Kurt Helin

New Orleans Pelicans v Sacramento Kings

Report: Sixers did not disclose Jrue Holiday injury to Pelicans, fined $3 million by NBA

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On draft night two years ago, the Philadephia 76ers traded Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans for Nerlens Noel. In those two years, Holiday has been healthy enough to play in 74 games, missing 41 games his first year after the trade due to a stress fracture in his right leg that required surgery.

The NBA says that the Sixers knew about a stress fracture in Holiday’s leg but didn’t disclose it — and they fined the Sixers for it, according to the Philadelphia Enquirer.

The 76ers were ordered to pay the New Orleans Pelicans $3 million by the NBA last season for not fully disclosing Jrue Holiday’s injury history before he was traded two years ago, according to two sources….

The sources said Holiday played with stress fractures in his lower right leg during his final season with the Sixers. However, the sources said, those injures weren’t fully disclosed to the Pelicans.

The Sixers, of course, deny this. Also, the Pelicans gave Holiday a physical before the trade went through.

However, the NBA felt strongly enough about it after looking at the evidence to fine Philadephia for its actions.

Interestingly, the Sixers are trying to get the league to look closely at what the Lakers knew before trading Andrew Bynum to them back in 2012, according to the same report. Bynum never played a minute for the Sixers.

 

Kobe being Kobe: “Friends come and go but banners hang forever”

2015 BET Experience - Genius Talks Presented By AT&T
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Kobe Bryant was at the BET awards show Saturday (everybody hasan awards show now). He went to the BET Experience at LA Live and did an interview withinterview with ESPN’s Jemele Hill, where she asked him about about his friends. Kobe was vintage Kobe (as reported by ESPN’s Baxter Holmes).

This is not the first time Kobe has spoken of how his quest for titles, his sacrifices to the basketball gods included him forgoing close friendships. He said this to Chuck Klosterman in GQ earlier this year.

I have friends. But being a “great friend” is something I will never be. I can be a good friend. But not a great friend. A great friend will call you every day and remember your birthday. I’ll get so wrapped up in my shit, I’ll never remember that stuff. And the people who are my friends understand this, and they’re usually the same way. You gravitate toward people who are like you. But the kind of relationships you see in movies—that’s impossible for me. I have good relationships with players around the league. LeBron and I will text every now and then. KG and I will text every now and then. But in terms of having one of those great, bonding friendships—that’s something I will probably never have. And it’s not some smug thing. It’s a weakness. It’s a weakness.

We as a society venerate people who are single-minded in their focus, from playing basketball to making great sushi. Kobe has that kind of focus, but it doesn’t necessarily make them great people.  Remembered, for sure — Kobe will have a statue outside Staples Center in Los Angeles in a few years. But the kind of person you’d want to hang with, go have a drink with? Maybe not.

What you have to respect about Kobe is that he is self-aware and understanding that for him this is a choice.

Kevin Durant destroys kid at pop-a-shot

Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder
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It doesn’t matter what kind of shooting you’re talking about, Kevin Durant is good at it.

He was out in Los Angeles and swung by a Dave and Busters — a combination restaurant and arcade, for those of you who only eat in places with a Michelin Star — and decide to play a little pop-a-shot. And he’s pretty good at that, too.

At least he didn’t swat the kid’s shot.

One of the best parts of the next NBA season? Seeing Kevin Durant back on the court for the Oklahoma City Thunder. His foot surgery and Russell Westbrook’s injuries sucked some of the fun out of the West. (Although I’m not sure the other teams in the West feel that way.)

Report: Timberwolves in talks with Euroleague MVP Nemanja Bjelica

Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul- CSKA Moscow: Turkish Airlines Euroleague
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On draft night in 2010, Minnesota agreed to a trade with Washington for the No. 35 pick, the rights to Serbian Nemanja Bjelica. Then they stashed him overseas, where he has continued to develop and look like a guy they could use — last season he was the Euroleague MVP.

Now the Timberwolves are looking to bring the 6’10” point forward over for the next few seasons, reports Shams Charania at Real GM.

Euroleague star Nemanja Bjelica is in serious discussions with the Minnesota Timberwolves on an approximate three-year, $12 million-plus deal, but the two sides have been exploring all options, league sources told RealGM…. Around the league, there’s active trade interest in the Serbian forward, sources said.

In an NBA trending toward spacing the floor and versatile lineup, Bjelica is a good fit because he can play the three or the four, plus take on some ball handling responsibilities. He shot 37 percent from three last season, and he pulled down more than eight rebounds a game as well for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce Ulker.

Minnesota is strong at the three with Andrew Wiggins and Shabazz Muhammad. At the four there is Gorgui Dieng and behind him Anthony Bennett (who is being shopped) as well as Adreian Payne. You could see Bjelica being able to step in and get good minutes off the bench at the four, sort of in a Nikola Mirotic kind of way (with a different style game, but in terms of usage they could be similar).

Minnesota is assembling a very nice roster, one that could do a lot of damage in a few years if they can keep the core together and develop them.

Paul Pierce makes the expected official, will opt out of contract to become free agent

150602_PaulPierce
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This has been expected for a while even the Washington Wizards admitted this was coming — but on Saturday Paul Pierce made it official, he is becoming a free agent.

Pierce retweeted this from the Players Tribune.

Pierce will turn 38 next season, but his “old man at the Y” crafty game still gets the job done — he averaged 11.9 points a game and shot 38.9 percent from three. He has thrived more as a small four the last few seasons.

Teams are going to be lined up to land him.

The Wizards want to bring him back, to start. Here is what GM Ernie Grunfeld told J. Michael at CSNWashington.com.

“We want Paul back obviously. I think he had a good year here,” said Grunfeld on Friday after the team introduced first-round draft pick Kelly Oubre at Verizon Center. “He enjoyed his teammates. He enjoyed the city. He enjoyed the environment in the city.

“He’s going to be a free agent. It’s his call but if you ask me if we want him back — absolutely.”

However, the front runners to land Pierce, if you ask around the league, are the Los Angeles Clippers. They are looking for a new starting three (they traded Matt Barnes, but want to bring Lance Stephenson off the bench) and someone with playoff experience to help them over the hump in the West. Plus they are coached by Pierce’s old friend Doc Rivers.

The Celtics are interested as well, trying to pitch Pierce and Kevin Love on coming to Boston (well, for Pierce back to Boston).

Of course, money will play a factor. The Wizards can offer up to $5.5 million to Pierce (the max raise they can give under the CBA), and other teams will need to be at least in that ballpark or higher.