KG profanely upset with pro-Durant reffing

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So long story short, Kevin Garnett was so upset about the officiating last night in Boston’s 109-104 loss to the Thunder in Boston last night that he dropped an F-bomb in his post-game presser (Warning: NSFW, courtesy of Red’s Army). He said he felt like they were playing “Michael (expletive) Jordan,” referencing Kevin Durant shot 15 free throws, the Celtics shot 17, a fact KG also commented on.

Two things on this. One, the Celtics ended up sending Durant to the line a lot not just because of superstar calls for the youngster, but because they wound up in the bonus fast, on account of poor decisions by the Celtics. The Celtics like to employ a physical, bruising, bullish strategy, ripping, tugging, bumping to establish their defensive presence. And 80% of the time, it works. But when it doesn’t, they don’t adapt to the changes in how the calls are being made. Instead they just keep doing things like when Rasheed Wallace splayed sideways for a rebound, hitting Nenad Krstic in the face, and drawing another foul. Then Sheed complained to the official (shocking, I know), which likely did nothing but exacerbate the situation.

The Celtics have to be able to adjust their game if the calls aren’t going to allow them to bully teams.

Second, let’s be clear. Durant did get superstar calls. And while it sucks for Boston, it’s not like Paul Pierce hasn’t gotten his fair share of draws along the way. In the meantime it’s yet another example of the startling growth from the young Thunder. Getting those calls at this stage in his career helps Durant out to a huge degree. Then again, if he doesn’t get them once the playoffs start, that could frustrate him to a large degree.

So what say you commenters? Is KG justified or should he just keep his mouth shut?

Oh, and where should the league send the money they’ll be collecting from Mr. Garnett in the coming days?

Quinn Cook signing two-year contract with Hawks

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The Hawks began last season with just two point guards, one fewer than most teams – especially notable because neither starter Dennis Schroder nor backup Malcolm Delaney was experienced for his role.

Schroder and Delaney return, but Atlanta is adding another option – Quinn Cook.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Cook is a borderline NBA player. He might not make the regular-season roster. He also might supplant Delaney for a rotation spot.

A 24-year-old who has spent most of the last two years in the D-League (also getting stints with the Mavericks and Pelicans), Cook is a good outside shooter. He’s also steady, if unspectacular, in his lead-guard duties.

This is a solid flier at a position the Hawks could use depth.

Knicks sign Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Jamel Artis

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The Knicks signing Nigel Hayes leaked first.

But New York didn’t stop there.

Knicks release:

The New York Knickerbockers announced today that the team has signed forwards Jamel Artis and Nigel Hayes and guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes.

Like Hayes, Artis (Pittsburgh) and Rathan-Mayes (Florida State) went undrafted this year – making them eligible to be waived and assigned to the Knicks’ minor-league affiliate. That’s likely all three’s fate.

But first, each will have an opportunity to make the regular-season roster. The Knicks have just 14 players with guaranteed salaries, leaving one roster spot for someone on a standard contract. Chasson Randle (unguaranteed) is the incumbent choice, but these three could supplant him.

O.J. Mayo says abusing prescription painkillers triggered NBA ban

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Last year, O.J. Mayo was banned from the NBA for at least two years due to a drug violation. Aside from stating a plan to come back, Mayo didn’t say much publicly.

Until now.

Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated:

He acknowledged smoking marijuana and abusing a prescription pain medication that triggered his two-year ban because it is on the NBA’s “drugs of abuse” list. (He emphatically denied testing positive for hard drugs like cocaine.)

Mayo also concluded that he had been “overwhelmed” by a string of difficult life events: his father, high school basketball star Kenny Ziegler, was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for distributing crack cocaine, his brother was placed in juvenile lock-up, a close friend went to jail, and another was killed. “I was bred to play basketball and I thought I could balance everything,” he said. “I couldn’t.”

That’s part of an interesting feature on Mayo, who’s training for his come back. Golliver’s story makes it easy to pull for Mayo.

But the guard will be 30 when he’s eligible to apply for reinstatement, and he played lousily in his last three seasons with the Bucks.

Hopefully, Mayo has and keeps his personal life in order. But returning to the NBA will be an uphill battle.

James Harden throws alley-oop to Chris Paul, pair puts on show at Houston charity event

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What chemistry problem?

There are legitimate questions about how Chris Paul and James Harden will share the backcourt and ball with the Rockets, but none of those were on display on Sunday. That’s when CP3 joined his new teammate in Harden’s charity game (raising money for Harden’s charity, which helps children from single-family homes get a higher education), a kind of pro-am with some names thrown in to draw a crowd.

Harden and CP3 put on a show for the fans.

This is a charity event, not every team is going to defend like this or the Phoenix Suns. It’s going to be harder when the games matter.

But the Rockets are going to be entertaining to watch this season. No doubt.