Report: Cuttino Mobley sues Knicks for forcing him to retire

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Cuttino Mobley has not played in the NBA since 2008, but he wants back in. He’s worked out for teams but nothing has come of it.

He retired after being traded to the Knicks (in the Zach Randolph deal) in 2008. In a routine post-trade physical it was discovered Mobley had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the same condition linked to the deaths of Reggie Lewis and Hank Gathers. The Knicks wanted him to walk away from basketball because of it, and Mobley did after an 11 year career.

When he first retired Mobley didn’t complain, in fact he said the MRI “saved his life,” but that tone had changed by last year when Mobley was saying that the Knicks forced this decision on him when he didn’t want it. The Knicks did get relief from the league on Mobley’s $9.5 million salary.

Now he has taken the next step and sued the Knicks, first broken by Howard Beck at the New York Times.

The Knicks responded. Here is Beck on it:

In statement, Knicks say they are “extremely disappointed” in Mobley’s lawsuit and are “confident Cuttino’s claims have no merit”

This was Mobley’s quote last year.

“At first I was cool with it because I didn’t do research on it, but then doing research and getting different opinions, then I became upset because the corporation, the big company trying to get as much money as they can and do different things like that, for me I don’t think that was right,” Mobley said.

“You either waive me, you don’t take me in, you let me go somewhere else, let me create my own destiny like I did in 1999 when I came to the Rockets. Let me create my own decisions. Don’t make the decisions for me, clogging my heads with different things.

“I’m not upset now because I know it’s a business and that’s how they treat it as a business, but it’s two and a half, three years I haven’t played. It’s been a waste.”

Great, now we have another NBA player and issue headed to court. It’s kind of hard for this layman to see how the Knicks are at fault here. Then again, I think if you buy hot coffee in a drive-through and spill it on yourself you can’t sue saying it was hot. I’m crazy that way. Who knows how this really turns out.

Report: Darius Bazley, who’s sitting out awaiting draft, receives $1 million guaranteed on shoe contract

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Negotiations on lowering the NBA’s age limit have stalled, though there’s plenty of time to negotiate before the targeted allowance of high school players declaring for the draft in 2022.

In the meantime, the NBA’s minor league will soon offer $125,000 salaries to 18-year-olds – up from the standard G League salary of $35,000. Will players sign those Select Contracts rather than playing college basketball, which comes with cartel-limited compensation?

Darius Bazley – who committed to Syracuse, planned to play in the NBA’s minor league then decided to sit out the upcoming season – could provide an illuminating test case. Represented by Rich Paul, Bazley signed an endorsement deal with New Balance.

Marc Stein of The New York Times:

According to Paul, Bazley’s multiyear deal will pay him $1 million “no matter what happens” with his N.B.A. career — and can pay up to $14 million if he reaches all performance incentives.

That dwarfs even the increased minor-league salary. Bazley can receive that endorsement money because he no longer cares about preserving college eligibility. The same would apply to Select Contract players.

But the shoe company would become the primary employer. If the shoe company decides playing in the NBA’s minor-league for $125,000 offers the best return on investment, that’s what the player will do. If the shoe company decides the player is better off doing something else, the player will do that.

Bazley ranked just No. 17 in his class, per the 247 composite. He projects as a late first-rounder once draft-eligible next year. The money gets even bigger with more highly touted prospects.

College basketball remains the place that offers them the most exposure, and shoe companies might continue to funnel players there with under-the-table payments. That was no longer an option with Bazley, but this ought to serve as a reminder of who drives the money for elite 18-year-old players. It isn’t the G League.

Gary Harris can’t contain smirk after getting away with fouling Kevin Durant

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Gary Harris hit Kevin Durant‘s arm during the Nuggets’ 100-98 win over the Warriors yesterday. Except officials didn’t call a foul. They did call a technical foul on Durant for arguing about it, though.

Meanwhile, Harris made this fantastic face:

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When you hit your brother and your mom yells at him.

Report: Rajon Rondo’s girlfriend confronted Chris Paul’s wife in stands after on-court fight

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The longstanding tension between Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul boiled over with a fight during Saturday’s Rockets-Lakers game, including Rondo spitting on Paul.

The animosity apparently extended even further.

Sam Amick of The Athletic:

A heated Paul told teammates and coaches in the locker room afterward that Rondo’s girlfriend had sparked a verbal confrontation with Chris’ wife in the stands, according to sources.

Jonatan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

Lauren A. Jones of the Los Angeles Sentinel:

One person could see a shove when another person sees someone getting in someone’s face. There’s a fine line amidst chaos.

If Paul wasn’t talking about a shove after the game, I tend to think there wasn’t one.

Still, a verbal altercation alone is a lot here.

Sixers play ‘Mo Bamba’ song after Joel Embiid dunks on Magic rookie

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No one will ever claim that Joel Embiid doesn’t have fun while playing the game of basketball. The Philadelphia 76ers big man is a world-class follow on various social media platforms, and has a keen sense of humor.

Perhaps that is what led to the Sixers sound crew playing a very specific song after Embiid dunked on Orlando Magic rookie big man Mo Bamba this week.

On Saturday, Embiid gave Bamba a little jab step drive to the left side of the baseline, finishing with a dunk as the rookie recovered. Game Operations in Philadelphia immediately played a song titled “Mo Bamba” by rapper Sheck Wes.

Via Twitter:

Embiid used to be the young gun on the block, but he is now moving into veteran territory and his propensity for snark will only become more biting as his skills improve.

Who knows if Embiid had a hand in arranging this audio cue, but whoever was responsible deserved a slap on the back.