Free Agent Pool Drying Up
This should be the slowest week for activity in the NBA each season and the last week before players start to slowly get back together with their teammates so they can begin preparations for training camps that kick off on or about October 1. However, there was still some real news recently as Antawn Jamison signed a veteran’s minimum deal with the Clippers and Ronnie Brewer was just picked up by Houston. A couple of other “big” signings since our last report include Jannero Pargo to the Bobcats and DeJuan Blair joining the Mavericks. It was a couple of weeks ago, but Greg Oden signed a minimum deal with the HEAT even though he might not be ready to play in time for the start of the season.
Center Hamed Haddadi and Earl Baron are two of the remaining free agents that are still getting some attention, but the pickings are getting slim both ways and unsigned players have started accepting jobs overseas in droves. The controversial Lamar Odom may not have an NBA landing spot anymore after the Jamison signing.
Some Key Injury Situations
Tony Parker, who has been complaining about sore hamstrings, scared the Spurs this week when he injured his knee while playing for France. Fortunately, the MRI results suggest it isn’t serious.
Knicks Andrea Bargnani has pneumonia. Earlier this month, the New York Knicks forward/center Andrea Bargnani was at risk of not being able to play for Italy at 2013 Eurobasket in Solvenia this September because of a respiratory tract infection, it has now been confirmed that he has pneumonia. Bargnani will not be allowed to play for his National Team.
J.R. Smith was finally cleared to begin riding a stationary bike 2 weeks ago after knee surgery July 15. It is questionable if he will be ready for opening night.
Udonis Haslem also had knee surgery mid-July, but he expects to be ready for training camp. It’s hard to knock the optimism.
Kobe Bryant Is Running Again – Sort Of
Kobe Bryant has been using social media to keep his fans up-to-date with his recovery and there is nothing like seeing is believing. Check out Kobe’s recent post on Instagram of him running on an anti-gravity treadmill.
Rudy Gay training with Hakeem Olajuwon
Raptors forward Rudy Gay uploaded an instagram video of himself working out with Hakeem Olajuwon.
Steve Nash To Mentor Myck Kabongo
In a year where almost everything has gone wrong for Canadian point guard Myck Kabongo, he finally is getting the support he needs to get his basketball career back on track. After Kabongo was cut from Team Canada’s roster last week, Head Coach Jay Triano helped arrange for two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash to mentor Kabongo in Vancouver.
Tracy McGrady A Hall Of Famer.....No.
Tracy McGrady has decided to hang up his shoes and call it a career after 16 seasons in the NBA. He of course had his career start here with the Raptors as first round selection for the club.
FIBA Qualifying Tournaments
Cory Joseph Scores 20 In Loss To Brazil
San Antonio Spurs backup point guard Cory Joseph scored 20 points for Canada in Monday night’s loss to Brazil 77-70 at the Tutu Marchand Continental Cup. Canada finished the warm-up tournament for FIBA Americas with a 0-4 record after losing to Puerto Rico, Argentina and the Dominican Republic earlier.
Canada plays Jamaica on Friday at the FIBA Americas in Caracas, Venezuela.
Lithuania Lost to Greece at Acropolis Cup
Lithuanian Head Coach Jonas Kazlauskas had been complaining about his 9-0 exhibition record prior to today’s game against Greece as he knows the games at 2013 Eurobasket are not going to be so easy. However, losing 80-62 on a 16-2 run by the Greeks over the final 5 minutes wasn’t the way he wanted his team’s winning streak to end.
Can Team Canada Rival Spain In Basketball?
Success and Canada Basketball are two words not often associated with each other, however, all that is about to change. Like the second most powerful basketball country, Spain, Canada will soon feature a lineup with multiple NBA star players. Triano has six current and former NBA players trying out for the team with a lot more high-end talent arriving in the immediate future. Canada Basketball is finally on the verge of greatness.
Check out all the Team Canada and Jonas Valanciunas in Lithuania game reports on Pro Bball Report under the category: FIBA
Stephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the ACC. A member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association, Stephen is the editor and publisher of Pro Bball Report. You can follow Stephen on twitter @stevesraptors