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Around The World: July 18

  1. Written by: DHawes22

    July 18 Video: Neil Olshey Regarding Nicolas Batum, Ronnie Price, & Coaching Search Video: Damian Lillard Fastbreak Slam Video: Ibekwe's Follow Slam Video: Trail Blazers 88, Rockets 99 Video:Nolan Smith Suffers Head Injury

    Trail Blazers: Blazers Bring Back Batum
    "The Trail ‪Blazers‬ have matched Minnesota’s RFA offer for F Nicolas Batum."

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Sign Guard Ronnie Price
    "Ronnie gives us a different look in the backcourt and we feel he'll be a nice complement to the players we have in place," said Olshey. "He works out with Damian Lillard in the summer and has played with Wesley Matthews in Utah, so there is some built-in chemistry there that we like."

    Trail Blazers: Allen: Nolan Smith Likely Out For Remainder Of Summer League
    "It goes without saying that Nolan's long-term health is the most important thing to consider, but it's a shame that, after having missed last year's summer league due to the lockout, he'll likely end up having played only six quarters. I know he's really been looking forward to getting an opportunity to build some confidence and momentum going into the 2012-13 regular season."

    Oregon Live: Nicolas Batum will remain in Portland as Trail Blazers match Timberwolves' offer
    "I'm very happy about it," Batum said, "so we will see what happens tomorrow with the physical, and I'm going to talk with the media Friday before I go back to France, so you will know everything Friday."

    Oregon Live: Nolan Smith injured in Portland Trail Blazers' 99-88 loss to Houston Rockets at Vegas Summer League
    "It hurts my heart to see him go down because I know how hard he works," Blazers rookie point guard Damian Lillard said. "I know how good of a guy he is. You never want to see one of your soldiers go down. We've come in and we've competed for the same position and he's treated me like we're not doing that. Away from the court, we've been like brothers. I really have a lot of love for him as a person away from the floor. So I hope he's all right."

    Oregon Live: Summer league game recap: Rockets 99, Blazers 88
    "Before he left the game on a stretcher in a scary scene for the Blazers, second-year guard Nolan Smith was having a sensational game. He finished with 27 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals and made 10 of 16 shots. Smith revealed more confidence and more polish than he did last season as a rookie, and his retooled jump shot was fluid. Unfortunately, the outing was marred by his injury, which occurred with 49 seconds left and resulted in a premature ending to the game."

    Columbian: Batum to stay in Portland as Blazers match offer
    “We are disappointed that Nicolas Batum will not be on our team and wish him the best in the future,” Minnesota general manager David Kahn said. “However, we were prepared for the possibility of this outcome and will move forward with our other plans.”

    Blazersedge: Blazers To Sign UFA G Ronnie Price
    "Ronnie Price," he said. "Ronnie's on his way to Portland, he's doing a physical today, hopefully everything goes well there. He'll join the backcourt. He's very close to Damian [Lillard]. They work out together in the summer. He and Wes [Matthews] played together. He's a totally different look than what Damian and Nolan [Smith] bring to the table and I think he'll really complement those guys."

    Blazersedge: Blazers Retain RFA F Nicolas Batum By Officially Matching Timberwolves'
    "Paul wasn't letting anyone -- especially David Kahn -- steal Nic," one source said. "Period. You can't do a sign-and-trade if the trade part simply isn't an option."

    Blazersedge: Summer League Media Row Report: Rockets 99, Blazers 88
    "Lillard showed again that he can volume score the rock, although he needed 21 shots to get his 27 points even with five threes made. It was a bit of a reversal from the first game: he shot 5-for-10 from outside and only 4-for-11 on twos. He also had seven turnovers in 34 minutes, including a few head-slappers. If you thought he was polarizing during the pre-Draft process, you ain't seen nothing yet. He is the type of player who you can't take your eyes off of, but he'll be delivering plenty of fodder for fans and critics alike over the next 12 months."

    ESPN: Daily Dime
    "Physically, he bears a strong resemblance to Derrick Rose -- slightly less powerful but still strong and long. And like Rose, he reminds me of a tailback in football when he has the ball, darting through traffic while lowering his hips to help absorb contact without breaking stride. This also enables him to change directions quickly, which is why he has no trouble getting by most of his defenders."

    Ball Don't Lie: Antawn Jamison on the Lakers could be a dangerous, dangerous thing
    "Though Jamison turned 36 in June, he'll be able to carry that bench offensively (remember, this guy scored 17 a game last year in Cleveland with precious little help, spacing-wise) in the first half and give Brown options with his lineups in the second. Few, if any, have been better than Jamison at finishing off of broken plays over the last decade, and that ability will be appreciated in Los Angeles with so many mouths to feed and options to exhaust. With Nash and Jamison in the fold, the Lakers will have only themselves and a lack of ball movement to blame if they don't vault way up from the 10th ranking in offensive efficiency that they disappointed with last season."

    Ball Don't Lie: Kwame Brown and Spencer Hawes will both start for the 76ers, says Doug Collins
    "Then again, that doesn't mean that this decision itself will consign the Sixers to the dustbin of the Eastern Conference. The roster is in a state of relative flux, with linchpin and Team USA member Andre Iguodala mentioned in various trade rumors. Any trade involving Iguodala would remake the team in a meaningful way, much more than the questionable Brown/Hawes pairing in the frontcourt. And so, while this decision is the kind of thing that turns a playoff participant into a lottery team, we shouldn't oversell its potential effect on Philadelphia's fortunes. A much bigger move with much bigger implications could be on its way soon."

    Ball Don't Lie via New York Daily News: Brook Lopez didn’t sweat Dwight Howard trade rumors, because he was reading comics the whole time
    "Lopez, the centerpiece in trade packages for the Orlando Magic's All-Star center, never wavered. [He] wanted to be in Brooklyn, and he was willing to wait for his time to sign a deal and rejoin his teammates. Last week, it finally came. ''It didn't bother me too much because I don't pay attention to media speculation,'' Lopez said Wednesday. ''I read books and comic books. [They] didn't mention Howard too much.''

    Ball Don't Lie: MSG stock dives following Jeremy Lin’s departure, after an initial upshot in the wake of ‘Linsanity’
    "And now that we've realized that the NBA's "stretch provision" could have mitigated New York's risk with Lin, should he fail to pan out before his 2014-15 balloon payment hits, and that personal and typically petty politics played a role in Lin's jump to Houston, it's becoming clearer and clearer that MSG head honcho James Dolan truly is a dunderhead for the ages. With stock falling, Lin's contract was one that the Knicks could not afford to pass on, and yet they let him slip away in spite of several strong and significant reasons to keep the third-year guard."

    Ball Don't Lie: Jeremy Lin is the Houston Rockets’ point guard, but how will he fit?
    "Perhaps most importantly, their current roster is one that should give Lin every chance to succeed. Lin is apt to share the ball as a point guard, but he's at his best when he can handle the ball as much as possible, especially in a pick-and-roll game with active and mobile big men. Outside of shooting guard Kevin Martin, the Rockets don't have much in the way of proven scorers. Additionally, players such as recently drafted rookies Terrence Jones and Royce White, 2011 pick and incoming rookie Donatas Motiejunas, and fellow restricted free-agent target Omer Asik (whose Houston offer sheet is still not certain to be matched by the Chicago Bulls) should be able to play with Lin in the half-court. The Rockets have a history of maximizing their talent and will put Lin in a position to do what he does best."

    The Basketball Jones: Video: Rudy Fernandez leads his basketball camp in a ‘Party Rock Anthem’ lip dub
    "Between how long this took to plan, stage and film, you have to imagine that at least part of every day at this week-long camp was dedicated to nailing a one-take lip dub of a song that came out in early 2011. Interesting time management, Rudy Fernandez."

    SLAM: Best of Penny Hardaway x Nike
    "Thanks to guest appearances from Tyra Banks, Spike Lee, Kevin Garnett and Nick Anderson and featuring some of the greatest kicks of all time, Penny was able to dominate both on the court and on the airwaves. For Penny’s 41st born day, SLAM is bringing you a gallery of pure nostalgia for your enjoyment. Enjoy!"

    SLAM: US President Barack Obama Hangs Out With Team USA Basketball (VIDEO)
    "President Obama spent some time with both the men’s and women’s national hoops teams this week in Washington, and the White House released footage of the brief and friendly meetings."

    ESPN: Offseason grades for all 30 teams
    "I thought Lillard was the best point guard in the draft. He is in for a pretty big adjustment, going from the Big Sky Conference to the NBA, but he is such a hard worker and so fundamentally sound that I think it will happen. Leonard, a project, was a little more of a reach, but he has the requisite size and athletic ability to be a starting NBA center someday. Barton was a bit of steal in the second round. He is a good scorer with a nice midrange game. Overall, they had a strong draft."

    ESPN: Jeremy Lin finds perfect landing spot
    "At the moment -- and barring a Houston acquisition of a certain indecisive center -- the Knicks' roster is better than the Rockets'. That actually plays into Lin's hands. The Knicks had a losing record and their two stars were injured when Lin took over. They had nothing to lose and no one to pull the ball away from him. In Houston there's Kevin Martin ... other than that it's a bunch of rookies. There's much more room for Lin to do his thing than if he were playing with Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and J.R. Smith. When Lin had the show primarily to himself in February, he averaged 20.9 points per game and shot 47 percent. When Anthony and Stoudemire were back full time in March, Lin's numbers dropped to 14.6 points per game and 41 percent shooting."

    Sports Illustrated: Lin opens up about leaving Knicks: 'Honestly, I preferred New York'
    "Honestly, I preferred New York," Lin said. "But my main goal in free agency was to go to a team that had plans for me and wanted me. I wanted to have fun playing basketball. ... Now I'm definitely relieved."

    Sports Illustrated: By letting Lin walk, Knicks might make right call for wrong reason
    "Does it make sense? Lin is not terribly quick and not really a deadly outside shooter, despite what we saw against the Lakers. (He shot 32.3 percent from three-point range this year.) He is terribly turnover-prone. I see why smart people think he is a backup. It is normally foolish to let a player leave as a restricted free-agent -- you match the contract, keep the asset and trade him later if you'd like. But this contract could cripple a team in two years."

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