In Case You Hadn't Had Enough Of Game 3, Richard Jefferson Implied That LeBron James Was Sick With A Mystery Illness
"I know he won't talk about it, so I'll give my big guy a shout," Jefferson said. "Deron Williams missed shootaround this morning because he had like a little bug, really lethargic, had no energy. And I think that's what 'Bron had. And sometimes these little bugs can go around. And [James] was like, dude when Deron didn't show up to shootaround, it kind of started clicking in his head. Because for him it was like, 'I don't know why I was so lethargic, why I had no energy, I had nothing.'
"And so, these little things happen. [There] was no panic. Look, he was lethargic, they hit a bunch of tough shots, if Marcus Smart doesn't go 7-for-10 from 3, then we're not even talking about it."
Oh, sweet Jesus. Can we please not do this? I appreciate Richard Jefferson sticking up for the guy who is most responsible for him retiring with a ring, but come the fuck on. Retroactively diagnosing the best player in the world with an ailment that he only thought that he might have had after it kept his much more mortal teammate out of a light practice two days later? I have no explanation for LeBron James general disinterest during what was one of his worst postseason games of his career so having a vague, indiscernible "bug" is as good of a reason as any. Still, acting like a sickness that he didn't even know about at the time was solely responsible for his shitty game is like last season's "Steph Curry sucked so he must be hurt" narrative on steroids.
Why? Just why can't we let this die? Why can't we focus on the other 11 playoff games in which LeBron James defied age, science, and damn near everything else that says people aren't supposed to peak as professional athletes at the age of 32? Maybe the one game where he didn't make his peers look like preteens playing pickup against their father was altered by a mystery illness. However, unless that mystery illness was the 24 hour black plague then it doesn't completely make sense of an 11 point, 6 turnover performance from someone that's bigger, stronger, and faster then almost everyone else that has ever played the sport.
I haven't let one lazy, uninterested effort effect how I view a player that will probably go down as the best of all time, but if every loss is going to have a corresponding "condition" then I may have to jump on board with the idiots that won't stop stat vomiting Michael Jordon's arbitrary playoff point totals.
SportingNews- Former Kansas star Josh Jackson received a diversion agreement that stipulates he attend anger management classes, refrain from alcohol and recreational drugs for 12 months and write an apology letter, according to court records obtained by The Kansas City Star.
Jackson was charged in February with misdemeanor criminal damage to property after he followed a female student to her car, then proceeded to kick the driver's-side door and rear tail light.
The police report listed the damage caused to the car at $3,150.45, which is a felony. Jackson, however, was given a lesser charge.
Jackson must now enroll in and successfully complete an anger management counseling course by October 31. He will also have to complete a minimum of 20 hours of community service by the same date.
I think we can agree that being obligated to attend anger management courses when you're about to be selected to contribute on a professional court that often times turns contentious isn't the greatest look for a kid that's trying to up his draft stock as high as possible. Josh Jackson seems to fit comfortably in the 3-5 range regardless, so it's doubtful that his inability to communicate his frustrations with words will have much of an impact on his immediate future.
Plus, even if it did, possessing some calves that can cause well over $3,000 worth of damage to a motor vehicle is damn impressive. I don't know how that translates to explosiveness in the paint but having a fender bending front kick should be in the 'strengths' section of the scouting report, because it has to be considered a 'pro' when it's not being used on the rear end of a college girl's Jetta. I don't think he should look to use it as an on-court asset - a la Draymond Green - but I have a lot of confidence in Josh Jackson's ability to out jump people for rebounds if he can damn near total a car with nothing more than the launching points in his sneakers. Harness that type of destructive lower body strength into something a little more productive than manipular vehicle-slaughter and the 76er's might really have a player on their hands.
Warriors' Owner Joe Lacob Said They Were The Better Team Despite Losing To The Cavaliers In The Finals Last Year
You know what they say, insufferableness starts at the top. Well, actually it might be success that starts at the top. Eh, whatever, with the Warriors it's basically the same difference anyway. Joe Lacob's masturbatory self love (that's got to be dangerously close to causing chaffing by now) for what he's created - via the help of exemplary coaching and a hot hand in the dice game that is the NBA Draft - runs rampart throughout his whole organization, and there is no bigger sign of it than him heaping championship-level praise on his 73 win runner-ups.
