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Grizzlies GM: Chandler Parsons will continue rehab in LA

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Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace says Chandler Parsons has chosen to continue rehabilitation in Los Angeles out of the options Memphis gave the 30-year-old forward.

“We will continue to monitor Chandler’s progress,” Wallace said in a statement Sunday night.

Wallace issued his statement just hours after ESPN.com reported that the Grizzlies and Parsons had agreed to a split, with Parsons leaving Memphis while his agent, James Dunleavy, and the team negotiate an end to his contract.

The Grizzlies GM says they met with Parsons and spoke with both the forward and his representation numerous times during the forward’s rehab on how to “integrate a healthy and effective Chandler” back on the court.

“In the last of these conversations, we presented Chandler clear options for him and his representatives to choose, which included a short three-home-game stint for the Memphis Hustle or rehab either in Memphis or in Los Angeles with the training team of his choice,” Wallace said. “Chandler subsequently chose to continue his rehab in Los Angeles.”

Parsons has played three games in the third season of the four-year, $94 million contract he signed in July 2016. Limited by injuries, he played a combined 70 games over the first two seasons of that contract, but Dunleavy told The Commercial Appeal on Dec. 28 that Parsons had been cleared and was ready to play.

Dunleavy did not immediately return messages from The Associated Press on Sunday night.

Parsons was the Grizzlies’ big free agent signee in July 2016, with Memphis believing it finally had the 3-point threat the team has lacked for years. Parsons has been nothing but a disappointment with injury after injury. Before signing with Memphis, Parsons had never played fewer than 61 games in a season in the NBA with stints in Houston and Dallas.

At media day in September, Parsons said he thought his knee issues were past him after playing with no limitations during the summer.

“Let’s face it, the last two years have gone horribly and not the way I planned, but the reasons why I came to Memphis are still all intact,” Parsons said then.

Parsons last played for Memphis on Oct. 22, going scoreless in just over six minutes in a win at Utah. Now the Grizzlies have lost five straight and are 2-8 over their last 10 games. They have dropped to 12th in the Western Conference after sitting atop the West at 12-5 in late November.

It’s been a busy few days for the Grizzlies.

Wallace apologized Thursday for an apparent altercation in the locker room between Garrett Temple and Omri Casspi after a loss to Detroit the night before. Hours later, the Grizzlies traded for guard Justin Holiday , sending guards MarShon Brooks and Wayne Selden Jr. along with second-round picks in 2019 and 2020 in the deal.

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Frank Vogel earns spot as coach of Team LeBron in All-Star Game

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LeBron James will have a familiar coach on the sideline with him in Chicago for the All-Star Game.

With the Lakers’ win in Brooklyn Thursday night — thanks to LeBron’s triple-double — the Lakers clinched the best record in the West by the Feb. 2 cutoff date, making Frank Vogel the coach for Team LeBron.

Vogel has done this before. Back in 2014, he was the coach of the Indiana Pacers, a team had the best record at the All-Star break. Vogel’s squad won 163-155 behind 31 points from Kyrie Irving (he was named All-Star MVP).

This will LeBron’s 16th All-Star Game as a starter (an NBA record) be and it is his third year as a team captain (he is 2-0 so far). LeBron and Giannis Antetokounmpo are team captains for the second consecutive year, and in two weeks they will choose their teams playground-style from a list of starters (named Wednesday) and reserves (named next week).

Vogel’s counterpart is not yet known. The Bucks will have the best record in the East but Mike Budenholzer coached the All-Star Game last season and the rule is coaches can’t do it two years in a row (called the “Phil Jackson doesn’t want to be here rule,” unofficially). After him, Erik Spoelstra (Miami), Nick Nurse (Toronto), and Brad Stevens (Boston) are all within a game-and-a-half of each other, any of them could end up coaching Team Giannis.

 

 

Watch LeBron James rack up triple-double, help Lakers pull-away from Nets

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NEW YORK — LeBron James had 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in his 10th triple-double of the season and the Los Angeles Lakers made a season-high 19 3-pointers to pull away and beat the Brooklyn Nets 128-113 on Thursday night.

James closed within 17 points of Kobe Bryant for third place on the NBA’s career scoring list with a flurry in the fourth quarter. He can pass Bryant on Saturday at Philadelphia, where the five-time champion with the Lakers was born.

James has 33,626 points. Bryant finished with 33,643.

A back-and-forth game for nearly three quarters turned into a rout after the Lakers broke the Nets’ spirits with four straight 3-pointers spanning the third and fourth quarters, extending a one-point lead to 107-94, and Los Angeles coasted from there.

Anthony Davis had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Dwight Howard finished with 14 points and 12 boards in his first start of the season.

Kyrie Irving scored 20 points after missing a game with right hamstring tightness, but the Nets lost their fifth straight. Brooklyn has won just two of its last 14 games.

The Nets were without backup centers DeAndre Jordan and Nicolas Claxton, leaving them without many options behind starter Jarrett Allen. But they struggled just as badly guarding the perimeter. Los Angeles was 19 of 38 behind the arc.

The Lakers led 38-35 after one, before both teams made seven 3-pointers in the second. Howard went 4 for 4 for eight points in the period, helping the Lakers take a 75-70 lead to halftime.

Danny Green made three 3s in the first four minutes of the third, pushing the lead to 88-75, but the Nets had it down to 95-94 after a 3-pointer by Irving with 49 seconds remaining. But then Davis and Rajon Rondo hit 3s before Jared Dudley, who played in Brooklyn last season, hit one from near the Nets’ bench to beat the buzzer and make it 104-94.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made it four straight 3s to open the fourth, extending the lead back to 13. James then scored eight in the period before taking a seat for good.

 

Check out Jordan Brand/Nike designed All-Star Game uniforms

Image courtesy Jordan Brand
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It’s only fitting that Jordan brand has a significant role with the All-Star Game coming to Chicago.

Jordan Brand designed this year’s ASG uniforms and took its inspiration from the Chicago transit line. Here’s the explanation, straight from the press release (because you don’t want me trying to describe fashion, trust me):

Jordan Brand and Nike designers incorporated the color of each track into the uniforms as a base: blue and red for the NBA All-Star Game; purple and orange for NBA Rising Stars; green and pink for the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game presented by Ruffles; and brown and yellow for the NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Basketball Game. The Jordan Brand official NBA All-Star game uniforms add the six-pointed star from the Chicago flag as the symbolic refrain while inviting the attitude of the ‘90s-era alternate uniforms worn by the hometown Bulls.

Take a look at them yourself:

The red and blue will be worn by Team LeBron and Team Giannis during the All-Star Game, with other colors for the Rising Star and Celebrity games.

Of course, they are available for sale at NBAStore.com and Nike.com.

Watch Trae Young’s emotional reaction to being named an All-Star Game starter

Trae Young
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Trae Young is an All-Star Game starter at age 21 in just his second NBA season.

While that was not a total surprise — he had led the fan voting in the East among guards since the start — it still was an emotional moment for Young when it was announced (as filmed by his teammate Brandon Goodwin for IG).

Young and Kemba Walker were named the backcourt starters for the Eastern Conference (although both will go into a pool of players picked playground-style by the captains to form teams).

There are two 21-and-under starters in this All-Star Game, Young and Luka Doncic of Dallas. The last time there were two starters under age 21 was 1998 with Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett.