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#pounditTuesday, March 2, 2021

Basketball

Report: Kyle Lowry prefers trade to this contender

Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry got his championship ring with the Toronto Raptors, and now he may be looking to win another one elsewhere in the Eastern Conference.

Keith Pompey of the Philly Inquirer reported on Thursday that the veteran guard would like to land with the Philadelphia 76ers if the Raptors decide to trade him. Lowry attended Villanova University, just west of Philadelphia, and won the NBA title in 2019 with Sixers sharpshooter Danny Green.

Pompey also mentions the Miami Heat and the LA Clippers as two other possible trade destinations for Lowry. The Heat are the defending Eastern Conference champions, while the Clippers have two additional members of Toronto’s 2019 championship team in Kawhi Leonard and Serge Ibaka.

The soon-to-be 35-year-old Lowry is a beloved Raptor who has been on the team since 2012, making him their longest-tenured player. But he will be a free agent after the season and may no longer have the chance to contend on a sub-.500 Toronto team.

We have known for awhile that a trade could potentially happen. Now it sounds like Lowry is bracing himself for the possibility as well. That said though, Lowry may first need to settle his beef with this Sixers player.

Photo: Chensiyuan/Wikimedia via CC-by-S.A. 4.0

Brad Stevens says he got his identity stolen

Brad Stevens

Brad Stevens is sure having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month.

After his team suffered their eighth loss in the last 11 games, the Boston Celtics coach revealed some more bad news on Thursday. Stevens said he recently got his identity stolen and also had a root canal for good measure.

“I told my wife, ‘I had a root canal and my identity stolen last week and those were two of my better days in the last eight days,'” said Stevens, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo! Sports.

“It was the real stuff. People were trying to open cards and all this stuff,” Stevens added. “Calling Target to open [an] account. Like I would have an interest in opening a Target account right now during this stretch.”

After coming within two wins of the NBA Finals last season, the roof has caved in on the Celtics. They are now ninth in the Eastern Conference at 15-17 and will be without injured guard Marcus Smart through the All-Star break. There have even been questions arising about Stevens’ job security.

As for the security of Stevens’ identity, that is yet another setback for him to juggle in a season that has been full of them for Boston.

Bronny James had surgery to repair torn meniscus

Bronny James

Bronny James is recovering from surgery to repair a torn meniscus, according to a report.

The Los Angeles Daily News’ Tarek Fattal reported on Thursday that Bronny is believed to have suffered the injury three weeks ago.

The 16-year-old son of LeBron James has undergone surgery, Fattal reports.

Bronny James is a sophomore at Sierra Canyon in the Los Angeles area. He is a highly-ranked recruit for the class of 2023 and viewed as a 5-star player.

California has not allowed indoor competition for high school sports, which means James has not missed out on a season yet. However, his Sierra Canyon team is competing as a club this year.

A former NBA All-Star has already gone on record saying he believes Bronny will be “special.”

Malik Beasley suspended 12 games over offseason arrest

Malik Beasley

Malik Beasley has been suspended 12 games by the NBA over an offseason arrest.

Beasley was arrested in September last year for alleged marijuana possession and receiving and concealing stolen weapons. Beasley was originally released from jail without charges, but that changed earlier this month.

Beasley pleaded guilty to one count of felony threats of violence. He was sentenced on Feb. 9 to 120 days in jail, though he is likely to serve the time after the season. He might serve the sentence as part of a work release program or even through home confinement.

Beasley originally faced felony charges related to controlled narcotics and stolen property, but the charges were reduced in a plea deal.

“I will take this time to reflect on my decisions. I apologize to all the great fans out there who have supported me during this difficult time and I promise I will come back very soon as a better person and player,” Beasley said in a statement on Thursday.

The 24-year-old guard signed a 4-year, $60 million contract extension with Minnesota prior to the season. He is having a career year with 20.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game this season. He has been part of other headlines this offseason and is facing some additional off-court issues.

This is why the NBA likely will never change its logo

NBA logo

The topic of the NBA potentially changing its logo has come back into focus this week thanks to Kyrie Irving, but it remains unlikely that we are going to see a new logo at any point in the near future. Why? Money, of course.

The current NBA logo was designed in 1969 and features the silhouette of Los Angeles Lakers Legend and Hall of Famer Jerry West. While it is well known that West is the player depicted in the logo, the NBA has been reluctant to acknowledge that. When asked about the logo several years ago, former NBA commissioner David Stern said through a spokesman that he did not know if the silhouette is West’s.

“There’s no record of it here,” NBA spokesman Tim Frank said.

Everyone knows the logo depicts West, but there is no licensing agreement between West and the NBA. As Jason Concepcion of Crooked Media pointed out, that is probably the main reason the NBA is not going to change the logo.

If the NBA were to listen to Irving and honor someone like Kobe Bryant by using his likeness for the logo, that would require a licensing agreement. That would likely mean the NBA would have to share profits with Bryant’s family, and the league does not do that now with West.

West made some surprising remarks about the NBA logo a few years back, but we wouldn’t anticipate any change.

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Jazz VP Dennis Lindsey denies racist allegation from Elijah Millsap

Dennis Lindsey

Utah Jazz executive Dennis Lindsey on Wednesday denied an allegation of racism from a former player.