I can't - in good conscience - say that he's wrong, because the Warriors probably would have went back-to-back if Draymond Green could have suppressed his impulse to go limb-to-dick. Speaking strictly from the "team" perspective, the record setting and history making Warriors probably were better than the Cavaliers. After all, Cleveland needed Kyrie Irving to play Robin to LeBron James' Batman in just barely saving Gotham from the thin-skinned villains whose money man can't seem to get over the heroics that took them down. That said, saying such as the self important - albeit successful - owner of a team whose choke job became an internet sensation is a move so annoying that it makes me yearn for the days of the nauseatingly repetitive '3-1' jokes. Joe Lacob might have a lot to be proud of, but he's light years behind in understanding that the better team losing made them - at least temporarily - a top-to-bottom failure as a franchise.
Speaking As Someone Who Criticized Kevin Durant's Decision, This Recent Stephen A. Smith Rant Is Totally Off Base
What has happened to Durant? I can't believe this is a question we are asking, but - in response to the conversation starter that 'First Take' used to lead into a eye roll-inducing rant about an NBA superstar's respect level towards fans - let me say this; Kevin Durant has stopped giving a fuck and I have a tough time blaming him for it.
I - like many, many others - instantly called KD's departure to the team that had just recently beat him in soul shattering fashion a soft move that showed a lack of competitive spirit. If only for that reason, I can't sit here now and say that KD should give a crap what I - or anyone else for that matter - thinks about his team's dominance. I don't care that he's making millions of dollars as a basketball player, because there's no dollar amount that would, could, or should make a person any less "dismissive" towards those that basically called them a pussy in public.
We are talking about a guy that had the entirety of his character torn to shreds following a career choice that he had every right to make. That's not to say that it wasn't an easily criticizable career choice. However, those fans that he's being "disrespectful" towards are the same ones that called him a coward, or - in Stephen A. Smith's own words - "weak" for the entirety of an offseason. I was one of those fans, and as such I would expect the reasonably spiteful professional athlete to stick his proverbial middle finger up in my face after flawlessly cruising to the NBA Finals.
In fact, I actually appreciate that Kevin Durant is finally doubling down on what was undoubtedly a villainous choice. I know Stephen A. Smith added an unnecessary amount of hot sauce to his critique because that's what he's paid handsomely to do, but when did we stop praising people for speaking words that parallel their actions? When the unstoppable force chose to join the immovable object instead of potentially meeting it in the Western Conference Finals he proved he didn't care bout parity in the NBA. He's finally saying that now too, and for that I begrudgingly applaud him.
John Wall Got A Class Full Of Kids (Taught By The Most Shameless Teacher Ever) A '100' On Their Math Final
I don't want to paint the entire teaching profession with a broad stroke, but if they want their calls for higher salaries to be taken seriously then they should probably have a sit down with their peers that are lazily passing out 100's by the classroom at the click of a celebrity's button. I'm not offended that the youth of America is getting stupider by the second, but educators that get summers off are already fighting an uphill battle for additional financial benefits without pawning off their grading on professional athletes.
Credit to John Wall for doing right by some kids in getting them out of a math test, but there's very little arithmetic to be learned from a retweet. Ms. Gilbert ain't got no man and therefore she should have plenty of free time to check the work of 20-some odd kids that just pulled an A+ out of their ass by convincing their teacher into letting her lack of occupational integrity go viral. I know how useless algebra can be in the long run, but that doesn't mean I need the next generation growing up thinking that a point guard's social media account can get them out of studying fruitless crap like the rest of us had to. I don't mean to be a buzzkill, but I'm going to guess that most of these kids don't have a killer crossover that's going to expedite their higher education so maybe let's consider fan interaction to be extra credit instead of automatic triple digits for everyone.
