Author: Kurt Helin

2014 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot

Nets’ second round pick Markel Brown breaks hand, out 4-6 weeks

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The Nets spent $1 million on draft night to buy the rights to Markel Brown from the Timberwolves. Brown played pretty well in the Orlando Summer League — he averaged 10.0 points per game on 52.9 percent shooting — and that earned him a rookie contract with the Nets for next season to see if he could develop.

Now that development has been set back.

Brown has been diagnosed with a “non-displaced fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his right hand,” the Nets announce on Monday. He will be out of training for 4-6 weeks. The injury occurred while working out at a Las Vegas facility (one where a number of players work out in the off-season).

Brown was Marcus Smart’s backcourt running mate in college. He’s got NBA athleticism for sure but is undersized for the two at the NBA level. In college he hit a lot of contested jumpers, but in the NBA he’s going to need to get more open and knock down threes at a better rate. He showed he could do enough of that at Summer League that the Nets gave him a chance.

Greg Oden charged with felony battery for allegedly punching girlfriend, could do jail time


Good for Marion County, Indiana. Domestic abuse is something that often gets too easily swept under the rug, not only in the sports world but also in society at large. Apparently not in Marion County.

Not for Greg Oden.

The former No. 1 pick was arrested last Thursday for allegedly punching his girlfriend, and he is now facing serious felony charges that could include jail time, reports the Indy Star.

Oden, 26, was charged in Marion Superior Court today with one count of battery resulting in serious bodily injury, a Level 5 felony, as well as misdemeanor charges of domestic battery and battery resulting in bodily injury.

His felony offense carries a penalty of one to six years behind bars.

Oden will make his first court appearance on Tuesday. He was released from police custody but not before being fitted with an electronic monitoring device on his ankle.

Oden admitted to police that he hit her, according to the original police report.

The officer noticed “blood, swelling to the nose, lacerations to the forehead and nose area” of the victim’s face. Police also saw blood on the sofa and floor. A flower pot was also knocked over during the disturbance. …

“Things got out of control and I started to go after the victim,” police quoted Oden in the report…. “I was wrong and I know what has to happen,” Oden told officers. He said he and the woman had dated for approximately two years and broke up about two months ago.

Whether or not Oden actually does jail time will depend on a lot of factors at the discretion of the court.

In what is a trivial matter by comparison, this likely derails any chance Oden the free agent has of signing with a team, at least before the season starts and maybe much longer.

Oden, the former top pick who ended up having seven knee surgeries including three microfracture ones. Despite all that he battled all the way back and had a contract with the Miami Heat last season. He rehabbed at the start of the season and by mid-year Eric Spoelstra gave him increasing minutes and chances. However, after he got torched by Roy Hibbert in a mid-season game his minutes started to decrease and by the playoffs he was not part of the regular rotation.

Oden had hoped to sign on with a new team and was supposed to have a workout with the Clippers, but that certainly is over. Oden has much bigger concerns now than getting back own the court.

Carmelo Anthony looks slimmed down, too

Brooklyn Nets v New York Knicks

His tag: Gran sesión de entrenamiento de hoy #thisisme7o

It became big news when some Instagram photos of LeBron James came out this summer and showed that his paleo diet had dropped about 10-15 pounds off his frame. No doubt his knees appreciate that.

But check out Carmelo Anthony, he of the new $124 million contract with the Knicks.

That was from his Instagram account on Monday and he looks slimmed down also. Hard to say how much, and how much of that might be just that photo (angle, lighting, etc) but he looks thinner.

Compare that to this picture from last season and decide for yourself.

Washington Wizards v New York Knicks

Ray Allen golfs with President Barack Obama (Instagram)

Barack Obama, Ahmad Rashad, Ray Allen

Ray Allen loves golf. LOVES it. Allen can be a bit of a compulsive personality and the sport and its need for practice and repetition blend with his nature. He golfs whenever he can (which you can totally do in Cleveland in the winter… oh, wait).

Allen got out on the course this week with Barack Obama for a round while the president was in Florida. And probably beat him (Obama doesn’t really have the time to dedicate to his game right now, few other things on the plate). If you’re wondering who they other guys are, that is NBA personality Ahmad Rashad and Cyrus Walker.

I’m sure this stroll and lovely game helped Allen focus on his free agency decision.

Serge Ibaka throws it down hard on Angola (VIDEO)

Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio Spurs - Game Five

“I don’t know anything about Angola, but I know they’re in trouble.”
—Charles Barkley as part of the 1992 Olympic Dream Team, before the USA played Angola. (That’s the game where he threw a hard elbow at an Angolan player during a 38-7 USA run, then explained it afterward saying the guy might have thrown a spear at him. It’s Charles being Charles.)

Serge Ibaka might as well have said the same thing about Angola.

Spain beat Angola 79-70 in a recent friendly exhibition as a run up to the World Cup in Spain in a few weeks, and this was the play of the game.

Rudy Fernandez’s between-the-legs bounce pass is the best part here but once the Thunder’s Ibaka goes up for the hammer throwdown it is all over.

The World Cup is going to have some quality basketball going on. And while the USA is one of the clear two best teams there, Spain has a legitimate shot at beating us.