Kurt Helin

2015 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot

Miami’s Justise Winslow signs with Adidas

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Adidas may be getting out of the NBA uniform game, but they are opening up the checkbook to stock their roster with quality players that will get the public’s eye. Most notable this summer, they landed James Harden, pulling him away from Nike. He joins stars such as Derrick Rose, Damian Lillard, and John Wall, not to mention up-and-coming players such as Andrew Wiggins.

Now you can add Justise Winslow to the mix.

The No. 10 pick of the Miami Heat, he signed a shoe deal with Adidas, the company announced.

“I’m excited to be a part of adidas,” said Winslow. “I loved playing in their basketball shoes at adidas Nations and what they’ve been doing with Kanye and Originals is changing the game. I pride myself in being the best player on the court and having unique style off it and adidas will definitely help me do both.”

Adidas Nations is the shoe brand’s big annual high school player camp and games, where many of the nation’s top young ballers come play.

Winslow looked good at that game, then in the draft landed in a spot where he should get some run and be a key part of what the Heat do this season. Winslow’s game showed it needs work at Summer League, but his athleticism and defense are things Erik Spoelstra will put to use well off the bench immediately. Plus he can dunk and will show up on some highlights from the start. He could grow into a quality player in a popular market.

Which is just what Adidas is looking for.

 

From Bad Idea Jeans file: Guy gets Kobe, Jordan tattoos on his calves

Kobe Jordan tattoo
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Full healed tattoos/Tatuajes totalmente curados

A photo posted by Santi Monky Macchio (@el_mono_tatuador) on

From our files of people who make terrible life decisions — the “Bad Idea Jeans” file — we bring you this bit of body art:

The heads of Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, facing each other, on this man’s calves for all eternity. Under it simply says, “I love this game.”

I have a very laissez-faire attitude about life and what body art people choose to go with. It’s your body, make your choices. That said, we can all agree some choices are poor — this would be example 1A.

As he ages, this man will wear shorts less and less often. I’d bet it ruins at least one potential relationship (can you imagine the first time his date sees this?). It’s actually some pretty good artwork, very impressive likenesses, so I guess kudos to the artist, whoever he/she is. But really, shouldn’t you have talked him out of it?

Hat tip to Darren Rovell.

LeBron James dunked pretty much every shot he took in Philippines exhibition

LeBron James
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The Philippines is a basketball-crazy country — they love their hoops and they love their NBA stars. LeBron James is there right now selling Nikes to take part in ‘Rise,’ a Philippines reality TV show trying to help young Filipino basketball players from poorer areas and the countryside improve their skills. The show is sponsored by Nike, we should mention.

While there, LeBron took part in an exhibition game, and put on his own personal dunk contest. He dunked on everyone. Here are just a few highlights.

There was less defense than the NBA All-Star Game (or playing the Timberwolves) and everyone else on the court was five inches shorter than him at least, but still. That’s a show, LeBron gave the people what they wanted.

Stephen Curry: Real goal for Warriors is multiple rings

2015 NBA Finals - Game Six
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SAN FRANCISCO — It’s been a non-stop summer in the Curry household.

Stephen Curry played basketball deeper into the summer than he ever has before, to the middle of June. Right after that his second daughter was born, complete with the late-night crying and round-the-clock effort needed nurturing a new life. He was in Las Vegas for Team USA mini-camp, then showed up to win a surfboard at the Nickelodeon Teen Choice Awards. His summer has been filled with increased demands on his time, from sponsor events to golfing with president Barack Obama.

Has he actually gotten any downtime to rest this summer?

“A little bit,” Curry said Wednesday to NBC Sports, in an event with Degree antiperspirants (which involved deeply in motion analysis and the study of human movement movement, such as Curry golfing) at the TPC Harding Park Golf Club outside San Francisco. “We’ve been moving around a lot this year, from place to place. Obviously there’s a lot of opportunity to celebrate what a great season it was, and obviously the new addition to our family. A lot has changed.

“But in the offseason I get out and play a little bit of golf, I stay moving that way, and then obviously you have to prepare for next season too and I’m already in that mindset. So it’s been a pretty crazy summer celebrating good things, great things, but there’s also been a good amount of time to reflect on how special it was.”