Anthony Bennett, The Bustiest Bust Of All Time, Is On The Cusp Of A Euro Championship And Expects To Have The Last Laugh
I know what you are thinking. It's absolutely preposterous for a former #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft to feel vindicated by winning a championship in the EuroLeague after being unable to hack it on the roster of a 20-62 Brooklyn Nets team that's so starved for talent that they would sign my grandmother if she shoot over 70% underhand from the charity stripe. It's legitimately insane for Anthony Bennett to think that hoisting a trophy that no one in the states cares about would serve as his "HA!" moment when all that he's contributing towards winning it is less than one two point field goal in a little over seven minutes of playing time per game.
However, while there is no shortage of disparaging adjectives you can use in reference to the professional basketball career (or nearly complete lack thereof) of Anthony Bennett, you can't say the man is a liar. Assuming he has a self deprecating sense of humor, he absolutely will have the last laugh. If he can find the comic relief in being stapled to the bench overseas while the franchise that drafted him is running roughshod over their entire conference en route to a third straight NBA Finals appearance in exactly as many years as he has been off the team then all the power to him. Personally, I appreciate someone that has the ability to make jokes at their own expense, and if Anthony Bennett is that type of person then he'll be in self induced stitches well after the general public has forgotten about his entire existence.
Now, if by "I just turned 24 years old..." he was trying to imply that years 25-30 are going to exonerate him as the biggest bust in basketball history then he legitimately needs a psychological evaluation, but the undisputed fact about crazy people is that they do - indeed - tend to laugh just a little bit longer than everyone else.
If you think I am going to dig into the annals of Cleveland Cavaliers postgame press conferences to try to find out whether or not LeBron James and Kenny Roda have some long, storied past of contentiousness specifically following defeat then clearly it's your first time reading this site. Welcome, and in a very "sorry, not sorry" kind of a way I apologize for the lack of journalistic integrity.
Anyway, on to the best basketball player in the world and his seemingly snippy response to what sounded like a fairly harmless question. Like I said, I don't know if there's a history responsible for that uncomfortable interaction, but I do know that that tone was of someone that hasn't had to answer to his failures in quite some time.
You know when you get accustomed to a higher standard of living and things that used to be part of your daily routine now feel like inconveniences? I can't help but think that LeBron has gotten so used to winning (seeing as that's all he's done for well over a month) that answering to a loss felt like the professional athlete version of an executive getting his/her own coffee for the first time since they became partner. Complaining about a poignant inquiry following one of his worst playoff performances ever comes off as trivial at best and bitchy at worst, but maybe you'd react similarly if you had reporters lobbing you softballs about your favorite rapper for the last 40-some odd days. Not to say that his whining should be excused because of how unnecessary it's been since the postseason started, but it is to say that I can relate since I engage in similarly unexcused whining when I hit traffic that's "not supposed to be there" or encounter a long line that's usually much shorter.
A Spurs Fan Is Suing Zaza Pachulia For "Maliciously" Injuring Kawhi Leonard, Annnnd That's About Enough Of That
SFChronicle- The Spurs have not asked the NBA to review Zaza Pachulia's foul on Kawhi Leonard, which caused Leonard to re-injure his ankle and forced him to miss the final 20 minutes of Game 1 and all of Game 2.
Juan Vazquez on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Pachulia and the Warriors on behalf of Spurs season ticket holders and San Antonio card shop What's On Second.
"All we are asking from the court is that this type of behavior, that can and does cause serious injury to our team and those that love it, not be allowed in San Antonio," said Alfonso Kennard, Jr., lead attorney for the plaintiffs.
The suit claims Pachulia acted "without excuse or justification, intentionally and maliciously invaded the landing zone of an opposing athlete, Kawhi Leonard."
Pachulia's action, the complaint reads, "devastated the quality of the Spurs' chances of being competitive and having additional games in their home arena, both in the Western Conference Finals and also potentially in the NBA Finals" and also negatively affected "the value of the tickets purchased by plaintiff subsequent to their purchase."
Among the plaintiffs' demands:
Yup, we found it. That, right there, is officially the line. I would have been cool with Spurs' fans - and really NBA fans in general - bitching about a dirty play that dramatically effected the watchability of a long anticipated series until that long anticipated series ended in woefully uninteresting fashion. Unfortunately, now that legalities are involved I know longer want to hear about how some dopey Russian terrorized the Western Conference Finals when the same team more than likely would have won regardless.
