Author: Kurt Helin

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Al Michaels tells story of how Doc Rivers was almost Lakers coach in 2004-05

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Any story that includes a chance meeting and conversation with Jerry Buss outside a men’s restroom is going to be golden.

Al Michaels had one of those in the spring on 2004 and retold the story on the Dan Patrick show Friday. And it’s gold Jerry. Gold. Remember that during the 2004 playoffs Doc Rivers agreed to go coach the Boston Celtics, but he stayed on as an ABC analyst through the playoffs. Then during the Lakers/Spurs series that year, while Phil Jackson was doing his annual waffling on whether he’d return, Jerry Buss told Michaels that if Rivers hadn’t signed in Boston he would have signed him. So Michaels told Rivers and…

It’s fun to speculate, but that was a tough few years for the Lakers after Shaquille O’Neal, Gary Payton and Karl Malone all left (remember the Rudy Tomjanovich era?) and who knows how things turn out. As it was, Doc eventually got his ring in Boston and is now a head coach of a loaded team in Los Angeles. Things tend to work out.

Eric Bledsoe walks it back, says he was joking that Kentucky could beat Sixers

John Calipari
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Eric Bledsoe did his best Emily Litella imitation on Friday: “oh, never mind.”

Earlier this week Bledsoe said he thought this year’s loaded Kentucky Wildcats team could beat the Sixers. He’s wrong about that, but that sparked a lot of sports talk radio hot takes around the nation, putting the Sixers tactics to build a team back in the spotlight.

Friday, Eric Bledsoe walked it back, reports CSNPhilly.com. He said he was joking.

“I have a lot of respect for NBA players,” Bledsoe said after the Suns’ morning shootaround at the Wells Fargo Center Friday. “I was joking around. Obviously I went to Kentucky and then they played good.”

I think we can all agree on two things. First, Kentucky is loaded with young talent this season. L-O-A-D-E-D. At least four likely first round picks next draft. Second, the Sixers have a terrible roster which is playing terrible NBA basketball. They have young guys with potential, but right now they are terrible.

However, the Sixers would destroy Kentucky is a best of seven series. Or one game.

I will let two men I respect — Kentucky coach John Calipari and Rob Dauster of NBC’s CollegeBasketballTalk — sum up my opinion on this debate.

LeBron James: If Kevin Love demands ball in the post we’ll give it to him

Denver Nuggets v Cleveland Cavaliers
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LeBron James used to say this same thing about Chris Bosh back in Miami: If he demands the rock, we will get him the rock. Bosh wasn’t usually the demanding type, however. He, more than anyone, modified his game to fit next to LeBron.

Kevin Love is still trying to find his footing in the Cavaliers offense. He’s used to having the offense run through him, but he is averaging 13.1 shots a game this season (down more than five a game from last year) and his touches per game are way off as well. It’s an adjustment for him.

But like Bosh before him, LeBron says if Love wants the ball he can have it, he just has to demand it. From Joe Varden of the Northeast Ohio Media Group.

“It’s the demand,” James said, weighing in on the 6-foot-10 Love’s stated discomfort in the Cavaliers’ offense through 10 games. “Kevin’s a guy, if he wants the ball in the post, he gets it in the post. If he demands it, we’ll give it to him….

“It’s a feel-out process for all of us,” James said. “It’s a little more challenging for (Love) than it is for me and Kyrie because we get to handle the ball a little bit more, and him being a big guy we have to give him the ball when he has his opportunities. He has to make the most out of them.”

Love has said he wants to get more touches in the post, where he can establish himself and get more easy buckets… except he’s not finishing those this season. Love is shooting just 39.2 percent this season inside eight feet of the rim.

All of this speaks to the comfort level in Cleveland, it’s a work in process on offense. It will eventually change, they have three guys who are pretty much walking mismatches, and there will be a lot of nights Love gets the looks he wants.

But Bosh warned Love this was going to be a serious adjustment.

PBT Extra: How would the NBA benefit from legalized sports betting?

Adam Silver
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Last week, NBA commissioner Adam Silver penned an op-ed in the New York Times advocating for legalized, regulated sports betting. In the past, he has called legalized betting “inevitable” and said the NBA would participate once that happened.

In the latest PBT Extra, we discuss how the NBA could benefit from legalized betting, and how Silver’s support for legalization is making him unpopular in some circles.

Dallas’ Brandan Wright finishes alley-oop all over Kevin Seraphin (VIDEO)

Brandan Wright, Kris Humphries
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That was embarrassing. And on top of all of it Kevin Seraphin got called for the foul.

Dallas rode their juggernaut offense and 34 points from Monta Ellis to pick up a quality win. Dirk Nowitzki was knocking down key shots.

But if you want a highlight that has people talking, this is it.