A Ballsy Fan Sitting Courtside At 'The Garden' Took It Upon Himself To Get The Nets' Assistant Coach In Front Of Him To Take A Seat Via Jacket Tug
On one hand, you'll never get me to fully side with the type of entitled fan that thinks merely purchasing a ticket gives him (or her, but 99.9% of the time it's a him) the right to go around disrespecting anyone and everyone that just so happens to enter an oh-so-expensive line of vision. Tugging on someone's suit tail is basically one step short of palming their head and pushing it down, so doing so to Travon Bryant, who is a former professional athlete turned NBA staffer, should - in a perfect world - result in your whooped ass getting handed to you.
On the other hand, I think it's fair to question whether it was entirely necessary for a second row assistant coach, who stands at 6'9, to be standing more erect than the Empire State Building in getting a better look at a matchup for which his in-game input is, in all likelihood, limited. To be honest, it seems like more of a power move than anything else, which doesn't make all that much sense considering the lack of true power he actually wields.
Let's just keep it real, if Travon Bryant thought he needed to be standing then he would have remained standing, as opposed to conceding his view to some middle-aged man who was dressed for the nosebleeds. Let's keep it even more real, if Travon Bryant's authority was truly respected then the fan that laid a hand on him in a disparaging manner would have gotten forcibly removed from The Garden before he got a chance to smell the flowers, never mind pick a fight.
Maybe I'm wrong here, but if the same on-court security team that dragged Charles Oakley out of the building responds with nothing more than a"hey, don't do that!" then they probably sort of sympathize with the plight that caused you to do just that. Doesn't mean you should do it, as there's certainly something to be said for not showing up to someone's workplace and telling them how to do their job. However, there's also something to be said about knowing your standing in the workplace. With all due respect to a short-tenured developmental coach, Travon Bryant's standing is probably...well...seated.
LeBron James And Dwyane Wade Hugged It Out, In Front Of Approximately A Billion Cameras, After Going Head-To-Head For The Final Time
I was going to let it go, I swear I was. The idea of two close friends, former teammates, co-champions, and competitors, who are central figures of a golden era of NBA basketball, showing love and appreciation for one another was awesome enough for me to look past the amount of lenses eavesdropping on a conversation that was bound to tainted by their presence. It was as inevitable as it was weird that, while taking a moment to reflect on the upcoming culmination of a career that means so much to the both of them, they had to look either down at the ground or directly into one another's eyes so as to not accidentally get intimate with the Channel-Whatever news. Such is life when two larger-than-life, generational superstars hug it out under the brightest of bright lights for the last time, but the coverage it got all-but-guaranteed we'd be privy to the sentiments they damn well knew would be shared...
And those sentiments themselves? Bleh. Dwyane Wade pandering to Los Angeles' superiority complex? LeBron James offering even more mystique to "The Mecca" while torturing/trolling Knicks' fans? Predictably, that conversation was a whole hell of a lot cooler and more genuine in theory than it was in execution, and theory is all we would have had if not for nosiness of news cameras. If given 60 seconds to think on it, never mind 15 years, I could have put more sentimental words on lips that instead chose to service two fanbases that were doing a fine job of fluffing themselves. I don't care if it's truth or if LeBron just wants everyone to think it was the truth, because both the following picture and the relationship it represents are iconic enough in their own right not to have the preceding discussion invoke a love-fest of two tradition-rich cities that already love themselves too much.
A Tip Of The Hat To Rudy Gobert, Who Lasted All Of Three Minutes Before Getting Tossed From Last Night's Game By An Official That Clearly Had It Out For Him
Hey, for what it's worth, we've all been there. If there's one thing that can make almost anyone want to aggressively clear a nearby table of all beverages then it's walking into the office only to be slapped with the cold, harsh reality that the people, places, and things around you are going to make sure the next however many hours of your day-to-day life are a real son of a bitch.
An NBA court ain't your average workplace, but Rudy Gobert still has a job to do and - to a professional rim protector - getting called for a foul on the goddamn opening tip-off is the equivalent of finding out on Monday morning that the coffee machine is broken and the mouth on your boss is not. Add to that a second foul for apparently inciting the king of flop to do his fish-out-water impression and I can kind of see how the frustration of being sent to the bench for an extensive stay no more than three minutes into the game might boil over. I've heard that suppressing the type of anger one might be caused by an official with a fairly obvious agenda can eat at you, so good on him for quenching that thirst for a clean conscience by spilling a lot more than his thoughts on the super suspect officiating all over the court...