Listening to the ongoing backlash towards the not-so-cautionary closeout was like watching one friend drunkenly try to fight another friend who spent weeks intentionally getting under his skin. You could understand the frustration and had no problem letting it play out how the spurned party saw fit....until the spurned party got his ass kicked and immediately went full-douche with the "good thing my dad is a lawyer" line.
I hate Zaza Pachulia as much as the next guy, but - as much as he resembles one of Vladimir Putin's henchman - he's not actually a criminal for being a little careless with his feet. All sports fan should feel as though they have been robbed of one of the few instances of interesting basketball in these NBA Playoffs, but you can't file a claim for a hypothetical. A player who was already hurt got a little more hurt, and - if we are being honest with ourselves - the ankle of a guy as active as Kawhi Leonard probably wasn't going to hold up anyway. It sucks that it gave out at a time that so clearly soured the intrigue of the series, but a lot of things suck and most of them don't require a law suit. Life goes on, and I am pretty sure Spurs' fans have enough fucking titles to get them through this.
I absolutely loathe small talk, and I'm not really a huge dessert guy, but I'll be damned the combination wasn't a welcomed addition to a broadcast that I hardly wanted to watch - never mind hear - any more of. I don't even know what else to say about the travesty that has become the Western Conference Finals, and that's why I can't criticize Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy for choosing to bicker about a bitter sweet ending to their man dinner. Lord knows what else they are going to use to fill dead air, but if we are treated to another performance like we were in Game 2 then it would have to be about their post-meal bathroom visits on Mexican night to stink as much as the basketball we'd be watching. I'm starting to think that they should kick off games by having an unrelated dialogue and only begin to acknowledge said games when they prove that they might still be mildly competitive in the second half. The NBA playoffs have lost the benefit of the doubt, and I wouldn't even mind if they completely lost the attention of their most trusted commentators. At the very least it would help said commentators relate to the average/bored/distacted viewer who is keenly aware that Mark Jackson is working harder to stay awake than Mike Brown is while holding his former position as coach of Warriors.
Warriors "Acting" Head Coach Mike Brown Got Stopped By Multiple Cops While Trying To Enter Oracle Arena
Welp, there you have it. Need not look further than Mike Brown not getting let on the premises based on facial recognition alone to ID the fact that the Warriors really don't even need a head coach. All due respect to Steve Kerr, because his handy work is the reason that this machine is so well oiled and self sufficient, but does it really matter who plays the role of hands-off supervisor if the local police department doesn't even know who is currently "in charge" of the team they are ultimately trying to protect during the conference finals?
I feel like one of the officers heard him say "I am the acting head coach of the Golden State Warriors!" before turning to his partner and saying "Wait, stop that guy. I am pretty sure they don't even have one of those". That's where we are at now. Golden State is so dominant that they might as well have one of those faceless video games silhouettes running their sideline. There is almost nothing that Mike Brown could do or not do to have a lasting impact on games that are more often than not way out of (his) hand(s). Shit, he can't even make a lasting impact on the memory of those that wave him into his own workplace. That's not to say that he can't get through to players that are all-to-familiar with their roles within the system, but it is to say that he doesn't even fucking have to.
"Acting" head coach is actually an insanely appropriate title, because - whether or not he's capable of more - he's basically just going through the motions as an authority figure that can't even recognized by authority.
::insert race joke about law enforcement here::
I Couldn't Possibly Care Less That LaMarcus Aldridge Had A Similarly Dangerous Closeout On Kevin Durant
I can't do it. I simply cannot do it, and I won't let the internet guilt me into doing it. Despite LaMarcus Aldridge closing out in...well...ZaZa-esque fashion, I won't be intimidated into making as big of a deal of it as I did the play that ultimately made the rest of this series a snooze-fest.
Yes, it was just as dirty. The ridiculously similar extra shuffle towards the landing spot of the shooter was just as dangerous and just as unnecessary. Unfortunately, I have bad news for those that are patting themselves on the back because they have timely, visual evidence to point to when discussing the frequency with which this type of tomfoolery takes place. Results matter and this closeout didn't result in a boring, non-competitive Western Conference Final between two teams that we've been patiently waiting to see matchup come playoff time. Reputation matters and ZaZa Pachulia's is that of a relatively talentless goon who commonly crosses the line.
