Tuesday night, O.J. Mayo was out of the Memphis lineup with what was officially called a case of bronchitis, but a swollen face may be the real cause.
Mayo and teammate Tony Allen got into a fight over a debt from a card game on the team’s Sunday night flight and had to be separated by teammates (Yahoo Sports had the story first). Grizzlies’ general manager Chris Wallace confirmed there was an incident in an email to media in which he also said:
“The club considers the matter closed and will not comment further.”
The cause of the fight, according to Yahoo, was money owed from a card game called “boo-ray” (officially “Bourré”) played on the plane, which Mayo lost (more than $1,000) then he antagonized Allen over it refusing to pay.
Expect the league to come in with potentially harsh fines and suspensions — remember it was a fight over money owed from a boo-ray card game between Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton that led to the gun incident in the Washington locker room last year, and subsequent suspensions for the rest of the season. The image-conscious NBA is not going to mess around this time.
This also may cause the league to come in and clamp down on card game gambling on team charter flights, which is a pretty common occurrence (back to Michael Jordan’s Bulls teams and beyond). Several teams took steps after the Wizards incident last year but a league-wide edict would not be a surprise now.
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.