Kurt Helin

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Sixers add veteran to young, crowded front court, sign Elton Brand to one-year deal

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There is a lot of potential talent in the Sixers frontcourt: Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid. There is also a lot of youth.

The Sixers are adding to the depth up front by re-signing veteran Elton Brand, who was on the roster for them the second half of last season (but played sparingly). This was first reported Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

The Sixers have since confirmed the signing, it’s official. It is one year, for the veteran minimum, and is not fully guaranteed.

Jerry Colangelo orchestrated bringing in Brand last season, part of his effort to get some veteran voices onto a young roster. It shouldn’t be a shock that he and GM Bryan Colangelo wanted to add Brand as a continuation of that (the Sixers also now have Jerryd Bayless and Gerald Henderson on the roster).

At age 37 Brand doesn’t have much to contribute on the court (he played in 17 games), although he played decently last season and the Sixers were a little better with him on the court rather than off. He doesn’t move well defensively, and on offense he lives in the midrange — he took 51.4 percent of his shots between 10 and 15 feet out but hit just 27 percent of them.

Lakers’ center Timofey Mozgov shows off his three point range

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This is not part of Luke Walton’s offense… or is it.

No, it’s not.

Timofey Mozgov attempted seven three-pointers last season in Cleveland, and he hit one. For his career, Mozgov is 7-of-39, or 17.9 percent, from beyond the arc. The Lakers are not paying him $64 million to space the floor.

But put Mozgov in an empty gym and he can knock down threes, as he showed in a video released by the Russian Basketball Federation before a game against Sweden.

Honestly, this isn’t as uncommon as you think — NBA players can flat-out shoot. Put what you and I consider average to poor NBA shooters in an empty gym and you’d swear they were the second coming of Ray Allen. To use a tied-in example, I once watched then player Luke Walton hit about 10 threes in a row standing a step out of bounds in the corner. A career 32 percent guy from three, in warmups Walton was Stephen Curry.

These guys are good. It’s just one thing to do it in an empty gym, another to do that when Anthony Davis is closing out on you.

Jabari Parker has Colin Kaepernick’s back


Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to stand during the national anthem of 49er games has led to a national conversation — more about the flag and what is/is not respecting it than the disregard for the value of black lives in America that Kaepernick wanted to draw attention to. Which is why other athletes have rallied to Kaepernick’s cause, trying to keep going the conversation he wants to have, not the lazy sports talk radio fodder that is the flag debate.

Add the Milwaukee Bucks’ Jabari Parker to the list.

Never followed the wave but this one is necessary. I got your back homie @kaepernick7

A post shared by Jabari Parker (@jabariparker) on

Parker is the first NBA player to take a stand along these lines, although when camps open in three weeks and exhibition games start, I’d be shocked if he’s the last.

Parker isn’t alone wearing that gear, Kaepernick jersey sales have spiked since the controversy started and it is now the No. 1 seller in the NFL. Kaepernick has said he will donate all of his jersey sales proceeds “back into communities.”

LeBron James sings happy birthday to Kevin Love

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When LeBron James finally hangs up his Nikes, his next evolution in life will not be as an R&B singer.

What you have below is LeBron’s best singing voice, belting out “happy birthday” to Kevin Love, who turns 28 on Wednesday.

To be accurate, you have LeBron singing to a Love photo off the cover of Sports Illustrated right before the 2008 NCAA Tournament. (That Bruin team had Love, Russell Westbrook, Darren Collison, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, plus guys who went on to good European careers such as Michael Roll and Josh Shipp; but they lost to the Derrick Rose/Chris Douglas-Roberts Memphis team in the Final Four.)

I’d say enjoy, but really it’s enjoy the laugh.

Team chemistry is alive and well in Cleveland.

After signing two-year deal with Spurs, Pau Gasol says it’s unlikely he ends career with Barcelona

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Before he came to the NBA, Pau Gasol played a couple of seasons with FC Barcelona in his home city, leading the team to the Spanish National Cup championship (he was named MVP). There was a dream of some in Spain that after his NBA career ended, Gasol would come back to play for Barcelona again for a couple more seasons.

That’s not likely now, according to Gasol himself.

Gasol just signed a two-year deal to fill Tim Duncan’s spot in the rotation (but not his shoes with the organization) in San Antonio. With that, Gasol says he doesn’t see a return to Spain, as quoted by Spanish publication Marca. (Translation via Google translate)

“By still playing in the NBA my chances of returning to Barcelona are reduced. It’s a nice idea … but less and less possible,” he said of a hypothetical return to the ABC League.

If Gasol’s NBA options had not included walking right into a title contender — and a team that seems a perfect fit for his style — would he have seriously considered a return to Barcelona? Probably. Gasol is a cultured renaissance man who loves much of what his home town has to offer in terms of lifestyle.

But the question is moot, San Antonio was poised and that is likely where Gasol ends his NBA career.