Wednesday night against Minnesota, Mickael Pietrus played just three minutes. It was a blowout win and he could not get on the court.
He was not happy about it and let coach Stan Van Gundy know, which led to a shouting match on the bench, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
“MP was unhappy about when he went into the game and he was unhappy about me telling him to play defense,” (Magic coach Stan) Van Gundy said. “He didn’t like what I was saying and I didn’t like his response, so I took him out of the game…”
“I’m a very competitive guy. What I miss the most is being out there,” Pietrus said. “It’s not playing time; it’s getting back that adrenalin that I need. It’s hard for me not to have that.
”It’s why I’m so frustrated. … I respect Stan. Of course. He’s like part of my family.”
Van Gundy ticks off a lot of players — JJ Redick had issues, Brandon Bass did as well. Van Gundy likes to tinker and mix things up, learn about combinations, and find his own way to rotations that will be used come the playoffs. That tinkering leads to friction.
Players like routine. They like minutes, but they also like regular rotations. Van Gundy may be less into the routine than other coaches, but Pietrus has to live with it. Want more minutes? Defend, ball hard, force him to play you because he can’t take you out. At the end of the day, that’s all you can do.
Cussing at the coach on the sidelines helps less than you’d think. The coach always wins.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.