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Morning Pickup: Stories From Around the League, Friday Flick, Tame Impala

Summer League is over and all is relatively quiet around the Association. Let's look at some stories from around the league, as well as my movie recommendation for the night, and Tame Impala's newest album.

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Looking good at the ESPYs, Zach.
Looking good at the ESPYs, Zach.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday my fellow CH'ers.

There isn't much to talk about in Wolves Nation today as we have officially reached the dead period of the NBA offseason, but in case you missed it, like me, Chris Mannix interviewed Karl-Anthony Towns at Summer League. That's about all I have on the hometown front.

"I actually wanted to play in Minnesota," Towns said when asked about the chatter surrounding him and Jahilil Okafor not wanting to play in Minnesota before the draft.

"There's no reason to be picky when you get to a point like this in your life and you have a chance to play at the highest level."

Around the League

Stephen Jackson announced his retirement from the NBA, though he didn't play last season and hardly logged any minutes the year before (107 to be exact). 8 reasons we'll miss Stephen Jackson, the NBA's trill king.

Cleveland sent Rakeem Christmas, who they drafted with the No. 36 overall pick in June's draft with the pick they acquired from the Wolves on draft night (Tyus Jones trade), to the Pacers for a 2019 second-round pick owed by the Los Angeles. Now they hope to deal Brendan Haywood. After the trade, the Pacers and Christmas agreed to a four-year deal with the first two seasons guaranteed.

According to Brian Windhorst, the Cavs are still in contract talks with free agents J.R. Smith, Matthew Dellavedova and Tristan Thompson.

On NBA TV's show "Open Court," a panel of coaches discussed the smartest players they have coached or faced in the league. George Karl called Andre Miller one of the top five passers to ever play the game. Lionel Hollins praised Marc Gasol, Mike Bibby and Chris Paul, while McHale talked about Garnett, understandably, and even mentioned Latrell "I got my family to feed" Sprewell.

Sekou Smith referenced an article by Doug Smith in the Toronto Star about Anthony Bennett in his Hang Time Blog yesterday.

No. 3: Bennett taking advantage of opportunity — Two years into his NBA career, former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett still has plenty to prove. But after being traded once and getting in better shape, Bennett is using a stint playing this summer with Team Canada in the Pan Am Games as a chance to show what he can do with his NBA team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, writes Doug Smith in the Toronto Star...

It now remains to be seen if the former No. 1 NBA draft pick can turn a summer stint that affords him such luxuries into a month that kick starts a somewhat stalled professional career.

So far, so good.

Bennett, the Brampton product who's scuffled through a couple of NBA seasons trying to find his game and a niche, had 17 points and six rebounds as Canada pulled away in the final two minute to beat Argentina 88-83 in Pan Am Games preliminary round action at the Ryerson Athletic Centre.

The Minnesota Timberwolves forward may not have found an NBA comfort zone but he's had times he's dominated in international play and Canadian officials hope another summer with the national team will work long-term magic.

"He's come in with a great attitude, he's really hungry to represent his country and improve and this is a really important summer for him," national team general manager Steve Nash said. "He's a had a tough go his first two years but he's really good kid so you just want to be here as a resource and help him realize his potential and play a lot and figure some things out with his game and where he can maximize his advantages on the floor. But most important he's worked hard, he's got a great attitude and he's put himself in position to improve."

Bennett did look more comfortable and as if he was having more fun while leading Canada to its second straight win. High-stepping back down the court after making a shot, the smiles, the interaction with teammates, it all just looks so natural.

"That's two great games for him, he had 15 and 10 the other night (against Dominican Republic) and we said coming into this, this is going to be big thing for him with his ability to score in so many ways, the effort and energy he's putting in right now," said coach Jay Triano.

"The guy hangs a picture of his jersey in his locker, he's proud to be Canadian, he's proud to wear this uniform. That says a lot about the way he's acting and the way he's playing out here."

David posted some of my thoughts on Anthony Bennett in the Pan Am Games yesterday, but competition is everything and we should not simply push that aside when talking about his performance.

Friday Flick

Are you staying at home tonight and looking for a good flick to watch on the couch? Look no further than "The Grand Budapest Hotel."

This was easily one of my favorite films of 2014. Wes Anderson hits it out of the park once again. There's little doubt that Mr. Anderson possesses a consistent visual style, seen again in this film, but it absolutely works and I loved every second of his eighth film...


"Currents" is the third studio album by Australian psychedelic rock act Tame Impala, released last Friday. The entire album is fantastic, but I want to highlight "The Less I Know The Better." What an incredible track.