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January 26, 2015 Updates

So it’s not an MVP award. But Hoops Hype’s “Tweeter of the Year” might be the next best thing for social media maestro Manu Ginobili, who has claimed the honor for the second straight time. The inquisitive Argentinian has 2.79 million followers on the popular site, no doubt a factor in his victory in the voting conducted by the USA Today subsidiary. He’s also a legitimately good Tweeter, parsing out everything from candid photos of his adorable kids to math riddles. “I love everything new, anything that looks like it will change things,” he said after last year’s victory. “I was very excited and I saw a lot of potential in the social network. It’s a very positive way to stay in touch with fans and reading news and be connected.” San Antonio Express-News

January 25, 2015 Updates

Either way, Bryant is now hurt, likely gone for the season, facing yet another rehab, and it’s not clear how this will affect what should be his final season in the NBA. “Nobody wants to see that happen,” said Spurs guard Manu Ginobili. “It sucks. The league needs him. He’s one of the best players that ever played.” ESPN.com

Spurs guard Tony Parker agreed. “When I first came here, Spurs-Lakers, that’s all we talked about,” Parker said. “It was a huge rivalry, with him and Shaq. Those were great years. “They always say good stuff has to have an end, but hopefully we can see him one more time next year and he’ll be healthy and finish on a high.” ESPN.com

January 23, 2015 Updates
January 22, 2015 Updates

San Antonio Spurs star Danny Green has been given the green light to rock a special pair of sneakers dedicated to Stuart Scott for TONIGHT'S GAME ... the NBA tells TMZ Sports. Green had approached custom shoe designer Jake Danklefs and ordered up a special pair to pay tribute to his fellow North Carolina Tar Heel ... and was only waiting tor permission from the league. TMZ.com

Well, we spoke with Tim Frank -- Senior V.P. of Communications for the NBA -- and asked if everything was a go for tonight and here's what Tim said: "He is ... Danny was asked and given permission to wear them for one game. Unlike some reports you might have read, he was never told 'No.'" TMZ.com

Q. You moved from the WNBA to the NBA, do you have a new perspective on the difference in salaries between the two? A. It’s interesting, you know, because a pick and roll is a pick and roll. And a good leader is a good leader, whether female or male. There are some huge salary discrepancies, and there’s a huge area for growth on the women’s side. That won’t come, though, if people don’t get out and support it. The biggest thing for me is just changing the cultural idea that women can’t be entertaining as professional athletes. A guy like LeBron James can come up to me and say, “I appreciate the way you play the game.” The guys in the NBA watch the WNBA all the time. But that appreciation for the hard work that women have been putting in needs to start paying off, so that the discrepancies become less and less. It’s a big difference, and it’s very shocking. And it doesn’t have anything to do with the basketball itself—that’s the funny thing. Washington Post

Q. What’s been the toughest challenge in your career, one that taught you some personal lesson? A. One of the hardest decisions I ever made was to play for Russia in the Olympics. It was always my dream, obviously, to play in the Olympics for the USA. But even coming off my best year in the WNBA, I didn’t get a chance to be on USA basketball. I knew I would be judged very harshly for playing for Russia, and I went through all that turmoil—wrestling to do it, not to do it—hoping the USA squad would come back around and give me a legitimate chance to make the team. All these things were swirling inside me. Washington Post

Becky Hammon: The biggest thing I love about basketball is something that I still carry with me, since being a child, and it’s just the ability to dream. Michael Jordan was probably the first basketball player that I can remember made me want to dream. The excitement, the passion that he played with—I felt I had that fire in me, too. I’ve loved basketball my entire life and it’s loved me back very well, so it’s been a good relationship. Washington Post

January 21, 2015 Updates

"Chicago, Toronto and Washington are all better built for the playoffs than Atlanta," said one Eastern Conference executive, "because they have size and at least one guy who can break you down." The disciples contend that the Spurs already laid waste to the need for all that by winning a championship—and nearly winning two—that relied as much on Kawhi Leonard, Boris Diaw and Danny Green as it did Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, who have been a Big Three in name more than reality for the last several years. Today's NBA, with its zone defenses, profusion of three-point shooting and diminished physicality is more akin to guerrilla warfare—flexibility and versatility at both ends of the floor being more important than a singular matchup or three. "I would definitely think the model now is a team that plays stronger together than just having a couple of superstars," said one Western Conference scout. Bleacher Report

Still: I found it interesting that after having heard very little San Antonio/Aldridge talk of any kind, ever, a bunch of unconnected higher-ups suddenly started mentioning it over the last two weeks. Someone said something to start the rumor mill churning, and the Blazers have always considered one of Aldridge’s home-state Texas teams the biggest threat to snag him away. San Antonio waited on a Kawhi Leonard extension precisely to hoard max cap space this summer in case both Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili retire. Dallas could have max-level space, though it’d have to renounce several very good free agents to get it. Houston would need to cut some salary, but it also has the goods to put together a solid sign-and-trade offer if Aldridge makes it known he’d prefer to go there. Grantland

 

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