Memphis Grizzlies v Sacramento Kings

Mayo blames energy drink for banned substance test


This is my favorite excuse since Richard Gasquet kissed a girl….

Suspended Memphis Grizzlies player O.J. Mayo blamed an energy drink he purchased at a gas store for his positive test for the banned substance dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). It was just a simple bad choice, that’s all, and he really should have gone with that Squishee Apu was trying to sell him at the Kwik-E-Mart (although good chance he’d test positive for something in those, too).

By the way: None of the top energy drink brands contain DHEA, according to CNBC’s Darren Rovell.

Mayo took responsibility for not checking the drink out with the team trainer, but said that he did not knowingly take DHEA in a supplement. Which we hope is true because studies show DHEA is really not helpful at building muscle mass or helping someone recover from a workout or any of the other things one would hope a steroid would do. If you’re going to get busted for a banned substance use one that works.

He added that he is not appealing the suspension, which was for 10 games and will keep him out until Feb. 15. It also will cost him $405,000.

I’m not a professional personal manager or PR consultant, but let me offer a word of advice to Mr. Mayo:

Don’t talk about it. Even if the rather fantastic gas station supplement story is true, you sound like one of those guys trying to dodge that you knowingly took something. Sports fans don’t buy these lines — we saw legendary baseball players bald-faced lie to congress about it. So now, telling the truth or not, people assume anyone saying they didn’t know what they were taking is lying. Not fair, but it’s the reality.

Keep quiet, stay in shape and when you get back play like a guy who had been taking very effective PEDs and all will be forgotten. Winning cures all ills.

Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver

Manu Ginobili, Harrison Barnes, Tim Duncan
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The Spurs are 12-3 and comfortably in second place in the West, they have the best defense in the NBA allowing just 93.8 points per 100 possessions, and they have a top-10 offense to go with it.

So, time to start making sure guys are rested.

That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.

Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.

What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.

Brandon Armstrong impersonates Ray Allen (video)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Ray Allen is retired-ish, but he’ll always be running through screens – in our mind and in this video.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry
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The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott

Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.