Tag: Sacramento Kings

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets - Game Four

PBT’s Fast Break news, notes from around NBA: Dwight Howard to sit out Houston opener


Even in the middle of the off-season there are so many news and notes around the NBA we can’t keep up with all of them, so here is a collection of short thoughts and news items we couldn’t plug in anywhere else.

• We learned this week with the new NBA schedule that the Houston Rockets open the season Oct. 28 against the Denver Nuggets, but Dwight Howard will have to sit that game out as a suspension for crossing the flagrant foul threshold during last season’s playoffs.

• Stephen Jackson says he is the best NBA player alive — on the mic. And by the way, he says Kobe Bryant’s rap career was “horrible.” Which frankly may be kind.

• Jackson may be able to rap a little, but can he lip-sync to Whitesnake like Nick Young?

Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling did a fantastic piece talking with Stephon Marbury about being big in China.

• The Atlanta Hawks are about to hire former NBA player Malik rose as their manager of basketball operations, according to multiple reports.

• How much trouble is the Hawks’ Mike Scott in for his arrest on drug charges? Like 25 years in jail worth of trouble. There were drugs in a car where he was a passenger that was stopped by police, then Scott told police the drugs were his and his brother (the driver) did not know about them.

• What will be interesting with the Scott case is how the Hawks and league handle it. He is innocent until proven guilty, and Georgia law calls for the drugs in his possession (marijuana and Molly) to be tested before a court date is set, which takes a couple months. Meaning after the NBA season starts. Do they play him?

• Russ Smith has an Instagram account for his cat.

• Al Horford is going back to his native Dominican Republic for a Basketball Without Borders event there this summer. Corey Brewer and Luc Mbah a Moute also will be there.

• Michael Jordan testified in court this week against now-defunct Chicago-based supermarket chain Dominick’s. The chain ran a 2009 ad for steaks using a picture of Jordan without his permission — Jordan and his attorneies are incredibly protective of his brand, and he sued the chain for $10 million. The worst part, just two people used the coupons to get steaks at the stores. There is no verdict yet.

• Chicago is one of America’s great food towns, and the Bulls (and Blackhawks) are teaming up with Levy Restaurants (the “hospitality partner) at the arena) to bring some of that food to the United Center. Trendy Chicago eateries such as Big Star, Publican Quality Meats, Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap, Leghorn Chicken, Lillie’s Q, LQ Chicken Shack, Frontier, Lottie’s Pub and The Pony will have food at concession stands in the arena. This is brilliant. If you want a boiled hot dog and a Bud Light you can still get it, but now you have options.

• Levy runs the food operations at a number of NBA arenas, and they have been great at bringing in local flavor in a lot of places. Maybe the best arena food is at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where you can get grub from Brooklyn Bangers, Paisano’s Meat Market, Blue Marble Ice Cream, Café Habana, Buffalo Boss, and Nathan’s. That is a fantastic job of capturing local flavor.

• A little news about a former NBA player taking the cash in China.

Report: Timberwolves sign Tayshaun Prince

Boston Celtics v Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves re-signed Kevin Garnett and signed Andre Miller.

Enough veteran leadership on the young team?

Not for Flip Saunders.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Saunders coached Tayshaun Prince on the Pistons, but that was a long time ago. Prince, 35, is an even more methodical player and no longer an elite wing defender.

Still, his length and intelligence make him a capable defender. He can make jumpers, too, and he’s a solid passer for his position (though he bogs down the offense with the ball in his hands).

Prince played reasonably well for the Celtics and Pistons last season after the Grizzlies traded him, so he might have a little juice left. He was in over his head in Memphis, often starting for a fringe contender.

That shouldn’t be the case in Minnesota. He’ll fill a limited role, provide a good example for the team’s younger players and sometimes take minutes that slow the development of Shabazz Muhammad, Anthony Bennett and Nemanja Bjelica. (Andrew Wiggins is getting the same playing time regardless.)

There’s an outside but realistic chance the Timberwolves can compete for a playoff spot. For that reason, signing Prince makes sense. Minnesota wouldn’t want to find out later it was a veteran on the wing away from the postseason. If the Timberwolves fall from the race, Saunders can always turn more toward developing younger players.

