Heat's Da'Sean Butler tweets a children's story. About a purple dinosaur. It's a little weird.

8 Comments

barney.jpgSentences I never thought I would type include:

The Miami Heat’s Da’Sean Butler has tweeted a children’s story. That involves Barney a purple dinosaur and “Family Guy.”

But there you have it. It’s true. He tweeted a long story about a children’s dinosaur. Our own Ira Winderman, writing for the South Florida Sun Sentinel, spent the time to piece together the entire story from the string of 140-character tweets.

So grab your children, pull them in close and spend a few minutes reading to them. Here is Butler’s story:

Once upon a time there was a young boy named Da’Sean. Da’Sean was 22 years old and lived in Newark, NJ. While walking home from school one day, a Purple Dinosaur jumped out from behind a Brick Wall and tackled Da’Sean to the ground. But just when he was about to let out a scream for help, Da’Sean realized that the Purple Dinosaur was only licking his face, not trying to bite it off. At that moment, Da’Sean decided to keep the Purple Dinosaur as a pet. And on the way home he decided to name his pet Purple Dinosaur “Barney.”

When Da’Sean and his new pet finally got home, guess who was standing on the front porch? That’s right, it was Da’Sean’s mother, Koreena. And boy was she surprised to see a Purple Dinosaur following Da’Sean into the yard! “What in world is that?” shouted Koreena. “It’s a Purple Dinosaur,” answered Da’Sean. “Dah, I can see that, Da’Sean, but what on earth is it doing here?” said Koreena. “It’s my new pet!” answered Da’Sean. “Oh you think so do you?” remarked Koreena. “I wouldn’t get your hopes up. You know how your father hates Purple Dinosaurs. But, well, I suppose you can keep him until your father comes home.” And with that Da’Sean grabbed Barney by the scruff of the neck and led his new pet into the house-even though he knew his father was probably going to disapprove.

Once in the house, Da’Sean and Barney played and played, that is until Da’Sean’s favorite television show, “Family Guy,” started. At that point Da’Sean forgot all about Barney having an unsupervised run of the house. That is until half way through “Family Guy,” when Da’Sean was brought back to reality when he heard his father shout, “OMG!! Da’Sean! Get your whoopie cakes in the Kitchen…NOW!!” With that Da’Sean rushed into the Kitchen to see what all the fuss was about. When he entered the Kitchen, there stood his father, Da’Sean Butler, pointing toward the Table. “Will someone please explain that?” asked his father. Then, as Da’Sean followed his father’s finger to where it was pointing, he instantly knew what his father was so upset about. There, smack dab in the middle of the Table, the biggest pile of Dinosaur doo-doo he had ever seen! “I don’t EVEN want to know how that got there,” said Da’Sean Butler. “But you had better get it cleaned up now! And you had better get rid of whatever it is that could have done such a thing!”

Well, knowing his father as well as he did, Da’Sean knew there was no sense even asking his father if he could keep Barney for a pet. So without hesitation, Da’Sean set out to find where Barney was hiding. After a few minutes of looking, Da’Sean discovered Barney crouched beneath the table that Da’Sean did his Playing X-Box and reading books.
“Come on, Barney, it’s time to find you a new home. And hey, don’t look at me that way, I’m not the one who did the dirty deed on the Table!” scolded Da’Sean. “Thanks to you I’ll never get to have my own pet Dinosaur!! And with that Da’Sean led Barney out of the house and down to the local Game Stop. They had a pet section and Da’Sean knew the owner would find Barney a good home. Da’Sean cried a deep cry. He had lost his only friend in the world.

So after saying good-bye to Barney, and thanking the owner of Game Stop, Da’Sean walked backed home and attempted to drowned his sorrows by slamming down a half dozen Root Beers. But Da’Sean’s pity party came to an abrupt end when his father reminded him about the mess he had neglected to clean up. And low and behold, midway through the clean-up, Da’Sean suddenly became thankful that someone else was going to have to do it from now on.

