This offseason is slowly killing me on the inside, and I am not sure how many more days of non-Sixers basketball I can possibly take. I would like a time machine and some footage of Markelle Fultz and Joel Embiid hooking up for an alley-oop in a game setting, please and thank you.
Until then, however...
Jordan was once a good and innocent boy. He was also a hugely talented basketball player whose gift could have changed his lot in life, and his family's as well. Perhaps he is still all of those things, perhaps none of them—you can never truly see inside a man's heart. Through the fault of his circumstances and the fault of his actions, the person he once was has changed, perhaps irrevocably. You don't come out of prison the same man who went in.
This was a very depressing but worthwhile read. I’ve written pieces mentioning this phenomenon, but I think about this old Jadakiss line a lot: “Why’s a brother up North better than Jordan that ain’t get that break?” Is that hyperbolic? Maybe, but there are countless stories of talented young men and women who were swallowed up by factors out of their control.
Watch Furkan Korkmaz light it up against Belgium
For those of you who didn’t get to see the game on Tuesday, this is a nice, condensed version of Korkmaz’s performance. The hesitation move toward the beginning of the video is swoon worthy, and though it won’t be a big part of his game, his fight on the glass was great to see in a close game, with Turkey needing to scratch and claw all game to get a victory.
You can catch Dario Saric (7:30 a.m., vs. Czech Republic) and Korkmaz (1:45 p.m., vs. Latvia) go at it again today, if you’re so inclined.
The Pacers want you to know they’re definitely not pursuing legal action
Per the team’s owner, Herb Simon:
Contrary to a published report, I would like to emphatically state that neither I nor the Indiana Pacers have ever considered any legal action toward the NBA or the Los Angeles Lakers regarding the recent decision and penalty concerning tampering charges. We agree with the NBA’s findings and we want to put this issue behind us.
This is probably more a commentary on my warped brain that it is Mr. Simon’s, but this is the tone I read his statement in.
who the fuck is scraeming "LOG OFF" at my house. show yourself, coward. i will never log off— wint (@dril) September 16, 2012
Doncic’s role with Slovenia is a convenient peek into his likely NBA future. At 6-foot-8, he is what has become something of a new archetype in the league: a tri-positional player who functions as both a ball handler and an off-ball spacer. He can start a break on the rebound or he can leak out to the corners; he fills lanes on fast breaks and is advanced in recognizing how to play off screens with the ball in his hands.
If the picks can swap, the Sixers can certainly shoot the moon and have the Lakers pick win the lottery this year. We need Magic Johnson now more than ever.
Hoops Hype’s Alex Kennedy spoke to a bunch of NBA players (current and former) about the toughest players to guard they’d encountered. Mr. Podcast himself went long on his answer, crediting a Spurs great in the process:
Manu Ginobili still, to a degree, but Manu Ginobili circa 2009 to 2012 was such a monster. There were a few years where the Spurs were Manu’s team. He’d play like 28 minutes a night, but he’d average about 20 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds. I mean, he was a monster. He was essentially [James] Harden before Harden. Harden is now the modern version of Ginobili. Manu was tough.
Peak Manu was a damn monster, and it’s nice to see him recognized on a list that had a lot of the usual names you hear in these conversations. Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant have gotten more than enough love for how great they were and are, and though he may not have matched their peaks, I will certainly remember the experience of watching Ginobili when I’m old and gray, beaming in NBA games from a virtual reality headset in the center of a nuclear crater.