Prince gives Minnesota 17 players – two more than the regular-season roster limit. The most likely cuts are Lorenzo Brown ($75,000 guaranteed) and Damjan Rudez (acquired in the Chase Budinger salary dump). Perhaps, the Timberwolves can trade Rudez and get something for him or deal another player in a more significant move. But they have to do something to trim the roster.

Blake Griffin, DeMarcus Cousins, Draymond Green teammates USA Basketball exhibition Thursday in Las Vegas

Blake Griffin

After what happened last year at the USA Basketball meaningless exhibition game in Las Vegas — the Paul George injury — nobody should be shocked that a lot of the big names you can expect to see playing in 2016 at the Rio Olympics begged out of the USA Basketball exhibition game at the end of traning camp on Thursday.

So few players wanted to take part a handful of guys who were not part of the regular camp had to be called in to play in the game.

Still, there’s some star power out there.

USA Basketball announced the rosters for the showcase, as reported by Sam Amick of the USA Today.

Blue Team (Monty Williams, coach):

Harrison Barnes, Bradley Beal, DeMar DeRozan, Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried, Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson, Victor Oladipo, and Elfrid Payton.

White Team (Tom Thibodeau, coach):

Arron Afflalo, Michael Carter-Williams, DeMarcus Cousins, Draymond Green, Blake Griffin, Terrance Jones, Kawhi Leonard, Mason Plumlee, Klay Thompson, C.J. Watson.

I’ll pick the White Team, for two reasons. First is, I like that roster better — Cousins on the inside, Green and Leonard playing defense, Griffin owning everyone, and Thompson shooting from somewhere out on the strip and knocking them down.

Then there is Tom Thibodeau — he’s got nothing else to do, he’s probably watched 12 hours of film prepping for this game.

Let’s just hope everyone stays healthy.

Report: DeAndre Jordan’s Clippers scheduled to play Mavericks in Dallas on Nov. 11

Los Angeles Clippers v Dallas Mavericks

DeAndre Jordan spurning the Mavericks to re-sign with the Clippers completely ruined Dallas’ offseason. The Mavericks were stuck increasing offers for players they already agreed to sign, and there were no other premier free agents available when Jordan reneged. They now face missing the playoffs and sending their lottery pick to the Celtics as a result of the Rajon Rondo trade.

Dallas forward Chandler Parsons was particularly harsh, saying of Jordan, “He wasn’t ready for being a franchise player. He was scared.” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has repeatedly fanned the flames of resentment.

Many Mavericks fans are waiting for Jordan to play in Dallas to boo him.

They won’t have to wait long.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The atmosphere for this game should be wild. Expect Jordan to get booed during introductions, when he checks in, every time he touches the ball and especially when he’s at the free-throw line.

Nov. 11 is a Wednesday. Hopefully, this is a nationally televised game, so we can all enjoy the spectacle.

Report: Knicks’ six-season streak of Christmas games to end

Kris Humphries, Nene, Quincy Acy, John Wall

The Knicks have played 50 times on Christmas, most in NBA history, including each of the last six years.

It appears that streak will end.

Marc Berman of the New York Post:

the Knicks won’t be playing on Christmas, zapped from the annual nationally televised, five-game festival, according to a source.

The Knicks will find out what they’re missing right away when they stage their season opener Oct. 28 in Milwaukee against new Bucks center Greg Monroe, according to an NBA source.

The Knicks’ home opener will be Oct. 29 against the Hawks

New York is obviously a huge market, and that’s what had gotten the Knicks games on the NBA’s premier regular-season date. The Knicks went 2-4 on Christmas the last six years, and then-New York forward Quincy Acy fought John Wall last year. Adding further embarrassment, the Knicks finished just 17-65.

Make no mistake: The Knicks had to get really bad for the NBA to leave them off the Christmas schedule. They get all benefit of the doubt.

We’re still left with four known Christmas games:

The Spurs and Rockets are probably the most prominent teams not accounted for, and the Texas rivals would make a compelling matchup, I wouldn’t be surprised if the fifth Christmas game is San Antonio-Houston.