Today’s Best NBA Reporting And Analysis 12/19/18

ATL: John Collins Is Quietly Tearing Up The League (from Paul Flannery, SB Nation):
BKN: How The Win Streak Has Shifted The Nets’ Narrative (from Anthony Puccio, Nets Daily):
*BKN: D’Angelo Russell Is In His Zone (from Nekias Duncan, The Basketball Writers):
BKN: What Do We Know About The Nets’ Offense? (from Jonathan Rosenberg, BBall Index):
BOS: Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward & The Celtics’ Search For Clarity (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):
DAL: Doncic & The Mavs: The Perfect Marriage (from Brad Botkin, CBS Sports):
DAL: DSJ Is Pure Motor (from Ian Levy, The Step Back):
DEN: Jokic & Murray: The Nuggets’ Dynamic Duo (from Ryan Blackburn, Denver Stiffs):
DEN: Jokic Can Carry The Load (from Tom Ley, Deadspin):
DET: Further Removed From Surgery, Leuer Is “Getting His Legs Back”  (from Ansar Khan, MLive):
GSW: Draymond Green; The People’s Champ (from Daniel Brown, The Athletic):
HOU: What’s The Key For James Harden? (from Kelly Iko, The Athletic):
IND: The Hyper-Efficient Domantas Sabonis (from Paolo Uggetti, The Ringer):
IND: What Makes The Pacers’ Defense So Good? (from Tony East, 8Points,9Seconds):
LAC: The State Of The Clippers (from Jovan Buha, The Athletic):
LAL: How Some Lakers Are Using Meditation To Elevate Their Game (from Tania Ganguli, LA Times):
MEM: The Ghosts Of Chandler Parsons (from Joe Mullinax, Grizzly Bear Blues):
MIA: Dion Waiters Would Like A Word (from Rohan Nadkarni, Sports Illustrated):
MIA: Why Adebayo Is The Closer The Team Needs (from All U Can Heat):
MIL: Giannis’ Historic Interior Assault Brings More Offensive Fouls (from Matt Velazquez,
OKC: Ferguson Is Quietly Proving His Worth (from Justin Cooper, Thunderous Intentions):
OKC: We Aren’t Talking Enough About Paul George (from Aidan Lising, Def Pen):
ORL: Magic Are “Winning Ugly”  (from Philip Rossman-Reich, Orlando Magic Daily):
ORL: Magic Showing Defensive Improvement (from John Denton,
PHI: Two Small Moves That Might Vastly Improve The Bench (from Christopher Kline, The Sixer Sense):
PHI: Video: Sixers’ 5 Favorite Plays (from Bryan Oringher/Ryan Nyugen):
SAC: De’Aaron Fox’s Warp Speed (from BS West, Sactown Royalty):
SAC: Bjelica’s Huge Contribution: Spacing (from Alex West, BBall Index):
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SAS: Coaching Legend Etorre Messina (from NBA Coaches Association):
SAS: Gay Is Thriving After “Getting My Career Back” (from Jeff McDonald, ExpressNews):
SAS: Breaking Down Bertans’ Off-Ball Motion (from Dylan Carter, Air Alamo):
TOR: The Raptors Are ATO  Play Titans (from Joshua Howe, Raptors Republic):
UTA: Harden’s 47 Leads The Rockets Despite Good Jazz Defense (from Andy Larsen, Salt Lake Tribune):
WAS: What The Wizards Got Wrong In The Years Before Ariza’s Full Circle Return (from Michael Lee, The Athletic):
Beno Udrih Travels Across The NBA In Search Of Coaching Advice (from Warren Shaw, Closeup360):
The “All-Underappreciated” Team: Impressive Contributions From Unexpected Sources (from Michael Shapiro, Sports Illustrated):
The Challenges Of Putting Together 3-Team Deals (from Ben Falk, Cleaning The Glass):
Was The 3-Point Revolution Almost Put On Ice By D-League Experimentation? (from Adam Johnson, 2Ways10Days ):
Inside The Locker Room Media Scrum (from Tim Cato, The Athletic):
*NOTE: The Basketball Writers has launched!! It features original NBA-related content from great writers at the same high level that you are familiar with here at Basketball Intelligence. TBW’s  mission is to enhance your appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of the game. Check out details and subscription info here:     (corrected link)

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis 10/17/15

–  Terry Stotts and ‘Blazers Basketball’: Players’ actions, words form ringing endorsement  (from Jason Quick,