Warriors' fans can likely be heard screaming "Ha! See!" from the mountain top they decided to scale when Steph Curry started hitting 3-pointers from well beyond it, and I would probably do the same if I were them. That doesn't mean I - or anyone else - should be anywhere near as pissed about a risky scenario that ended up being nothing more than a harmless blip on the radar during a blowout. I don't even care if it's hypocritical to look at LaMarcus Aldridge's questionable defensive effort and shrug, because LaMarcus Aldridge's questionable defensive effort didn't sideline the best two way player in the league and severely cripple the odds of the underdog.
P.S. Also, on a more sadistic note, I think everyone that's being honest with themselves (and not wearing a 10 month old Durant jersey) is hoping that something bad happens to Golden State. I don't root for injuries, but I'll be damned if an ankle for an ankle doesn't seem justified at this point.
Draymond Green's Thoughts (Or Lack Thereof) On Gregg Popovich's Criticism Of ZaZa Pachulia Spoke Volumes
I don't want to get into the long of this debate, but as far as the short of it goes? I think that if you want to die on the hill that ZaZa Pachulia's closeout differed from the rest of his career in being clean then you're either a sucker or you used WebMD to diagnose him with lower body Tourette's Syndrome. I'm not saying it was a schemed and plotted attack against the ankle of Kawhi Leonard, but that extra step was just as dangerous as it was completely unnecessary. To think otherwise would be to drastically underrate the athletic ability of NBA players.
But hey, you don't have to take my word for it. Hell, you don't even have to take the most accomplished, respected coach in the sport at his word either. After all, Gregg Popovich allowed Bruce Bowen to engage in similar antics a decade before they were anywhere near being legislated properly so what the fuck does he know? Plus, it doesn't stand to reason to get a biased opinion when the shockingly dumbstruck reaction to that biased opinion is so much more incriminating.
I may be looking too far into this, but when is the last time you remember Draymond Green taking criticism that is directed towards the Warriors in stride? The guy in that video who somehow developed the never before seen ability to speak in a hushed tone is the same guy that has loudly excused multiple acts of violence against the scrotums of opposing players. Yup, the same one that acted as Kevin Durant's spokesperson when the general public was wondering why he took made a quick left down Easy Street in search of championship. You mean to tell me that very same dude couldn't muster up a two sentence defense for a scathing indictment of his scumbag of a teammate if he thought it was unfair? I would never speak for Draymond Green because he does enough of that for himself, and that's why him going mum on the word in response to a question about a play that was already widely considered dirty may as well have slung mud on it.
It's not fair. It's just not fair. The Golden State Warriors have four of the best players in the league operating at full strength, and the bargain basement big that they used to fill the roster is the one making series altering plays? The NBA Playoffs - if only for one half - appeared to possess some actual intrigue, and the dude who is only on the team to provide size and comic relief with his inability to adequately use that size to score in traffic had to...ahem...step in and ruin everything. ZaZa Pachulia was such a punchline that he almost got voted to the All Star Game as a charity case, but the joke's on us because he just parted what was already a pretty clear path for the Warriors to get to the NBA Finals. He really...uh...stuck it out on behalf of his team, and now their only conference opponent that was worth a damn is severely handicapped. The role player whose most important role is the rolling of ankles just changed the entire landscape of the Western Conference Finals. The least celebrated member of a goddamn juggernaut just hopped his way into the history books by "contesting" an MVP candidate's shot with the added fervor of your drunk uncle doing the electric slide.
I have my reasons for thinking that that reckless, excessive footwork was an example of dirty dancing. Many of those reasons can be viewed on YouTube after searching the name of the repeat offender. However - intentional or not - ZaZa Pachulia just made his mark on a potential championship run, and I can't say anyone expected that to happen when he was originally signed to be nothing more than a warm body in a cold blooded offense.
UPDATE: I get the feeling that Gregg Popovich agrees with my opinion of the legality of that close-out. Just a hunch...
