Flip Saunders wants to put the idea that Gilbert Arenas conned him and lied to him so Nick Young could get a little more burn.
That’s not how it went down, Saunders told ESPN Radio 980 in the nation’s capital (via Sports Radio Interviews).
I talked to Gilbert at shootaround, he said his knee was sore, and I told him at that point that he was not going to play. Whatever comments beyond that that Gilbert made, those are untrue comments. He might think that and I know he’s very close to Nick and that, but as I told him and the rest of our team, those guys don’t determine even if Gilbert doesn’t play, who does play. That’s what I do as far as determine. We’ve dealt with it internally, Gilbert is going to be fined for it, and we move on.”
Saunders also stuck up for Arenas as very coachable.
As I said last night, believe it or not, Gilbert has been in my two years here, coaching wise, he’s been the easiest guy that I’ve had to coach. From when I ask him to do something, he has done everything I’ve asked him to do from a players standpoint. Gilbert can be his own worst enemy as far as talking too much and I really believe this, he looks at himself as being Nick’s mentor. He likes to see Nick do good, but for him to make those comments, those are unjustified type comments.”
Saunders tried, but this really doesn’t change anything. If Arenas went to Saunders and said he had soreness in his knee — a knee that has cost him more games and caused more trouble the last three years than any guns — when that was not the case, then Arenas was in the wrong. If Arenas did have soreness in his knee (which is understandable, frankly) then tried to spin it as something else to the press, then Arenas was wrong. Gilbert may see that as a Catch-22, but it is the reality. Stick with the truth, whatever that may be.
Fine him and move on. The Wizards need to be focusing on the future and John Wall, anyway.
Blake Griffin almost got away with it.
During Friday’s matchup between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Griffin gave Cavs forward Jae Crowder an unhelpful knee to the groin during a post isolation.
Griffin wasn’t whistled for anything on the play, and in fact Crowder was assessed a foul after Griffin made his move to the basket.
Now, the NBA has given Griffin a Flagrant 1 for unnecessary contact.
Video of the incident can be viewed above the article here, but it’s pretty egregious and indeed the Cavaliers announcers even suggested at the time that it might warrant a flagrant.
Looks like the NBA agreed.
Cleveland beat LA, 118-113, in OT.
LeBron James totally dissed New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina. Or maybe he was just complimenting Dennis Smith Jr., and Enes Kanter likes to get in the middle of things? Or perhaps it was a barely-veiled shot at former Knicks president Phil Jackson?
No matter which way you view this little NBA drama, there’s some kind of silver lining to take away for New York after LeBron got a little too close for comfort with Ntilikina during a recent matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
According to Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek, that silver lining is how well Ntilikina, Kanter, and the rest of the squad did when standing up to James.
Via the NY Post:
“I thought it was great,’’ he said on the newest edition of “The Jeff Hornacek Experience” that debuts Friday night on MSG Networks after the Knicks face the Raptors. “When we played back in the day, there was a lot of that. So you don’t see as much now in today’s game.
“But, you know, whether the comments from LeBron were aimed at Frank or the Knicks or Phil [Jackson] or whatever it was, I was happy that Frank gave him a little shove and then when LeBron stood in front of him and Enes jumped in there. That’s kind of the chemistry that gets developed when guys are playing for each other. You saw Enes jump right in the middle of this and said, ‘Nah you’re not gonna do this to my young guy.’ So that’s a great sign to see the togetherness of our guys.”
So to recap:
1. LeBron was taking a shot at Phil.
2. Enes Kanter didn’t like that.
3. Jeff Hornacek likes that.
Clear? Ok, good.
Joel Embiid has a reputation around the league already, and for good reason.
The man who continuously lobbied Rihanna to give him a chance for a date has other NBA players hoping they beat the Philadelphia 76ers just to avoid Embiid’s trash talking.
Indeed, the Golden State Warriors beat Philly on Saturday night, 124-116, thanks in part to a huge rally in the second half. A 22-point deficit had to be overcome for Golden State, and not just to add to their win column.
The team also wanted to sidestep Embiid’s silver tongue:
Both Draymond Green and Kevin Durant said they wanted to keep Embiid at bay. Durant’s comment was particularly funny, and can be seen in the video at the top of the article (fair warning, Durant used some NSFW language).
The Process is now The Reputation.
One of the NBA’s more under appreciated forwards has announced his retirement from the NBA.
David Lee, who spent time in his career with the New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, and San Antonio Spurs, told the NBA world about his retirement via his Instagram page on Sunday.
Lee, 34, played last season with the Spurs. He averaged 7.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists for Gregg Popovich’s team.
Lee played 14 seasons in the NBA, the majority of which came with the Knicks. During his time in New York, Lee was seen as an unsung hero, nabbing rebounds and doing yeoman’s work from the power forward position.
The Knicks traded Lee to Golden State in the summer of 2010 for Kelenna Azubuike, Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf, and two second round picks. He was part of the Warriors’ 2014-15 NBA Championship before eventually being traded to Boston in 2015.