But he also can’t escape jokes about his career.
Steve Popper of Newsday today:
Yes, Kanter is 6-foot-11. Yes, he burns a lot of energy playing basketball. No, we don’t know the specifics of his illness.
Add the Knicks to the list.
Bryant in a Q&A, via Frank Isola of The Athletic:
What other teams would you have liked to play for besides the Lakers?
There are some teams … I always kind of dreamed about playing in New York and what that would have been like. It’s true. As a fan, the Garden was the historical arena.
So, I always wanted to be a part of that history and play in it. So, New York was a team … it would have been pretty good to play in that city.
For a while, the best thing the Knicks have had going for them is their arena. That gets them only so far.
They need better ownership, better management, better coaching.
Maybe Kevin Durant will help turn the tide. If he chooses New York, it surely won’t be for only Madison Square Garden.
The Timberwolves are all but officially eliminated from the playoff race.
Covington has missed the last 34 games while recovering from a right knee bone bruise, originally suffered on December 31 at New Orleans. Covington had made improvements in his recovery and had progressed to on-court activities, in preparation to rejoin the team. However, he recently suffered a setback which will require further treatment before returning to the court and as a result, is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
Rose has missed the last four games while experiencing soreness and swelling in his right elbow. An MRI taken Tuesday at Mayo Clinic Square revealed a chip fracture and a loose body in his elbow. The team and Rose are currently exploring further treatment options and he is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
Teague has missed the last four games after reaggravating a left foot injury, originally suffered in December. On Tuesday, Teague received an injection designed to treat chronic inflammation. He will wear a boot and is scheduled to be reevaluated in approximately three weeks. He is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
The language – “expected to miss the remainder of the season” – allows the possibility of the players returning. But the Timberwolves wouldn’t set this expectation unless they were pretty certain the players were finished.
Covington deserved All-Star consideration, and maybe Minnesota would still be in the playoff mix if he remained healthy. He was also heading toward an All-Defensive team before getting hurt. I doubt 35 games, even at 34 minutes per game, will be enough to get him selected now. Paul George, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Draymond Green clearly belong ahead of him. Covington has an outside chance for that fourth spot, though.
Rose had a bounce-back year after it appeared he could fall out of the NBA entirely. He looks like a solid backup point guard. He’ll draw plenty of interest in free agency this summer.
Teague has a $19 million player option for next season. He already seemed likely to exercise it, and this only increases the odds. The 30-year-old had a relatively down season.
Teague’s and Rose’s absences will leave the ball in Tyus Jones‘ hands at point guard. Jones has looked good in a small role, and this offers him an opportunity to prove himself before restricted free agency this summer.
Importantly for Towns, Minnesota’s depth at point guard allows him to play with someone credible at the position while he attempts to finish the season strong. There’s a lot of room to produce for the Timberwolves now, though Towns will likely face double-teams even more frequently.
The Suns didn’t meet with Jimmer Fredette just for fun.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Fredette is a relatively high-profile signing because he scored a lot of points at BYU eight years ago and fills a great-white-hope narrative to some.
He’s also a 30-year-old who hasn’t played in the NBA in three years and faced questions about his athleticism even when younger. Don’t count on much.
Fredette won’t change the course of the Suns’ season. They are and will remain one of the NBA’s worst teams. Though they need a point guard, especially with Tyler Johnson injured, Fredette hasn’t shown the playmaking ability to handle that position regularly.
At best, Fredette entertains late in a lost season and gives himself a chance to earn a role next season. The team option gives Phoenix upside if Fredette pans out at no additional cost if he doesn’t.
At worst, he interferes with the development of younger Suns over their final 10 games. That seems more likely.
He also shot free throws as an Oklahoma City fan shouted something:
Did the fan yell the n-word? Did she yell “Nader,” as in Thunder Thunder forward Abdel Nader? Did she yell something else entirely?
I can’t tell. It’s a noisy arena, and she wasn’t speaking directly into the microphone.
Her shouting drew the attention of a couple Toronto players, though.
The Thunder should investigate this. Talk to arena workers who were in the area. Maybe fans, too. Racist jeers obviously shouldn’t be tolerated.
I’d be surprised if she shouted the n-word without it immediately becoming a major incident, though. As the Donald Sterling saga reminded us, that’s the type of racism is not tolerated by society. Discrimination in housing and employment – things that destroy lives – get ignored. People can get away with coded racist language and terms with racist undertones some are ignorant to. But get publicly exposed saying something clearly racist – especially the n-word – and a firestorm usually erupts.
Some have suggested she couldn’t have been yelling “Nader” because he wasn’t in the game. That doesn’t hold up. Fans often yell at players on the bench.
Again, I don’t know what she said. VanVleet’s and Siakam’s interest should prompt the Thunder to investigate and explain their findings.