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Rick Senger
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Posted: 14 September 2015 at 8:53am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Tristan Thompson is refusing to attend LBJ's optional training camp (most of the rest of the team will be there).  Barring a change in Cleveland's contract negotating stance, I have a feeling he's gone after this season. 
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 14 September 2015 at 9:09am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Moses Malone is the most underrated of the all-time greats.
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There's some truth to that.  As I said above, in his prime, he dominated the league like few others.  The only knock might be that he stayed too long at the end (his game was really gone in his last three seasons and it was sad to see that bench playing ghost of himself.)  Maybe some people take points off for that but to me he's right there with the best bigs of all-time.  I also give him props for personally carrying Philly on his back to the title in 1983. 
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 14 September 2015 at 7:51pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Great story from Charles Barkley on how Moses Malone mentored him when he was a rookie.  Malone got him to lose 50 lbs and practice more.  Barkley credits Malone for helping him become such a good player.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 15 September 2015 at 2:15pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I recall Barkley as a pudgy rookie from Auburn who rebounded and slammed hard but didn't initially play much; good to know the big part Malone selflessly played in Barkley's massive improvement and nice that Barkley openly acknowledges the debt.

To Joe's point about Malone's underrating, I think another piece of it is that Moses wasn't always a great interview and was deemed pretty aloof by the media and some in the NBA and it colored people's perceptions.  The Barkley story paints a different picture of the real man.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 26 September 2015 at 2:23pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Surprised that the Cavs have snubbed Thompson's 3 year $53 mill ($17.66 mill per) compromise: they offered him 5 years for $80 mill, which is $16 mill per.  I'm not saying Thompson is worth that much, but since the teams thinks he's worth $16 mill, what's another $1.66 mill?  It seems a reasonable near split between Thompsons' $18.8 mill per demand and the Cavs' $16 mill per offer. 
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 26 September 2015 at 2:42pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

A lot of players injured for significant time last year have been fully cleared to play this year, including Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Paul George, and Chris Bosh.  If Durant can hold up, it greatly enhances OKC's chances.  But most of the others that matter are from Eastern conf. teams (not including Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, whose health could determine whether Cleve is the East's finals team.)  Will the East have a resurgence?  Probably not, but maybe they won't be as embarrassing.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 29 September 2015 at 8:19pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Serge Ibaka has also been cleared to play for OKC after reportedly having a rough summer painwise while rehabbing his calf.   Coaches are saying he's really improved his shooting and passing over the summer; all I care about is his defense though as OKC gives up about 9 fewer points per game when he's in the line-up.

New injuries:  Derrick Rose fractured the left orbital bone in his face after taking an elbow during practice.  No timeline on his return until after the surgery.  Rose has only played 100 games since the strike-shortened 2011-2012 season and one would think this is going to sideline him again for a while. 

Iman Shumpert of the Cavs is going to miss 12-14 weeks after hurting his wrist right before training camp and will undergo surgery this week.  So that's a second key guard falling for the Cavs before the season starts.   With Shumpert and Irving out a while, more pressure will fall on players like Mo Williams, Delly and J.R. Smith to pick up the slack. 
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 03 October 2015 at 5:32pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I don't understand why teams play so hard during practice. They should save it for the actual games.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 05 October 2015 at 9:31am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

And Michael Kidd Gilchrist separated his shoulder in Charlotte's first preseason game.  They're saying it's serious, possibly out 6 months.  Not pretty.

NBA athletes' overall conditioning is the best of any league in sports but it seems like a lot of people don't appreciate how tough they also have to be to withstand the physical pounding and shoving.  No pads in the NBA and it's a full contact sport being played on hardwood, not grass!

At this point Tristan Thompson is being stupid.  It's clear Cleve doesn't want to pay him more than the $16 mill per that he rejected yet he's also refused to sign the one year qualifying offer that would let him leave via free agency next year if money is all he wants.  By not signing the qualifying offer (which is now expired), he not only starts losing money immediately but apparently would be a restricted free agent next year as opposed to unrestricted by signing the qualifying offer, so he's actually in a worse position by declining $6.9 million. 


Edited by Rick Senger on 05 October 2015 at 2:39pm
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 05 October 2015 at 3:12pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Stephen A. Smith can be entertaining or a polarizing loudmouth to be sure, but his response to Kevin Durant's accusation that Smith lied about Durant's interest in LA is riveting. 
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 05 October 2015 at 7:37pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

How knowledgeable could his source be if it is not Durant's family or friends? Smith is really just speculating to fill up some airtime.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 05 October 2015 at 11:26pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I'm more interested in the part about Smith saying Durant should think twice about making him an enemy.  While he went out of his way to say Durant is mostly a model citizen, Smith also basically said he could easily find dirt on Durant and report it if Durant wants to go down that road and continue calling Smith a liar.  I've rarely heard an out and out threat like that from one major figure to an even bigger sports figure... obviously Smith doesn't like being called a liar and thinks he can make Durant back off.  It will be interesting to see if it goes further. 
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