Mitnick: Looking at the NBA’s 2015-16 Euro Rookies

Magic Rob Hennigan Mario Hezonja

In the past, a handful of players have come over from Europe and made a big impact in their rookie seasons in the NBA. Pau Gasol came from Spain to win NBA Rookie of the Year with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2002. Coming off two straight Italian League MVP awards, Manu Ginobili gave the San Antonio Spurs the extra push off the bench they needed to win the NBA title in 2003. Luis Scola and Juan Carlos Navarro were immediate contributors as

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Sheridan: My Postseason Awards Ballot; Toughest MVP Vote Ever

silverMVP

There is a reason why I always wait until the 82nd game of the season is in the books before deciding on my postseason awards choices. Three words: What’s the hurry? This is a lesson I learned way back in 1999 when I was covering a late regular-season game at the Alamodome during the lockout-shortened 50-game season. There were still three of four games left, and I was sitting alongside a veteran reporter from USA Today and asked him which way he

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Rookie Rankings, Week 21: Get a Grip, People. Wiggins is Rookie of the Year

Andrew Wiggins

In recent weeks, there have been a number of folks advancing the theory that someone other than Andrew Wiggins deserves Rookie of the Year. There was a piece that said Nikola Mirotic was more deserving. There was another that said the award should go to Nerlens Noel. There was even one that said the top rookie is Elfrid Payton. Get a grip, people. Mirotic, Noel and Payton all have had fine rookie campaigns. All three are putting together strong finishes to their season. And

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Rookie Rankings, Week 20: April Fool’s Jokes and Rookie Mistakes

Elfrif Payton haircut

NBA players aren’t the only ones susceptible to rookie mistakes. NBA writers and editors are, too. I spent nearly 20 years in newsrooms, and every year in late March, we received a staff-wide email warning us of April Fool’s jokes masquerading as news releases. At a later point in my career, I became the one writing these emails, cautioning the staff. Be careful. Don’t assume, no matter how innocuous the release may be. Make a phone call. If something sounds hinky, it

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Rookie Rankings, Week 18: Elfrid Payton is Rondo With Training Wheels

Orlando Magic Amway hallway

Rajon Rondo is now in his ninth NBA season. He has led the league in steals once and in assists twice. He is second among active players in triple-doubles. He has made the All-Defensive Team twice and the All-Defensive Second Team twice more. He is a four-time All-Star. And he has a championship ring from 2008 with the Boston Celtics. And he still can’t shoot. That’s the biggest gripe with Rondo, other than the fact that he can be more than a

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Rookie Rankings, Week 17: The Lakers Finally Find a Good Pick

Lakers jersey sleeves

Following a recent game at Memphis, Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard Jordan Clarkson left quite an impression on Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph. Clarkson scored a season-high 25 points on 12-of-18 shooting and added six assists. He kept the Lakers in the game until the fourth quarter, when the Grizzlies put their defense and talent to work and pulled out a 97-90 win. Afterward, Randolph was blown away. “That young fellow, he’s going to be good,” he said. “I didn’t even know who

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