Winderman: Hammond as Executive of the Year because less is more

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The press release from the NBA that accompanied Saturday’s announcement of Bucks General Manager John Hammond as Executive of the Year was noteworthy for what it didn’t mention.

In announcing Hammond as winner of the award, the release cited the drafting of Brandon Jennings, the selection of coach Scott Skiles, the addition of veterans Carlos Delfino, John Salmons, Jerry Stackhouse and Kurt Thomas, as well as the re-signing of Ersan Ilyasova.

But nowhere were two of Hammond’s most significant moves mentioned.

Or make that non-moves.

He didn’t re-sign Charlie Villanueva and Ramon Sessions last summer, declined to get caught up in any bidding war to retain those two free agents last summer.

More to the point, he refused to overpay.

Then consider the electorate for the award.

Unlike MVP, Rookie of the Year or most of the major awards, this was not a media poll (not that there is anything wrong with that).

Unlike the All-NBA and All-Rookie teams, this was not an election by coaches.

No, this was league executives voting for one of their own.

And they just might have made the process a referendum against foolish spending.

Detroit’s Joe Dumars, who added Villanueva (and Ben Gordon), did not receive a single vote. Neither did the Timberwolves’ David Kahn, who added Sessions.

Instead, the practical and prudent Sam Presti finished second in the balloting.

With the league bursting with cap cash, there certainly will be more Dumars types out there this summer, spending because they can, much to the delight of David Lee, Rudy Gay, Carlos Boozer and others.

But the lesson from Hammond is one that should not be overlooked or understated.

Less, in his case, produced more.

Those at the July 1 starting gate should consider it a reality check.

Then again, perhaps Saturday’s announcement was a sign of what’s not to come.
 
Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Kawhi Leonard has ‘F U symbol’ on championship ring to remember which finger to put it on

Kawhi Leonard
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images
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Following the great tradition of Shane Battier and Andrew Bogut, Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard – who got his Raptors championship ring last night – had a special finger picked for it.

TSN:

Leonard:

I have a logo in there, and it’s on my middle finger. So, it reminds me to put it on my middle finger. So, I have like an F U symbol on there.

Leonard’s hand is filling up. He already earned a championship ring with the Spurs in 2014.

I suspect this ring is also for San Antonio.

Timberwolves’ Jarrett Culver on brother scoring 100 points in college game: ‘It felt like I was dreaming’

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Timberwolves rookie Jarrett Culver, the No. 6 pick in this year’s draft, was the biggest basketball star of his family.

Emphasis on “was.”

Culver’s younger brother, J.J. Culver, scored 100 points in a game for Wayland Baptist University (Plainview, Texas) on Tuesday.

Jarrett, via Kent Youngblood of the Minneapolis StarTribune:

“I left the gym and my phone just blew up,” Jarrett said. “Everyone is texting me, ‘Your brother, your brother.’ So I FaceTimed him. I was like, ‘No way!’ I didn’t know what to say. I was in shock. It felt like I was dreaming.”

“I feel like I dropped 100 the way I was celebrating with him. I was super-excited for him. He deserves it.”

J.J. shot:

  • 22-of-29 on 2-pointers
  • 12-of-33 on 3-pointers
  • 20-of-27 on free throws

Obviously, it’s unconventional for a single player to take 62 of his team’s 77 shots. But it doesn’t seem this was designed in advance. Nor does it seem Wayland Baptist runs a wild scheme. J.J. just got hot early, and his teammates then decided to keep feeding him. Obviously, by the end, he was gunning for records.

How will Jarrett one-up his brother now?

Celtics’ Kemba Walker flips over-shoulder pass to Jaylen Brown, who finishes with spinning dunk

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The Lakers aren’t Showtime 2.

Are the Celtics?

Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown ran one flashy fastbreak last night.

NBC Sports Boston:

Though Walker scored 44 points, Boston fell to the Pacers, 122-117.

Watch Bogdan Bogdanovic hit game-winning 3-pointer for Kings vs. Thunder (video)

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Another game, another Kings game-winning 3-pointer.

After Nemanja Bjelica hit a buzzer-beater against the Rockets on Monday, Bogdan Bogdanovic sunk the go-ahead 3-pointer against the Thunder last night. That stood as the game-winner once Richaun Holmes successfully defended Chris Paul on the other end, clinching Sacramento’s 94-93 victory.

The Kings have won three straight – over the Mavericks, Rockets and Thunder. The schedule softens over the next week and a half, giving Sacramento a real chance to rise in the Western Conference standings.

And if he keeps playing like this, Bogdanovic might find his way into a starting lineup.