Nets point guard Jorge Gutierrez is currently the only active player in the NBA of Mexican descent. That's a huge accomplishment, but basketball is not his only forte. He does have some nice hair too.

Jorge didn’t always rock that slick, gelled-back hairstyle, so please join me in this transient journey through the “Evolution of Jorge’s Hair”.

High School

Picture 1 of 5

HIGH SCHOOL: Jorge spent his teenage years in the depths of Nevada, attending Findlay Prep High School. You can definitely believe that he was the real chick magnet with this “long hair, don’t care look”.

With help from Raya Lim

 

Mason Plumlee

Mission Accomplished.
... MORE →

 

Andrei Kirilenko

Andrei Kirilenko (AP)

Yikes. This isn't a fun story.... MORE →

 

Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King defended Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry in a statement to Zach Lowe of ESPN's Grantland, following a report and a leaked audio tape of Ferry using racially charged language to describe Sudanese-born NBA player Luol Deng:
... MORE →

 

AP

Jason Kidd, landlord. (AP)

Want to live in the same dwellings once inhabited by former Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd? Now you can. Kidd's 4-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom Riverside Avenue apartment is up for rent for a paltry $22,000 per month, now that Kidd's moved to Wisconsin to coach the Milwaukee Bucks.

From the New York Post:

His Manhattan apartment at the Aldyn, at 60 Riverside Blvd., is on the market for $22,000 a month. The four-bedroom, four-bathroom home includes a chef’s kitchen, Hudson River views and building amenities that athletes love: 40,000 square feet of “play” space, a pool and a gym with steam and sauna rooms, a pilates room, a kinesis room (yeah, we don’t know what that is either), dance studio, golf simulator, table tennis, billiards, a double-lane bowling alley, squash court — and a full regulation basketball court, natch, along with a Kidville-designed playroom, and a large courtyard with sitting areas with hammocks.

If you want to know what a $22,000 apartment looks like, here's one being rented out for that exact amount in Kidd's former building. We can't confirm 100% that it's his former place, but it fits all of the qualifications, and it's the only one rented out for that price.

For those of you just moving to New York City and looking for a nice starter apartment, you'll need to make nearly $900,000 per year to afford the apartment without needing a guarantor. Hopefully for that amount he's at least installed spill-proof floors.

 

New York News
Deron Williams -- Good Day New York

Promoting the Celebrity Dodge Barrage with Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly on Fox's Good Day New York this morning, Deron Williams tackled a host of topics, including his dodgeball event, his new coach, the recent inflammatory comments made by Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson, and the recent release of a videotape showing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice assaulting his wife.

Williams says his ankles are healthy, after undergoing simultaneous surgery on both ankles shortly after the Nets were eliminated from the playoffs last season. "Ankles are doing a lot better, got about 20 days until camp starts and hopefully I’ll be ready for it."

Williams is hosting the fifth annual Celebrity Dodge Barrage this Monday, September 15th, and chose dodgeball because nobody else was doing it. "I had a golf tournament. You know a lot of people have those golf tournaments, so I tried to think of a unique way we could raise some money for some good causes," Williams said. "Former teammate of mine Kyle Korver, we came up with dodgeball, I don’t know how, I don’t know what made us think of dodgeball." The event will raise money for his charity, The Point Of Hope Foundation, and the The League Education and Treatment Center in Brooklyn.

He also responded to backlash regarding recent statements he made in Resident Magazine about the difficulties of living in New York. "It’s just a different lifestyle here. That’s all I was pointing out. I enjoyed my time and the summers away, but I definitely love it in New York. I signed here for five years. ... I take the subway. I enjoy a lot of things about New York. It’s very convenient."

The conversation then turned to more difficult matters, firstly the controversial emails and conversations circling around the Atlanta Hawks organization, including an e-mail from owner Bruce Levenson that indicated white fans were more valuable than black fans, and later a scouting report read by general manager Danny Ferry that included disparaging comments about African-born player Luol Deng.

"It’s just unfortunate," Williams said about the revelations. "Same with the Donald Sterling thing. It brings a bad light to the NBA, which we definitely don’t want. But it’s just something we deal with in today’s society.

I’m sure (racism exists) on every level. I’m half-black, half-white, so I’ve seen it growing up. It’s something that’s definitely relevant, it’s sad that it still is and it’s sad that he made those comments, it’s sad for Luol Deng, who was the center of those comments, and hopefully the league is taking appropriate actions."

The conversation then turned to Ray Rice, who Williams called a friend. Rice was recently released by the Baltimore Ravens, following a tape released to the public that showed Rice knocking his wife unconscious in an elevator. "It’s another unfortunate incident that happened," Williams said. "He’s already lived through it, he’s already went through the precautions of taking the right steps to do it."

Rice has since been suspended indefinitely by the league, after an original suspension of just two games. Williams says he believes Rice should play again. "Yeah, I mean, everybody makes mistakes," Williams said. "I’m friends with him. ... He’s doing counseling, he’s done all that. What’s sad is that he’s already lived through this and he’s already dealt with it appropriately and now it’s being brought back out."

