NBA Week in Review: Blake's return, Thon Maker, NBA beef and more
Welcome back to the NBA Week in Review. Today, we’re talking Thon Maker and Blake Griffin, and Grant Hill stops by for the One-Question Interview. Read last week’s installment here.
Stories of the Week
• Thon Maker, the 19-year-old Sudanese basketball prospect with an incredible YouTube highlight mix, announced he’ll enter the NBA draft. Will the NBA allow him in? The league requires players to be one year removed from high school in addition to being at least 19 years old, which creates a complicated situation for Maker. Adam Silver gets a lot of credit for being the “progressive” commissioner, sometimes rightfully so, sometimes less so. I think the Maker situation will be a very interesting test for Silver. Maker is 19, and currently playing a fifth year of high school. What reason would the NBA have to keep him out of the draft? The NBA’s age limit is one of the most artificial and useless rules in all of sports. Hopefully Maker doesn’t fall victim to it as well.
• Blake Griffin was back on the court Sunday, scoring his first points since December. After the game, Griffin compared his return to action “like riding a bike, except a little rusty.” Let me just say I completely understand what he’s saying here. In my sophomore year of college, I needed to ride a bike from my dorm room to a friend’s apartment so I could watch Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. I hadn’t ridden a bike in years, and I could barely mount the thing let alone ride it. Then I was swerving all over the sidewalks at a weird, halting pace until I finally arrived at my destination. I expect Blake’s comeback from multiple injuries to go exactly the same. Everything will feel familiar, but your body needs a little more time to catch up with your mind.
• Tony Paker said the Spurs will likely rest their starters against the Warriors in the two remaining matchups between the teams in the regular season. It’s not surprising, but damn. Part of me hoped Gregg Popovich wouldn’t help Golden State earn the win record against his backups.
• The Reggie Jackson vs. Thunder beef is a strange beef, but I love it. I want more beefs.
Tweet(s) of the Week
hmmm i see D Angelo Russell is trending... I actually liked his film. Thanks bro.— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) March 30, 2016
Vine(s) of the Week
This is not a screen, this is a hip check.
Ben Golliver broke down Blake’s return ... A timeline of D’Angelo Russell’s rookie season ... A review of LeBron James’s eventful March ... here’s Andrew Sharp’s latest mock draft ... Mark Jackson got in a good dig against a former assistant ... Shaquille O’Neal appeared at Wrestlemania ... Pero Antic will sue the NYPD ... What happens when fans know as much gossip as sportswriters?
The Ben Golliver YouTube Corner
Presenting a possible nickname for Thon Maker:
The Fashion Outlet
I can’t wait for Russ’s playoff outfits.
The One-Question Interview
Rarely one question. This week, former Detroit Pistons star Grant Hill, who spent 19 years in the NBA.
Rohan Nadkarni: Your college coach, Mike Krzyzewski, made some headlines during the NCAA tournament when he spoke to Dillon Brooks about sportsmanship after the Oregon-Duke game. How would you have handled an opposing coach telling you something like that when you were in college?
Grant Hill: “If I were back in school, if Dean Smith or Bobby Knight, coaches who were legendary, were older than my coach, I think I would have listened and tried to incorporate whatever suggestion they had whether it was appropriate or not. It sounds like Dillon’s reaction was, he acknowledged what happened and was kind of like, ‘Coach K is right.’ The whole thing was unfortunate, just because the focus should have been on Oregon and how they were playing, the fact they beat Duke. So much for the next few days was all about the incident. You just hope it didn’t distract the Oregon players trying to deal with all that. But Coach K apologized, and you don’t apologize unless you think you’re wrong, and he recognized what he did, what he said was a mistake.”
RN: Do you think that Grayson Allen looks like Ted Cruz?
GH: “Nah, I don’t think so. I don’t see Ted Cruz. I don’t see Ted Cruz jumping like Grayson Allen does. I haven’t heard that one before. But I’ll have to do a viewing of both pictures side by side.
RN: The side by side photos are all over the internet, you have to google it. You’ll see it.
GH: “Okay, I shall.”