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–   Suns know that talking on defense is key to success  (from Dave King,  brightsideofthesun):

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–  Addition of Chandler helps, but Phoenix Suns defense has a ways to go to be elite  (from deadpoolio,  brightsideofthesun):

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–  Why the Knicks’ defense will be more fun to watch this season  (from Marc Berman,  NYPost):

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–  Why Dirk Nowitzki’s value to the Mavericks still is clear as ever   (from Eddie Sefko,

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Even with new players, Bucks hope defense will remain strong (from Charles F. Gardner,

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–  Bulls working to get defense up to level of past performance  (from K.C. Johnson,  Chicago Tribune):

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–  Hollins needs Nets to develop defense-first mentality  (form Mike Mazzeo,  ESPN):

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–  Brook Lopez, Nets addressing defensive issues  (from Roderick Boone,

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–  Revisiting Boston’s top training camp storylines  (from Chris Forsberg,  ESPN):

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–  Changing Miami’s Pick-and-Roll Defense  (from Mika Honkasalo,  Vantage Sports):


–  Nuggets exhibiting a winning culture in 2015  (from Christopher dempsey,  Denver Post):

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–  Sam Mitchell re-energized with young Timberwolves  (from Michael Grange,

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–  Beat Writer Vince Ellis On The Pistons  (from Chuck Myron,

” Nobody knows NBA teams better than beat writers, save for those who draw paychecks with an NBA owner’s signature on them. The reporters who are with the teams they cover every day gain an intimate knowledge of the players, coaches and executives they write about and develop sources who help them break news and stay on top of rumors.

We at Hoops Rumors will be chatting with beat writers from around the league and sharing their responses to give you a better perspective on how and why teams make some of their most significant moves.

Today, we gain insight on the Pistons from Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.”

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–  Warriors’ GM Bob Myers – intensely competitive architect of the NBA champs  (from Marcus Thompson,

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–  Missing Kidd-Gilchrist: How the Hornets Adjust their TeamSPACE  (from Matt D’Anna,  Nylon Calculus):

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–  Q&A: Los Angeles Lakers Associate Director of Analytics Aaron Danielson   (from Seth Partnow,  Nylon Calculus):

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The Worst On/Off-Court Numbers from 2014/15  (form Mika Honkasalo,  Nylon Calculus):

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–  Exploring Lineups and Fit  (from Andrew Johnson,  Nylon Calculus):

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Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–  How Greg Monroe came to choose the Bucks over the Knicks and Lakers  (from Michael Lee, Yahoo Sports):


Patrick Patterson:  Shoot, Patrick, just shoot  (from Ryan Wolstat,  Postmedia Network):


Joe Johnson: passing down Penny Hardaway’s lessons to Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (from Devin Kharpertian,


–  Bobby Portis’ Emergence Creating New Challenges for Chicago Bulls’ Frontcourt  (from Sean Highkin, Bleacher Report):


–  Joakim Noah’s California summer could make Bulls a contender  (from James Herbert,  CBS Sports):


–  Heat’s James Ennis playing to his strengths  (from Shandel Richardson,


–  Bruno Caboclo still long way from cracking Raptors lineup despite improvement  (from Chris O’Leary,


–  Meyers Leonard’s “Basketball Unicorn” Potential  (from Mika Honkasalo,  Vantage Sports):


QOTD (from Gregg Popovich on Lamar Odom): ” “I don’t concentrate on what kind of player he is, I feel all the other things, because I know him as a person. Warm-hearted. Good-humored. Wonderful guy to be around. Who cares about how he played? It’s about who you are and he (is) a good person.”

Today’s Best NBA Reporting

–  Moses Malone was NBA’s most underappreciated great player  (from J.A. Adande,  ESPN):

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Olajuwon credits mentor Malone for his success  (from Fran Blinebury, NBA.Com):

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– Moses did more than mentor Hakeem Olajuwon and help Dr. J win his only title. Along the way, he also re-wrote the Ten Commandments of Basketball  (from Ali Danois,

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–  Temple’s MindRight Pro Program Is The New Frontier In Sports Science  (from Jake Pavorky,  Liberty

” In the NBA, the Philadelphia 76ers lead the pack when it comes to using progressive ideas to help improve their team. They’ve assembled an impressive analytics team that has been ranked number one in professional sports, and created new positions like head of sports science, previously unheard of in professional basketball.