After the Spurs won their most recent title, coach Gregg Popovich was concerned about a drop-off in focus — he said it’s human nature to take a deep breath after winning a title, and that can be a setback the next season.

Curry is not worried about the Warriors keeping their edge.

“That’s going to be easy,” Curry said of the Warriors not taking that breath. “We’re all competitors, we’re all proud of what we did last season, but once you enter a new year, we’ll get our rings on opening night, and that’s the end of the celebrating of what happened and you look forward to the next journey, the next goal, which is to win another one.

“I’m hopefully going to lead that charge, and we have such a great core of guys that are young and hungry and want to relive that intoxicating feeling of winning a championship. You look at the history of the league, you understand how hard it is to win one, but the challenge of winning multiple is something that I’m happy to be gunning for now, that I’ve got one under my belt. But that’s the mission.”

The Warriors got that first title with a modern-NBA style offense that perfectly suits Curry — up tempo, a lot of three-point shots (Curry set the single-season record for makes from three), and going small with versatile players who can defend well plus create challenging matchups. Golden State’s offense is a counter to the Tom Thibodeau-style defenses that were the norm in the NBA, which itself was a counter to shut down isolation basketball teams. The end result is Golden State (and the Spurs, Hawks and a few others) play a fun-to-watch style with ball movement and fearless shooters on offense — fans loved it and watched the Finals at the highest levels since the Jordan era.

The Warriors are not changing what works.

“Who we are is who we are, we’ve just got to be better at it, more consistent at it,” Curry said.

But do they recognize what they are doing helping change the NBA, taking what Mike D’Antoni started in Phoenix with Steve Nash and evolving it into a system that can win a ring?

“It’s playing good basketball but it’s playing our way and not really getting caught up in defining it,” Curry said. “We have our strengths with our team and versatility is what we rely on — guys playing multiple positions — and just being gamers and competitors. We obviously shoot a lot of jumpers and we play fast, but we also play defense at a high level and that’s why we’re world champs right now. We’ve just got to embrace that style of play and be more consistent and be better at it — we’re going to get everybody’s best shot this year, even more than we did last year, but we’ll be ready for it.”

They will get that shot from some loaded teams — the Spurs added LaMarcus Aldridge, the Clippers added depth, the Rockets added Ty Lawson, and the Thunder will (hopefully) have a healthy Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The top of the West is a gauntlet.

But the Warriors have the rings — they are the team to beat. And Curry is ready to defend it.

Sixers GM Sam Hinkie on Joel Embiid’s foot surgery: “I’m optimistic”

Miami Heat v Philadelphia 76ers
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It’s a sentence that doesn’t lend itself to positive vibes:

Sixers’ center Joel Embiid had a second surgery on his right foot, which included a bone graft to help it heal and a replacing of the two screws already in there. He will miss all of the 2015-16 NBA season, just as he missed all of the 2014-15 season.

But in a conference call with reporters, Sixers GM Sam Hinkie tried to put out the positive vibes. He had a positive spin on everything.

“I’m optimistic. The doctors that operated on him yesterday are, too.…

Do you have reason to be concerned? Of course….  I asked (one of the surgeons, Dr. Richard) Ferkel if he re-broke this thing what would’ve happened. He said he would’ve heard a pop like last time. Joel said no. It’d be terribly painful. He pushed on the navicular bone and Jo said it didn’t hurt at all.”

Embiid was the No. 3 pick in the 2014 draft, but has yet to set foot on an NBA court due to his foot injuries. This surgery is expected to take five to eight months to heal, meaning he could be pushed to try to play at the end of next season. But the Sixers are not going to take that risk, Hinkie said.

“We are focused on these first six or 10 weeks (after surgery) right now. Then we will get to that next phase… No one wants to be second-guessing this a year from now or 10 years from now or four years from now.”

 

It’s still too early to write Embiid off or call him a bust. Guys do come back from this injury.

Admittedly the signs and history do not bode well if you’re a Sixers fan. Plus, if the rumblings that he was not fully committed to the rehab and his conditioning wasn’t where it needed to be are true, there are some real issues.

But he’s young and could bounce back. For his sake and the Sixers, let’s hope so.