George Karl pulls the company line, says he is fine with front office changes

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Thumbnail image for George_Karl.jpgGeorge Karl has more important things to worry about than the Denver Nuggets front office situation. The man just returned to eating solid foods and he wants to have his cancer far enough in the rearview mirror that he can be on the Nuggets bench when the season starts.

But when contacted by the Denver Post to talk about the changes, Karl said all the right things. With a tinge of regret.

“I have a lot of love and friendship with (former vice pesident of basketball operations) Mark (Warkentien). Over the last few years, we pulled off some incredible personnel moves, Mark and I work very well as a team, but I also respect Stan (Kroenke) and the organization. … I respect his decision and I respect that we will move hopefully in a direction that will somehow, someway, be better. But Mark, to me, is a very, very first-class personnel guy.”

“As a coach, there’s always frustrating moments with personnel. Always moments that we disagree. But Mark and I, in the last 20 years, worked together probably 10 of those years. We can fight with each other, hang up on each other, and we still work together. That’s an asset. In the same sense, Stan is very capable and interesting and kind of eccentric owner in a lot of ways.

Karl added he expects to have input on the new hire.

Warkentien, the 2009 NBA executive of the year, will likely have suitors coming to him, as well. That could include the New York Knicks, according to Marc Berman in the New York Post.

Nuggets GM Mark Warkentien was let go yesterday by Denver and will be strong Knicks’ GM candidate if Walsh decides to make a hire. The Post reported recently the well-respected Warkentien, a friend of Walsh’s, had a preliminary interview with the Knicks last summer after being given permission by the Nuggets owner.

Jonas Valanciunas hits game-winning free throw, spoils James Harden’s 57-point night (video)

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The Grizzlies blew a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter and a five-point lead in the final 30 seconds of overtime. James Harden scored 57 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter and all 10 of the Rockets points in overtime.

But Jonas Valanciunas saved Memphis from total collapse. He drew a foul on his putback and hit the game-winning free-throw with 0.1 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 126-125 win Wednesday.

Report: Suns exploring signing Jimmer Fredette

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Jimmer Fredette remains a fascination because he scored a ton at BYU eight years ago and… other reasons.

He has been lighting it up in China, and his season there just ended. Now, the former No. 10 pick could return to the NBA after three years away.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:

Phoenix still needs another point guard, and the 6-foot-2 Fredette looks like one. But he hasn’t shown the playmaking to play point guard regularly. He’s better, and sometimes even effective, off the ball.

Fredette could have stuck in the NBA with a different attitude. His long-distance shooting was an asset.

But he’s also now 30 years old. A new approach likely won’t be enough. His shortcomings, particularly defensively, will be even more pronounced as his athleticism has declined.

The Suns are bad and will remain bad, with or without Fredette. But their younger players have shown signs of progress lately. Fredette’s high-usage style could interfere with their development.

It’s hard to see the upside here other than a brief uptick in attention.

Marcus Smart shoves down Joel Embiid from behind, gets ejected (video)

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Marcus Smart recently bemoaned the lack of physicality in the NBA.

After Joel Embiid dropped his shoulder into him on a screen, Smart brought some to tonight’s Celtics-76ers game.

Smart shoved Embiid in the back, sending the center to the floor. A cheap shot? Yes. Embiid wasn’t looking. But Smart would surely argue Embiid started it. I also doubt Smart intended to push Embiid from behind. Smart just wanted to get at Embiid as quickly as possible, and Embiid happened to be facing the other way when Smart arrived.

Smart got a flagrant 2 and the accompanying ejection. Embiid received a technical foul.

Before James Harden, how many players scored 30 points against every other team in a season?

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James Harden became the first player in NBA history to score 30 points against all 29 opponents in a season.

But the NBA has had 30 teams for just 15 of its 73 seasons.

Obviously, the larger league makes Harden’s feat more impressive. He had to score 30 against more teams. The Rockets also play most opponents, those in the Eastern Conference, only twice. In previous eras, players had more cracks at scoring 30 against fewer teams.

Still, anyone to score 30 points against every opponent has a certain immunity to bad matchups. It’s special.

How many players have done it?

We must start with Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 30 points against all nine teams in the 1964-65 NBA. He began the season with the San Francisco Warriors and, with them, scored 30 against the 76ers. Then, he got traded to Philadelphia and scored 30 on the Warriors. He also dropped 30 on every other team.

Including that season, there have been 85 times a player scored 30 points in a game against every opponent in a season.

Only Harden, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird have done it since the NBA-ABA merger. Jordan (1986-87) and Bird (1984-85) did it against 22 teams.

Everyone else did it against 17 or fewer teams.

Here’s everyone to score 30 in a game against every opponent in a season with the player’s highest-scoring game against each team listed, starting with Chamberlain doing it against every team then following in chronological order:

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