Rip Hamilton is living in basketball limbo.
He hasn’t been playing, sat down by his coach. The Pistons are trying to find someone to trade for him but Hamilton but he is owed $25 million over the next two seasons. Guaranteed.
At that price nobody is interested in making a trade, reports Ken Berger at CBSSports.com.
There were reports that Boston or Dallas would want him, but you know why those two franchises are near the top of the league? They make smart player-personnel choices. Well, Boston does. Dallas already signed Brendan Haywood to the “vastly overpaid role player” spot on the roster, so they’re good. Heading into new, unknown financial waters with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, no smart team is taking on $25 million for a nice role player (which is what Rip is now, at age 32 he is not the scorer to be feared he once was).
The problem for Rip is, the Pistons sat him Jan. 12 against the Memphis Grizzlies (because the rumored three-team Carmelo Anthony trade was about to go through) and the team is a solid 5-5 without him. That includes knocking off the Magic and Mavericks, plus putting a real scare into the Heat on Friday. They are playing their best ball of the season. Sure, playing .500 is not getting them to the playoffs but for this season’s Pistons it is a huge step up. And if you learned just one thing from Bull Durham it’s that you don’t mess with a streak.
The Pistons could buy him out. (Dallas, Boston and others would have interest in a free agent Hamilton at a league minimum). However until the ownership sale to Tom Gores goes through there is no chance of that happening. And with all the stops and starts in that process we could have peace in the Middle East first.
Rip is too good to be sitting out Pistons games with the “stomach flu.” Detroit under John Kuester has gone away from running Hamilton off picks for catch-and-shoots and doing some of the things he can still do (the way Boston uses Ray Allen, for example).
But with the team playing well Kuester has no reason to change.
So Rip lives in basketball limbo.
Derrick Rose was found not liable during a civil rape trial in 2016.
The plaintiff appealed, and her argument was heard today. It doesn’t sound like it was well-received.
One of the appellate-court judges, Hon. Barrington D. Parker Jr., via Kyle Bonagura of ESPN:
“The main issue in this case is what happened that night between Doe and the three defendants,” Parker told Anand. “And you did a good job of presenting your case that what happened on that evening was nonconsensual, that she was raped.
“The defendants, as I look at the record, had powerful defenses to that presentation, which at the end of the day, the jury bought. You had a nine-day trial and this jury was out in what, 15 minutes? And you lose on every single claim. The jury just didn’t buy your case. No trial is perfect, but your evidence concerning the night in question came in and the jury had an opportunity to hear that.”
Following the trial as it unfolded, it seems the jury made the correct decision. Doe’s case was presented and considered. There wasn’t nearly enough evidence against Rose to find him liable.
That doesn’t mean he didn’t rape Doe. Her accusation counts for something. But at a certain point, if her claims can’t be credibly substantiated, Rose deserves a chance to move on. Police also investigated Rose and didn’t charge him.
The Court of Appeals has not yet ruled on Doe’s appeal, but it sounds like Rose is one step closer to putting this behind him legally.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he erred by not being involved enough in the franchise’s business side, allowing a predatory work environment to fester.
But he also didn’t appear at the press conference after the investigation’s results were released, leaving new CEO Cynthia Marshall to face the public.
Cuban on 1310 The Ticket, via Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News:
Because it’s Cynthia’s company now to run on the business side.
I’m the owner of a lot of different companies and I have CEO’s who run them. And it’s her’s to run and she’s good. And when you find someone that’s great at what they do, you let them do their job. Now, did I learn and I’ll communicate more with it? Yeah. But I’m not going to go into any of the details other than do say she is phenomenal at what she does and she deserves the respect that she’s earned and the Mavs are a much better organization and will be. And the NBA will be better because other teams and the NBA itself also are using her as a resource.
all the people that were involved are gone. . . The reality is, it’s behind us now. We did what we had to do. We’ve moved immediately. We brought in Cynt. Cynt’s a superstar. She’s changed the culture completely. That’s all you can do.