I can't really say I am surprised. I thought that asking outlandish questions for dramatic effect was more of an NFL combine practice, but - with the undeniable success that football has had identifying high character athletes - it was obviously bound to infiltrate NBA circles. So, am I stunned that a talent evaluator asked a 23 year old to mentally fast forward through his whole career and entire adult life to definitively select a favorite way to expire? Not particularly. I do, however, snicker at the thought of what overly critical scouts could derive from what has to be far and away the most common answer to "how exactly would you like to become a corpse?".
Now, chances are that introducing themselves with an inquiry that would make the average person ever-so-slowly back away is just a tool to gauge how easily flustered a prospect may be. However - in the most non-morbid way possible - I like to think executives are doing a deep dive on preferred deaths and what they say about a potential pro athlete. For instance...
Frank Mason III wants to go out in his sleep? What a chump! Must not have that killer instinct to keep toughing it out through his last breath. Does that sound like someone you'd want with the ball in his hands down two possessions late in the fourth quarter? A guy that doesn't want to be mentally present while battling against the biggest 'L' that life has to offer? Playing at Kansas really must have left this kid feeling entitled if he expects death to be painless. How could he possibly be prepared for playoff basketball if he's already planning on actively avoiding adversity en route to eternal glory. Knock him down the draft board, because - in the good name of Hank Gathers - we can't select a player who doesn't have his heart set on eventually stopping on the hardwood before late in the second round. Dropping six under without even scratching and clawing to stay above ground. Sounds like someone that should be a target for the Clippers.
Strengths: Jump shot, physicality, experience.
Weaknesses: Size, passing, fears tragedy, dreads suffering.
Here's what I am going to do. I am going to take James Harden at his word. I'd rather not believe that an NBA MVP candidate is capable of having a game that would make the average pick-up player take his ball, go home, and stuff it deep in the closet for the next 6-8 months. However, I simply have to assume that he was - indeed - "good" because if there was ever a time to admit that he was "bad" it was following an effort that had people legitimately considering the possibility that a professional athlete was drugged prior to a playoff game. Nothing can take away from a transformative season that no one - sans Mike D'Antoni - saw coming, but I hope to hear that Harden was dealing with some type of mental of physical ailment just so I don't have to question whether or not the last 90 or so games were the world's most impressive facade.
Now, I don't want to make it sound like great players aren't vulnerable to putrid performances under pressure nor am I at liberty to start throwing the Q-word around. Gregg Popovich is a basketball genius and a beautiful defensive mind so if there was someone to put the shackles on James Harden then it was him. Still - assuming Gregg Popovich is not a basketball wizard that can hypnotize otherworldly athletes with his stare and blink them out of their ball security - the most concerning part about James Harden's lethargically absentminded play last night is that it's something we've seen before.
Flashback to 2015 when the Rockets looked like their season was cooked in Game 6 against the Clippers. Do you remember where the fearless beard was while Josh Smith (yup, that Josh Smith) led the most unlikely comeback in NBA history? The picture might be painted differently in retrospect, but he was sulking on the bench as someone who was completely and utterly resigned to defeat. How about 2016 when James Harden looked to be literally napping near the baseline while the Golden State Warriors ran circles around the least deserving 8 seed in recent memory? Consider that we watched one of the best scorers of all time match the shot total of Clint fucking Capela and commit 3x as many turnovers as he had made field goals in an elimination game, and it's tough to ignore the trend forming. I don't want to say that James Harden dips out of dodge faster than someone that sees an old, outgoing classmate walking down the street towards them when he runs into adversity, but it's certainly beginning to look that way. The last three times his season has been in jeopardy he has done everything in his power to make sure his extended vacation time was not.
Things appeared different this year. With the way he was sharing the ball and leading his team he looked like someone that had turned the corner and left his loser mentality in the rearview. Maybe James Harden was hurt. Maybe he was sick. Maybe basketball playing aliens stole his talent. Maybe one laughable game that would have had the coach in 'Blue Chips' confidently accusing him of shaving points was simply an untimely anomaly. Let's hope it was one of those scenarios, because the alternative is that James Harden gave up against a Spurs team that was without it's best player/most intimidating defender and that his old habits made the Rockets' unforeseen championship run die hard.
