Note to self: never ask an NBA star if his team, team A, can beat team B. These guys don’t become the greatest players in the world without having an overflow of confidence, blinders atop their eyes and extreme tunnel vision. If that’s a rule we should all live by, especially those in the sports media who have the access to routinely ask these questions, then an absolute law needs to be this: never ask Michael Jordan whether a team he’s on might lose. Just don’t do it. Well, someone did yesterday, repeating what Kobe Bryant said about the aforementioned Dream Team vs. Team USA argument. What was MJ’s response? Laughter. And this: “For him to compare those two teams is not one of the smarter things he ever could have done.” Well this just turned into the worst day of Kobe’s life, getting that Ether from the GOAT in front of the entire world. We won’t go back through the argument as we did during yesterday’s Smack, but just know Jordan refutes the “old” claim and instead offers the “experienced” label, that the dudes on the Dream Team were mostly in their prime. That’s true. But how much longer will Michael’s word hold up as gospel? He hasn’t played in 10 years. Since then, he’s done nothing but botch drafts and wear terribly baggy clothes. He hasn’t really been MJ for basically 15 years now. At some point, the novelty has to wear off right? We mean, look at Magic Johnson. He hasn’t had an insightful thing to say in months. We’re pretty sure Kobe couldn’t give a damn about what MJ says nowadays, even if everyone else in the basketball universe is still willing to kiss his feet for things he did 20 years ago … In order to make room for Nicolas Batum – they just signed the Blazer to an offer sheet worth $45 million over four years and with bonuses, it could top out at $50 million – Minnesota used the amnesty clause and waived Darko Milicic. Darko was never one of David Kahn‘s finest moments, and we’re not even sure giving the man a $20 million dollar contract is any better than what Joe Dumars did in 2003, but we’re going to miss Kahn and Darko together. That contract forced Kahn to defend his project around every corner. We’ll never forget him defending his selection of Wes Johnson over DeMarcus Cousins by saying, Well, we had Darko, guys … But in terms of actual basketball news, Portland has said they would match any offer for Batum, and $50 million for the dude seems crazy. But it’s the NBA offseason: you have to assume crazy contract offers are coming … Jason Kidd officially signed in New York yesterday and says he’s going to come off the bench and be a tutor for Jeremy Lin. His advice? Don’t play in the fifth gear all the time, save something for the finish and don’t date Toni Braxton … Keep reading to hear which big Olympic star went down and which former 20/10 player Dallas will probably pick up …
Before we know it, the USA Team is going to have to call up the Charlotte Bobcats to come represent us in London. Injuries are happening at a rapid rate, and yesterday Blake Griffin was the latest to go down. The human rocket experienced some left knee discomfort and reportedly twisted the knee, the same one he hurt earlier in the playoffs. An MRI revealed THIS. This comes just days after Griffin signed his mammoth, $95 million extension with L.A. Does the Clipper curse still live? Now Anthony Davis is aboard, and will have to contend with sweaty Argentinians who haven’t showered in weeks just months after beating down on some 6-4, partying 18-year-olds in the NCAA Tournament. If any rookie needed to be tested, this would be the place to do it … In the meantime, Team USA is left to pick up the pieces of yet another big loss. And we mean big. Griffin could come back and play if this proves to be minor, but with his past injury history and the contract he just signed, we doubt we see the next FrÃ©dÃ©ric Weis. Our frontline is lacking some serious depth, and it’s going to take a lot of Carmelo and LeBron at the four to win this thing. Luckily, it was a similar recipe in 2008. It’s just going to be Tyson Chandler and Davis in the middle instead of Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh. That’s a bigger drop off than going from Jim Carrey to Jamie Kennedy in the sequel to The Mask. Last night it didn’t matter against the Dominican Republic as the USA won 113-59 by using the three-pointer to its advantage. Kevin Durant had 24 points on five threes after coming off the bench for the first time in a long time, and Team USA scored 38 points off 27 turnovers. Even Anthony Davis got a little run, including a four-point play when he was fouled on a three – that’s right, a three … Elton Brand is officially out in Philly through the amnesty clause, and he really, really wants to go to Dallas. The Mavs want him as well and sources are saying they’ll look to claim him in the waiver process. Dallas might not win a championship next year, but they’ll be competitive and have done a good job of setting themselves up to be another big player next summer … Who’s the biggest name free agent still out there that NOBODY is talking about? It has to be O.J. Mayo. We sort of figured this would happen. Mayo’s production dipped since coming off the pine, but he’s still a hot name, still extremely young and has shown he can get you close to 20 a night. So we knew his price demands would be high. But just exactly how good is he? If he ends up in Phoenix, Juice could drop 22 a night. Anywhere else, we’re not sure … And oh yeah, the Orlando brass, spearheaded by new GM Rob Hennigan, reached out to Dwight Howard to see if they could repair relations and try to keep the big fella. In a shocking development, Howard said no. We could’ve seen that coming. That relationship is over … We’re out like Blake Griffin.
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