Kobe not talking to Turkish club, but he will talk overseas

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Please, let this be the end of the Kobe Bryant to Turkey talk. Please.

There have been plenty of rumors swirling about Kobe and talks with Turkish side Besiktas — most of it from club officials in Turkey thinking they had a real shot at landing him. That or playing the marketing game. Either way, they talked a lot.

Kobe pretty much shot the whole idea down Sunday, saying the rumors we’ve all heard were news to him.

At a press conference in Washington D.C. Sunday for the Mia Hamm-Nomar Garciaparra Celebrity Soccer Challenge (in which he played), Kobe was asked about Turkey and seemed bemused by the whole thing (via ESPNLA.com).

“I haven’t spoken to them in weeks,” Kobe said of Besiktas.

Since they team said they were meeting with him and his people this weekend, not a good sign. Not good at all for the Turkish side (Lakers fans like that).

But Kobe also would not rule out playing overseas.

“I’m just waiting for my phone to ring. I’ll play anywhere,” Kobe said, going on to say he would listen to offers.

Listen and play are two different things. Kobe wants another ring, and playing overseas means risking injury and putting more miles on his knees. He’s a competitor, he knows the union could use the leverage of stars talking about leaving, but that is very different than actually leaving. And that is true of more than just Kobe, talk and actually playing in Europe are different things all together.

Somehow, Ja Morant highlights keep getting better (video)

Ja Morant
Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images
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Ja Morant is special.

He has already produced a few amazing plays during his rookie year. He has even taken over full games with his flashy play.

But the performance he put on during the Grizzlies’ win over the Cavaliers last night was something else.

Thrice, Morant elevated for show-stopping dunks. He scored only once. But each time, something incredible happened.

First, Morant way up to catch a lob from Jae Crowder, adjusted mid-air and found Jaren Jackson Jr. for a dunk:

Then, less than a minute later, Morant finished a lob from Crowder with a beautiful one-handed slam:

Finally, Morant leaped to posterize Larry Nance Jr., realized that wouldn’t work then threw a spinning behind-the-back pass to Jackson. Though Alfonzo McKinnie blocked Jackson, Morant’s move was dazzling:

If Morant is going to keep putting on shows like this during games, maybe we can forgive him for skipping the dunk contest.

Trae Young gets ankles absolutely destroyed by Dejounte Murray (video)

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The Hawks got Trae Young his desired help, trading for Jeff Teague.

Maybe Young will do his part and step up on defense.

That didn’t happen on this possession against Spurs guard Dejounte Murry.

At least Young continued his breakout season on the other end, scoring 31 points and dishing nine assists in Atlanta’s rare victory in San Antonio.

Tristan Thompson slaps Jae Crowder’s rear end, gets ejected (video)

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What is it about Cleveland athletes slapping butts and getting in trouble?

Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. faces a simple battery charge for slapping a police officer’s backside in LSU’s locker room after the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Last night, Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson got ejected for slapping Grizzlies forward Jae Crowder‘s behind.

Thompson and Crowder got double technical fouls earlier in the game. So, Thompson got ejected with a tech for this incident between free throws.

Though the two are former Cleveland teammates, Crowder didn’t look amused. Crowder doesn’t play.

The Cavs rallied without Thompson, but Memphis won, 113-109.

Kyle Lowry flings in wild 3-pointer (video)

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Kyle Lowry had the ball in his left hand when he felt contact. Not only did he try to sell a foul by flailing his arms, the right-hander tried to draw a shooting foul by hurling an off-balance 31-footer toward the basket.

No continuation. No whistle at all.

But Lowry made the shot, anyway.

Lowry and the Raptors will take it, but they didn’t need a break like that against the Wizards’ dismal defense last night. Toronto won, 140-111.