Wednesday And-1 Links: Jordan Hill wants out of L.A. if D’Antoni returns

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Here is our regular 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) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.

• Jordan Hill doesn’t want to return to the Lakers next season if Mike D’Antoni is still the coach. As a side note, Laker management isn’t going to work that hard to keep him.

• Speaking of the Lakers, Andrew Kamenetzky hits the nail on the head here — there is going to be a civil war next season between Lakers fans and Kobe Bryant fans. And make no mistake, those are two different groups just with some overlapping interests.

Paul Flannery of SB Nation has a fantastic look at Doc Rivers and what he has brought to the Clippers. It is a must read.

• Speaking of great read’s the Boston Globe’s post on analytics in the NBA is something you should sit down with and check out.

• One more long form read worth your time — Zach Lowe of Grantland on Anthony Davis.

• Andrew Kamenetzky hits the nail on the head here — there is going to be a civil war season between Lakers fans and Kobe Bryant fans. And make no mistake, those are two different groups just with some overlapping interests.

• Basketball-Reference’s Andrew Bynum practice shooting charts were the best of the NBA April Fools jokes.

• Chris Hansen, the guy behind the Seattle bid to buy the Kings and move them to the Pacific Northwest, said he and his ownership group are still looking at NBA possibilities. Which is tough because the next team with a lease up that could be up and the team sold and moved is Milwaukee — and that is a couple of years away and the owner is working to find new local ownership.

• In case you missed it, Heat and Pacers fans got in a fight when the two teams played.

• Looking at the connection between an older roster and success in the NBA.

• The Pelicans do not plan to sit Eric Gordon down for the rest of the season, if his knee will let him play he will play.

• John Salley says the New York Knicks will be in the NBA Finals next year. No pressure, Phil.

• If you want more of the Mark Jackson saga with Golden State, check this out. He is seriously coaching for his job right now.

• Some unintended consequences of the new CBA.

• Damion James will reportedly sign a 10-day deal with the Spurs.

• The Spurs are trying hard to make “frogging” the new thing. I wish I were making that up.

• Anthony Davis was on the Pete Holmes Show:

Kevin Durant’s brother says Instagram comment wasn’t about star leaving Warriors this summer

AP Photo/Ben Margot
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Rumors about Kevin Durant leaving the Warriors are intensifying. Even people within the Golden State organization are bracing themselves for him to depart in free agency next summer.

Not even the Warriors collecting their championship rings could stop the momentum.

In fact, last night’s celebration contributed to the noise.

Kevin’s brother, Tony, commented on Kevin’s Instagram post featuring the rings, “Filling the hand up before we get outta here!”

Rob Perez of The Action Network:

My best guess was “here” meant the Warriors’ arena in Oakland. This is their last season there before moving to a new arena in San Francisco Francisco.

Or maybe “here” meant in the NBA. Careers in the NBA are finite.

Another thought that crossed my mind: “Here” could have meant in this world. Lives, too, are finite.

The only clear part: Tony wants Kevin to win a handful of rings. The deadline is nebulous.

Of course, the loudest speculation was “here” meant playing for the Warriors and this being the last run. But Tony sharply denied that.

Perez:

If you want to be a conspiracy theorist, perhaps Tony meant leaving Golden State after this season but Kevin just instructed him to downplay it to quiet chatter. I suppose that’s possible, though it wouldn’t jibe with Kevin’s tell-the-truth-about-free-agency approach.

Occam’s Razor suggests taking Tony at his word, and that’s what I’ll do.

Report: Tom Thibodeau raised asking price for Jimmy Butler after infamous practice

AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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After sitting out while awaiting a trade rehabbing after injuring his wrist, Jimmy Butler practiced with the Timberwolves for the first time last week. He reportedly showed up late, talked a ton of trash and led third-stringers to a win over the starters then left early.

Amidst widespread speculation they had to trade Butler after that, the Tom Thibodeau-run Timberwolves put out word they considered it their best practice of the year.

Maybe Thibodeau is that insanely competitive. Maybe he was just trying to preserve leverage.

If it were the latter, he sure stuck to his story.

Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN:

Teams who talked to Minnesota after his first practice, literally the day after his practice, Minnesota was asking for more then than they were before the day. Which tells you this: Minnesota is not trading him. They’re asking for packages that know teams aren’t going to agree to.

The Timberwolves are in a though spot. Butler is an excellent player, but everyone knows he wants out. I don’t blame them for trying to maximize their limited leverage.

How will Butler react to this revelation, though? Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said he told Butler the team would seek a trade. Butler pledged to play hard in the meantime.

But if Butler playing hard just makes it less likely Minnesota will trade him, will he feel as if the team isn’t holding up its end of the bargain? Then what?

It has long seemed Taylor and Thibodeau are on different pages on several issues. Though Taylor just backed Thibodeau, Butler could drive a wedge even deeper between the owner and president-coach.

Russell Westbrook sneak-snacking steals show on NBA’s opening night

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NBA’s opening night was quite tame. The Celtics and Warriors won as expected, neither the 76ers nor Thunder mounting much of a challenge.

That allowed Russell Westbrookout with an injury — to have the most fun moment when he looked around deviously, turned to his side and ate something.

What did did Westbrook eat? Was he not supposed to be eating? Did he not want to share? Big questions remain unanswered surrounding this important incident.

Joel Embiid on 76ers-Celtics: ‘This is not a rivalry … They always kick our ass’

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The 76ers-Celtics rivalry is being renewed.

But it’s not there yet, according to Philadelphia center Joel Embiid.

The 76ers are 3-19 against Boston since drafting Embiid, and though that includes multiple tanking years, Philadelphia hasn’t fared much better since getting good. The 76ers went 2-7 against the Celtics last season, including 1-4 in their second-round playoff series. Philadephia followed that with a season-opening loss to the Celtics last night.

Embiid, via Matt Haughton of NBC Sports Philadelphia:

“JJ (Redick) mentioned it earlier, this is not a rivalry,” Embiid said to reporters after the Sixers’ 105-87 season-opening loss to the Boston Celtics (see observations). “I don’t know our record against them but it’s pretty bad. They always kick our ass.”

I appreciate Embiid’s directness. We can all see the problem. There’s no point denying it.

The subtext is Embiid’s motivation to change this status quo, and a lot of it does fall in Embiid. Al Horford has given him fits. Even Aron Baynes worked him at times last night. Embiid is talented and far younger than those two. He’ll eventually get there.

In the meantime, he’s not mincing words.