So it’s true. Following the Deron Williams-to-Turkey saga on Twitter yesterday had us dizzy. It went from “OMG, what?” to “No way that’s true. NO WAY” to “Well, maybe Williams really wants to play” to “Holy s^&* he IS gonna play.” Rumors were rampant all day until Williams’ new agent, Jeff Schwartz, finally confirmed it: the All-Star point guard has a deal in place that will pay him $5 million to play next season for Besiktas while offering an opt-out for whenever the lockout does end. With the player’s union threatening to fight the NBA should they try to prohibit locked-out players from playing, Williams’ only real risk could be injury. But even that might not matter as any voided contract will be met with resistance from the player’s union. It sounds like that won’t deter him. This is the same club that brought in Allen Iverson and they have also apparently secured Zaza Pachulia. Not only that, the team’s coach, Ergin Ataman, says they will court Kobe Bryant to come as well. Imagine that backcourt. AI, Kobe, D-Will. Would the Answer still complain about coming off the bench? (although it’s extremely doubtful Iverson will play for the club again anyways). Yet, there are still agents/people around the league who don’t believe Williams will ever take the court there … The real question for Kobe fans is would you rather seen him play or simply rest up and get his body right? It’s a cloudy question. One of the leading surgeons in the world, Dr. Bal Raj, stopped by again to talk about Kobe’s murky offseason knee surgery … All in all, this saga got the attention of a lot of NBA players. Now, there are rumors about nearly everyone looking overseas. Even Adam Morrison, who is apparently still alive, checked the availability of teams … David Kahn reportedly asked Kurt Rambis if he would have interest in taking another job with the organization, possibly as a scout or adviser. Is this dude serious? He left the coach hanging for weeks, and now wants to chop him down a few notches. Kahn is treating Rambis like he’s Milton from Office Space … Surprising isn’t the word. It’s got to be something more…astonishing maybe? With two minutes left in the voting yesterday, Kevin Durant and Monta Ellis were literally TIED in voting (the Warriors really do have the game’s greatest fans). A No. 13 seed winning a round would’ve been the biggest upset so far. But the KD faithful came through just in time to advance Durant by only three votes. In the other matchup that ended yesterday, D-Wade murdered Joe Johnson, picking up 81% of the vote. KD vs. Wade? It doesn’t get any better in the second round … Ralph Sampson turned 51 years old yesterday. For someone who was an athletic, 7-4 phenom, he had one of the weirdest careers we’ve ever seen: Insanely dominant in college, one of the most hyped rookies ever, very productive during his first few years on a team that had more potential than Lindsay Lohan in 2005, Sampson eventually just fizzled out, a victim of injuries and his own numbness towards competing. One of Bill Simmons’ favorite stories to tell is how Sampson took an ugly fall during one fateful night in the Boston Garden, and was never the same, the ghosts of Celtic past following him around for the rest of his career … Speaking of centers not reaching their potential, former Portland GM Kevin Pritchard went back in time to relive the decision to take Greg Oden over Durant, telling HoopsWorld that he never studied a pair of players the way he did those two and that Oden has always had special leadership qualities. Hopefully, the big man will have a few healthy years because he is a great kid and, despite what some people try to cling to, he is very good when he plays … And if you really need to laugh, you have to check out Deadspin’s hilarious slideshow of photos from Mark Cuban‘s college and rugby years. Amazingly, Cuban signed off on it all and agreed to even write captions for photos that make him look like he just stepped off the set of Animal House … We’re out like D-Will.
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