Author: Kurt Helin

Houston Rockets v Phoenix Suns

James Harden, three Hawks players lead list of NBA All-Star Game reserves


The coaches made good choices.

The problem is, you can also make a case for almost another team of guys left off.

The NBA All-Star Game reserves were officially announced Thursday night. The starters were voted in by the fans and announced a week ago, then this past week the coaches around the league filled out the rosters.

Here’s who they selected:

Eastern Conference

• Jeff Teague (Atlanta Hawks)
• Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls)
• Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
• Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat)
• Paul Millsap (Atlanta Hawks)
• Chris Bosh (Miami Heat)
• Al Horford (Atlanta Hawks)

(Starters: John Wall, Kyle Lowry, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Pau Gasol)

Western Conference

• James Harden (Houston Rockets)
• Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
• Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers)
• Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
• Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs)
• Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
• LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers)

(Starters: Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol)

There are going to be changes to the rosters in each conference — both Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade are out injured, Kobe certainly will not play and Wade is not expected to.

Meaning at least a couple of the deserving guys left off the roster will get on. (NBA Commissioner Adam Silver picks the replacements, in the case of the West it will be up to coach Steve Kerry to decide who will take Kobe’s starter spot.)

And there are a lot of deserving guys left off these lists.

Starting with DeMarcus Cousins — averaging 23.8 points and 12.3 rebounds a game — and Damian Lillarrd out West. Lillard is averaging 21.7 points and 6.1 rebounds a game. Both of these guys deserved to make the team (both were among my picks) and only one will.

Other deserving guys left off in the West are Mike Conley and Zach Randolph of the Memphis Grizzlies, Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks, Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets, Eric Bledsoe of the Phoenix Suns. And that list could go on and on.

In the Eastern Conference, if I had to best who gets Wade’s spot, watch out for Kyle Korver of the Hawks. That would mean four Hawks, which seems fair for the best team in the conference. Other guys who out East who missed out include Nikola Vucevic of the Orlando Magic, Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Brandon Knight of the Bucks, and Andre Drummond of the Pistons. Again, there are others who could stake a claim as well.

Paul George, family discuss night of leg injury, recovery (VIDEO)

Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Lakers

In a new video series with Bleacher Report, Paul George opens up about the horrific injury suffered in a Team USA exhibition game this summer.

“It was just awkward. My leg hit the stanchion. I didn’t really feel nothing then, but I just knew I couldn’t put my foot down…I looked down to see my legs, and I saw my bone. The second I saw my bone, I just lost it.”

George talks about how the Oklahoma City trainer pinned him down so he couldn’t sit up and look at his leg. He talks about the pain when your bone touches the air. He talks about the rod that is now “part of me” in his leg.

Maybe the best part of the video is the recollections of his mother and father about the night, one they were both there for.

George also talks about his comeback efforts. At his age, with his work ethic, he could and likely will come all the way back. But that is a hard and long road to travel.

One time can’t miss prospect Renardo Sidney trying to make comeback, reach NBA

Mississippi State v Baylor

There was a time when Renardo Sidney was ranked by recruiting services ahead of guys like DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall, Derrick Favors, Lance Stephenson, Eric Bledsoe, Kawhi Leonard and the rest of a class that has turned out to have a big impact on the NBA.

Now Sidney is the poster child for the can’t miss prospect that missed. He is the poster child for everything wrong with the AAU/American youth basketball system — he got too much, too early and never developed the work ethic needed to succeed in college, let alone in the NBA. He literally got fat and comfortable thinking he could coast into NBA stardom.

Sidney is honest now about his mistakes and opens up about that path in a fantastic interview and feature about him by Rob Dauster over at our sister blog CollegeBasketballTalk.

Sidney is also trying one more comeback, one more run at the NBA.

He’s still living on Prince Edward Island in Canada, training with a former teammate as he prepares for workouts that he hopes will lead to a spot in an NBA Summer League which, in turn, will land him a contract with a team in the NBA D-League.

At least that’s the plan.

Sidney says he is down to 290 pounds. His goal, according to his agent, Zachary Charles of 3pt Sports Management, is to get down to 275 pounds. Charles, who is at least the fourth agent that Sidney has had since leaving school, believes that this time it will be different. He believes that this is a new Renardo Sidney, that all he needs is an opportunity to prove it.

For the first time in his life, Charles says, there’s a plan of action, there’s a structure that Sidney is buying into.

“When it comes to work and dedication,” Charles said, “sometimes it takes a kick in the pants to understand what you had and what you lost.”

We’ve all heard that before. Everyone is understandably skeptical. This fall Sidney tried to play in the Canadian league and the story was familiar — the talent wasn’t the question but his conditioning was so poor he couldn’t stay on the court. The coaches tried almost hockey shifts with him — three minutes on, three minutes off — but it didn’t work and he was off the team after five games.

But talent gets you more chances than you may deserve, and if Sidney can get in shape you can be sure some D-League and maybe NBA teams would watch him work out.

For now, Sidney remains the ultimate cautionary tale.