Report: DeAndre Jordan agrees to four-year, $80 million deal to join Dallas Mavericks

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DeAndre Jordan is choosing his native Texas — and a more featured role in the offense — over staying with the Los Angeles Clippers.

He has chosen to play for thee Dallas Mavericks, something first reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.

Soon a number of others confirmed the deal, including Marc Spears of Yahoo confirmed this news. Some reports said both the Mavericks and Clippers were informed of the decision.

This, along with the signing of Wesley Matthews, will constitute another huge off-season for the Mavericks and make them one of the top teams in the West.

Chandler Parsons, who helped recruit Dwight Howard to Houston when Parsons was a Rocket, has been glued to the hip of Jordan for days trying to sway him toward Dallas. That guy should be a college coach someday the way he recruits.

This is a massive blow to the Clippers, a team that up until a few days was confident that Jordan would return. Doc Rivers built up Jordan’s career — got him to focus on his strengths, put him in better spots on the floor, built up the confidence that Vinny Del Negro had torn down — but Rivers could not convince Jordan to stay. Chris Paul tried to contact him and smooth over their relationship, but that also ended up not being enough.

Los Angeles does not have much cap space left to replace Jordan, just mid-level exception money of around $5.5 million (once Jordan signs). That got them Spencer Hawes a year ago, and we all saw how that worked out. The Clippers may try to get Dallas to do a sign and trade to create a trade exception, and they may try to trade for another center (such as Nene, who would fit in that slot), but they are not gong to land anyone of near the same quality.

Jordan was named first-team NBA All-Defensive Team this past season, he led the NBA in rebounding at 15 a game and he averaged 11.5 points a game on a league-best 71 percent shooting.

Jordan doesn’t feel he gets enough recognition for these kinds of accomplishments — for example, he’s never made the All-Star Team — in part because he has played behind Chris Paul and Blake Griffin (plus he and the ultra-competitive CP3 have had rough patches). In Dallas, Jordan would be the No. 2 option (at least that’s what they told him), and he would get the recognition he seeks from their marketing efforts, plus he’d be going home to Texas.

Jordan is leaving almost $30 million on the table (the Clippers offered five years, $109 million, a max offer), leaving Los Angeles (where he likes living) and leaving a sure fire contender with the Clippers.

But what he really wants is in Texas

How a single computer folder and dogged HR official exposed former Kings executive’s $13.4M embezzlement scheme

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Just how close did Jeff David come to getting away with embezzling $13.4 million from the Kings while working for them? He already secured a new job with the Heat and was in the process of moving from Sacramento to Miami.

Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:

On this Monday, walking through the Davids’ new front door is a dizzying procession of cable guys, utility workers and movers. Amid all of this, Jeff receives a phone call from a former co-worker with the Kings. Her name is Stacy Wegzyn, and she works in HR. Jeff last remembers sitting in her office in Sacramento just months earlier, being told that the Kings were going to eliminate his position. After a few pleasantries, she gets down to business. She tells Jeff she’s been going through his old files, and in doing so she found one labeled “TurboTax” that references an entity called Sacramento Sports Partners.

“I was just curious what that is and if those are documents that should go to somebody else,” Wegzyn says.

It’s a seemingly innocuous inquiry from an HR lifer. But it’s one that will dictate the rest of Jeff David’s life. If he knows that — or senses it — he doesn’t let on.

“No, no, no,” Jeff responds. “That was a … man, this is taking me back. Maybe 2015?”

Wegzyn presses on. She asks Jeff whether the documents contain anything that anyone with the Kings needs to see. Jeff assures her they can trash them because the entity isn’t around anymore. A few minutes after he hangs up, his mother-in-law, Nancy, is standing at the front door when an FBI investigator appears, asking to speak to Jeff.

If you like the NBA or true crime – let alone both – I HIGHLY recommend reading Arnovitz’s full piece. It’s riveting!

Warriors Kevon Looney cleared for on-court basketball work, will return soon

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At least someone on the Warriors is getting healthy.

Big man Kevon Looney, who played opening night and has since been sidelined with a sore hamstring and neuropathy (what the team described as “nerve-related symptoms”), has been cleared to return to on-court basketball activities, the team announced Tuesday. From the official press release:

He will participate in select practice sessions with the Santa Cruz Warriors this week and will re-join the Golden State Warriors over the weekend. We will continue to monitor his progress and will provide another update on his status on Sunday.

Looney has already been officially assigned to Santa Cruz.

This is good news for the Warriors, who have been starting Willie Cauley-Stein but desperately need more shot blocking and depth up front.

Anyone getting healthy is good news for a Warriors team that is 2-12 and has the worst net rating in the NBA (-10.4).

Carmelo Anthony to start first game for Portland, apparently thinks he’s wearing number infinity

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Carmelo Anthony will wear No. 00 with the Trail Blazers.

Why?

Apparently because 00 kind of looks like ∞.

Anthony:

Somewhere, Kyrie Irving is nodding in support.

In terms of numbers that make sense…

Marc J. Spears of ESPN:

That’s a sizable role for a 35-year-old in his first game in more than a year. But Portland needs scoring with Damian Lillard sidelined, and – at last check (though, again, a while ago), Anthony was accustomed to big minutes.

Besides, we all want ample opportunity to see Anthony back on the court after his lengthy absence.

David Fizdale: Knicks owner Jim Dolan gives me ‘vote of confidence’ at every game

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Knicks coach David Fizdale is on thin ice.

New York is 4-10. Knicks president Steve Mills is reportedly laying the groundwork to fire Fizdale. Mills and general manager Scott Perry addressed the media after a recent game and sounded as if they were at least partially blaming Fizdale.

But does Fizdale have a key supporter at the very top of the organization?

Fizdale, via Ian Begley of SNY:

“Every game, every game. Jim Dolan comes in and gives me a vote of confidence, a pat on my back and really has just been incredibly encouraging over the last year and a half or whatever it’s been,” Fizdale said. “All we talk about is just sticking to the process of making these guys better and building for a future of sustainable winning.”

A common synonym for “vote of confidence:” “dreaded vote of confidence.” Just how bad are near-nightly votes of confidence?

This will convince nobody that Fizdale’s job is safe. Someone will likely take the fall if the Knicks’ struggles continue. It might be Fizdale. It might be Mills. But Mills – who preceded and succeeded Phil Jackson in running the front office – knows his way around Madison Square Garden. And even if Mills gets demoted or fired, a new lead executive would likely want his own coach.