But on the other side of city, Temple’s men’s basketball program is employing a program that might even be foreign to the forward thinking Sixers.

The MindRight Pro program, developed by Temple graduate assistant and former Drexel basketball player Jake Rauchbach, helps athletes remove mental and emotional blocks in order to improve their performance and expedite injury recovery.

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–   NBA Journalism Tips By Pros For Aspiring Journalists  (from Michael Dunlap,

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–   What’s Next For The D-League?  (from Steve Kyler,  Basketball Insiders):

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–   Why the Mavericks love two point guard lineups  (from

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Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:


–   Chase Budinger could make the biggest jump for the Pacers in 2015-16  (from C. Cooper.


–  Thunder thrives off Russell Westbrook’s ability to create fast breaks  (from Seth Partnow,  Washington Post):


–   Phoenix Suns Film Study: Breaking Down Brandon Knight  (from Samuel Cooper, Bright Side of the Sun):


–   Suns: Checking In On Bogdan Bogdanovic At Eurobasket  (from Gerald Bourguet, valleyofthesums):


–   Film Room: Nikola Vucevic’s High Basketball IQ  (from Josh Cohen,


–   Channeling Hubie Brown: Kristaps Porzingis  rookie season (from Jonathan Schulman,

Today’s Best NBA Reporting and Analysis

The Craft: Wesley Matthews (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):

” He’s earned his marksmanship, but to call him only a shooter would be a gross oversimplification. Matthews kills himself to control his defensive matchups. He cuts in a way that now makes the Blazers’ improvisations look like designed plays. He’ll do some ball handling in a pinch, scrap for any and every loose ball, and be among the first down the court in transition. Moreover: Matthews, particularly as he’s aged into proficiency, just doesn’t make all that many mistakes.

“I’m not going to put myself or my team in bad situations often,” Matthews said. ”

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Danny Ainge’s balancing act (from Ian Thomsen,

” GM rebuilding Celtics with determination, drive that defined him as a player while remaining true to his spiritual roots”

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–   Talking numbers with Warriors coach Steve Kerr (from John Schuhmann,

”  The Warriors had a great defense last year and Kerr didn’t want to rock the boat on that end of the floor when he took over for Mark Jackson. But he did want to make changes on offense, where the Warriors ranked at the bottom of the league in ball movement.

The changes he’s put in have made the Warriors one of the most improved offensive teams in the league, even though they were already above the league average in offensive efficiency. The only two teams that have improved more offensively from last season — the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers — added multiple All-Stars to their rotations.

Only one other team — the Atlanta Hawks (fifth and seventh) — ranks in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, the mark of a true title contender. And the Warriors have been better than the Hawks on both ends of the floor. sat down with Kerr during All-Star 2015 to talk about some of the Warriors’ key numbers and what they mean.”

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–  Analyzing the Pacers’ Pick-and-Roll Problems (from Tim Donahue,

” Indiana’s frequency using the roll man is much higher than the other 29 teams (8.4% vs. 6.6%). That’s the fifth-highest frequency in the league on a good efficiency play (0.97 PPP for the league). However, the red circle above points out that the Pacers are far less efficient here — only getting 0.76 PPP. Not only is that dead last in the Association, but it is spectacularly bad. Only three other teams are getting less than 0.90 PPP (Milwaukee at 0.85, Minnesota at 0.84, and Philadelphia at 0.76).

Regular observers of the Pacers will have theories on why this is true.”

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–  The Sixers’ Burgeoning Defense  (from Jake Fischer,

” (Hinkie has) accumulated a bushel of lanky, athletic specimens that are simply nuisances to opponents on the defensive end.

“When you look at the team, we have length and athleticism at pretty much every position, so I think now that we’ve started playing together and being complimentary to each other, whether it’s the ability to switch because we’ve got [Carter-Williams], who’s a 6-7 guard, or guys like me who can guard smaller or bigger guys, things like that really help,” Mbah a Moute says. “We’re all pretty good defenders. I consider myself one of the best defenders in the NBA. [McDaniels] has got a lot of potential to become a really good defender. [Noel] is protecting the rim.”

The Sixers as a team rank 12th in defensive efficiency. Even better, Brown’s crew is eighth in defensive efficiency since Jan. 1.”

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–  Sixers flashback: When Dario met Nerlens (from Mike Sielski,

” Each year, the Nike Hoop Summit matches for one game a team of United States prospects against an all-star squad of young international players. In 2012, the World team beat the U.S. team, 84-75. But the real reason the game should be an object of curiosity around here is that two of the centerpieces of the Sixers’ rebuilding effort played that day, and played well.

