Cleveland Cavaliers coach Byron Scott is out of the Pat Riley, old-school mode in some ways — hard practices and he expects his guys to bust it on the court. Every time.
He’s also willing to bend the ear of an official. And by bend I mean use language that would make a sailor blush. Which can get him into trouble.
It did recently, and Scott’s wife would like to see more of that. I’ll let Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld explain.
I mentioned that Byron Scott was fined $35,000 by the league after criticizing the referees following a loss to the Orlando Magic. Scott wasn’t concerned and responded, “My checkbook is fine.” He wasn’t kidding. The head coach’s wallet is in such good shape that he lets his wife, Anita, go on a shopping spree of equal value each time he receives a fine from the league.
Christmas baby! Santa’s sleigh is going to have to carry about $35,000 extra this year. At least.
Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.
So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.
LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.
When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.
At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.
The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.
China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.
China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.
Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.
This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.
The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.