With the NBA labor talks blowing up, more and more NBA players are trying to find their way overseas to earn a paycheck. Here is a roundup of the latest rumors — but remember they are rumors so take a few grains of salt with them.
• Bulls big man Joakim Noah confirmed that he is seriously considering playing for Paris-Levallois (the team he rooted for growing up). He’d be joining the crowd, pretty much every French star has already returned to play there, including Tony Parker and Nicholas Batum.
• Linas Kleiza has denied that close to joining Lietuvos Rytas in Lithuania. We tend to believe him — he had microfracture surgery back in February. He’s likely going to take longer to get back on the court, not rush back to play for less money in Lithuania.
• Suns guard Aaron Brooks has reached an agreement to play for the Guangdong Southern Tigers in China, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo. That is Yi Jianlian’s team and they reportedly had been after Rodney Stuckey as well, according to Sheridanhoops.com. One would think that with Brooks they wouldn’t want Stuckey, too, but maybe. More interesting in all of this is the Suns wanted to bring Brooks back t backup Steve Nash, now they can’t if the lockout gets solved in time for a season (Brooks is in China until March).
• Andres Nocioni has signed to play in Argentina — but without insurance for his NBA deal. That means if he suffered an injury and was not able to play whenever the lockout ends, the 76ers could cut him and he would be out the $14.2 million he is owed on his last deal.
• Tiago Splitter made the latest rumors official and signed with Valencia.
• DeAndre Jordan, who shot down an offer from the Zhejiang Lions in China last month, is being talked to again to see if he has changed his mind, reports Sheridanhoops.com.
• Luther Head has signed to play with Jiangsu in China, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Head is the kind of borderline NBA player now that should have made this move at the start of the season. If the NBA ever gets going he could return to the league in March when the Chinese league is done.
The Lakers and Clippers share an arena in Los Angeles, which – as everyone understands it – means the Clippers play in the Lakers’ arena.
That doesn’t sit well with Clippers owner Steve Ballmer. So, he wants to get a new arena built just for the Clippers in Inglewood.
And cost, legal red tape and lawsuits aren’t going to stop him.
Helene Elliot of The Los Angeles Times:
“We’re moving to Inglewood come hell or high water,” he said of a proposed arena near the site of the stadium being constructed for the Rams and Chargers. “We gotta have a house. So we’re working on a plan to get our own house. We want to get our own house. It turns out the way this works in L.A., which is much beloved to me, that if you start now you might be done in six years.”
Ballmer is probably used to getting what he wants. I doubt he backs down here. It should be noted some of the legal and public relations push back on the plans comes from funding via the Madison Square Garden group (owned by Knicks’ owner James Dolan), which five years ago sank $100 million into the Lakers’ old home the Forum to refurbish it into a major concert venue. The new Clippers building would be just a couple blocks away from the Forum.
This also at least partially explains why the Clippers insist on remaining competitive. Local politicians are less likely to greenlight a new arena for a tanking team.
It took Juan Carlos Navarro a long time to try the NBA.
It didn’t take him nearly as long to determine the league wasn’t for him.
The No. 40 pick in the 2002 draft, he finally signed with the Grizzlies in 2007. But after only one season as a backup guard in Memphis, he returned to Europe.
Now, his standout career in Spain is ending.
The club hereby announces that Juan Carlos Navarro shall be forming part of its basketball structure from the 2018/19 season, as established in the contract signed in September 2017, now that he has retired from active sporting duty.
Most NBA fans will never realize how talented Navarro was. He was a good score-first point guard at a time many teams still wanted a more-traditional point guard. Unhappy on a losing team in a foreign country, he didn’t try to find a workable solution.
Instead, he starred in Spain, out of sight of American fans – except international competitions, where he reminded everyone how good he was.
We should appreciate Navarro’s impressive career. We can also wonder about the “what if?” surrounding him and the NBA.
Tom Chambers, who starred with the Seattle SuperSonics and Phoenix Suns, has been charged with assault after a confrontation at a Scottsdale, Ariz., restaurant in April.
Witnesses told police the other patron, Alexander Bergelt, began to take verbal jabs at Tom including, “You’re not sh*t,” “You’re tall and scrawny” and “Look at your big head.”
Tom told police the final straw came when Bergelt said, “Your mom should have killed you when you came out of the womb as ugly as you are, your arms are skinny, your chest is this. Your belly is big.”
Tom admits he “absolutely put hands on [Alexander]” but never punched him. Tom says he was trying to get Alexander to “show respect.”
Alexander told police a different story — saying Chambers came at him from across the bar, grabbed him by the throat and threw him backwards.
Bergelt is 22. Chambers is 59.
J.J. Redick, his wife Chelsea and sister-in-law Kylee took a chauffeured car in New York recently.
According to the 76ers guard, Kylee spotted a person in the back. The trio had the driver pull over and exited.
Redick on The J.J. Redick Podcast:
I’m like, “Sir, I think there’s a person in your backseat.” And so he lifts the blanket up, but like towards the window, so that the blanket is facing up, so we couldn’t see, because we were on the sidewalk – perpendicular to the car, not behind the car. And he’s like “No, there’s nothing in here. There’s nothing in here.” And he closes the blanket back. And then he closes the trunk. And as he’s walking around to the front seat, a head pops up.
No, this is not funny. There’s a back of a female’s head. She’s blonde hair. There’s a ponytail. And based on the size of the box or cage that this person is in, it’s either a very small human or a child. And I’m like, “We all saw it, right?” So, he drives off.
She’s like, “No. The reason I said there was a person is because I saw movement in my peripheral, out of my right eye. So I turned around, and the blanket was moving. So when I looked back, half of a human face came out of the blanket.” She said, “I saw a woman’s eyes, woman’s face, woman’s blonde hair.”
That’s pretty scary.
Redick said he called the car agency and the police and that his wife planned to call the FBI.
Hopefully, this wasn’t kidnapping, human trafficking or something like that. But it sure sounds as if it warrants investigation.