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Monday, February 18, 2019

Basketball

Kyle Kuzma was chasing $25,000 bonus in Rising Stars game

Kyle Kuzma

Kyle Kuzma took home MVP honors in Friday night’s Rising Stars game during NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte, and that’s no coincidence. The financial incentive attached to the win was a driving force behind his effort.

Kuzma scored 35 points in Team USA’s 161-144 win over Team World, played by first and second-year players in the league. He said after the game that he wanted the $25,000 bonus that goes to players on the winning team.

You may be thinking to yourself, Kuzma plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, what does he care about $25K? Well, he was just the No. 27 overall pick in 2017 and did not receive a huge contract. He made $1.423 million last season, and he’s making $1.689 million this season. For someone like him, every bit makes a difference. Plus, as he already has made clear, he likes performing on big stages.

Steph Curry jumps into Davidson student section to celebrate win

Stephen Curry

Steph Curry is already enjoying his All-Star Weekend in Charlotte.

While in town for this weekend’s All-Star festivities, Curry ventured down to Davidson to watch his alma mater host Saint Joseph’s in front of a packed house. The Wildcats beat Saint Joe’s 80-72, prompting Curry to celebrate by jumping into the student section. He posed for photos with fans wearing nothing but short swim trunks:

Curry starred at Davidson from 2007-2009, taking them to the NCAA Tournament in all three years, highlighted by an Elite Eight appearance as a junior. He was the conference player of the year twice, averaged 25.3 points per game during his career, and put himself and the school on the map during his time there. Being back probably brings back good memories for him and uplifts the college.

Seth Curry gets engaged to Doc Rivers’ daughter Callie

Seth Curry

Congratulations are in order for Seth Curry and Callie Rivers, as they got engaged on Thursday.

Curry proposed to Rivers in front of their families during a Valentine’s Day dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Charlotte, according to TMZ Sports.

Rivers, the daughter of NBA coach Doc and sister of Austin, sent the following tweet:

Seth Curry plays for the Portland Trail Blazers and is averaging 6.2 points per game while shooting 46.5 percent on threes. This is his fifth season in the league. His father is former NBA player Dell Curry and his brother is former MVP Steph Curry. The union of the two will bring together two of the most NBA families around.

Kyle Kuzma: I would rather be talked about bad in LA than not talked about in Orlando

Kyle Kuzma

Kyle Kuzma explained in a very simple comment why players often want to play in big markets rather than small markets, and it all has to do with relevancy.

Kuzma was on SiriusXM NBA Radio on Friday and was asked about the media’s coverage of his Los Angeles Lakers. He says he loves all the attention.

“Obviously the national media loves the Lakers. Everybody talks about it, and when you add LeBron James to the mix — one of the greatest players — you’re going to have even more,” Kuzma said. “For me, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I want people to talk about me, good or bad. Because if you’re not, you’re not doing something right. I’d rather be talked about bad in LA than play in Orlando and not get talked about.”

Players want to be part of the conversation, they want to be thought of and not forgotten, which is a challenge many teams face. That’s part of the reason why Anthony Davis wants out of New Orleans, especially if he can be traded to the Lakers. This comment is also something the Pelicans need to consider when weighing a potential trade with the Lakers. If they believe Kuzma wouldn’t be happy playing for them — and they know Lonzo Ball wouldn’t either — then they wouldn’t have much reason to deal Davis there.

Alvin Gentry reportedly learned Anthony Davis left arena from media

Alvin Gentry

The New Orleans Pelicans organization continues to look worse and worse as the Anthony Davis saga rolls on.

Davis and agent Rich Paul left Thursday night’s game early, walking out after the star center suffered a shoulder injury in the first half. According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, it was communicated to the front office that he was leaving to get an MRI, but coach Alvin Gentry only found out about the incident after the game via the media.

On Friday, the Pelicans fired general manager Dell Demps, partially because of the fallout from this incident. It’s been said that the organization is happy with how Gentry is handling the team amidst the chaos, and you can see why, since it seems like some people haven’t bothered to keep him in the loop. No wonder he had a pretty scathing assessment of everything going on.

Report: Anthony Davis, Pelicans re-evaluating plan for playing time

Anthony Davis wingspan

The saga over Anthony Davis’s playing time may not be over yet.

According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, Davis and the Pelicans are re-evaluating the best way to handle the center’s playing time following the All-Star break. This comes in light of the fact that the Pelicans have been limiting his minutes and sitting him late in games after being admonished by the NBA over the possibility of sitting him completely to protect him.

The situation has been exacerbated after Davis walked out of Thursday’s game early after suffering a shoulder injury, which angered and embarrassed ownership.

It is unclear what changes, if any, the Pelicans and Davis will opt to make to his minutes. Neither side can really be enjoying the current situation, but the threat of potential punishment looms if the Pelicans opt to bench Davis for an extended period of time.

Danny Ferry reportedly working on deal to become Pelicans’ interim GM

Danny Ferry Hawks

The New Orleans Pelicans announced the firing of GM Dell Demps on Friday and already have a replacement in mind.

The Pelicans are finalizing a deal to make Danny Ferry their interim GM, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Ferry, a former Player of the Year at Duke, has served as GM of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks. He lost his position with the Hawks after audio emerged in 2014 of him making racist comments about Luol Deng’s character.

Ferry will be tasked with trying to improve a 26-33 Pelicans team that is at odds with its star player. Anthony Davis demanded a trade prior to the deadline but was not dealt, resulting in an awkward situation for the team. Their biggest tasks will be to find the best trade return for Davis, as well as nail the draft.