Kurt Helin

Chinatopix Via AP

Andray Blatche threw his headband at official in Chinese playoff game (VIDEO)


Andray Blatch is playing for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association, as he has the past couple seasons, and he and his teammates are now in the CBA playoffs.

Blatche attacked the rim and had a legitimate beef that there should have been a foul call on that play, but when you don’t get one you can’t turn around and throw your headband at the official.

Blatche got a technical for that. And reminded everyone he is Andray Blatche.

Blatche is having a strong season overseas, averaging 23.2 points a game on 55 percent shooting, plus pulling down more than 10 rebounds a game. He has been out of the NBA since 2014. Despite his overseas numbers and the NBA being a league where athletic bigs get a lot of chances, I’m not sure we’ll see his return to the States to play.

(Hat tip to Hoopshype)

Report: Teams contacting Sixers about Jahlil Okafor, Philly listening

Associated Press

He was the No. 3 pick in the most recent draft, a guy proving he could score right away by averaging 17.1 points, and  7.4 rebounds a game — Jahlil Okafor has been impressive for a rookie. You can envision him as a cornerstone part of what the Sixers are building.

But Philadelphia’s plan is always fluid, so when teams have come calling about Okafor at the trade deadline, the Sixers are listening. A trade was never likely, but they are listening. Tom Moore reported this first:

Keith Pompey had more details at the Philadelphia Inquirer:

A third league source said the Sixers have been contacted by teams about their interest in keeping Jahlil Okafor.

A trade “would have to make a lot of sense for them,” the source said of the Sixers. “They would have to get a player that they deem the same level player at a different position.”

ESPN’s Marc Stein added to that.

The Sixers do have questions to answer — Okafor and Nerlens Noel do not play well together (the Sixers are -19.3 points per 100 possessions when they are on the court together this season, leading Brett Brown to stagger their minutes as much as he can). Plus, they still could have Joel Embiid to fit into the mix next season if he recovers from a second foot surgery.

With that, it is possible that either Okafor or Noel will be traded down the line. Just not at the deadline.

Brazil’s Tiago Splitter to miss Olympics recovering from hip surgery

Associated Press
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ATLANTA (AP) — Tiago Splitter won’t be able to play for the home team at the Rio Olympics.

The Atlanta Hawks center said Wednesday he will need eight months to recover from hip surgery, costing him a spot on the Brazilian national team this summer.

Splitter says “everybody wants to play in the Olympics when you’re playing at home. It’s really hard” to sit out the games, which begin Aug. 5.

In his first season with the Hawks, Splitter didn’t make much of an impact. His right hip began hurting in late November and failed to respond to treatment. After missing six games before the All-Star break, he decided surgery was the best option.

Splitter plans to be in Rio to support the Brazilian team, which finished fifth at the 2012 London Games.

Gilbert Arenas asks Lakers for 10-day contract so he can see Kobe’s final game


If you want to be in the building for Kobe Bryant‘s final game at Staples Center, it’s going to cost you. According to SeatGeek.com, the cheapest seats start at $681, and if you want to be in the lower bowl it’s going to start at $1,000 a ticket and climb from there.

Gilbert Arenas wants to see Kobe’s last game, but he doesn’t wish to pay those kinds of prices.

So Arenas took to Instagram and asked the Lakers for a 10-day contract at the end of the season.

I’d like to say this is just Arenas joking around but… it’s Arenas we’re talking about. He’d take that contract in a heartbeat.

I’d recommend the Lakers do it, not just because it would give me a lot to write about, but also because they don’t have enough distracting drama around their team already. Plus Arenas has proven to be such a good influence for young players around the league before, and the Lakers need that.

Report: Kings try to trade for Pau Gasol, who would like to stay, re-sign in Chicago


Reports continue to circulate that the Chicago Bulls are talking to teams about Pau Gasol. How actively depends on which report you listen to, it varies from “aggressively” to saying the Bulls want to be blown away any offer, or they hang up the phone. Gasol is 35 and will opt out this summer and become a free agent — the Bulls would be stupid not to test the market for him.

The Sacramento Kings — a team that fired their assistant coach Wednesday and are making a hard push to add talent so they can make a playoff push — are trying to barge to the front of the line, according to Chris Mannix and Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

The Bulls have discussed deals with multiple NBA teams on Gasol, but one discussion lingered on Wednesday, league sources told The Vertical’s Wojnarowski and Chris Mannix: Gasol and Tony Snell to the Sacramento Kings for Kosta Koufos, Ben McLemore and a lowering of the lottery protections on the 2016 first-round pick that Sacramento owes the Bulls.

How low on those lottery protections is an interesting question, but that’s a lot for the Bulls to give up for what they get in return. The Kings are a desperate organization under owner Vivek Ranadive, who wants to end the franchise’s nine-year playoff drought, franchise stability be damned.

As for Gasol himself, he doesn’t want to leave Chicago — in fact, he hopes to re-sign their this summer, Wojnarowski says.

Six-time All-Star center Pau Gasol holds significant interest in signing a contract extension with the Chicago Bulls this summer and has strongly resisted the idea of a trade that would turn him into a two-month rental, league sources told The Vertical….

Gasol, 35, plans to decline the player option on the $7.4 million owed to him in 2016-17, but has significant interest in signing a new deal to remain with the Bulls, league sources said.

Just like the trade rumors, there are plenty of different rumors about What Gasol will do this summer.

Of course, it will come down to money this July. It’s always about the money. But there are other factors in play. Gasol wants to be in a cosmopolitan city, he wants to win, but at the end of the day money talks. That said, he paired with his brother along the front line would make for some interesting times in Memphis. I just wouldn’t expect it to happen.