No organization is perfect. I’ve made my mistakes. The organization made its mistakes and we fixed them. There’s really no reason to suspend me or do a lot of the things people speculated about.
The difference between now and before is I talk to Cynt almost every day. Whereas the previous leadership . . . I talked to Cynt more the first month than I did per year, or five years, than I did in the past, because I was focused on basketball. And I don’t care what anybody writes. I don’t care what anybody thinks. I don’t care what anybody says. Anybody who watched and was there, recognized it.
Cuban clearly trusts Marshall to run the organization well. But he also trusted the previous regime to run the organization well, and look how that turned out.
I hope Cuban talking to Marshall daily creates the appropriate level of accountability. I hope Cuban is correct that the Mavericks’ problems are behind them.
But a new problem – the continued employment of a team photographer accused by multiple women of sexual harassment – arose under Marshall’s watch. The photographer, Danny Bollinger, was still travelling with the team and fired only after his accusers – felt unheard by the Mavericks – went public.
That creates plenty of questions about whether the appropriate mechanisms are in place to protect employees.
Cuban and the Mavericks must prove much more before deserving the benefit of the doubt this is behind them.
Sue Bird is the WNBA’s all-time leader in assists, and she just helped the Seattle Storm win the WNBA championship.
What’s next for her?
The Denver Nuggets have added current WNBA Champion Sue Bird to their front office staff as Basketball Operation Associate, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.
“We are very excited to have Sue join our organization,” said Connelly. “Her resume certainly speaks for itself and as a still active player she will offer an extremely unique perspective.”
NBA teams have hired from too narrow of pools for too long. Teams that consider candidates who wouldn’t usually draw consideration – including women – will be rewarded with better employees.
Bird has long been considered one of the WNBA’s smartest players. She appears to have the aptitude for a job like this. There’s no guarantee anyone successfully transitions from playing to executive work, especially with the added complication of crossing leagues, but an NBA front office is a big place. There’s plenty of room for Bird and evaluating her from here.
This is a good hire, both for what Bird can seemingly bring now and her potential to grow into a bigger role.
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said they “wasted some time” trying to convince Jimmy Butler to stay.
Not only did they fail to persuade Butler… not only did they lose while dealing with the turmoil… they also passed on probably their best trade offer for the disgruntled star.
Before the season, the Heat offered Josh Richardson and protected first-round pick. But to satisfy the NBA’s salary-cap rules, Miami also had to include another player. Reportedly, that was Dion Waiters, who has a negative-value contract and would have dented Minnesota’s return.
But apparently the Timberwolves could have gotten Kelly Olynyk instead.
Marc Stein of The New York Times in his newsletter:
I’m told that Minnesota’s talks with the Heat largely collapsed when Thibodeau asked for a $5 million cash infusion from Miami as part of a deal that would have sent Richardson, Kelly Olynyk and a future first-rounder to the Wolves for Butler.
I’m not sure why this framed as Timberwolves president-coach Tom Thibodeau asking for $5 million. That money would have gone to Taylor. Why would Thibodeau care other than to appease his boss? However the money indirectly affected Thibodeau was only commensurate with how much it directly affected Taylor.
I’m also not sure why Minnesota pressed for the cash. This deal appears excellent without it, considering the circumstances.
Richardson looks like a breakout star, and he’s locked into a team-friendly contract for for more seasons. Olynyk – due $39,203,655 over the next three years – isn’t cheap, but he’s a good player. I picked him second for Sixth Man of the Year last season, and he’s still producing well this season. He’s far more valuable than Waiters, at least.
Perhaps, unreported elements of the Heat offer would have tilted it. We don’t know the protections on the first-round pick, for example. Maybe other players were included.
But this sure seems better than the package – headlined by Robert Covington and Dario Saric – the Timberwolves got from the 76ers for Butler.