Connelly and Nuggets President/Governor Josh Kroenke gave him a chance and tried to help him through his personal issues.

Lawson doesn’t see it that way. That can be up for debate. However, he isn’t wrong about the odd choices of management — this team won 57 games then lost its GM and then fired its coach (George Karl) within a few weeks of each other. They took a running roster and entrusted it to Brian Shaw, who tried to run the triangle (where Lawson was a poor fit), lost the team and quickly everything went sideways. They lost the culture of the franchise and in the locker room, now hiring Mike Malone to restore all that. On top of that, owner Stan Kroenke is not known as a big spender.

All that said, Lawson chose not to take the high road here. It’s not his style.

The Nuggets are going to struggle this season as they try to get back on track (and they may have the new franchise cornerstone in Emmanuel Mudiay).

If Lawson can get and keep himself right, and continue putting up his numbers and playing his game, he can lift the Rockets into the upper echelon of the Western Conference — a crowded space but one where a healthy Rockets team belongs.

Canada’s Cory Joseph hits bronze medal game-winner

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Cory Joseph was brought in by the Raptors to be a defensive-minded point guard. Well, that and he’s Canadian. But mostly it was the defense.

But he has a little offensive game, too.

In the final seconds of the FIBA America’s bronze medal game, Mexico was up by one and Joseph brought the ball down, called his own number and hit the step-back game winner.

In the end, the game is mostly meaningless — both teams qualified for the Olympic play in tournaments that take place next summer, where they will get the chance to punch their ticket for Rio. Still, it’s a heck of a shot.

Venezuela beat Argentina to win FIBA Americas, and both those teams are headed to Brazil for the 2016 Olympics.

Jared Dudley says he’ll be back by December

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Jared Dudley is one of the key cogs if the Washington Wizards are going to rise up and be the second best team in the East. They need him to play some reserve three behind Otto Porter, who has to prove his playoff performance was not a fluke and he can start to fill Paul Pierce‘s shoes. Also, they need his ability to score from the perimeter and play some stretch four off the bench as the Wizards — finally — start to run more small ball, clearing space for and picking up the tempo to play to John Wall‘s strengths.

But Dudley is coming off back surgery. He has said he only expected to miss a couple of games, but when is he really coming back? He answered that on Twitter Saturday.

http://www.csnmidatlantic.com/basketball-washington-wizards/talk/wizards-dudley-updates-injury-status

Expect the Wizards to ease his return, but if he can be back sometime around or before Thanksgiving the Wizards can live with that. As Ben Standing notes at CSNWashington.com, the Wizards have 14 games between the start of the season and Dec. 1. In the East, that’s not going to cost them making the playoffs or likely even much standing, and what matters is getting Dudley right for the bulk of the season and into the playoffs.

Another fan asked Dudley if Porter is ready for the task ahead of him.

Not sure what else Dudley would say here, but they need Porter to step up this season. Not just to play as well as he did in the playoffs, but a little better than that (how well he played in the postseason has been overstated).

Adam Silver “deeply saddened” by Moses Malone passing

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The passing of Moses Malone caught the NBA off-guard — he had been at the Hall of Fame events on Friday and TNT’s David Aldridge said he saw the legend working out in the hotel gym while there.

Among those surprised was NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, who released this statement.

“We are stunned and deeply saddened by the passing of Hall of Famer Moses Malone, an NBA legend gone far too soon.  Known to his legions of fans as the ‘Chairman of the Boards,’ Moses competed with intensity every time he stepped on the court.  With three MVPs and an NBA championship, he was among the most dominant centers ever to play the game and one of the best players in the history of the NBA and the ABA.  Even more than his prodigious talent, we will miss his friendship, his generosity, his exuberant personality, and the extraordinary work ethic he brought to the game throughout his 21-year pro career.  Our thoughts are with Moses’ family and friends during this difficult time.”

Silver is part of a long list of members of the NBA family who have expressed their sadness at Malone’s passing.

At PBT, our thoughts are with the Malone family as well.