FIBA World Championships Day 2:Close calls for top teams, except the USA


Turkoglu_Turkey.jpgNo huge upsets on day two, but top teams continue to struggle while the USA continues to cruises.

Lithuania 70, Canada 68: The Canadians were up 17 points in the second half but succumb to the physical play of Lithuania late and have fallen to 0-2 in the tournament.

Tomas Delininkaitis had a big second half for Lithuania, while now Toronto Raptor Linas Kleiza had 10 points and 8 rebounds. Lithuania has Spain on tap and the winner will have the inside track on Group D (although don’t tell 2-0 France that, they think they have a chance(.

Argentina 74, Australia 72: Australia controlled this game and led most of the way but could never quite put Argentina away and paid the price late.

Patrick Mills — the Portland Trail Blazers pick — had 21 points to lead the Aussies, but the star of the game was Luis Scola who finished with 31 and had six straight points at a key moment to bring Argentina back in this one.

Germany 82, Serbia 81 (2OT): This one was close the whole way, with swings of momentum but neither team able to convert momentum into big leads.

In the second overtime it was Jan Jagla and Demond Greene whose defense really gave Germany the win (plus Jagla hit a beautiful fade away with a minute left).

Spain 101, New Zealand 84: The final score is deceptive here. After their loss to France, Spain came out slow and New Zealand hung through the entire first half.

Juan-Carlos Navarro (18 points) and Rudy Fernandez (12 points) led the way for Spain, who now face a key game against Lithuania Tuesday.

Greece 83, Puerto Rico 80: This game was insanely close the entire way, with 22 lead changes taking place. It was Vasileios Spanoulis that really gave the Greeks the win, scoring 14 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter.

In other scores: Turkey 65, Russia 56; Brazil 80, Tunisia 65; France 86, Lebanon 59; Croatia 75, Iran 54; Angola 79, Jordan 65; China 83, Ivory Coast 73.

Report: Some Hawks executives doubt Danny Ferry’s contrition

Danny Ferry, Mike Budenholzer
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Since his racist comments about Luol Deng, Danny Ferry has mostly avoided the public eye.

He apologized through a couple statements released around the beginning of his leave of absence. He met with black community leaders. He claimed “full responsibility.”

A cadre of NBA people vouched for him. A law firm the Hawks hired to investigate themselves essentially cleared of him of being motivated by racial bias.

But there’s another side.

Kevin Arnovitz and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

Ferry’s efforts at contrition sometimes fell short to some inside the organization. Several Hawks executives were at times put off by Ferry’s behavior during a compulsory two-day sensitive training session, especially since they considered his actions triggered the assembly in the first place. He came across as inattentive and dismissive of the exercise, some said, and fiddled with his phone quite a bit. Ferry contends he was taking notes on the meeting.

“It was awkward for everyone because I had not seen or been around Hawks employees for three months,” Ferry told ESPN this summer about the sensitivity training. “I took the seminar seriously, participated in the role-play exercises and certainly learned from the two-day session.”

the Hawks satisfied Ferry on June 22 by releasing both the written Taylor report and a flowery press release in which Hawks CEO Koonin was quoted saying, among other things, that “Danny Ferry is not a racist.” Some Hawks executives grumbled that the team overreached in exonerating Ferry, but doing so — not to mention paying Ferry significantly more than the $9 million he was owed on his “golden ticket” deal — was the cost of moving on.

I don’t know whether Ferry has shown the proper level of contrition, whether he was playing on his phone or taking notes.

But I know what he said:

“He’s a good guy overall, but he’s got some African in him, and I don’t say that in a bad way other than he’s a guy that may be making side deals behind you, if that makes sense. He has a storefront out front that’s beautiful and great, but he may be selling some counterfeit stuff behind you.”

He was not reading directly from a scouting report. He did not stop when his paraphrasing repeated a racist trope.

That’s a problem.

I don’t think Ferry intended to say something racist – but he did.

It’s a fixable issue, though. Through introspection and a desire to change, he can learn from this mistake. Maybe he already has.

That some around him don’t think he took that process seriously is worth noting. They might be off base, and Ferry obviously disagrees with their perception. But this is a two-sided story despite the common narrative focusing on Ferry’s redemption.

It’ll be up to any potential future employers to sort through the discrepancies.

Gilbert Arenas: Caron Butler’s version of gun incident ‘false’

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Caron Butler recently detailed the Gilbert Arenas-Javaris Crittenton gun incident.

In a since-deleted – but screenshot-captured – Instagram post, Arenas gives his description:

The biggest differences between Butler’s and Arenas’ versions:

1. Arenas claims he wasn’t the one who owed Crittenton money, that the feud escalated over Arenas prematurely showing his hand during a card game.

2. Arenas says he told Crittenton to pick a gun to shoot Arenas with – not to pick a gun he’d get shot by Arenas with.