As for the official in question? Other than harboring an unhealthy amount of resentment for referees that unnecessarily impact the outcome of games, I have no horse in this race. That said, I would suggest waiting at least one possession of game-time before exacting revenge, in ridiculous fashion, on behalf of the entire NBA officiating community. I understand that he was chomping at the bit to blow his whistle out of spite, but I don't think it's too much to ask to hold your breath past one bounce of the basketball. Surely there was a 50/50 call to be made somewhere in the opening minutes, as opposed to basically concocting one out of thin air in the opening second. Tossing the guy who called into question the state of his profession before the seats were even filled probably felt good, but patiently waiting until a more subtle point in the game when it wouldn't have every other casual observer calling into question the state of his profession probably would have felt better. After all, good things - like respect or benefit of the doubt - come to those who wait.
Gregg Popovich Had A Short And Simple Answer For A Stupid Question After LeBron Went Off On The Spurs In The 4th Quarter
First, a quick little look into what made the Lakers hard to guard down the stretch...
Yeah, so...uhh...while I think the bloom has long come off the rose as it pertains to Gregg Popovich condescendingly cutting short interviews, I'm not sure what else he was expected to offer up there. "He's LeBron James" is a pretty good retort, but I personally think one of the best minds in basketball history could have taught a much more valuable lesson about journalistic uselessness if he flicked that reporter right in the middle of his forehead.
What made the Lakers hard to guard, HA! Um, presumably the ageless freak of an athlete knocking down flat-footed threes from 30-plus feet with ease for the fuck of it? I'd have to check the game tape, but perhaps it was the biological anomaly of a human boulder rolling downwind at mere mortals? Wouldn't want to jump to any conclusions before the re-watch, but going off the initial eye test it seemed as though the most physically gifted basketball player in the history of the sport decided to be back on his bullshit in slamming his fist on side of the scales when the game hung in the balance. I'll get back to you once I get better look at our rotations, but - off first glance - it appeared that they got all-but-abducted by the opposing alien.
Those would have been my responses to one of the dumbest inquiries in interview history, so - on the Gregg Popovich scale - "he's LeBron James" is about as easy a hard time as you're going to get.
Tristan Thompson Celebrated A Massive Two Point Win Over The Nets By Flipping A Few Uppity Fans The Bird
Calling Tristan Thompson "mighty" would be a misnomer, so - in more accurately portraying him - I'd have to say it's a shame how far the mighty-lucky-to-have-formed-a-fruitful-friendship-with-LeBron James have fallen. I mean, it was mere months ago that he was confidently staking the Cavaliers' continued claim to the Eastern Conference, and now he's resorted to puffing his chest out at a handful of heckling hipsters in...Brooklyn? Of all places?
Trust me, I'm typically all for giving it to back to annoying fans that won't shut the fuck up, but the type of fans that haven't been able to celebrate so much as the selection of their own first round draft pick since before LeBron put the 'believe' back in BelieveLand? Someone whose last on-court incident was a scuffle with basketball's preeminent prick on the NBA's biggest stage should know that type of behavior is unbecoming of even the most woefully uncompetitive and entirely self-proclaimed "contender".
You want to sound crazy in trying to convince everyone that the departure of potentially the best player of all time was just a speed bump on the Cavaliers' path back to Eastern Conference supremacy (or your reality star of a baby mamma that it wasn't you caught cheating with multiple groupies in public, for that matter) then at least commit to the lie. After all, everyone loses when you stoop to the level of bickering with fans who are just trying to get their word's worth because they haven't gotten their money's worth in ages. Unfortunately for Tristan Thompson, he picked an opponent that has already grown accustomed to accepting a loss upon entry.
Klay Thompson, Whose Team Is Definitely Not Petty At All, Finally Got Around To Mocking The Cavaliers' Mockery Of The Warriors' Blown 3-1 Lead
Thompson brought the heat upon being reminded of that Halloween party. Via The Athletic:
“Oh, yeah. Ha! That was funny. Look how that turned out. Psssh. Bums. That was crazy. I forgot about that. Well, look at what pettiness gets you. Gets you 1-8 in the Finals. Idiots.”