The interview closed on a lighter note, with Williams talking about his first meeting with coach Lionel Hollins. "Just met with him for the first time a couple of days ago when I got in town, we had a great meeting, great talk, he’s excited about this season, and so am I."

 

Mirza Teletovic, Brooklyn Nets

Nice court. (AP/Kathy Willens)

It hasn't been the best week for the Nets: the team was ranked dead last in ESPN's Future Power Rankings (although we'd argue that's exactly the point), two of their three international players were eliminated in the first round of the FIBA Round of 16 International Basketball Tournament, and the third (Mason Plumlee) won't see the floor unless the game's well out of hand.

But there's one place where the Nets rank highly: pretty basketball courts! Zach Lowe of Grantland brought a little levity, ranking all 30 basketball arenas by the visual appeal of their court.

The Nets come in about as well as you could expect, ranking fourth overall in the league. From Lowe:

It might seem sacrilegious to give such a young court this lofty perch, but wait until you see what comes next. The black-and-white look stands out in a league of bright colors, and like black-and-white film, it lends the Nets a sheen of effortless cool. The central logo, just a basketball with words around it, is another testament that less can be more in design.

The ideal court is idiosyncratic without resorting to garishness. The Nets’ dark herringbone floor is a perfect example. It’s unique in the NBA, and it looks great without being distracting. Even the corporate logo, usually an annoyance, is rendered in a soft blue that the herringbone almost eats up.

The Nets use the same theater lighting system as their crosstown rivals, and though the effect is noticeable in person, it’s even more dramatic on television. I’m not sure any court looks better on TV.

I can't disagree. Brooklyn's herringbone court is awesome: as Lowe put it, it's unique without being distracting, and the black-and-white feel keeps it simple and strong.

One other important note: the dimensions indicate that the basket stanchion is 4'6" from the edge of the court, more than the minimum necessary. Basket stanchion placement became a hot-button issue after Paul George broke his leg in a freak accident during a Team USA scrimmage in Las Vegas, colliding with a stanchion that was placed just three feet from the edge of the court.

The three courts ahead of the Nets? The new Charlotte Hornets arena comes in third, and two classics take the top two spots: the parquet floor in Boston at #2, and the Lakers look in Staples Center.

Less than two months until we see players performing on that court again.

 

She Barclays Center Statue

A discrimination lawsuit brought against the Houston Rockets by a 28-year-old former catering employee of Barclays Center has been rejected by the court, but the suit is still open against the arena's catering company Levy Restaurant Holdings, according to John Marzulli of the New York Daily News.

The worker, Rasean Tate, alleges that he complained to Levy management about unnamed Rockets players insulting him with homophobic language, and Levy responded by barring him from locker room responsibilities and taking away other paid opportunities, lowering Tate's earning potential.

According to the report, federal judge Jack Weinstein ruled that the Rockets can't be sued for Levy's reaction to the complaint, but that a suit can proceed against the catering company.“We respect the judge’s decision but it doesn’t take away the culpability of what Houston Rockets players and staff did in the locker room that day,” Tate’s lawyer Marjorie Mesidor said in the Daily News report. “The comments were discriminatory and they happened.”

This is one of two discrimination lawsuits levied against Levy in the past year. In July, five plaintiffs alleged that members of Levy management referred to them with racially charged language and mocked employee disabilities, seeking $5 million in damages.

New York Daily News -- Harassment suit against Houston Rockets for players’ alleged gay slurs against Barclays Center food server is rejected

 

AP

AP

In the latest installment of Mason Plumlee Travels The Universe, the USA Men's National Basketball Team slayed the Dragic brothers, defeating Slovenia 119-76 in the Quarterfinals of the FIBA World Cup in Barcelona, Spain Tuesday. The Americans improved to a perfect 7-0, and will now play Lithuania in the semifinals of the tournament on Thursday.

Plumlee got his customary six minutes of play with the game out of hand, checking in with 5:44 left in the fourth and the score at 102-69 in favor of the good guys. The Nets young big man put on a show in the final two minutes: following up his own post-up miss with a jam, then exhibiting a deft passing touch by lobbing an alley-oop pass from the top of the circle to Pistons big man Andre Drummond for the slam. Then, the Duke product caught a touchdown pass from Klay Thompson and jammed it home with his left hand as a Slovenian defender held on to his right for the foul. He couldn't put the cherry on the garbage time sundae, however, missing his free throw attempt. Plumlee finished up with a stat line of four points, two rebounds, one assist and one turnover.

Slovenia did in the first half what 16 seeds hope to do in the NCAA tournament: they "hung around." The Slovenians matched the red, white and blue's 20 points in the 2nd quarter to keep the score a respectable 49-42 at the half.

But as so often happens in NCAA tournament games and Dream Team era USA basketball, the dominant team was just too much. The Americans opened up a nine-point lead halfway through the third quarter to enter the final frame up by 22.

One of Fran Fraschilla's keys to the game for Slovenia -- who had a "puncher's chance" according to the ESPN analyst -- was to limit the Americans to no offensive boards. Team USA had 14 offensive rebounds in the first quarter and finished with 24 for the game, well above their average of 12 per game in this tournament.

