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Thursday, March 22, 2018


Report: Joel Embiid will have minutes restriction, unlikely for back-to-backs


Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is finally expected to make his much-awaited NBA debut this coming season, but he won’t be without limitations.

According to a report by Keith Pompey of Philly.com, Embiid will be on a minutes restriction in 2016-17 and isn’t expected to play in back-to-back sets.

The 22-year-old was drafted by the Sixers at No. 3 overall back in 2014, but nagging foot injuries caused him to miss the first two years of his NBA career. But Embiid declared himself to be healthy back in May and recently surfaced looking great in workouts.

The Cameroonian’s two-way upside is through the roof, but so is his risk for re-injury. As such, it’s just common sense that Philadelphia would pull out the toddler gloves in handling him.

Embiid and the Sixers are in uncharted waters with virtually no precedent for a big man missing his entire first two NBA seasons due to injury, then going to have a lengthy, productive career (perhaps with the lone apples-to-oranges exception of Cavs great Zydrunas Ilgauskas). While it would be nice to see Embiid out there at full speed right away, exercising due caution with his health pretty much goes without saying for Philly.

Udonis Haslem desperate to convince Dwyane Wade to return to Miami

Udonis Haslem

Dwyane Wade’s departure from Miami still hurts for fans, and some of the team’s players are feeling it too.

Udonis Haslem, who joined the Heat as a rookie in the same year Wade did, is already trying to formulate a plan to bring Wade back to Miami, where he feels the guard belongs.

“I’m going to damn sure try,” Haslem told Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald when asked about eventually reuniting with Wade. “I mean, I don’t know. I guess I’ve got to wait until next summer to see how that goes. But, I never give up without a fight. So there’s ain’t no time to start now.”

Haslem said that didn’t mean he was leaving Miami. It meant he was going to bring Wade back to south Florida.

“I didn’t say that,” Haslem said. “I was thinking more him of him coming here. I never said that. I won’t ever say that. When I said play with him again, I never said leave.

“He’s trying to sell his house down here. I might just buy it and hold it for him.”

It’s a creative idea. However, Wade is on a two year deal in Chicago now, and he’s made it sound like his move to his hometown is a big deal to him personally. Haslem is welcome to try, but it sure sounds like Wade has made his decision, and might not be that interested in looking back.

Dirk Nowitzki would prefer to go out like Tim Duncan rather than Kobe Bryant

Dirk Nowitzki caveman

Dirk Nowitzki knows he’s nearing the end of his NBA career, and he has an idea of how he’d like to go out.

Nowitzki spoke to SI’s Beyond the Baseline podcast and when asked if he’d rather go out like Kobe Bryant or Tim Duncan, the Mavs big man had an interesting response.

“You know, I loved the way Kobe went out … with a 60-point game? That’s so Kobe like,” Nowitzki said, via SportsDay. “The whole arena was standing up the whole fourth quarter. So much fun to watch. But I’m more like a Duncan guy. More a quiet guy. I don’t need the limelight as much. Maybe not quite the just e-mail, Hey, by the way Tim Duncan is retiring. I thought that was a little low profile. Maybe there’s a little press conference or something. I don’t know, I don’t really want to think about it because I know it’s gonna come up soon anyway. I’m just gonna enjoy the last couple of years.

Duncan retired as quietly as he played. Nowitzki is known as a quiet guy who goes about his business, so it’s not a big surprise that he’d prefer to take the Duncan route into the sunset.

Darrelle Revis gets into it with JR Smith on Twitter

Darrelle Revis

Darrelle Revis is not having the best season, and the New York Jets cornerback is proving to be touchy about that reality. In fact, Revis responded to a tweet from Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith on Twitter after Smith threw some shade Revis’ way.

Here’s what Smith tweeted about Revis on Friday:

Revis saw that and responded with a Hall of Fame blast:

Smith then seemingly tried to backpedal and say he was trying to motivate Revis:

Revis is definitely seeing the criticism, and it’s clear it’s getting to him too. Some may say what goes around comes around and that this is payback for Revis talking trash for years when he was on top of his game.

H/T Black Sports Online

Jerry West hits out at Adam Silver reaction to Kevin Durant signing


Many within the NBA were not happy that the Golden State Warriors were able to sign Kevin Durant with minimal consequence, and commissioner Adam Silver was among them.

So incensed was Warriors special assistant Jerry West by Silver’s comments that he called him up and told him as much.

“It’s sour grapes,” West said on The TK Show, via Zach Harper of CBS Sports. “We signed Shaquille O’Neal and it wasn’t as big an uproar as this. Listen, the owners make the rules. They negotiate with the players. And for them to say something like that, to me it’s wrong on their part. The commissioner said something like that and I called him about it. I told him I didn’t think the comment was fair. It’s not fair to Kevin. It’s not fair to the Warriors. It’s not fair to any team going forward who will sign a free agent of this stature.

“The players bargained for this. They have a chance to go play where they want to. I only wish I had that opportunity in my career and I’m sure a lot of other people felt the same way.”

You might recall that Silver essentially called the Durant signing bad for the league, and there was definitely some consternation in league offices given the fact that the CBA is aimed at preventing superteams like the one Golden State has constructed. The rise in the salary cap is unavoidable, though, and we will see how open the players are to fixing this in the next CBA negotiation.

Dwyane Wade thanks Miami with billboard


Now a member of the Bulls, Dwyane Wade wanted Miami to know he’s appreciative of the support he received from the city during his time with the Heat.

Wade may be gone, but there is a lasting image of him high above the ground in the place he called home for the first 13 years of his NBA career. A billboard can be found near Interstate 95 and Interstate 395 with Wade’s picture along with the words “THANK YOU MIAMI.”

The departure of Wade signaled the end of an era in Miami, one that produced the franchises only three NBA championships. The Heat star took less money while with the Heat on a couple of occasions, including to help facilitate the Big 3 coming together. However, after LeBron James returned to the Cavs, it was apparent Wade did not want to sacrifice anymore. With negotiations on a new deal with Miami at a stalemate, the 34-year-old chose to play for his hometown team.

After Wade’s decision to join Miami, the Heat sold his merchandise for $13 to represent the number of years he spent with the franchise. They also took out a full page ad in local newspapers thanking him for his service. Now, it’s Wade’s turn to show a little love back.

Marc Gasol reportedly cleared to play

Marc Gasol

It’s officially Gasol systems go for the Memphis Grizzlies as they prepare for next season.

According to a report by Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal on Friday, Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, who has been out with a broken right foot since February, has been medically cleared to play.

The former Defensive Player of the Year suffered the injury on February 8 against the Portland Trail Blazers (video here), ending his 2015-16 season prematurely. He was averaging 16.6 points per game, 7.0 rebounds per game, and 1.6 blocks per game before going down.

Gasol, 31, will return to a retooled Memphis team that just inked Mike Conley to a historic $153 million max extension and signed Chandler Parsons away from the Dallas Mavericks. Still, they’ll need continued production out of Gasol, who is the only 7-footer on their roster.

Much of Gasol’s value comes from agility and his footwork for a big man. Those skills allow him to defend the pick-and-roll and the rim effectively and to be a crafty scorer in the post. Now past his physical prime and coming off a major foot injury, it’s definitely worth watching to see if those attributes have been at all compromised.

H/T Rotoworld

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