Nenad Krstic had quite the finals of the Acropolis tournament. There were points and rebounds and grabbing Greek forward Antonis Fotsis by the throat and throwing a chair at Greek center Sofoklis Schortsanitis.
It earned Krstic, the Oklahoma City center, a night in an Athens jail. He was released the next morning and went back to Serbia with his teammates. They will be moving on to Turkey in a few days for the FIBA World Championships.
We told you about the insane brawl yesterday, which had everything but Ron Artest running into the stands. Watch the video. The best part was Krstic coming to the defense of a teammate that Big Sofo was (Schortsanitis) was beating on.
Big Sofo was a big part of Greece beating the USA in the World Championships four years ago (14 points on 6 of 7 shooting, much against Dwight Howard). He is 6’10, 345 and his rights belong to the Clippers, he was at Summer League this year. He’s a little to slow for the NBA game, but apparently he could have a future in MMA.
When he went after Krstic, well, Krstic wisely backed away. Then Krstic picked up a chair and threw it at Sofo, hitting a Greek Player who had not touched the court in the game. That earned him a night in a Greek jail.
Really, this is all just an excuse to tell you to go watch the video again.
This will not impact Krstic with the Thunder. Well, except for some ribbing from teammates. Good chance the video of him backing away from Sofo gets mixed into some team film sessions. But the NBA does not have power to suspend or take other actions from things that happen in international games. So there will be no NBA fines or mandated time off.
Both Greece and Serbia will be at the World Championships, but they are in different groups. If they meet, it will not be until the elimination rounds.
The Timberwolves surprisingly led the Spurs by nine at halftime last night, which takes us to Shabazz Muhammad‘s mid-game interview.
We’re doing a great job on defense, Wiggs, myself, everybody. It’s a tough team, especially Kawhi and the guys. So, we’re doing a really good job and everybody’s collective – Collective Bargaining Agreement.
To be fair, I can’t even imagine what type of nonsense I’d spew in the midst of a taxing workout or a high-pressure situation – let alone something that qualifies as both.
Unfortunately for Muhammad, Minnesota eventually fell to San Antonio, 100-93. But hopefully, he can laugh at this moment. He should, at least.
hat tip: reddit user cjsplash
Wednesday a couple of forwards expected to go in the first round of June’s NBA draft said they plan on making the jump to the NBA.
As expected, Duke’s Jayson Tatum and Cal’s Ivan Rabb made their decisions official.
Duke announced Tatum’s decision.
Tatum is expected to be a top-five pick, DraftExpress.com currently has him as the No. 4 pick. The 6’8″ wing can flat-out score the rock, which is why teams are intrigued, as Rob Dauster of NBC’s College Basketball Talk told us in a recent podcast. However, teams wonder if he can create shots for others and not just himself, and if he’s going to be a good defender at the NBA level. He has the physical tools to do be a good defender, but will he put in the work game in, game out?
Rabb is a 6’10” sophomore who has a great NBA build and athleticism to spare, but at the NBA level everyone is a great athlete. Rabb doesn’t have a great perimeter game and needs to develop one and be a consistent defensive force to be a difference maker (or have a lengthy career) at the NBA level. DraftExpress.com has him going 22nd in this draft, and his stock seems to have fallen over the course of the season.
This season, for the first time in 46 years, no NBA coach will be fired during the season (nobody is getting canned at this point).
However, once the off-season starts, there will be a few changes.
Alvin Gentry in New Orleans and Fred Hoiberg in Chicago are the names most mentioned, but there will be an unexpected firing somewhere around the league. Some GMs are on the hot seat also (Rob Hennigan in Orlando leads that parade).
I get into all of it in this latest PBT Extra.
It was obvious this was coming. Get in a shoving match “fight” in the NBA and you get a fine. However, actually throw punches and…
Toronto’s Serge Ibaka and Chicago’s Robin Lopez each have been suspended for one game by the NBA “for throwing punches at one another during an altercation,” the league announced. What that works out to is a $120,715 hit for Lopez and a $111,364 ding for Ibaka.
Also, Raptors assistant coach Jamaal Magloire earned a $15,000 fine shoving the Bulls Nikola Mirotic and “acting as other than a peacemaker as part of the same altercation.”
This all came out of what seemed a rather innocuous play. Ibaka and Lopez were battling for rebounding positioning, it went on for a second after the ball went through the hoop, Ibaka caught Lopez with a little chicken wing elbow in the back, Lopez spun, and, boy, that escalated quickly. Lopez’s punch missed, while Ibaka’s caught Lopez in the hair more than the body.
Both men got technicals and were ejected.