A quick history lesson for those of you that somehow avoided the internet for the entirety of 2016. The Cleveland Cavaliers - fresh off their first title in franchise history - had quite a bit of fun at the expense of the team they made history against. Like, "dedicated a whole holiday party to the figurative demise of their biggest stars while running full speed ahead with any and all of the 3-1 jokes that took over Twitter for months on end" fun...
In the interest of objectivity, I will say it was extremely petty.
In the interest of common sense, however, I can't help but think there might have been something other than pettiness that contributed to the Cavaliers' 1-8 Finals record since. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I just get this sneaking suspicion that it wasn't just some idiots making meme-worthy Halloween cookies that drastically swung the balance of power atop the NBA back in favor of the Warriors. I don't think it was snack related, but the gut-punching karma that comes with mocking a team that rosters the ever-so-humble Draymond Green didn't stand alone in bummin' out the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In reality, it doesn't even matter because that party was well over two damn years ago and the team that threw it has been completely dismembered, so only someone who...shall we say...had his feelings hurt by the idea of someone ingesting a frosted likeness of their tombstone would still be talking about it with such haste...
Still, it's one those tooooootally unimportant fun facts that I just know that I know and am going to drive myself crazy trying to remember. What else helped the Warriors pay back LeBron and Co. and replaced their petty pastries with humble pie? Hmm...
One NBA Coach Set Back Gender Relations With The Astute Proclamation That Attractive Women Can't Coach Because Too Many Players Would Be Trying To Sleep With Them
SBNation- It’s yet another hurdle women face. And while other barriers such as playing experience may put forth a legitimate discussion, it’s clear this issue lies with the gatekeepers. The men who believe it to be problem, even when women consider it a non-issue. And it’s not solely about nudity — the problem lies with sex and power, and that becomes especially apparent when the tape recorders are shut off. “You can’t have a hot woman in the NBA,” says one veteran NBA coach. “Guys will be trying to fuck her every day.”
“By and large the NBA is an incredibly sexist environment,” says the veteran NBA coach. “I listen to players talk about women. I have a daughter and it’s sometimes disturbing. But it’s nothing new. It hasn’t gotten worse over the years. In our society there are men uncomfortable working under women and a handful of our players would have a problem with it.”
Obviously I haven't the slightest clue what NBA coach was unsurprisingly anonymous in saying that the professional athletes with which he works so closely have no more will power than a dog in heat, but I will say that he's likely the type that should probably keep the closest eye on the Becky Hammon's of the world. Maybe I'm off base on this, but if what your players respect most about you is the fact that you also have a penis then your job security is probably pretty flimsy.
Look, I get it. Unfortunately there is still an undeniable machoism that clouds the culture of professional sports like a lingering fart, and - as a result - you're more likely to find misogyny inside a locker room than outside of it. That's just the nature of putting a a bunch of young dudes with a whole lot of testosterone and even more money to burn in an environment where competition is encouraged. I just find it wildly insulting to talk about NBA players as if they are entirely incapable of swallowing their patriarchal pride, keeping their dicks in their compression shorts, and doing their damn job regardless of the sex of a qualified supervisor.
If only because it's extremely difficult to bust into the head coaching ranks period, never mind as a breaker of barriers, I think we're probably still a ways away from a woman being granted full autonomy over a team of grown men. That said, seeing as one of the greatest minds in sports' history chose to share a sideline with the fairer sex, I'd really like to believe we've progressed to a point where the biggest problem with hiring a woman of any aesthetic to a position of power in sports isn't the amount of athletes that would be shooting her the eyes while "trying to fuck her every day".
If we haven't then that should probably take priority over catering coaching searches to the handful of players that have a problem with learning how to better themselves on a basketball court from someone who just so happens to sit down to pee.
DeAndre Ayton, Who Stands At Approximately 7'1" And 250 Pounds, Admitted To Being Intimidated By The Size Of Boban
Do you truly understand how massive a person has to be to bring down to earth someone whose size and athleticism got him selected first overall as an imposing offensive force and a defensive deterrent in a league full of the type of genetic lottery winners that have to limbo through regulation size door frames?