The End.

Moral of the story: Sometimes you best friends can get your “whoopee cakes” n a lot of trouble be sure to listen to your parents they know what’s best.

No purple dinosaurs were harmed in the making of this story. Sadly.

Raptors hold on in overtime, even series with Heat

TORONTO, ON - MAY 03:  Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors hits a half-court buzzer beater to tie Game One and send it into overtime during the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Miami Heat during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre on May 3, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  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 Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
5 Comments

It wasn’t pretty, but the Toronto Raptors came away with a win and salvaged a tied series in their first two home games. For the second consecutive game, they went to overtime with the Miami Heat, only this time, it was the Heat that came up cold at the end, and Toronto prevailed, 96-92.

From an efficiency standpoint, Kyle Lowry wasn’t much better than he’s been thus far in the postseason, shooting just 7-for-22 from the field, but he hit two key jumpers in the final minutes of regulation that extended Toronto’s lead, forcing Miami to play from behind and tying the game on threes from Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic.

But it was Jonas Valanciunas who proved most effective late for Toronto. He finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds, and for long stretches, the only reliable offense for the Raptors was dumping the ball in to him. Valanciunas bailed the Raptors out late with a rebound and tip-in to break an 80-80 tie after DeMar DeRozan (who shot a forgettable 9-for-24 on the night) missed two consecutive free throws.

The Heat failed to score in the first three minutes of overtime, and their continued penchant for turning the ball over did them in several times down the stretch as they failed to execute.

A bright spot for Miami was Dragic, who scored 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting despite receiving eight stitches to his lower lip after catching an elbow in the first half.

Splitting the first two home games isn’t ideal for the Raptors, but they had every opportunity to go down 2-0 after controlling most of the first three quarters and managed to prevail. Plus, Lowry’s late-fourth-quarter heroics could be enough to get him going again.

Damian Lillard gets tested by Warriors, looks for rebound

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 03:  Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers stands on the court during their game against the Golden State Warriors in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on May 3, 2016 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, 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 Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
1 Comment

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) First it was a chest cold, then it was a fourth-quarter dry spell. The start of Damian Lillard‘s playoff series against the Golden State Warriors has been rough.

And as Lillard goes, often the rest of the Trail Blazers follow.

Portland is down 2-0 in its Western Conference semifinal series against the defending NBA champions. And it certainly won’t get much easier when the series shifts north Saturday – even though presumptive league MVP Stephen Curry is unlikely to return from a knee injury.

But Lillard and his team have a history of stepping up after getting knocked down. In fact, that’s been the theme of their whole season.

“I know the kind of guys I’m running with. Besides that, we’ve answered the call all season long. We’ve been in bad positions time and time again, and we’ve never shied away. We’ve never not answered the call. I don’t see why this time it would be any different,” he said.

Lillard, who averaged 25.1 points and 6.8 assists during the regular season, scored 25 points in the Blazers’ 110-99 loss in Game 2 on Tuesday night, including 17 points in the third quarter. But the Warriors held him scoreless (0-for-3 from the field) in the crucial final period when they came from behind to win, outscoring Portland 34-12. Portland only scored six points over the last 5:21.

With a day off on Wednesday, Lillard let the loss digest.

“After the game I was pretty frustrated by not being able to finish that game. Yesterday I didn’t even want to see a basketball,” he said. “I wasn’t even gonna watch the playoff game until I heard Cleveland was hitting a bunch of 3s. So I wanted to see for myself, but I didn’t even want to have nothing to do with basketball after that game.”

In the series opener, Lillard started cold but eventually scored 30 points in a 118-106 loss. The Oakland native admitted later to battling a cold afterward. On Thursday, he said he was healthy.

Lillard made a playoff splash in 2014 when his buzzer-beating 3-pointer against the Rockets sent the Blazers into the second round for the first time in 14 years.

