The Portland Trail Blazers are $1.3 million over the luxury tax. If Jusuf Nurkic plays in 70 games or more and the Blazers win 50 games, he will receive a $1.25 million bonus. That incentive would cost Portland an additional $1.9 million toward its tax bill.
January 17, 2022 | 10:48 am EST Update
James Edwards III: The Pistons have assigned Jerami Grant to the Motor City Cruise as he begins on-court work following thumb surgery on Dec. 16, sources tell @TheAthletic. No timetable for a return yet.
In the aftermath of Sunday night’s 125-102 loss to the Jazz, Aaron Gordon offered perhaps the most forceful defense Nikola Jokic has ever received from a teammate regarding officiating. “It’s crazy that Jok doesn’t get more free throws,” Gordon began. “Jok was 3 for 3 from the free-throw line. That’s unbelievable. … The fact that Jok was 3 for 3 from the free-throw line is just not even right. He’s fouled every play. Obviously, the refs aren’t going to call it every play. They’re all over his arms, they’re all over his body, they’re grabbing him. He’s just not officiated the same way as everybody else. “It’s not right,” Gordon continued. “He’s the reigning MVP of the league, and he’s getting three free throws a game, still doing what he’s doing. But he needs more foul calls because they’re fouling. It’s not like begging, it’s not asking for something that’s not there. We’re just asking for him to be officiated like everybody else is being officiated because that’s not right. He’s being fouled all the time. He needs more foul calls.”
Tommy Beer: Knicks have ruled out Cam Reddish (ankle) and are listing Kemba Walker as questionable for this afternoon’s game vs. Charlotte. If Kemba is cleared to play, it will be very interesting to see how Thibs uses him.
January 17, 2022 | 8:31 am EST Update
Following a brief NBA stint, Gabriel Deck is back for Real Madrid, head coach Pablo Laso confirmed Sunday. “We are talking about a player who has been determinant in each team he has already played. He will help us a lot. He will give us a lot of options on both sides of the court,” noted the experienced tactician after the ACB Regular Season Round 18 home win opposite Casademont Zaragoza, “The first time he came, we knew he would grow with us. He understands the game, he can play in and out, and his versatility is useful.”
For years, Robertson would be shunned from a league that never attempted to find a place for him. But the players, the owners and the game won because Robertson demanded more. His fight delayed the merger of the NBA and the ABA for six years, and the 1976 settlement resulted in the Oscar Robertson Rule, which pushed players toward free agency and helped establish the modern NBA. “People tried to pooh-pooh that,” Robertson said of the rule that bears his name, “like it didn’t change basketball. It changed basketball forever. How could a player make $50 million a year playing basketball? I took a lot of heat for it. I’m still taking heat for it, I guess. But I think the Oscar Robertson Rule is really what propelled basketball to where it is today. Can you imagine guys sitting on the bench, averaging three or four points a game, making $10 million? I’m happy for them because I think it was on my watch that all these things happened. I just want people to know it.”
Robertson spoke to The Washington Post in advance of the NBA’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration and near the anniversary of one of the most pivotal nights in league history: Jan. 14, 1964. That was when players locked arms inside a locker room at Boston Garden and threatened to strike during the first live-televised All-Star Game unless the league’s owners recognized their union and provided basic necessities, such as a trainer on every staff. Negotiations between the players and the owners, barricaded on the other side of the locker room, were contentious. “They received some real vile language while they were in there,” Robertson said with a laugh of the owners. They conceded to the players’ requests, and the game was played, with Robertson earning MVP honors. “From that point on, the association went forward. It elevated the players from being sandlot players to being real pros.”