Tony Parker comments on his divorce; pulls curtain between public, private life

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A divorce scandal has no place in a basketball headline, yet here we are.

The story isn’t likely to go away soon considering the nature of the rumors being circulated and the profiles of both Tony Parker and his soon-to-be ex-wife Eva Longoria Parker, but the Spurs’ point guard did what he could to make a clear distinction between his public and private life on Wednesday evening.

Prior to the Spurs’ game against the Bulls, Parker dispensed the expected sound bites.

“It’s a difficult time right now for me and Eva,” Parker said. He noted that the two are preparing an official statement, and that “everything else is our private life.” The halls in the belly of the AT&T Center were filled with video cameras, but this is all they’ll get from Parker. It’s clear he has no intention of humoring tabloid readers with anything even remotely “juicy.”

Parker was, however, prompted to respond to the rumor that he was allegedly involved with the wife of a teammate or former teammate. He went back to a theme I’m sure basketball fans will hear a lot of in the coming days, and sadly, weeks: “That’s my private life.”

It’s sad that a story like this one will dominate the NBA news circuit, but Parker insisted that the media hoopla surrounding the announcement of his divorce won’t affect his play or the Spurs as a team in any meaningful way.

“I’m having great support from my teammates and my coaches,” Parker said. “I’m focused 100% on the Spurs and trying to win basketball games.” One can’t help but wonder the validity of his claims should the rumors of his involvement with an ex-teammate’s wife turn out to be true, but regardless, this is all that those outside of the organization are likely to get. The Spurs will continue to broadcast the company line until interest in the topic subsides, and no one should expect anything else.

Gregg Popovich was equally dismissive of the topic, though he did offer an obligatory address.

“Well, this is a difficult situation for everyone, obviously,” Popovich said. “But Eva and Tony are two people we love and care about and we wish them both the best as they move through this. That’s really all I have to say about it.” There are no lines to read between and no words to parse through. This is the front that Parker, Pop, and the Spurs will present until the storm if sufficiently weathered, and the rest of us would be wise to move along.

Nets fans post ‘missing’ posters of Ben Simmons before Game 3 (PHOTO)

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Ben Simmons did not perform well in Game 1 against the Brooklyn Nets. The Philadelphia 76ers star posted a stat line of just eight points with seven rebounds, three blocks, and three steals.

More concerning was Simmons’ apparent lack of desire to shoot. He seemed to fade in the big moments of the game, and scorn came swiftly for him social media after the 76ers loss. Philly fans even booed the Sixers on the court, which angered Simmons.

But Game 3 is upon us, although Joel Embiid is not playing,  and the series has shifted back to New York. As expected, fans in Brooklyn are doing their best to troll the Sixers.

Via Twitter:

We will see how Simmons responds after all of the back and forth about booing, not to mention his whole thing with Jared Dudley. If Simmons wants to be a star, now is the time to step up for his team with Embiid out.

Joel Embiid out with left knee soreness for Game 3 vs. Nets

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The Philadelphia 76ers will be without Joel Embiid on Thursday night as they take on the Brooklyn Nets in Game 3 of their first round series.

Embiid is battling left knee soreness and although he had a statistically-important performance as the Sixers took Game 2, it was obvious he was in some kind of reduced state of ability.

Veteran center Greg Monroe will start in Embiid’s place, but it will be hard for the Sixers to match Embiid’s production. The Cameroonian star is Philadelphia’s best player, and the 76ers are a hot and cold team.

Not having Embiid on the floor will seriously alter how they respond to the spunky Nets, who already took Game 1 from the higher-seeded Sixers.

The fact that Embiid needs to rest is also drawing some ire from folks on social media. The question is why Embiid did not rest earlier in the series — or even the end of the regular season when he was in and out of the lineup — and prepare for the coming playoff run?

However things go on Thursday, folks around the league will have their eyes glued to the injury report to see updates on Embiid’s status.

Grizzlies’ Kyle Anderson undergoes thoracic outlet decompression surgery

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Kyle Anderson was playing a solid role off the bench for the Grizzlies this season, 8 points and 5.8 rebounds a game, serving as a secondary ball handler and shot creator. Slo-mo was doing his thing.

However, by the end of January, the pain radiating from his shoulder — something he now says he had been playing through for a couple of years — got to be too much. He never played another game after Jan. 30.

Thursday he had thoracic outlet decompression surgery to relieve the problem. Anderson is expected to make a full recovery and be ready to go next training camp.

For comparison, this is the same surgery the Lakers’ Brandon Ingram had.

Anderson is on a very reasonable contract, three years and $28 million remaining. He can be part of what is going to be built in Memphis going forward, but if they are tearing down and rebuilding — meaning a summer trade of Mike Conley — he could bring back assets in a trade.

Either way, he should be healthy and ready to go next summer.

Jerry West on NBA draft: ‘I don’t know how you could pass Zion Williamson’

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A rumor started buzzing around NBA Twitter last week, a second-hand report that NBA legend and Clippers’ consultant Jerry West was praising Murray State guard Ja Morant, saying he would take him in front of the presumptive No. 1 pick Zion Williamson.

The source of that rumor: comedian Jeff Garlin, saying it on the Dan Patrick Show.

Jerry West himself went on the Dan Patrick show Thursday and shot that down saying “it Would Be Like Passing Jordan in the draft.”

Two players were picked in front Jordan in the 1984 Draft. The Houston Rockets took Hakeem Olajuwon, and while Jordan went on to be Jordan nobody can fault the Rockets for how this picked turned out — two titles and a Hall of Fame big man in your organization is an amazing draft.

The one everyone talks about was Portland at No. 2, when executive Stu Inman and coach Jack Ramsey decided they were set on the wing in Clyde Drexler and needed a big man, so they selected Sam Bowie out of Kentucky. Bowie might have had an excellent NBA career if injuries had not plagued him, but he was no Jordan. It’s the ultimate NBA cautionary tale — draft the best player on the board, not according to need.

Williamson is projected by teams as the best player on the board. By far. Even the Morant fans have him a clear second. Plus, Williamson comes in hugely popular and a brand unto himself — he will sell tickets and sponsorships. Not drafting him would be a stupid business decision, not to mention a basketball one.

Whoever lands second in next month’s draft lottery will do well with Morant. Whoever is third will likely get R.J. Barrett out of Duke and… let’s just say that’s where it gets interesting.