Information is at a premium this time of year in the NBA, with everybody angling for a scoop.
We are talking, of course, about the how much screen time Clippers backup center Boban Marjanovic will receive in “John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum.”
The intentions of many teams remain inscrutable ahead of the NBA trade deadline Thursday, but Clippers players have learned some of the hardest intelligence to gather regards how their 7-foot-3 Serbian teammate figures into the plot in the upcoming action franchise’s sequel.
They’ve tried prying answers out of Marjanovic since his involvement was rumored last summer.
He swats away inquiries like opponents’ layups.
“He’s not telling anybody anything,” said forward Tobias Harris, one of his closest friends on the team. “Which is annoying.”
Said center Marcin Gortat: “We try to get something out of him, and he doesn’t want to say … to us.”
Marjanovic is one of the most well-liked players in the locker room, so rebuffing his teammates hasn’t been easy. But he has his reasons, the first being that he’s not allowed to discuss details of the film, which stars Keanu Reeves in his third installment as the title character. Marjanovic also said he wouldn’t want to create unfair expectations ahead of the May 17 premiere.
“I don’t surprise them like hey, ‘I expect this or see this,’ ” he said. “I want everyone to see it with their own eyes.”
They got their first glimpse in late January upon the release of the movie’s first trailer. It showed a towering figure in all black kicking Reeves’ character before having a book shoved into his mouth.
“They were like ‘Wow, you’re in the trailer!’ ” Marjanovic said. “I’m ‘Yeah, that’s me.’
“For me it’s still like, wow. I’m in a movie? A very nice experience.”
The brief fight footage added to the questions. Is his screen time as a foe brief? Or will his character prove to be a more formidable challenger?
“He thinks we all think he wins,” Harris said, shaking his head, “but we know he doesn’t win because it’s not ‘Boban Marjanovic,’ it’s ‘John Wick.’ It’s the funniest thing talking to him about it because he thinks we really believe it’s an intense battle between him and John Wick.”
It has made some teammates consider their potential on the big screen.
At 6-11 with muscles and tattoos, Gortat would love trying his hand at playing a villain.
“Ah, hell yeah,” Gortat said. “Anytime.”
Danilo Gallinari will start upon return
Whenever Danilo Gallinari returns from the back spasms that have kept him out the last 10 games, he will regain his starting spot, coach Doc Rivers said.
“I don’t ever ease anyone in,” Rivers said. “We have how many games left? There’s no ease time anymore. If there’s a minutes restriction that’s really low you would have to think about it but otherwise he’s going to play. We’re going to play him 48, get him back in shape. That’s where he’s going to struggle because when you have injuries where you can’t run you lose your conditioning. That, to me, that’s more concerning.”
Of the current starters most likely to be displaced by Gallinari’s return, Patrick Beverley is a leading candidate. Beverley moved into the starting lineup because of Gallinari’s injury and Rivers called the guard “one of those guys you can plug in anywhere.”
Before Monday’s game in Charlotte, Beverley had averaged 11.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and shot 43.9% on three-point tries in the nine games since Gallinari was injured.
“He’s just played well,” Rivers said of Beverley. “He’s played hard with his energy but he’s great for our team because he can play a lot of roles.”