Elijah Millsap, who played two years for the Jazz, accused Lindsey of making a bigoted statement to him in the past.

Millsap is the brother of former longtime Jazz star Paul Millsap. He tweeted the allegation on Wednesday and said the event occurred nearly six years ago.

“Almost 6yrs ago. On April 16, 2015, D. Lindsey made bigot remarks in my exit interview while conversing with Q. Snyder ‘if u say one more word, I’ll cut your Black a– and send you back to Louisiana,’ ” Millsap accused Lindsey of saying.

Lindsey was the general manager of the Jazz at the time and was promoted to Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations in 2019.

Lindsey was asked by the Salt Lake Tribune about Millsap’s accusation and categorically denied making the statement.

Jazz coach Quin Snyder said he didn’t remember the conversation. He also said he would be shocked by Lindsey saying something like that.

Lindsey has been with the Jazz since 2012. Prior to his time with Utah, he served as an assistant general manager for the Spurs.

Millsap played in 69 career NBA games over three seasons from 2014-2017, two with the Jazz and one with the Suns.

Lakers could also pursue Hassan Whiteside?

Hassan Whiteside

The Los Angeles Lakers’ quest to improve their frontcourt could lead them to take a walk on the Whiteside.

Dan Woike and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported this week that Sacramento Kings center Hassan Whiteside is a possible target for the team. The Lakers just waived guard Quinn Cook, freeing up a roster spot. The report also says that the Lakers are unlikely to reunite with DeMarcus Cousins, contrary to some previous rumors.

The Lakers are going far and wide in their search for more size in the midst of Anthony Davis’ multi-week absence. For his part, Whiteside, who is on a one-year deal, is a nightly double-double threat and an intimidating inside presence. But he is also notorious for some bad habits that are detrimental to winning basketball. Namely, Whiteside often puts himself out of position by chasing blocks, rarely ventures outside of the paint to contain opposing ball-handlers up high, and regularly stops playing defense early to get into rebounding position.

But the Lakers did have success last season with a similar reclamation project in Dwight Howard. They also pursued Whiteside a few years ago, which led to some interesting drama if you recall.

Photo: Frenchieinportland/Wikimedia via CC-BY-SA 4.0

Kyrie Irving uses disturbingly racist language in arguing for NBA logo change

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving will say almost anything for attention, so it’s no surprise that his latest act is to argue for the NBA to change the logo.

The notion of discussing whether the logo should be changed is fine. The humble Jerry West has even said he wants the logo to be changed. But what is not acceptable is the racist language and racist argument Irving uses for making such a change.

In his Instagram post saying the NBA should change the logo to Kobe Bryant, Irving said in all caps “BLACK KINGS BUILT THE LEAGUE.”

That is dangerously racist language and racist reasoning. The logo should be changed because black kings built the league, he says.

Let’s disregard that Irving has a very limited knowledge of the history of the league. Irving obviously thinks the league’s history began when Irving was old enough to start following the NBA. Let’s also disregard that Irving has little recognition of all the commissioners, investors, and executives who played roles in building the NBA. Let’s also disregard that Irving, like so many of his contemporaries, doesn’t realize that it’s the fans who have built the league and made it possible for players to earn the fame and salaries they receive.

Using race as a motivating factor in this reasoning is terrible. A white athlete saying anything remotely close to this might see their career end. It should be no more acceptable for Irving to use this language or argument.

Being racist towards any group of people is unacceptable. It is and has always been unacceptable for anyone to be racist towards black people. But it’s also unacceptable to be racist while seeking retribution for a group of people you feel are/were oppressed. That just continues the cycle of racism and divide, and makes you no better than the original racists.

Kyrie Irving wants NBA logo to be changed to Kobe Bryant

Kyrie Irving

The NBA logo has been an iconic part of the league’s brand for many decades. But for Kyrie Irving however, it falls a bit flat.

The Brooklyn Nets guard took to Instagram on Wednesday to call for the NBA to change their logo to an image of the late Kobe Bryant.

“Gotta Happen, idc what anyone says,” Irving wrote in the caption of his post. “BLACK KINGS BUILT THE LEAGUE.”

Irving was close friends with Bryant, who died in January of last year. He also recently paid tribute to Bryant in a very cool way.

The NBA logo, meanwhile, has featured the silhouette of another LA Lakers legend, Hall of Famer Jerry West, since 1969. It underwent a small font change in 2017 but has otherwise stayed the same over the years. That said, West might actually be in favor of Bryant replacing him as the NBA’s logo.

Celtics owner shuts down speculation about Brad Stevens’ job status

Brad Stevens

The Boston Celtics have had an incredibly disappointing start to the season, but it’s not about to cost anyone their job.

Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck made clear that coach Brad Stevens and team president Danny Ainge are not in danger of losing their jobs despite the team’s 15-16 start. Grousbeck added that Stevens and Ainge would be “nearly the top candidate in the league” for their respective jobs if they were available.

The stance makes sense. Stevens has posted five straight winning seasons as the Celtics’ head coach, while Ainge has constructed a championship team. As underwhelming as their start has been, the Celtics would be making a rash decision to part ways with them at this point.

Stevens has had to answer questions about whether he still has the backing of his players lately. No coach ever wants to have to deal with that, but it’s too soon to actually make a change over that chatter.