Andray Blatche takes shot at Wizards. Who are still better off without him.

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Note to Andray Blatche: The Brooklyn Nets are not 9-4 because of you, they are 9-4 because of Brook Lopez and Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace and occasionally even Jerry Stackhouse.

And the Wizards are not 0-12 because you are gone — you are at the heart of the problems still. They invested years and money in you to eventually have you ask not to play and so they had to eat your contract and rebuild.

But apparently, that’s not how he sees it. NBA.com’s John Schuhmann was at the Knicks at Nets game Monday night and tweeted this:

Blatche, go read the first two paragraphs here again.

Just a reminder, the Wizards were willing to eat the remaining $35 million on Blatche’s contract to get him out the door via the amnesty clause (the Wizards big mistake was ever offering that contract based on promise). And it was still the right move — the locker room needed to be made professional and Blatche was never going to be part of that. What the Wizards locker room didn’t need was injuries to Nene and John Wall, plus some pretty “meh” seasons from Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza.

Blatche signed with the Nets as a low-risk move for them and he played pretty well in limited minutes early in the season. But he was 3-of-11 shooting two games ago then after a bad shot against the Knicks saw his minutes cut way down to just over 7.

Blatche needs to worry about not getting in Avery Johnson’s doghouse, not trying to gloat about the 0-12 Wizards.

Report: Rockets lure assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik out of retirement with ‘significant raise’

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After a slow start, the Rockets got assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik to come out of retirement.

How?

The usual way employers attract someone to a job.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

Fertitta was alarmed enough to personally recruit defensive guru Jeff Bzdelik, who retired just before training camp, to return, offering what sources say was a significant raise that pushed his salary to a range that ranks among the NBA’s highest-paid assistant coaches.

Good for Bzdelik using his leverage. He looked like a defensive whiz last season, and Houston slipped without him. Of course, personnel matters, too. There’s no guarantee these Rockets – minus Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute – reach last year’s defensive level.

Bzdelik has been back around the team, but isn’t working full-time yet. It’ll take a while to assess his impact on Houston.

And good for Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta paying up. Fertitta is still trying to determine the right amount for him to spend, but the team is better off if he’s willing to pay what’s necessary to attract the most desirable coaches.

Charles Barkley addresses Draymond Green-Kevin Durant dynamic (video)

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Want to hear an entertaining guy address an entertaining topic? Here you go.

Trae Young: I’ll be better than Luka Doncic

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Trae Young and Luka Doncic will be forever linked by their draft-night trade.

The Hawks took Doncic No. 3 then traded down with the Mavericks for No. 5 pick Young and a future first-round pick.

Young, via Andrew Sharp of Sports Illustrated:

“The thing with Luka,” Young says, “he’s a great player. I don’t understand why it can’t work out for both situations. I hear [Atlanta made a mistake] all the time. Luka’s a great dude, and I think he’s going to be a really good player. But at the same time, I’m going to be a better player. Just because of my ability to stretch the floor, get others involved, I think I’ll be better.”

Of course, Young was never going to say Doncic would be better than him. But Young didn’t have to address this so directly at all. By going out of his way to make such a bold statement, Young puts more pressure on himself.

So far, both Doncic and Young have impressed. I’ll still stick with Doncic, though. Enough to justify Dallas surrendering that extra first-round pick? That’s a far tougher call and the one the Hawks will be judged by.

Young doesn’t want that leniency, though. He’s aiming to be better than Doncic straight up and unafraid to say so publicly.

Markelle Fultz’s new free throw stroke is… different.

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Philadelphia’s Markelle Fultz is in his own head with his free throw stroke now. (And, likely much more than that, but we’ll stick with the free throws for now.)

Earlier this week Fultz double-clutched a free throw attempt and his stroke was a mess.

Each game that stroke seems to change and the latest one is… different. Very different.

As Vecenie notes, this is actually an improvement in terms of the release, but that doesn’t make it good. Fultz was 1-of-2 in his one trip to the stripe (as of this writing).

Still, I have never seen someone pass the ball back-and-forth between their hands as they go into their shooting motion like that. Very, very odd.