I only ask because I most certainly do not. You could saw Boban Marjanovic clean in half, have only his torso guard me at the perimeter, and I would still probably kick it to the corner out of fear that he might put my attempt at a jump shot directly in the overhead compartment on a non-stop flight to his Serbian homeland. Simply put, while the pictures of him dwarfing mountainous men are almost nonsensically shocking, there's no way they do justice to what it might be like to see a real life giant standing over you in a way that damn near blocks out the sun, never mind boxes out the Suns.
As someone who stands a shade (or two) short of six feet and has an athletic prowess that's limited to blowing by most prepubescent ball boys, finding myself intimidated on a basketball court is nothing new to me. Therefore, by the law of relativity, I find the size required to humble the words of a 7'1", 250 pound professional athlete in making him feel just a pinch of the pain felt by the lone white boy in a playground pick-up game completely incomprehensible. I'm actually glad that DeAndre Ayton had to play a couple possessions with at least one toe in the shoes of mortality, but I genuinely can't wrap my mind around how that is even remotely possible in a non-fictional world without magic beanstalks.
Jamal Murray Waved Bye-Bye To Kentavious Caldwell-Pope After Pump-Faking Him Into The Next County On A Breakaway Bucket
You can say what you want about Jamal Murray and his propensity to rub his way right under the skin of his competition. In just a year and change, he's clearly put together a pretty extensive package of pettiness at the expense of his opponent's feelings...
Just don't say that him waving goodbye to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope wasn't just as much a gracious show of good manners as it was a good old fashioned act of mockery. Considering the quickness with which he took flight out of the frame, there's no telling when his primary defender would be returning to the court for pleasantries after getting pump-faked into a cheap seats. God forbid he wait around at the gate to see off the man whose travels he arranged.
Hell, I can even make the argument that KCP was the rude one for not biding Jamal Murray adieu before leaving the premises Jazzy Jeff-style. Dude didn't just get caught in the unforgiving position of trailing on a fast-break, he got caught Irish Exiting the hardwood. I were the Nuggets' guard I'd take offense too, if only because it's disrespectful to play that haphazard of defense on the primary scoring option for a team that has surprisingly taken the Western Conference by storm. Especially one who is nice enough to make sure you don't forget your 'L' on the way out...
Unsurprisingly, Gregg Popovich And Kawhi Leonard Appear To Disagree In Regards To The Latter's Leadership Qualities
No offense to Kawhi Leonard, who has proved that he doesn't need to be under the watchful and trusted eye of Gregg Popovich to be the best player at both ends of the floor for a championship contender, but I'm not so sure it's his inactivity that got his leadership label erased as much as it was his invisibility. There's still a lot of fog hovering over a relationship that, according to the Spurs' medical staff, was more fractured than the belabored body part that caused it, and the player that made sure that separation held strong sure did a hell of a job of hiding in it. Therefore, even if you think the NBA's resident mute was done wrong by an organization that's gotten quite a bit right over the last couple decades, you'd still have to laugh at the idea that he's been some sort of leader.
To be clear, you don't have to be the "rah rah" type to call yourself a captain. If you weren't already aware that leading by example is most certainly a thing then you need not look further than the leadership lineage of which the NBA's incomparable introvert seemed poised to join, as Tim Duncan wasn't exactly the Tony Robbins of team bonding. That said, while being vocal isn't a requirement to being influential in the locker room, actually being in the locker room and actually having a voice kind of are. It might be tougher to communicate your message to a team while in street clothes, but it's toughest to communicate your message to a team while in street clothes that are being worn in another state from which you refuse to talk.
To put it bluntly, shit happens. Teams and players have irreconcilable differences all the time. It's the nature of the competitively cutthroat business that is pro sports. However, when you handle those differences with the maturity of a kindergartener packing up his piggy bank and running away from the home that helped fill it then a man of the house you are most certainly not. I don't know that Gregg Popovich was right in taking an unprovoked jab at a former player, but - word for word - I can't say he was wrong in doing so.
When you anonymously dump on a teammate through the media, it says more about you than it does the teammate. When you anonymously dump on a teammate through Stephen A. Smith specifically, it screams more about the instability of the shit-show than it does any one person stuck flinging and dodging dung inside a clogged toilet of a broken locker room.