Fraschilla also felt the Slovenians needed to make 16 threes to stay with the Americans. They only managed 8-27 from behind the arc, including a 1-5 mark from the team's star, Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns. USA, on the other hand was an efficient 9-19 from three. Four of those treys came from Golden State Warriors guard Thompson, who led all scorers with 20.

Plumlee's already scarce minutes will likely get even more rare as Team USA heads into the semifinals against Lithuania, currently ranked fourth in the FIBA world rankings. The Lithuanians, led by young Raptors big man Jonas Valančiūnas, defeated Turkey 73-61 on Tuesday to advanced to the showdown with Team USA.

The Lithuanians and the USA have history. USA only won 99-94 against them at the 2012 Olympics. The five-point win was the smallest margin of victory for the King James-led patriots. Anthony Davis and James Harden are the only holdovers on the 2014 World Cup roster from that stacked 2012 Gold Medal team.

 

We Are Brooklyn Kevin Garnett

The Nets have a new slogan once again.
... MORE →

 

Deron Williams, Brook Lopez

AP

Do the Nets have the worst future in the league?

It's that time of year again, when the NBA is close enough to starting that you can taste it but far enough away that we're still wondering what'll happen in years beyond. Enter ESPN.com's "Future Power Rankings," where ESPN's Amin Elhassan, Chad Ford, Tom Haberstroh, and Kevin Pelton try to parse which teams will fare after the 2014-2015 season. The four panelists gave their rankings from 1-100 on five points: "players," "management," "market," "draft," and "money."

Let's get this out of the way now: the Nets rank dead last, with an average score of 27.04. Most of that came from their "market," which was rated a 79, but brought down by their "draft" (7) and "money" (9) ratings.

From Elhassan, who wrote the Nets report:

This is Russian for "welcome to the basement!" -- which is where the Ghosts of Bad Decisions Past have banished the Nets to for the foreseeable future. When they gave pick-swap rights to Atlanta for the right to overpay Joe Johnson, we said in unison, "No!"

When they gave up all those unprotected first-rounders for the last gasps of Kevin Garnett,Paul Pierce and Jason Terry, we all cried, "Don't do it!" When their luxury tax dwarfed the total payroll of every other NBA team, we collectively face-palmed.

But it didn't matter, as the Nets steamrolled their way to a team destined to be a second-round knockout, doubling down on an aging roster with limited upside. Add onto that Lawrence Frank debacle a month into last season, and the failed coup (and eventual departure) by Jason Kidd this summer, and it's easy to place the Nets among the most dysfunctional franchises in the NBA. As a result, here they are, with no cap respite until 2016, a depleted pick inventory and no blue-chip talent outside of the oft-injured Brook Lopez.

Ouch. Elhassan pulls no punches and he doesn't have to, although the cries of confusion over the Johnson deal reek of revisionist history. The Nets gave up next to nothing for Johnson, who's been inarguably the team's best player over the last two seasons, and the pick-swapping might turn a mid-first round pick into a later mid-first round pick this year. No one's trading Joe Cool back for that, even with his ridiculous contract.

That aside, it's hard to disagree with the larger points. The Nets did give up three unprotected first-round picks for one year of Paul Pierce, an aged Kevin Garnett, and a piece they later flipped for Marcus Thornton, which they later flipped for Jarrett Jack. It seemed like a good idea at the time, before the Nets fell to 10-21 in the first two months of last season.

But this is how the Nets were put together from the start. They were never supposed to have a future in this iteration of the roster. The Nets aren't built like a young team looking to grow, or a collection of superstars trying to win a championship. They're just on the cusp of competing, one or two stars short of a top contender. That's what a year of trying to trade for Carmelo Anthony was for, and then the year hoping for Dwight Howard. The Nets threw all their eggs in one basket, and a couple eggs cracked, leaving the entire basket a yolky mess. Their current roster is above average (we think), their draft picks are persona non grata, and their future is indecipherable.

That's been the point this whole time! This team was built to try to win now. They didn't, and now they're sweeping up after the mess they've made, saving LeBron-like money by letting Pierce go and re-tooling with some youth infusions. The only players slated to stick beyond the 2015-16 season (not counting this season's second-round picks) are Bojan Bogdanovic, Deron Williams, Mason Plumlee, and maybe Sergey Karasev. Beyond that they've got nothing but cap space, cap space that could increase by eight figures once the NBA's new TV deal kicks in. That's a lot of money that the Nets could throw around in the future, more than a 9 out of 100 grade might indicate.

So the irony of this ranking is that, yes, these Nets currently have the worst future in the league. That's because that was the plan all along.

ESPN (Insider) -- Future Power Rankings

 

For those of you that missed Croatia's 69-64 loss at the hands of France Sunday afternoon, here's your chance to see what Bojan Bogdanovic produced in the loss. Bogdanovic led all scorers by a wide margin with 27 points, hitting 11 of 19 shots and keying a late fourth-quarter comeback that nearly brought Croatia back from a 16-point deficit.

With the loss, Croatia was eliminated from FIBA's round of 16. The next time we'll see Bogdanovic? He'll be in a Nets uniform.