Danny Ainge fined $25,000 for tossing the towel

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Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge got caught up in the heat of the moment and forgot that at the NBA League Office, this is fining season.

Ainge has been fined $25,000 by the league for throwing a town in the air to distract the Cavalier’s JJ Hickson at the free throw line during the Celtics blowout win in Game Two.

Ainge went on WEEI and apologized for the incident.

“This is very simple, OK: I regret that. That was very unprofessional,” Ainge told WEEI-AM. “I was having fun with the hecklers and the crowd sitting around me. You know what, there’s just no excuse. It was unprofessional.”

That was not enough, the league office wanted its pound of flesh.

Ainge needs to pick his spots better. The Celtics were up 23 points in the third quarter when this happened, and Hickson is an unimpressive 68 percent free throw shooter as it is. If you’re going to get fined for it, at least wait to do it to LeBron at the end of a close game.

Dwight Howard crushes Kristaps Porzingis with dunk (video)

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Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.

Marc Gasol heads ball into basket after drawing foul (video)

Marc Gasol
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This was not Marc Gasol‘s first attempt to head in the ball after a whistle, but this time, he converted.

Here was his January try:


James Harden’s defense: Stop and point while opponent flies to rim (video)


As Rockets general manager Daryl Morey once noted, cherry-picking James Harden‘s worst defensive plays to create a video is unfair. Many players would look awful by that measure.

But Harden provides serious ammo for these worst-of videos.

This non-attempt to stop Lance Thomas is just brutal.

At least Houston buckled down to beat the Knicks, 116-111 in overtime. The Rockets have climbed to 26th in points allowed per possession.

Jerry Colangelo says Kobe Bryant could still make 2016 U.S. Olympic team

Kobe Bryant, Zachary Stinson
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So, Kobe Bryant‘s NBA career is officially going to come to an end after the 2015-16 season. That part he announced on Sunday.

What’s still up in the air is Bryant’s participation in one last Olympics. Bryant has been in consideration to make Team USA this summer at the games in Rio de Janeiro, and USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo tells ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that he hasn’t ruled that out yet:

Kobe was asked about this at his post-game press conference Sunday and said it was not a goal, but if it was offered he’d consider it.

“I’d be honored if that was there, it would be fantastic to be around that group and spend kind of the last journey with them,” Bryant said. “That being said, it’s not something that I’m obsessing over.”

‘When Bryant made it known that he wanted to play in Rio, he made it clear to Colangelo and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski that he wanted to earn a spot, not be given one as a lifetime achievement award. Watching him so far this season, it’s almost impossible to imagine him making the roster on merit.

But nobody should begrudge him if he wanted to extend the farewell tour just a little bit longer.