But he was the lone starter left with the Blazers this season after the departures of LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Robin Lopez and Wesley Matthews. Some expected the Blazers to only win about two dozen games.

Lillard tends to rise when he’s the underdog, however. Led by Lillard and backcourt teammate CJ McCollum, a first-year starter, the Blazers overcame a 2-10 stretch in November to wind up the fifth seed in the West.

A two-time All-Star, Lillard was snubbed this year. How did he respond? By dropping 51 points, including nine 3-pointers, in a 137-105 victory over – wait for it – the Golden State Warriors. Lillard shot over Curry at will in that Feb. 19 victory, one of just nine losses for the Warriors in a record-setting 73-win season.

Knowing the Blazers are capable will be key Saturday night.

“We’ll have bounce. We came back after 0-2 against the Clippers (in the opening round) and came with a lot of energy in Game 3. We know how important Game 3 is,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “Having energy, having bounce, at the Moda Center, with our crowd? That’s the least of our concerns.”

Lillard also struggled in the opening two games against the Clippers in the first round. Portland came back to win the next four to win the series, but the Clippers were hurt when their top two scorers, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, were knocked out with injuries.

The Warriors also get credit for Lillard’s struggles after making defensive adjustments on both Lillard and McCollum, particularly the play of Festus Ezeli.

“They are so explosive and they run really good stuff, I mean, it’s hard to guard. You have to cover a lot of floor against Portland, and I thought between Festus and Draymond (Green), those guys did a great job of protecting the feed and moving and handling the pick-and-roll on top,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

Lillard said the Blazers would learn from it.

“It hurts to go back in the locker room after you play so well for so long and you come back in there with the L. But it is a part of growth,” he said. “The entire season has been growth for us.”

Erik Spoelstra calls Frank Vogel’s firing “disturbing”

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 28:  Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat reacts as he coaches in the first half against the Indiana Pacers during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 28, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  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 Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
7 Comments

One thing that’s a constant in the NBA: coaches always stick up for each other. That’s what happened on Thursday, when Pacers president Larry Bird announced that he was letting Frank Vogel go. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who coached against Vogel in three memorable playoff series during the big three era, was unhappy to hear the news of Vogel’s fate and lamented the state of coaching, which has very little job security.

Via Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

“I think it’s really disturbing, actually. I’ve only been a head coach for eight years. So what am I, the second-longest-tenured?” Spoelstra asked, with Casey in his sixth season as Toronto coach and only Gregg Popovich, in his 20th season with the San Antonio Spurs, on the bench longer. “That’s a sad state of where the coaching profession is right now and stability of organizations.”

Spoelstra and Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle are the second longest-tenured coaches in the league, behind only Gregg Popovich. Already this offseason, there have been five coaching changes in addition to Vogel’s: Luke Walton replaced Byron Scott with the Lakers, Tom Thibodeau replaced Sam Mitchell with the Timberwolves, Scott Brooks replaced Randy Wittman in Washington, and the Rockets and Kings jobs are still unfilled. The Knicks job could potentially turn over as well, if Phil Jackson opts not to bring back Kurt Rambis.

This is on top of five coaches who were fired during the season: Kevin McHale in Houston, Derek Fisher in New York, Jeff Hornacek in Phoenix, Lionel Hollins in Brooklyn and David Blatt in Cleveland. That’s a third of the league since the 2015-16 season began. Spoelstra is right about the instability, but that’s part of the business.

Photos: Bucks unveil interior of new arena

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 25:  Jabari Parker #12 of the Milwaukee Bucks runs down court during the third quarter against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on February 25, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

The Milwaukee Bucks are set to open their new arena in time for the start of the 2018-19 season, and now they’ve unveiled the first renderings of the inside of the building. They’re pretty nice.

Here’s the court:

There will also be several public bars out in the concourse:

It’s decidedly more modern than the aging BMO Harris Bradley Center, although that building is one of the most fun atmospheres in the league to watch a game in. Hopefully the new place can recapture that vibe.