As we count down to the new year, let’s relive some of the lighter NBA moments of 2012 that we were fortunate enough to experience.
At 10, we have Lamar Odom saying he’s with the Lakers in his first season with the Clippers. Wishful thinking, my friend.
At 9, we have Omer Asik tipping the ball into the wrong basket, scoring two points for the opposing team. (Is it just me, or did the announcer sound like he might have issued an expletive there while uttering Omer’s last name?)
At 8, We have Andrew Bynum enjoying a Blake Griffin jam on the head of his then-teammate Pau Gasol just a little too much. It was a somewhat appropriate reaction, but still — you can’t clown your own guys like that, and this might have exemplified the personality that Bynum exhibited in his time in Los Angeles.
At 5, we have the “broken worm” from Enes Kanter of the Utah Jazz. Rookie hazing, at its finest.
At 4, we have Nick Young being Nick Young — launching a breakaway layup or dunk opportunity over the backboard entirely.
But at 1, there’s JaVale McGee. And as you might expect, he doesn’t disappoint.
McGee puts all the rest of these plays to shame, with his ridiculous behind-the-back-dribble that turns into an alley-oop attempt — one that flies so far over the backboard you wonder what he was thinking, if anything at all, as the ball sailed several rows into the stands.
Lakers’ Lonzo Ball could be out longer due to bone bruise in ankle
Lonzo Ball has missed the last 11 Laker games. In that time the team is 4-7 with a bottom 10 offense and defense, and they have been outscored by 9.4 points per 100 possessions. Granted, LeBron James was out for a number of those games as well, but even LeBron is talking about how much Ball is missed in the rotation.
The Lakers could use him as they make a push down the stretch to get into the playoffs — the Laker defense is 3.4 points per 100 possessions better when Ball is on the court this season. The Lakers, 29-29, enter Saturday as the 10th seed in the West, three games back of the Clippers in the eighth seed and final playoff spot. The Sacramento Kings are also between the Lakers and the postseason — to get in the Lakers are going to need to go on a LeBron-led run. Ball would help with that, but it may be a little while longer before we see him on the court.
Rumor: Did Porzingis want out of New York because he didn’t want to play with Durant?
In less than a year, Kristaps Porzingis went from the anointed savior of the Knicks franchise to being traded to the Dallas Mavericks to make way for whatever and whoever is next. It was a turn of events that shocked and angered much of the Knicks fan base.
After the trade went down, the spin machines got busy. The Knicks said that Porzingis requested to be moved, and while there was some push back about that from KP’s camp there was no question he had his frustrations with the Knicks and might have looked around as a restricted free agent. Why did he want out? Did he not trust management? Or was it something else… like who the Knicks are reportedly targeting as a free agent? One Kevin Durant.
“I don’t think he was psyched about playing with Durant. I don’t know how directly that was verbalized to the Knicks, but I’m confident that it wasn’t something that was his Plan A, he wanted to be the face of the franchise.”
That apparently was not said to the Knicks.
If Kristaps Porzingis didn't want to play with Kevin Durant, it was never said to the Knicks, according to a team source. https://t.co/9p1QQuVhjE
There is a whole lot of speculation in this rumor, starting with the Knicks being able to land Durant (even though most sources I talk to around the league see that as the most likely outcome this summer). KD’s star would have been brighter than Porzingis’, but in New York there is plenty of spotlight to go around. Was sharing the stage really an issue?
Porzingis’ frustrations likely had many layers and cannot be defined by Durant alone. If he didn’t trust ownership and management, can you really blame him? We’ll never really know how much of a factor Durant was — or, was not — in that mix.
Where Porzingis landed, he and Luka Doncic are the face of the Mavericks going forward. Mark Cuban and Dallas bet big on them. The question now for Porzingis is was that a good gamble?
Watch Kawhi Leonard strip DeMar DeRozan, get dunk to put Raptors up for good
This summer, the Golden State Warriors need to deal with the free agency of Klay Thompson (expected by sources around the league to re-sign and stay) and Kevin Durant (those same sources think he leans toward leaving).
The following summer of 2020 it’s Draymond Green who is up. Will he have a max offer waiting from the Warriors?
I’ll say about this switch what I said when Davis switched to Klutch at the start of this past season: Rich Paul is not the guy you hire if the plan is just to automatically sign the contract put in front of you.
Green is a former Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time All-NBA player, and this season he is averaging 7.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game. However, there has been debate around the league about whether his next contract should be a max, or more accurately, should it be a max at the full five years? Or at the four years other teams can offer? The defensive versatility Green brings Golden State is unquestioned — the Warriors are not the Warriors without his ability to guard fives effectively — he is a fantastic passer, and he is the emotional bellwether for the team in many ways. However, he’s shooting 25 percent from three this season (and teams dare him to take that shot now), doesn’t really create on offense (the Warriors can easily hide that with their starters right now), and there are thoughts that he hits free agency at age 29 and his game will not age well. Green also has had a very public clash with Kevin Durant.
What the Warriors will do with Green may hinge in part on happens this summer. If Durant decides to re-sign with Golden State could they then look to trade Green? Also, Green is extension eligible this summer, but with the Warriors cap situation, the raise the Warriors could offer Green will be well below what he likely makes on the open market in 2020. There are a lot of moving parts in the Warriors’ future. And Green’s.
It looks like Rich Paul will be part of that future now as well.