That being said, while a complete coward of an anonymous player (if he does indeed exist) makes a shitty messenger, there is reason to believe that the message itself might hold some validity. After all, as the volatile powder keg of personalities that is the Washington Wizards has basically devolved into something one stumble short of a Civil War-style Royal Rumble, there was only one player who professed his love for a franchise that's basically been running in place since he joined it...
It's entirely possible that John Wall's insistence that the solution lies within was just his attempt at doing damage control, but - if what was said about his selfishness is true - isn't it also possible that he's cool with being a big part of the problem so long as he has the power within a half-competent organization not to adjust his play? I mean, were talking about a player who told off his coach one day and was apparently back in his good graces the next, so the idea that John Wall does whatever the hell he wants in Washington isn't exactly a crazy one...
They currently suck, so I haven't felt compelled to watch nearly enough Wizards games to determine what exactly it is that ails them offensively, but there have been times in the past in which they've flourished in the absence of their best player. That shouldn't be enough reason for one of his teammates to run to the loudest of antagonists without even having the decency to put his name to the news, but it is a reason to worry that the guy whose 4-year, $170 million dollar extension kicks in next season might be burdensome on more than the budget.
Zion Williamson Told A San Diego State Player He Was "Too Small", Which Kinda Buries The Lede Of Him Being Too Big
That's an insult. I know that's an insult. Any time you finish a demeaning proclamation with "boy", whether or not you are also still technically a boy, you are doing so in an attempt to emasculate your male target in question. That being said, I'm just sure how anyone could justify being insulted by that statement when it's coming from the genetic anomaly that is Zion Williamson.
Like, how do you even react to a criticism that's about as clever as saying "water is wet, boy"? I'm all for verbally castrating your opponent, but something that equates to "as an average sized D1 athlete, you are physically incapable of stopping me, a full-size brick shithouse that can jump clear over buildings that aren't as sturdy as my bone structure" isn't exactly as much of a sick burn as it an undisputed truth. Honestly, I hope the 6'7, 285 pound teenager works on his trash talk before next season, because - in a professional league full of pure pettiness - he's going to have to be a little more witty than one-liners that roughly translate to "I'm a biological asterisk and you are not".
Anytime you get called a boy by someone who, even if by age only, is also a boy, you reserve the right to protect your manhood. However, I can't help but think the smarter route for Devin Watson to have gone in response would be to insult Zion Williamson's intelligence, as nothing is worthy of the following reaction quite like mocking a college kid's inability to lockdown the bounciest of basketball playing behemoths...
On This Episode Of 'As The Basketball Bounces': Terry Rozier Sent A Cryptic Tweet That Toootally Didn't Mean What Literally Everyone Who Follows Him Thinks It Meant
I've got to admit, I'm sucker for shit like this, and I don't just mean the overall soap opera status of the NBA and all the social media shenanigans that come with it, but rather the preposterous playing of dumb that typically follows.
Now, to be clear, no one conclusively knows what Terry Rozier was actually referring to with that vague tweet that, objectively speaking, couldn't possibly be more relevant to his increasingly combustable working conditions. However, for a professional athlete who...::checks notes::...wasn't talking about himself when thinking "out loud" on his own personal and public page to a fanatical following to act like we're the ones who be playing too much on our phones is comical. Going the cryptic route is on-brand for 'Scary Terry', but - much to his dismay - when it comes to mysterious internet usage his core audience is more "birth-right" than "born yesterday".
People have been talking about how the Celtics were too deep with talent to not make a trade since well before the season started, and an underwhelming start to said season hasn't exactly put that elephant in the locker room on a weight loss plan. Yet, the person who appeared to be talking about said elephant behind its back without mentioning it by name thinks his target demographic has "happy feet", as if his itchy twitter fingers weren't completely complicit in pulling the strings to make those with a vested interest in the NBA dance...
Again, I'm not definitively saying that Terry Rozier passive aggressively demanded a trade on twitter, but I am saying that all that suspicious stream of consciousness was missing was a laughably unbelievable excuse that can be used as a punchline if/when (more "when" than "if") he gets moved...
