Author: Kurt Helin


Dwyane Wade needs to get as good at free throws as soon-to-be wife (Instagram)


Last season Dwyane Wade shot a very respectable 73.3 percent from the free throw line, something you need to do if part of your game is getting in the lane and drawing contact.

But he’s not as good at free throws as his soon to be wife, Gabriel Union. Based on the available video evidence she shoots roughly 100 percent from the line. And she looks better than Wade doing it.

Wade and Union tie the knot this weekend. We wish them nothing but the best. We got the couple a little something, we just need an address where to send the toaster.

Minnesota, Cleveland aquariums trade Kevin Love. The octopus name.

Kevin Love Releases Baby Octopus

Now the Kevin Love trade is complete.

Sure, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers (and Philadelphia 76ers) officially pulled the trigger on the Love for Andrew Wiggins swap on Saturday. But there was one little detail that the teams failed to consider.

K-Love the octopus.

He has resided in the SEA LIFE Minnesota at Mall of America Aquarium for years, but with the larger, lesser-armed Love gone that seemed a bit awkward now. So they are trading the name to Cleveland. Seriously. Here is the press release from Sea Life Minnesota (via Mr. Aquarium Matt Moore of CBS’ eye on Basketball).

The memories Kevin Love has given the Timberwolves will stay in Minnesota, and the octopus will be staying at SEA LIFE Minnesota as well. The K-Love name, however, will be traded to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium to be used for their giant pacific octopus.

Trading K-Love naming rights will give SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium a fresh new start and naming flexibility in the future for its young octopus. In return for the trade, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium will be giving SEA LIFE Minnesota the rights to its Octopus name, Ocho. SEA LIFE Minnesota will most likely drop Ocho for a new name soon that will match Andrew Wiggins, the key piece in the trade.

Both Aquariums see this as a win-win. I guess. All aquariums try to spin trades that way.

You’d think the Cleveland Aquarium might want to name another sea creature after LeBron James — because unlike LeBron no fish can opt out of the Aquarium next summer. Same with K-Love I suppose, although the odds of either NBA player leaving town are only slightly higher than any Aquarium sea creatures.

Larry Drew said he was “blindsided” by Milwaukee Bucks firing


New owners often means changes are coming. Like any person buying any business, they want people they trust close to them. That means changes.

The Milwaukee Bucks got new owners, hedge-fun billionaires Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry, and among the changes they made was to bring in Jason Kidd, pulling him out of Brooklyn (where Kidd made a failed power play to get team GM powers) and bringing star power to the Milwaukee bench. It was well within their rights to make that move — but they handled it sloppily. The owners (and Kidd) violated the unwritten code of coaches, having a public discussion of a coaching seat while somebody else was already sitting in it. Team GM John Hammond even didn’t know about the owners’ moves.

All of that caught that current (and about to be ex) coach Larry Drew by surprise, he told Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel.

Larry Drew said he was “blindsided” by the way he lost his job as head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks…

“From their (the owners’) standpoint, there’s no set time for these type of things,” Drew said in an interview with the Journal Sentinel. “It caught me in a position when I least expected it. But I know how these things work. I don’t have any hard feelings, any grudges against anybody.

“Marc (Lasry) called me and I just wished him luck. I’ve got to keep moving forward.”

Drew landed on his feet, he’s a lead assistant now for David Blatt in Cleveland.

Drew also sounded like the veteran coach, choosing not to be bitter about how this went down but rather saying these things happen to coaches and he just has to move on.

The Bucks have an interesting roster loaded with potential — Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker, O.J. Mayo, John Henson, Larry Sanders — and the challenge is to develop it, get that team to be professional on and off the court. Can Kidd, who has one year of coaching experience with a veteran team built to win now (that didn’t) do that? Good question. Did Edens and Lasry learn a lesson about doing business in an up-front manner and telling the people around them what they’re thinking? Time will tell.

Drew doesn’t care much about those things. He’s moved on.

Flip Saunders says he thinks Anthony Bennett can be part of Minnesota’s rotation

Anthony Bennett

We wrote about Anthony Bennett out of summer League — he showed having lost weight, ready to crash the boards and do the dirty work. He looked like an NBA player. Not one who was going to live up to the No. 1 pick millstone around his neck, but a guy you could give 15 minutes a night to.

Flip Saunders sees it that way, too.

For good reason it’s been billed as the Andrew Wiggins/Kevin Love trade, but Minnesota coach and team president spoke to Sid Hartman at the Star Tribune about the other guy coming in from Cleveland in Bennett.

“You look at him and he was drafted, had shoulder surgery, did not practice at all during the summertime, missed training camp, came in during the year and was diagnosed with sleep apnea and other things,” Saunders said. “He has lost 25 pounds, he’s working hard to get in shape. He’s an NBA player. He’s a guy that’s going to be a rotation-type player.”

As for the addition of Thaddeus Young, not only can he play but they want Young to be Crash Davis to Wiggins’ Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh.

“The other thing is, going back I saw how [Kevin] Garnett developed, how [Stephon] Marbury developed, how [Wally] Szczerbiak developed, we always had mentors with those players. We had an older player that was playing, whether it was Sam Mitchell with Garnett, Terry Porter with Stephon — we always had somebody like that who that could show those guys what it is to be professional. Thaddeus Young is going to bring that for us, [point guard] Mo Williams is going to bring that for us. So I didn’t want to have all these young guys out there by themselves.”

Young is also an asset that can be flipped if contending or on the cusp of contending teams come calling.

Saunders did about as well out of this trade as could have been expected. He got a potential cornerstone piece in Wiggins. He got a quality veteran forward in Young. And if Bennett does become a rotation player, those are not all that easy to come by at his size.

Former NBA players, stashed NBA draft picks all over World Cup rosters


We know the NBA players that fill out not only Team USA but other World Cup rosters are loaded as well — 45 guys currently on NBA teams will be playing in Spain. Guys like Goran Dragic suits up for Slovenia, or Rudy Gobert, Boris Diaw, Evan Fournier, and Ian Mahinmi will play for France. You get the idea.

But as John Schuhmann notes at, a there are also 23 guys who used to be on NBA rosters also are playing in the World Cup.

The biggest names among them are Carlos Arroyo and Renaldo Balkman (both of whom play for Puerto Rico), Rudy Fernandez and Juan Carlos Navarro (Spain), and Andres Nocioni (Argentina).

Schuhmann makes another interesting observation: There are 17 other players drafted by NBA players who have been stashed overseas who will also be on World Cup rosters.

There’s Croatia’s Dario Saric, who the 76ers picked up in the last draft. There is Raul Neto playing for Brazil and maybe someday the Jazz. Bogdan Bogdanovic will be part of a pretty good Serbian team and could someday play for the Suns.

Team USA still has more depth of talent than any other team in the world — but there is talent all over the globe now. The days of the USA cruising to gold are fading. Fast.