The Suns Passed On Kawhi Leonard Partially Because He Sweat Through His Suit During A Combine Interview
AZCentral- Leonard did not work out for the Suns, who were picking 13th. He was clearly a defensive standout but the San Diego State power forward needed to become an NBA small forward at 6 feet 7. His jump shot was suspect but his work ethic was not. His college coach, Steve Fisher, told NBA staff that Leonard would not be satisfied by money.
There seems like there would have been much to discuss about Leonard. A gaze at his 7-3 wingspan and hands as long as men’s size 7½ shoes would be an adequate prompt.
This is when it would be convenient to say the Suns did not pick Leonard because of an overabundance of rotation small forwards on the roster — Grant Hill, Jared Dudley and Josh Childress. …
But with a front office conducting its first draft in Phoenix, then-General Manager Lance Blanks’ staff did not have Leonard in the discussion. Part of the Suns’ knock on Leonard, beyond his perimeter shot, was how nervously he acted in a draft combine interview, when he sweated through his suit.
That's it, I'm calling timeout. I refuse to sit here silently while people criticize the Phoenix Suns for letting the gleam emanating from Kawhi Leonard's forehead blind them from seeing the versatility of the talent he possessed. I know it's fun to play the "what if?" game in regards to the draft, but let's not act like the body odor wafting from the pit stains of a middling prospect wasn't worthy of a 'Degree' of concern. I hate to throw an 'Axe' into this retrospective bashing of a former NBA front office member, but not even Kawhi Leonard thought he would be Kawhi Leonard in 2011.
I would agree that a struggling team should have done their due diligence and brought someone with a 7'3 wingspan in for a looksy, but swimming in your suit once the bright light hits you isn't what I would consider positive foreshadowing for a guy whose shooting was considered questionable. Obviously every team in the league would have gladly reinforced their janitorial staff if they knew that the interviewee who - by comparison - made Patrick Ewing look like a viable 'Old Spice' spokesperson was going to become an MVP candidate and the best two way player in the NBA. Unfortunately - as we should all know by now - not every team in the league is the San Antonio Spurs.
All due respect to Kawhi Leonard, but if he didn't fall into the all-knowing hands of Gregg Popovich then who is to say that he wouldn't currently be unnervingly sweating into perspiration buckets at the end of an NBA bench? The guy worked his ass off to be mentioned in the "what dumbass reason did you have for passing on him?" category, but he was also granted the perfect opportunity to mature into a player whose body now allows him to answer stupid questions without looking like he's eating ghost peppers in a sauna.
Jeremy Lin Was The Target Of More Racism During College Than He Has Been In The NBA, As If That's A Surprise
Uproxx- Lin told Foye that one fan at Georgetown shouted negative Asian stereotypes at him, such as “chicken fried rice!” and “beef lo mein!” and “beef and broccoli,” throughout the entire game. And when Harvard visited Yale one time, Lin said fans heckled his appearance, specifically his eyes.
“They were like, ‘Hey! Can you even see the scoreboard with those eyes?'” Lin recalled.
“To this day in the NBA, there are still some times where there are still some fans that will say smaller stuff, and that is not a big deal,” Lin said. “But that motivates me in a different way.”
What? No. Say it ain't so! You mean to tell me that hoards of rich, white Ivy Leaguers that are belligerently drunk off grain alcohol and dime-a-dozen beer are more likely to be racially insensitive towards Asian people than the average person paying to attend an NBA game? I can't - no - I won't believe it. Those kids were probably just loudly discussing their postgame order from 'Mister Wong's Wok', and Jeremy Lin took it the wrong way because it made him hangry. I doubt they would badger him with hackneyed insults about his appearance when it was granted to him by his heritage. They were likely just making sure he didn't forget to regularly visit his optometrist. How were they supposed to know that his prolonged squint was genetic when student sections historically don't see color? If there's anything I know about college kids it's that the combination of weekday drinking and sports make them a much more tolerant group that would never target an athlete due to his nationality. Plus, do we really believe that one of Yale's fine, young scholars would have the gall to be culturally insensitive when he was merely one influx of Engineering majors away from becoming the minority on campus?
Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable. It's not just the fact that a seemingly ageless 39 year old swatted an MVP candidate's game tying three point attempt in triumphant fashion. It's that he looked like a 39 year old playing his youngest son 1-on-1 in the driveway when he did it. James Harden was 10 years old when San Antonio drafted Manu Giniboli, and you would have thought he was still 10 years old with the way he got baited into that block. Think back to the days when your dad stopped letting you beat him and started to use the fact that he was bigger than you to his advantage. I'm not Jewish so the closest thing I had to a rite of passage was driving past the old man thinking I had an open lay-up only for him to force feed me the basketball like it had the same nutritional value of the vegetables I tossed in the trash. That's essentially what the savviest of veterans did to one of the best pure scorers in the entire NBA during one of the most pressure packed moments of these (otherwise boring) playoffs.
James Harden shot didn't even get returned to its sender, because it literally got swiped from his hands before he could even mail it out. He basically got bullied by someone whose been around this same block about a dozen times. The NBA's elder statesmen played the role of the irrationally hands-on coach to someone that moved the ball in overtime less than the cocky kid that thinks he's too good for his youth basketball team. The Rockets ran their offense as though they were actively trying to lose, and the most seasoned member of their opposition proved that there is something to the theory that wisdom comes with age. With Kawhi Leonard sitting on the bench with a sore ankle, it's a good thing that he did.
Personally, I think anyone that tries to engage/threaten/shit talk any player from the comfort and safety of their own seat is a bit of a loser, but Isaiah Thomas? During this postseason? I know that what happens on the court is technically separate from everything he has recently endured off the court, but - come on - have the smallest amount of self respect. Let the 5'8 guard whose playing above expectations and beyond the tragic death of his sister have a few weeks of from dealing with froggish fans who would never in a million years leap. At the end of the day, it probably won't truly bother the professional athlete who is surely used to the senseless chatter. However, it probably should bother the dude that is making a public spectacle out of his insecurities as a fake tough guy that would undoubtedly get fucked up by one of the smallest players in the NBA if scream came to shove.
Dwight Howard Got Pulled Over And His Car Got Impounded The Night The Hawks Got Eliminated From The Playoffs
TheSportingNews- The end of the season for Dwight Howard went from bad to worse after he found himself in legal trouble.
Hours after the Hawks were bounced from the NBA playoffs by the Wizards in Game 6, Howard was pulled over early April 29 by police in Dunwoody, Ga., for speeding. The officer discovered Howard had been driving on a suspended registration and without insurance and had his car towed, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
When Howard was told that he came up as flagged for not having insurance and a suspended registration, the Hawks big man seemed "confused" and insisted he had insurance, according to the police report. But Howard was unable to present an insurance card to the officer.
Howard was issued a citation for not having insurance and received a verbal warning for speeding, even though he was going 95 mph in a 65 mph zone.
His car, a 2016 Audi Rs7, was impounded. The Hawks declined comment about the incident.
Is it wrong to think that the officer that pulled over Dwight Howard didn't have his car impounded because he was without just about every piece of paperwork necessary to legally operate a motor vehicle, but because he truly believed he was too dumb to have it? I'm sure there is some type of protocol that calls for seizing the car when the person behind the wheel stares back blankly when asked for their license, registration, and insurance, but I picture this cop taking his keys from him like a concerned mother. Almost as if it wasn't the obvious infractions that made him call the tow company, but the idea that he didn't trust the moron stupid enough to commit those infractions with getting home safely. Considering he went un-ticketed for going 30 MPH over the speed limit, I'm inclined to believe he pitied the idiot who was whipping around in a flashy car with no way to identify it as his own while making enough money to charter a private jet to every single home game.
After all, if he wanted to be a dick he could have arrested him and if he wanted to give him NBA player privilege he could have let him off completely. Instead he deemed the best punishment was to basically put him in vehicular timeout. To put this in terms Dwight Howard would understand, the candy jar was locked away for the benefit of the overgrown child that was too unsubtle to not get caught with his hand in seconds before sitting down for dinner. Getting knockout out of the playoffs in the first round only to immediately end up in legal trouble is the most "Dwight Howard" ending to a season of all time, but - unlike that officer - I can't feel bad for the person that brings all this crap upon himself. Oh well, at least he finally got posted up. Too bad it was on the side of the highway without his own means of transportation.