Nerlens Noel – still three days away from his 18th birthday then – had five points, four rebounds, four blocked shots, and four steals in 24 minutes for the U.S. team. Yet Dario Saric, who turned 18 the following day, was even more impressive for the World team, scoring 13 points, grabbing a game-high 14 rebounds, and adding five assists in 25 minutes off the bench.

It marked the only time Noel and Saric played against each other in any formal competition, and over the 40 minutes of game action the breadth and boundaries of the pair’s skills became apparent.:

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Drew Gooden, The NBA’s Most-Traded Man: ‘I’m Numb’ from Moving Again, and Again  (from Dan Favale, Bleacher Repoert):

” Drew Gooden has been traded six times and has played for 10 teams over the course of his 13-year NBA career. No active player has been dealt more than he has (Ronny Turiaf and Keith Bogans have each been traded seven times, but they are currently out of the league.). Gooden, now with the Washington Wizards, spoke with Bleacher Report about being traded and the impact it has on players—both on and off the court.”

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–   Breaking Down the Wolves, Part I: The Cornerstones  (from John Meyer,

” The Wolves have 29 games left this season to evaluate a roster littered with rookies and sophomores. Where does the current roster stand, and what should we look for over the next two months? In Part I, we’ll look at the franchise cornerstones: Ricky Rubio, Andrew Wiggins and 2015 Lottery pick.”

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Pelicans’ Defense Analyzed (from David Fisher,

” While a revolving door at small forward, horrendous bench, and the absence of Jrue Holiday have had a predictably negative impact on the defense there are some glimmering signs of improvement. Not nearly of the sort hoped for when Asik arrived in New Orleans, but his impact has been felt in predictable ways defensively”

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–  The Trail Blazers’ Little Things Awards  (from Willy Raedy,

” The Blazer’s Edge Little Things awards celebrate the small minutia that makes basketball such a great game and the Blazers one of best in the sport.”

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Part 1:

Part 2:


–  Choose Your Bandwagon: Would You Rather Ride With the Bucks or T-Wolves? (from Andrew Sharp,

” If you could choose between the Wolves and Bucks, whose future would you want?”

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Rudy Gobert Talks about blocking shots – Video (from

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–   Philly hoops scene wouldn’t be what it is without Hill  (from Fran Blinebury,

” Sonny Hill helped make basketball a backbone for city unity”

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QOTN (from Chris Forsberg, ESPN): ” Trade deadline week is Pixy Stix for sugar-craving NBA junkies. Fans obsess about every rumor and report, all while those actually inside the war room of NBA front offices will monitor their Twitter timelines and chuckle at all the twists, turns, and breathless speculation — much of which will be overstated or simply untrue.”



Additional Player Notes, Updates and Profiles:


J.R. Smith:


Timofey Mozgov:


Ryan Anderson:


Jeff Withey:


Travis Wear/David Wear:  and


Dewayne Dedmon:


Iman Shumpert:




Kevin Durant:  and


Jrue Holiday:  and


Goran Dragic:  and for those with access to ESPN Insider:


Colton Iverson:


Marc Gasol/George Hill:


Kyle Korver:


Tony Battie:


Rodney Hood/Elijah Millsap/Trevor Booker:


Brandon Jennings:

Today’s Top NBA News

Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas needs to learn from Chuck Hayes  (from Eric Koreen, National Post):

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Wizards’ Randy Wittman: ‘We got to grow up from an emotional standpoint’ (from Jorge Castillo, Washingotn Post):

“ We got to grow up from an emotional standpoint. We’re sometimes our worst enemy, in terms what I mean by that is, this is a game of mistakes. I’ve been around the game a long time. I have yet to see a team or a player play the perfect game. And until we get past the two or three minutes when we, as an individual or as a team, have a bad stretch, whether you turn it over or you miss a shot or you get a shot blocked or you blow a defensive assignment … You quit playing is the way I term it.  We feel sorry for ourselves and put our heads down.”

“There’s no way in the world I should have to take a timeout 40 seconds coming out of halftime to wake you up because you’re feeling sorry for yourself because you turned the ball over two times in a row to start the third quarter. Now it’s [snaps] a 10-point lead, just like that.”

