Welcome to the NBA, Ricky Rubio.
And welcome to having good players again, Minnesota Timberwolves.
When you have a good player like Rubio, other teams will target him and do what they can to knock him off his game. Literally, if they can. Other teams are finding that when Rubio has space he picks them apart so they are trying to take that space away from him and be physical with the thin rookie.
And the Timberwolves think it has gotten out of hand, reports Jerry Zgoda at the Star-Tribune.
Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn said the team has sent video to the NBA, seeking to call attention to what Kahn and the team’s coaches believe are opponents being overly physical with rookie guard Ricky Rubio….
“All our young guys are learning that, Ricky especially,” coach Rick Adelman said about opposing defenses adjusting to stop the Wolves’ offense. “They’re putting bigger guys on him…They’re beating the hell out of him right now. The league has figured out you have to be physical with him. And he’s kind of learning on the fly.’’
Ricky Rubio and Blake Griffin can form their own “hey, stop being mean to us” club.
Look, this is the game in the NBA — other teams have found what they think is the best way to stop Rubio and the rookie isn’t getting a lot of borderline calls. There’s not a lot of sympathy here. In the NBA other teams will adjust to you and your weaknesses, what matters is how you adjust back. It’s like a young baseball pitcher called up from the minor leagues — he might have some early success, but once teams get a look at his stuff hitters will adjust. Then it is on him to make the next adjustment to keep hitters off balance.
Rubio, it’s your move.
Philadelphia struck out going big game hunting this off-season — LeBron James, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard all ended up elsewhere. The Sixers decided to trade for Wilson Chandler (absorbing him into their cap space) and re-signed J.J. Redick, but they have continued to look for the right trade.
That could involve adding Kyle Korver.
From Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
According to a league source, the team has had discussions about trading Jerryd Bayless to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kyle Korver.
That move would enable the Sixers to bring back a fan favorite who’s one of the league’s top three-point shooters. He would be an upgrade from former Sixer Marco Belinelli, who signed as a free agent with the San Antonio Spurs earlier this month.
This trade is still in the talking phase.
That this was leaked means an agent of one of the teams involved wants to see the deal done and hopes leaking it puts enough pressure on one or both sides to get it done.
For the Sixers it makes sense on the court, they get out of a contract in Bayless they have tried to trade for a year, and they bring in a sharpshooter who can fit within their system and add bench scoring.
For the Cavaliers, they have to be getting a pick or picks of some kind back in this trade (probably a second round or multiple second-round picks, of which the Sixers have several besides their own in the next couple of drafts).
Something to watch as we head into the weekend, to see if this deal can get done.
Milwaukee Bucks superstar at Giannis Antetokounmpo will bless this year’s cover of NBA 2K19. It’s a big deal for the Greek Freak, who has come a long way since be a heralded prospect after being drafted in 2013.
Antetokounmpo is also apparently aware of the noted curse from the 2K franchise. That is, that former players who have been on the cover in years past have notoriously ended up in different jerseys shortly after getting selected for the honor.
LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, DeMar DeRozan, Paul George, and Kevin Durant all left their respective teams shortly after being featured on the cover.
Antetokounmpo signed a contract extension in 2016 that runs through the 2020-2021 season. Unless something goes horribly wrong, there’s no reason to think that he will be gone anytime soon.
But is the cover curse real? People certainly seem to think the Madden one is.
There was already one LeBron James mural in Los Angeles. Several people decided to attack it with paint, ruining a nice gesture by a local artist in Venice and proving how annoying (presumed) Kobe Bryant fans can be.
Now, there is another mural in LA and this time it paid a little more attention to former Lakers legends. Hopefully this time around the subject matter will help stave off would-be vandals.
This LeBron piece was done by another Venice muralist, Gustavo Zermeño Jr., who posted photos of his work. In it, LeBron is seen looking up at Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
No doubt that should satisfy some Lakers purists around the area, at least enough to keep them from throwing white paint all over it and ruining and impressive piece of artwork that took the artist a long time to create.
Lakers fan should just be happy that LeBron is in their state.
LOS ANGELES — Luc Mbah a Moute is back with the Los Angeles Clippers, signing a free-agent deal.
The 31-year-old forward averaged 7.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.18 steals in 61 games for Houston last season.
Mbah a Moute played two seasons for the Clippers from 2015-17, averaging 4.6 points and 2.2 rebounds in 155 games, including 137 starts.
He was selected 37th overall by Milwaukee in 2008 after three seasons at UCLA. Besides the Clippers and Rockets, Mbah a Moute has played 10 seasons with Milwaukee, Sacramento, Minnesota and Philadelphia.
Terms of the deal announced Thursday were not announced.