In What Has To Be Considered Progress, Kevin Durant Told An Unruly Fan To 'Shut The F--- Up'...IN PERSON!
We're coming from a dark and insecure place behind a computer screen on which Kevin Durant was anonymously defending his character from the grammatically incorrect attacks of teenagers, so there wasn't exactly anywhere to go but up. Still, this is a massive step in the right direction for KD and all 62 of his online pseudonyms. After all, what telling a fan to "watch the fucking game and shut the fuck up" lacks in professionalism, it more than makes up for in candidness.
Of course, optimally you'd want someone as skilled and accomplished as Kevin Durant to block out the nonsensical noise in the arena and on the internet, and/or have the nuts to talk that same type of shit to his human nutcracker of a teammate that questioned his manhood. However, I'm just glad that he's finally letting off some steam at the expense of fans with actual faces who only wanted smoke because they didn't expect it to result in that type of fire.
That resounding and whiney "HEY!!!" in the background of the video was all I needed to hear to know that the fans with which he took umbrage were some hypocritical snitches. Therefore, I don't even have to like Kevin Durant's personality to conclude that his...umm...strong suggestion was long overdue. You wouldn't be able to tell from his incognito social media presence in the past, but NBA players are real life people too. As such, I'm totally cool with them responding in (un)kind when being chirped courtside by those who are so quick to turn into crybabies when they get what they had coming.
Oh, The Irony: Draymond Green Allegedly Dared Kevin Durant To Leave In Free Agency And Told Him The Warriors Didn't Need Him
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NBCSports- Multiple stories have come out the last three days with snippets of what Draymond Green reportedly said to Kevin Durant on the bench Monday.
Now, with the Warriors trying to put the drama behind them, a new story from Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reveals that Green dared Durant to leave the team in free agency next summer.
“We don’t need you. We won without you. Leave," Green said to Durant while in the huddle following the end of regulation against the Clippers, according to Haynes.
I've said that the Golden State Warriors didn't need Kevin Durant. You've said that the Golden State Warriors didn't need Kevin Durant. Almost everyone with even the smallest vested interest in the NBA has said that the Golden State Warriors didn't need Kevin Durant. Hell, it both was and still is the crux of the same circular argument that gets brought up every time anyone is made aggravated by how predetermined the playoffs has been the last couple of seasons. Therefore, claiming a person can't make that argument would make me a hypocrite.
::insert light bulb emoji::
Unless...the person who happens to be making that argument is directly responsible for forcing us to have the goddamn endless debate in the first place. It's quite clear that, in response to being talked down to after clumsily stumbling away a potential game-winning possession, Draymond Green did what Draymond Green always does by hitting below the belt. Unfortunately for him, we haven't forgotten that he became all-too-familiar with Kevin Durant's groin when he spent all that time fluffing him prior to free agency.
Again, the winningest team in NBA history, who more than likely would have already been celebrating back-to-back titles if not for their emotional leader's affinity for causing testicular trauma, most definitely did not need Kevin Durant. I'm just more than certain that's not what Draymond Green was saying as he was huddled hopelessly in his car begging KD for his services immediately after being humbled by Kyrie Irving and LeBron James.
As unlikable as I think the consensus second best player in basketball has become, nothing about how the last two postseasons have played out lends credence to this two-faced idea that the back-to-back Finals MVP has been some sort of passenger on this title train. Anyone that hadn't just embarrassed themselves by tripping over the ball as the clock expired might even say that goes without saying.
The truth is that we'll never know if the Warriors needed Kevin Durant the last two seasons, but the fact is that they all gave up the right to claim as such when they pursued him. I don't care how deflated Draymond's ego was in the moment, because he's the one who made the choice to pay the price of his pride when he shamelessly went shopping for a mercenary. I think it was already quite obvious this whole fight started due to one dickhead's deflection tactic. However, claiming some sort of buyer's remorse - even if it was just disingenuously said to hurt feelings that have proven very vulnerable - is quite laughable when you consider the lengths the consumer went to in insuring the purchase of back-to-back championships after directly costing his then homegrown team their second one. Simply put, it's behavior that's very fitting of a...shall we say..."bitch", and I double-dog-dare Draymond Green to tell me otherwise.
