Monday And-1 links: Former Net now “Moses of Rikers.”

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Here is our daily look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT).

Former Net Jayson Williams is now the “Moses of Rikers.”

Can you blame all the problems in your life on Minnesota GM David Kahn? Maybe.

The Orlando Magic play the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis Saturday. Sunday the New York Giants play the New England Patriots in Indy in Super Bowl XLVI (which you can watch streaming here on NBCSports.com, if I can throw in a plug). The Orlando Magic didn’t book their hotel long in advance due to the lockout. Now, basically every hotel room in the city is booked and the Magic are scrambling.

There’s a rumor (really some random talk) going around that Mitch Kupchak might leave as Lakers GM. I would say don’t put much stock into that.

NBA players are getting to the free throw line less often this season. League official Stu Jackson talked about if it about the officiating.

Paul Pierce sat more than he liked in the fourth quarter of the Celtics loss to the Cavaliers Sunday.

Also Celtics fans, don’t expect Keyon Dooling back anytime soon.

Kobe Bryant was impressed with Ricky Rubio.

Carlos Boozer’s son was at the Bulls/Heat game Sunday and was chanting “let’s go Heat.”

Paul Millsap hates your zone defenses.

Watching Delonte West get ready for a game is pretty funny.

Andris Biedrins is in coach Mark Jackson’s doghouse because of a lack of production. No way anyone saw that coming…

The Hornets were only about $5 million over four years away from reaching a deal with Eric Gordon.

Ryan Anderson says Dwight Howard is right to criticize his Magic teammates.

Don’t expect to see D.J. Augustin this week with the Bobcats, his toe injury is still keeping him out.

EuroBasket sensation Bo McCalebb says the NBA can wait.

Like he is in preperations for games and with his shot, Ray Allen is all about consistency and repetition when naming his kids.

The Warriors owners paid a premium for their franchise, but it’s already paying off.

The Celtics wouldn’t mind landing Chris Kaman, but it’s not likely.

The Rockets’ Courtney Lee was involved in a serious car accident, but was not hurt (nor was anyone else). Fortunately.

The Nets have brought Jordan Williams back up from the D-League.

Kevin Love on LeBron James: ‘He’s playing chess and everyone else is playing checkers’

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Kevin Love is the man in Cleveland now, with LeBron James having gone to Hollywood.

But it’s not going to be the same, and Love knows it. The best player of his generation is gone, and Love had nothing but praise for LeBron and his willingness to take on a challenge in a sit-down interview with ESPN.

Love is right, LeBron loves a challenge, but the one with the Lakers is unlike anything else in his career. Expectations are through the roof for a team that has undergone a roster upheaval, and while those kinds of teams can take a little bit to come together, if that happens and the Lakers get off to a slow start in the West it will be a lot harder to dig out of it than it was after the Cavs’ annual mid-season slump in the East. LeBron is on a team with young players and a lot of stop-gap one-year contracts set up to help them get another star (at the trade deadline or next summer). That makes they dynamics of this season different for LeBron (although he would never admit to it, saying winning was the goal from the start).

Love has got his own challenges. He may not be able to lead the Cavaliers to the playoffs this season. However, he could be a sneaky good fantasy pickup now that he’s going to get a lot more touches.

 

Rumor: Timberwolves bypassed Stephen Curry in draft because Minnesota is too cold for year-round golf

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Timberwolves general manager David Kahn infamously drafted two point guards – Ricky Rubio No. 5 and Jonny Flynn No. 6 – before the Warriors took Stephen Curry No. 7 in the 2009 draft.

Curry, as transcribed by Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area:

“My guy David Kahn. I don’t know where he’s at right now,” Curry said on The Bill Simmons Podcast. “I don’t know if that ever came out — there’s a story. Everybody knows how much I love golf — play it in my spare time and what not.

“I think the word on the street was that he didn’t draft me because in Minnesota it’s cold and I wouldn’t be able to play as much golf so I would have been miserable.”

A shocked Simmons asked Curry: “Is that true?”

“I hope it’s true because that’s hilarious (laughter),” Curry said. “That’s hilarious.”

If this is why Minnesota passed on Curry, it was a huge mistake. Better to take the best prospect available and hope for the best. Curry probably would have learned to appreciate Minnesota. There’s plenty of room to golf elsewhere in the offseason. Remember, Golden State was seen as a low-rung destination just a few years ago. Curry helped transform the franchise’s perception.

Mostly, though, I’m with Curry. This would be a hilarious story if true.

But that doesn’t mean we should just assume it’s accurate. Plenty of teams underestimated Curry, who looked like an undersized score-first guard when he entered the NBA. He just beat the odds and made everyone who passed on him look silly.

Orlando not getting 2023 All-Star game

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The next three NBA All-Star hosts are set:

  • 2019: Charlotte Hornets
  • 2020: Chicago Bulls
  • 2021: Indiana Pacers

Beyond that? The Orlando Magic want an All-Star game, but they apparently struck out with upcoming selections.

Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins said Sunday the Magic put in a bid to host the 2023 All-Star Weekend and have been informed by league officials that another location will be selected for that year.

The league asked for bids for the 2022 and 2023 All-Star Weekends, but Martins said the Magic couldn’t bid for the 2022 game because a major convention will be held in Orlando that same weekend, leaving the city with too few hotel rooms to also host All-Star Weekend.

Orlando hosted All-Star games in 2012 and 1992. I bet one will return there soon enough. It’s a warm-weather city with the infrastructure to host.

It just won’t be within the next half decade.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer: ‘I think we got higher expectations on us than the long, hard five, six years of absolute crap like the 76ers put in’

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The Clippers will probably miss the playoffs in a loaded Western Conference. But they’re also even further from landing a high draft pick. They’re in that middling position some teams find perilous.

But not Clippers owner Steve Ballmer.

Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times:

Ballmer also vowed that the Clippers won’t tank to get a better draft pick. “That ain’t us. Nuh-uh, no way,” he said. “People can do it their way. We’re going to be good our way. We’re not going to show up and suck for a year, two years. I think we got higher expectations on us than the long, hard five, six years of absolute crap like the 76ers put in. How could we look you guys in the eye if we did that to you?”

The 76ers missed the playoffs five straight seasons, but they emerged from that self-inflicted drought with two franchise cornerstones – Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons – and multiple other helpful pieces. The Process worked as intended.

But this is also why the NBA needn’t freak out about other teams replicating Sam Hinkie’s plan. Few have the stomach for it.

Ballmer doesn’t. The Clippers are trying to attract free agents. The better they are in the interim, the more credibility they’ll build.