Kurt Helin

Adam Silver

Adam Silver says he’s no fan of Sixers’ rebuilding plan

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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver works at the pleasure of the NBA owners. He is their employee.

Not that it ever stopped David Stern from telling an owner what to do, but Silver is a little more subtle than that. He plants ideas; he wants the owner to think it was his idea to do what Silver ultimately wanted him to do in the first place. For example, hire Jerry Colangelo to put a new face — and maybe speed up the turn around process — in Philadelphia.

Silver was on FiveThirtyEight’s “Hot Takedown” podcast and talked about how he didn’t like the Sixers’ rebuilding plan under GM Sam Hinkie, but he couldn’t force a change.

Q: Are you personally, as the commissioner, OK with the way that the 76ers have run their franchise the past three seasons?

Silver: “I don’t want to answer that directly, There’s a marketplace of ideas and approaches that go into managing a franchise. For me, if a franchise is managed within the rules of the league, it’s acceptable to me. I don’t think I should be browbeating owners and saying this is how I think you should manage your team. And they got unlucky as well — if Joel Embiid were healthy or on the floor, we may be having a very different discussion. On the other hand, because of the strategy they were following, there was an extremely small margin for error. So it’s a combination of their strategy and of bad luck. But bad luck is something that has to be factored in as well.

“Am I fan of that strategy? Put it this way: No. But does that mean that it’s not acceptable under the league rules? It is, and it’s partly why I had proposed to change the odds of the draft lottery.”

Enough owners voted against that change so it didn’t happen.

Silver goes on to say that there are a lot of ways to get owners to consider changes, like the “resetting” of strategy in Philly. Even though we know bringing in Colangelo (and the subsequent hiring of Mike D’Antoni as an assistant coach) is more about optics than reality. Colangelo isn’t stupid; he’s not getting rid of all the high picks they have coming up.

If the Sixers get lucky in the lottery and land Ben Simmons in the draft, get Embiid healthy, and get Dario Saric to come over from Europe, then in a couple of seasons look like a real up-and-coming threat, that is all thanks to Hinkie and not Colangelo. But we’ll discuss that if and when it happens.

Kobe reiterates he has no intention of playing next season overseas

Kobe Bryant
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At the press conference the night Kobe Bryant made it official and said he would not play another NBA season, he was asked about maybe playing another season in Italy. Kobe answered in Italian (he’s fluent) and said, in so many words, no. Which echoed what he had said even before the formal announcement.

That has not changed. No matter what Stephon Marbury may want, Kobe Bryant says he is not playing a season overseas after this one. Via Baxter Holmes of ESPN.

Kobe appears at peace with his decision to retire, which was the most striking thing about his press conference. Here is a guy who has seen every obstacle — ones real and imagined — as something that must be conquered. To admit that Father Time has won the race, that all the effort he puts in does not reflect on the court anymore has got to be hard for him. But he’s accepted it.

And he’s not going to put his body through that for a season overseas.

Portland guards Lillard, McCollum held out with injuries

PORTLAND, OR - DECMEBER 14:  Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers and C.J. McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers talk before the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on December 14, 2015 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
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ATLANTA (AP) — The Portland Trail Blazers are without leading scorers Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum for their game at Atlanta.

Lillard has plantar fasciitis in his left foot. McCollum has two sprained ankles. Lillard says he has been playing with a sore foot for a few weeks.

The injury ends Lillard’s streak of playing in 275 consecutive games – every game of his career.

There is no timetable for either guard to return.

Lillard leads Portland and is tied for seventh in the NBA with his average of 24.6 points per game. McCollum is averaging 20.1 points.

Tim Frazier and Allen Crabbe are expected to be the fill-in starters in Portland’s backcourt on Monday night.

Shaq, Iverson, Yao among basketball Hall of Fame candidates

BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 15:  Yao Ming (R) former NBA basketball star talk with Shaquille O'Neal during the 2014 NBA Global Games match between the Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings at MasterCard Center on October 15, 2014 in Beijing, China.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson and Yao Ming are among the first-time candidates on the ballot for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and former women’s star Sheryl Swoopes are also among the candidates announced Monday for the class of 2016. The finalists will be announced on Feb. 12 during the NBA’s All-Star weekend, and those being enshrined will be unveiled April 4 in Houston before the NCAA championship game.

O’Neal and Yao became eligible last week when the Hall amended its eligibility procedures, making players eligible after four full seasons of retirement. It was previously five years, which meant they were six years removed from their playing careers when they were enshrined.

The full list of candidates is available at http://www.hoophall.com

Hear Iman Shumpert’s emotional 911 call after his child’s home birth


As a father who has been in three delivery rooms for the birth of my daughters, let me say I have no idea how I would have handled what Iman Shumpert had to do, helping his fiancée, singer Teyana Taylor, through the birth of their child while in the bathroom of their home. But probably not as well as he did.

Above is the tape of the 911 call in this case, and you can hear how emotional and understandably a little scared Shumpert sounds. The tape comes via The Daily Mail. My favorite part may be the 911 operator, who is not only calm but also annoyed at the start and got after Shumpert a little to get him task.

Shumpert said on Good Morning America Monday this was his best assist ever.

Shumpert later posted this on Instagram.

We have successfully started our very own family! 💂🏾🐞🐺👶🏾!!! 2015 has been capped off with a grand finale! Our beautiful daughter is finally here and doing well along with her beautiful mother (my fiancé!!!). This is definitely the best assist I've ever recorded in my life. We were indeed terrified until I finally saw her hair…then the fear left and i kinda just knew what to do! Our bathroom is forever sacred lbs! People always tell me there is no greater gift than fatherhood and I finally understand the feeling. I'm not too proud to say I cried endless tears of joy for my first born. Thank you @teyanataylor for this gift and for turning our houses to homes, you are truly special in every aspect! My smile still hasn't left since her first breath! Thank you to all those that have sent positive vibes our way. You all are deeply appreciated! #iknowyallwassickofourmaternityshoots #yallstillloveus Cue the Gnarls Barkley – smiley faces. Mommy carried you. Daddy delivered you. 12.16.15 we love you June bug! #meettheparents

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