Sidenote: To keep things square, Draymond Green saying "we don't need you" is only as dumb as Kevin Durant saying "don't ask me about that again" in reference to a beef from three nights prior in which his own teammate had to be both fined and suspended by his own team to protect his own feelings...
Markelle Fultz' Frightening Form Found Its Way Into A Video Of Jimmy Butler Practicing For The Sixers
Look, I'm not going to draw any definitive conclusions after watching this video. Maybe Markelle Fultz can't even practice practicing his form on free throws without instinctually trying to make his own personal demons bite on a pump-fake. Maybe he was just trying to recreate the ball definitively and unequivocally "slipping" from his hand as he looked to have forgotten to shoot a foul shot during an NBA game in an effort to convince an uninterested assistant that's totally what happened here...
Whatever the case may be, the kid certainly has more than enough problems without the general public piling on due to his discouraging cameo in a harmless clip of which he was not the intended subject.
That said, if only because a young player with almost unprecedented confidence issues slowly entered an otherwise unnecessary shot of the type of teammate that would rather raise hell than help raise children, I couldn't help but feel like this clip needed some suspense-building sound effects. Like the camera steadily scanning one's surrounding in a scary movie, this camera caught both a man who was none the wiser and his worst nightmare in the same frame. Therefore, a little something like this crossed my mind as the type of audio that should accompany the jump scare of Markelle Fultz' horrifying follow-through appearing behind the type of antihero that will eventually stop at no act of aggression to avoid being victimized by it...
Dwane Casey Sure Looked Happy To Stick It To His Former Team After Orchestrating A Buzzer-Beater In Toronto
Confirmed: Tupac was right. Revenge is, indeed, the sweetest joy next to...well...the only other thing that could cause Dwane Casey to have such a demonstrative climax. Whether the reigning Coach Of The Year is right or wrong to feel resentment towards the organization that relieved him of his duties after a first place finish was entirely offset by the type of postseason crown-snatching that could only be only orchestrated by 'The King' himself is a moot point. For, after an otherwise straight-laced and subdued Head Coach displayed the type of explosive burst off the bench that could push Blake Griffin for playing time, the argument certainly can't be made that Dwane Casey hadn't all-but-circled that mid-November game on the Pistons' schedule out of spite.
As far "how ya like me now?" moments are concerned, I don't know how anyone, those within Toronto's city limits included, could suppress a smile while watching Dwane Casey revel in the buzzer-beating result of one of the few scenarios in which success is undeniably attributed to quality coaching. We're talking about someone that had to awkwardly step on stage and give a speech while being honored in his professional excellence for an organization just weeks after getting unceremoniously dismissed from that organization. I'll be damned if he didn't at least deserve the opportunity to diagram an absolute dagger of an out-of-bounds play in front of those that questioned his award-winning direction enough to go in another direction.
If I were Dwane Casey, I would have been liable to go full-T.O. by grabbing the ball and standing arms outstretched at the center of the mid-court Raptor claw. However, the sheer, unadulterated excitement in his reaction was enough irrefutable evidence of that victory serving as some combination of vindication and vengeance for a guy who reserved the right to stunt on his former employer, as much as a professional basketball coach possibly can, well in advance. Not that Blake Griffin, Reggie Bullock, and the rest of the players that shared in his celebration after executing for him when it mattered most needed any in the first place...
The form. The follow-through. The focus. Tough to execute better than that on a basketball court and I mean that almost literally, as I'm not talking about the made 3-pointer but rather the sucker punch that damn near executed the kid who took it.
Don't get me wrong, it's a massive scumbag move to premeditatedly cold-clock an opposing player for doing nothing more than beating you with shockingly sound fundamentals. Offering up the sturdiest of clothesline when asked to close-out on a shooter might be homophonically clean, but it's competitively dirty as all hell.
Therefore, if we're judging this as an attempt at defense then it's probably more of a low D, as its effects won't be felt until later in the game when that deadeye shooteris clicking his jaw back into place as opposed to spotting up without hesitation. As an assault, however, it absolutely grades out as an A+. The timing that saw him arrive just as his target's feet had been planted? The attention to detail he showed in multi-tasking by winding up while in the process of contorting his body to check the eye-line of the official? The stiffness of the forearm? The inconspicuous casualness of the strut back down court? While none of it would help them improve as basketball players, the inmates playing full-contact street-ball in the prison yard could learn a lot from that kid.