Read it here:

And from Kyle Wiedie:


How Erik Spoelstra Is Keeping the Miami Heat Rolling Without LeBron James (from Dylan Murphy, Bleacher Report):

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The men who would be Kings  (from Patrick Redford, ESPN):

” It’s only Year 2 of the Ranadive era, but that hangdog legacy is dead. This is the team of the expanding, forward-thinking Sacramento. The noxious self-defeatism of the Maloofs is all gone and the new Kings are finally caught up with the rest of the league. Ranadive and his team are enthusiastically trying to push every boundary they can, for better or for worse. Some of their forays past the bleeding edge of basketball orthodoxy — like biometric data gathering and the idea of playing with an ultimate frisbee-style cherry picker — have drawn criticism and mockery. But look at their good ideas — like signing up for the Catapult tracking system and hiring advanced stats wizard Dean Oliver — next to the questionable ones, and you’ll see that the Kings aren’t blindly swinging out for megalomania or the sake of selling themselves as “NBA 3.0.” These new Kings are ambitious and aggressive about winning as many games as they can with whoever they employ or shuffling their roster around until it works.”

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How Bulls’ offense grew through Derrick Rose’s injuries (from Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated):

” The substance of Chicago’s offense should be familiar to those who tuned in to watch the Bulls last season: A parade of dribble hand-offs and curl cuts, some choreographed opposite one another for maximum effect. Even more straightforward isolations and post-ups are in themselves the result of something elastic, from which a collection of bright players can read and react to the opportunities presented them.

What’s changed are the implications of Chicago’s offensive flow. The Bulls force opponents into a near-constant stream of defensive exchange and – through a mix of acquired talent and organic development – have the potency to makes those exchanges agonizing.”

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Hinrich/Dunleavy: Two great pros  (from Sam Smith,

“Two great pros,” said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. “Tough minded, give you everything they have. Both of those guys are great pros. When you have young guys like we do, that’s the best kind of leadership you can have. They come in every day, they practice hard, they execute. Do all the right things.”

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–  Jason Kidd, young Bucks excercise power of the wind sprint (from Sean Deveney, Sporting News):

“It kind of reminds you of a backyard coach just because he will stop practice and say, ‘Get on the line, let’s get some lines in. Let’s get some ups and downs,'” veteran guard O.J. Mayo said. “It’s a little different because the NBA is not like that, but he takes it back to how he would have liked it when he played.”

There is no doubt it is an effective weapon for Kidd. Nothing punctuates a directive better than putting it with some physical exertion.

“It gets the point across,” point guard Brandon Knight said. “Sometimes a coach can say, ‘Don’t do this, don’t do that.’ But guys will continue to do it. When you have got to run up and down, you have got to sprint seven or eight times, and you’ve got a game the next day, you’ll figure it out.”

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 – As Kidd returns, NBPA looking at agent rules that helped him leave (from Ken Berger, CBS Sports):

” At issue is the role that Kidd’s longtime agent during his playing career, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management, played in Kidd’s attempt to achieve personnel authority with the Nets — and, when the power play failed, his role in ultimately landing Kidd a handsome raise to supplant a coach, Larry Drew, who had not yet been fired in Milwaukee.

“The blatant disregard for people is unreal,” one person involved in the NBA coaching business told “I can’t believe the way these people do business; it’s amazing. They just think you can do whatever you want. It’s like it’s the wild West.”

Under review is a rule in the National Basketball Players Association’s Regulations Governing Player Agents, which has long forbidden certified player agents from representing coaches, general managers or “any other management representative who participates in the team’s deliberations or decisions concerning what compensation is to be offered individual players.” The rule has been on the books for decades to guard against the obvious conflicts of interest that would arise if an agent were operating on both sides of a player-management negotiation. The NBPA is the only one of the four major pro sports unions in North America that expressly outlaws the practice.

But under former union chief Billy Hunter’s regime, and even before, the rule was rarely enforced, creating an environment in which agents have wielded unchecked power within certain organizations while allowing themselves to be placed in the ethical quagmire of representing players and their negotiating adversaries simultaneously.”

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Derrick Rose Does Not Belong To You (from Alexander Goot,

” Reactionary, judgmental and outlandish #HotSportsTakes aside, the commoditization of an NBA player reeks of Sterlingism.

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Gregg Popovich Tells LeBron James Critics to ‘Go Swim in the Lake’  (from Kyle Newport, Bleacher Report):

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More Player Updates:

Eric Moreland

Solomon Hill  and