Monday, January 23 Stories
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Reggie Jackson leaned back in his chair in the Pistons locker room after Saturday night’s win over the Washington Wizards, knowing the question was going to come. After Friday’s reports that the Pistons were in discussions with the Minnesota Timberwolves about swapping Jackson for Ricky Rubio, Stan Van Gundy, the Pistons team president and coach, quelled the rumors. Detroit News
Van Gundy said the Pistons have discussions about all their players — but none have been seriously considered, and they haven’t been close to trading anyone. But Jackson’s agent felt it was serious enough to call general manager Jeff Bower. Van Gundy texted Jackson to let him know nothing had changed. Still, reporters with microphones and recorders and cameras were waiting for Jackson to give the right sound byte. Detroit News
And Jackson will continue to be the guy — with the $51 million remaining on his contract —unless something better comes along. Van Gundy said last week the Pistons wouldn’t deal just for change sake. Detroit News
LeBron James has indicated he might play in the 2020 Olympics because of the presence of — and the respect he has for — San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich who is taking over as head coach of Team USA men’s basketball. NY Post
It was suggested to Carmelo Anthony that James wants to get his Olympic scoring record. Anthony is the only four-time U.S. basketball Olympian. “He can have it. If he’s going back in 2020 he can have it,” Anthony said of his Olympic scoring record. “I’m done. I announced my retirement after the gold medal game (in Rio de Janeiro in August). … I think it’s more of giving props to Pop than anything. He can have that record if he wants it.” NY Post
Anthony was asked if he feared management may jump in and make a change for change’s sake to break out of the funk that has seen the team lose 13-of-16 games to fall to 19-26 after a 16-13 start. “I don’t know. I’m done kind of worrying about that. My only focus is these guys that’s in this locker room, playing with them. I can’t control anything else,” Anthony said. NY Post
And that, from Kanter's perspective, was the end of his Jazz hang-up. He'll play his former team again on Monday in Salt Lake City, and if the Thunder's visit there last month is any indication, he'll be heartily booed when the ball touches his hand, taunted by the fans in the stands at Vivint Smart Home Arena. But Kanter insists it won't bother him. Not anymore. Oklahoman
Kanter had fanned the flames by comparing the Jazz unfavorably to the Thunder, saying that he had “never liked playing basketball” in Utah and that the move to Oklahoma City was the first time he'd played “for my team, for the fans, for my teammates, for coaches, everybody.” Those comments didn't go over well in Utah. Oklahoman
“I remember the year I got traded after I went there, I was kinda feeling a little nervous because it was kinda weird for me,” Kanter said. “It was the first time it ever happened for me. Every time I touched the ball I was getting booed. It was definitely a little weird, but I'm used to it now because of my teammates talking to me.” Oklahoman
Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks had something to prove on Sunday following two straight tough losses. Coming off a three-point effort in an overtime loss on Friday, Nowitzki scored all 13 of his points in the first half and Dallas gave the Los Angeles Lakers the worst loss in their history, 122-73. "We didn't show up to play," Lakers coach Luke Walton said. "It's embarrassing for us as a team and for us as an organization. The effort just wasn't there tonight, which I don't understand." USAToday
So even if Walton liked the team’s offensive and defensive communication at times, the Lakers still lacked in various departments. While the Lakers lost in rebounding (49-27), they shot only 38.4 percent from the field. Though former Showtime Laker Magic Johnson recently called on Russell to become a leader of the young team, a second candidate has not emerged. “We’re all figuring it out,” said Jordan Clarkson, who had 10 points on 5-of-13 shooting. “We’re all still young. It’s not going be one person, it’s going be a team thing.” OC Register
[Luke] Walton could feel [D'Angelo] Russell’s pain. Russell is out for the next 1-2 weeks after an MRI revealed a mild MCL sprain in his right knee, a right calf strain and a bone bruise. All of this happened nearly two months after Russell sat out to have a non-invasive procedure to treat soreness in his left knee. Walton had persisting back issues throughout his 10-year NBA career. OC Register
The Warriors have outscored opponents in the third in 17 of their last 19 games -- with the margin double digits on nine of those occasions. In seven of those 17 games, they were tied or trailing at the half. They lost only two of those games, to the Cavs and the Grizzlies, to both of whom they blew sizable fourth-quarter leads. Furthermore, the Warriors’ plus-268 points differential in the third quarter is by far the best in the NBA. It was, indeed, the third quarter that shook them from the stupor of those early Sunday wakeup calls. CSN Bay Area
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