The 'fans cheering for food' thing has gone too far

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This must stop. Somewhere, we must draw the line on providing food rewards for team performance that warp decent fan behavior. The tacos at Staples are the most egregious example, as the die-hard fans since 2008 who showed up in the late 2nd start chanting for tacos while gathering their things with time left. It’s spread to other arenas, including Toronto. And while the event should be fun for everyone, it may have spread too far. To the D-League. From the Des Moines Register:

The Iowa Energy were playing for something more than wins or NBA callups in the final  minutes of Saturday’s 102-78 victory over Erie.

The announced crowd of 8,368 at Wells Fargo Arena stood with one purpose: hamburgers.

Energy guard Mark Tyndale went to the free-throw line for two shots. The scoreboard read 98-76 with 5.1 seconds remaining. The crowd noise? You’d have thought you were at today’s football game in Miami.
Burger King offered fans free Whopper vouchers if the NBA Development League home team scored 100 points, the first time the fast-food chain had sponsored such a contest for the Energy.

Tyndale wound up clanging the free throws, and in the midst of a blowout, you know what the fans did? They booed! And there was no sarcasm in it! (There was totally a lot of sarcasm.) Fans are not taking these games seriously enough (It was a regular season D-League game in Des Moines)! Something must be done! (Nothing must be done.)

It’s just bizarre that there’s become this factor that fans seem to care about more than the result of the game. It certainly doesn’t help that perception that the league’s regular season games are meaningless.

Plus, they’re not very good tacos.

Gordon Hayward dunks on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thon Maker (videos)

Gordon Hayward (20), del Jazz de Utah, intenta un enceste ante Thon Maker (7) y Michael Beasley (9), de los Bucks de Milwaukee, en el duelo del viernes 24 de febrero de 2017, en Milwaukee. (AP Foto/Benny Sieu)
AP Foto/Benny Sieu
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Are we obligated to call Gordon Hayward “deceptively athletic”?

The Bucks have something special in Giannis Antetokounmpo, and they think they have something special in Thon Maker.

But Hayward jammed all over those two in the Jazz’s 109-95 win last night.

First, he got Antetokounmpo:

Then, he got Maker:

Report: Lakers working toward buyout with Jose Calderon; Warriors, Rockets interested

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18:  Jose Calderon #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to a called foul during the second half of a game against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center on November 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.

As was expected, the Lakers are now talking about buying out the Spanish national and letting him head to a playoff team for a stretch run, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….

Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.

Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.

Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.

Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.

There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.

Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)

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Bobby Portis didn’t enjoy getting blocked by Marquese Chriss. And Portis sure didn’t appreciate how Chriss fell on him.

But it was all worth it (for me, at least) just to see the Bulls forward make a face that reminded me of this:

Dwyane Wade with dagger dunk to seal Bulls win vs. Suns (VIDEO)

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The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.

The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.

The Bulls won 128-121. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27.