Robin Lopez and mascots do not mix. Memphis Grizzlies’ own ‘Grizz’ made sure of that.
GRIZZ PRANKS LOPEZ
CAVS WERE INTERESTED IN SIGNING NASH
Steve Nash has retired, so for the time being, until he considers his options, he will be spending more time with his family and deservedly so.
But, as he steps away from the basketball court, teams wonder what could have been. Especially the Cleveland Cavaliers, who wanted to sign Nash so that he could mentor Kyrie Irving while playing a few minutes off the bench.
As a bonus, in case he needs the pick-me-up, Nash can console himself with the knowledge that at least one pretty good basketball team still covets his services. League sources told ESPN.com earlier this month that LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers — who happen to have two of the biggest Nash admirers on Earth in their front office, in David Griffin and former teammate Raja Bell — let it be known to longtime Nash agent Bill Duffy that they would love to give the old man a whirl as a short-minute backup to Kyrie Irving if Nash wanted to seek a buyout after the trade deadline from whoever had him at that point.
No chance, though.
He only wanted to come back — and go out — as a Laker. He says he’s going to live where he is now “forever” and hoped he could give the locals something — anything — to repay the Lakers for bringing him to town and giving him the chance to stay near his three children, who all go to school mere steps from Nash’s house.
“In preseason, I did everything right,” he said. “I had a good camp. I came in maybe in the best shape on the deal. I played one preseason game and felt decent. I thought maybe I could get better from here. The next morning, I woke up, and I was a mess. … I just had to come to the realization that if I’m lucky, I’d play in 10 games this year.
“I think I can [still] have a great game. But I can’t do it more than once or twice a month.”
PITINO: HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES CAN GO TO THE NBA
No, no, no.
Louisville Cardinals coach Rick Pitino says high school athletes should have the right to enter the NBA draft.
“I’m very much in favor of high school kids going pro,” said Pitino, who will lead Louisville against Northern Iowa in a round-of-32 NCAA tournament matchup Sunday, during his pregame comments Saturday. “I had six young men commit to me out of high school that didn’t go to college, that went to the pros. I’m very much for that because they didn’t want college. They wanted to go to the NBA. And if they go to the [NBA Development League], that’s fine with them. But the six-, seven-month education, online classes second semester. I don’t know what that does for a young person.”
Pitino added: “Now, I’m different than, probably, the coach of Kentucky, who is having so much success with that.”
Kentucky, which is 36-0 after defeating Cincinnati on Saturday, has been led by multiple freshmen throughout John Calipari’s tenure. Calipari is 7-1 against Pitino since he was hired in 2009.
Calipari has previously expressed support for a two-year requirement before players can declare for the draft.
Pitino has rarely relied on freshmen to carry his teams. But he has lost multiple star recruits, including Sebastian Telfair, to the NBA.