With Olympic basketball underway in London, new Timberwolves Andrei Kirilenko and Alexey Shved led the Russian squad to a victory over Great Britain in each team's first game. Former NBA veteran Pops Mensah-Bonsu scored 22 points for Britain, and has also reportedly agreed to play in Israel for the coming season. Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (via Twitter) confirms an Israel Today report suggesting that Mensah-Bonsu has agreed to terms with Maccabi Tel Aviv. The 28-year-old had played in regular-season games for the Mavericks, Spurs, Raptors, Rockets, and Hornets in four NBA seasons.
Let's round up a few more Monday odds and ends….
- The Trail Blazers will interview their final four coaching candidates today and tomorrow, starting with Steve Clifford today, tweets Jason Quick of the Oregonian. Kaleb Canales, Terry Stotts, and Elston Turner are the other finalists.
- Joel Przybilla says he's meeting with teams this week and will decide "really soon" where he'll play in 2012/13, though he didn't say if the Blazers are still in the running, according to Quick (Twitter links). We heard last week that the Bucks, Blazers, and Mavericks were all interested in the big center.
- Suns coach Alvin Gentry isn't concerned that the team hasn't extended his contract, which will expire at the end of the coming season. "My view is if a person has a three-year contract, you assess it at the end of three years," said GM Lon Babby, and Gentry is on board with that approach, as he tells Randy Hill of FOX Sports Arizona.
- Plenty of Pistons fans were disappointed that Detroit didn't amnesty Charlie Villanueva earlier this month, but the veteran forward tells Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press that he plans to take advantage of the opportunity and use fans' scorn as motivation.