After Costing The Warriors A Chance At A Buzzer-Beating Win, Draymond Green Took To Arguing With Kevin Durant About His Impending Free Agency
Well, if this story isn't just Draymond Green in a nutshell then it's probably because the nutshell became collateral damage in the process of the NBA's preeminent nutcracker aimlessly running his trap about irrelevant nonsense. Seriously, the Golden State Warriors' resident blowhard refusing to take responsibility for his blatant mistake that played an undeniable part in costing his team a last second chance to break the tie against the Clippers (in a game they lost in OT), and instead turning it into an argument that he tried to win through the deafening decibel level of a transparent deflection tactic is all too fitting.
Honestly, I don't even like Kevin Durant, but even I was left asking what his all-too-familiar impending free agency has to with a player who is best known for his defense clumsily tripping all over his feet as time ran out instead of dishing the ball off to one of the best shotmakers in the history of the sport. The answer is obviously nothing, which is exactly what Draymond Green was thinking about when he, as the 2nd least equipped player on the floor to do so, decided to dribble coast-to-coast with the game on the line. The Warriors' emotional leader (and the rest of the league's loudmouth asshole) had as much business trying to run the point under pressure as he did in trying to bring up an entirely unrelated point to make himself feel better about falling on the ball like a damned fool as the clock struck zero. Judging by who they sided with in the locker room, even his teammates know that.
Now, hoping this will serve as the lit fuse that leads to what everyone outside of the Bay Area is waiting for, which is obviously the Warriors' implosion, is a pipe dream. However, I did take a disproportional amount of pleasure in watching as the guy who he desperately begged to come help guarantee victory over LeBron drew the ire of his exhausting bullshit. Occasionally having their sanity compromised by Draymond Green shamelessly emptying his entire gasbag during tangents is a small sacrifice for the rest of the Warriors to make for prolonged, assured, and unmatched success, but at least they have to sacrifice something other than stats.
UPDATE: Draymond Green has been suspended one game without pay by his own team, presumably for calling the kettle black as one undeservedly pissy pot...
Stephen Jackson Thinks Carmelo Anthony Is Being "Blackballed" From The NBA, Which Is At Least A New And Creative Excuse For His Poor Play
As someone who typically errs on the side of Stephen Jackson's opinion out of fear that he'll find out I didn't only to show up on my doorstep ready to put out a lit blunt on my eyeball, I must say that he really lost me with this one. I've been riding the "Carmelo Anthony can't possibly be as toxic to a team as he's repeatedly appeared to be" wave for quite some time. Unfortunately, that tsunami of ignorance came crashing down hard when a Rockets' team that's gotten off to a miserable start decided to cut bait with a free agent acquisition that somehow defied the bounds of inefficiency in a mere 10 games as a member of the organization...
I've kept an open ear this long, so I might as well listen to any and all new and creative excuses for Carmelo Anthony, but not even Stephen Jackson can get away with throwing out an aggressive term like "blackballed" without having any basis whatsoever for that claim. The only possible reason I could I conjure up for the NBA colluding to get rid of Melo is that multiple teams have been brought to the brink of bankruptcy by his buyouts, but GM's aren't combining their executive powers to help other GM's avoid franchise crippling financial mistakes.
The truth is, one of the best ball-stopping scorers in NBA history (and an eventual HOFer) hasn't become nothing more than a check-cashing journeyman because he's not better at basketball than the last few men on every bench in the Association. Stephen Jackson is absolutely right in saying there are easily 100 players in the league that are less talented than Carmelo Anthony...and just about every last one of them is more well-rounded, more versatile, less stubborn, and less high-maintenance than someone who still puts up a stink about being a starter instead of just worrying about winning.
We're talking about a guy who is almost literally getting paid six different ways to Sunday. If Stephen Jackson was trying to say that he's being used as a scapegoat for the Rockets issues then I'd partially agree, though he's basically been begging to be treated as such by being extremely "ba-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah" at basketball lately. However, if the NBA wanted to blackball Carmelo Anthony for reasons entirely unknown they would have done so like 200 million dollars ago, so can't we all just finally accept that, good teammate or not, he's a bad team player at this stage in his career?