Kevin Durant calls Chris Bosh “a fake tough guy”


Kevin Durant and Chris Bosh had some words today in the Thunder’s loss to the Heat, and then spoke some even stronger words to the press post-game. In the first quarter, the two were involved in a small altercation of words that resulted in double technicals for both stars. Bosh says the altercation was the product of Durant encouraging James Harden to dunk on Bosh. From The Oklahoman:

“He was telling Harden to dunk on me,” Bosh said. “He said dunk the next one. I expressed that, no, he’s not going to dunk that. And he expressed, yes he is. We just kind of went back and forth. I don’t think it was anything to get a tech over. It was just talking.”

via Kevin Durant Rips Chris Bosh | Thunder Rumblings.

But the stronger words were from Durant, who called Chris Bosh a “fake tough guy.”

“I was talking to my teammate and [Bosh] decided he wanted to put his two cents into it. I am quiet guy, laid back guy, but I’m not going to let nobody talk trash to me. He’s on a good team now so he thinks he can talk a little bit. There are a lot of fake tough guys in this league and he’s one of them.”

“I’m no punk. I wasn’t even talking to him first off. He decided to butt in and I’m not going to just let that slide. Especially in our house. Like I said, he’s not one of those guys I look at and say he has a rap for talking back to guys or getting into it. He’s a nice guy. I’m not going to let that type of person say something to me like that.”

via Kevin Durant calls Chris Bosh a ‘fake tough guy’ –

For a guy as vanilla as KD, that’s the equivalent of calling someone a dirty word. Durant himself has been described as super nice, even as this more competitive side starts to poke through more and more. Bosh has taken a considerable flak for not being “tough” inside, but he also did superb work against a weaker Thunder interior, with a combination of hook shots, inside layups off the cut and his preferred mid-range jumper. That Durant has words for him is pretty indicative of where Bosh’s reputation has landed.

Still, if Durant didn’t have the fan-friendly reputation he has, you have to wonder if he would be slapped with a sore-loser comment. But because he’s Durant, and Bosh is, well, like a Bosh, this will probably only serve to make Durant more  a hero to the people.

With the Heat and Thunder expected to both be contenders over the next half-decade, we may have the start of a rivalry here.



Giannis Antetokounmpo to tell his story on 60 Minutes this week (preview clip)

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Giannis Antetokounmpo grew up hocking wares — clothes, sunglasses, whatever — on the streets of Athens, Greece. He easily could still be living there, the tallest salesman in a poor part of a country with high unemployment and real challenges.

Instead, he is a multimillionaire living comfortably in the United States, and is one of the 10 best basketball players in the world — and still improving. In a few years we may well be saying he is the best player on the planet.

Antetokounmpo will be telling his story on the legendary television news magazine 60 Minutes this week, and the show released a clip. Check it out.

This is the best missed free throw to game winner you will ever see

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We’ve all seen this situation before at every level of basketball: A team down three points gets fouled in the final seconds and has two free throws, so the shooter aims to make the first free throw then miss the second and create a rebound he or a teammate can grab then throw back in to tie the game. It works about as often as an NFL Hail Mary — either the shooter makes the shot anyway or the defense gets the board — but what other choice is there?

Nobody has ever pulled it off as well as Paulinho Boracini of the Brazilian league team Cearense.

Intentional or not (and I lean not), he banked the second free throw off the rim toward the corner, ran it down himself and hit the game-winning three.

Damn. That’s impressive.

(If Boracini and Cearense sound familiar, you win the award for “watching too much Knicks preseason basketball” because they played New York in a 2015 exhibition.)

Giannis Antetokounmpo doubtful with ankle injury for Bulls game

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MILWAUKEE (AP) The Milwaukee Bucks say Giannis Antetokounmpo is doubtful for Friday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls with a sprained right ankle.

The All-Star forward got hurt in the second quarter of a 127-120 loss on Wednesday to the Los Angeles Clippers when he appeared to trip over teammate Shabazz Muhammad under the Bucks’ basket.

Antetokounmpo is fourth in the league in scoring at 27.3 points a game.


Anfernee Simons declares for NBA draft straight out of high school (kind of)

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Anfernee Simons spent the last year playing high school basketball. But because he did so as a fifth-year prep after technically graduating from high school last year and turns 19 in June, he’s eligible for the NBA draft.

Following a path taken by Thon Maker and considered by Jonathan Isaac, Simons – as expected – is turning pro.

Jonathan Givony of ESPN:

Anfernee Simons will forgo his collegiate eligibility and declare for the 2018 NBA draft, he informed ESPN.

Simons informed ESPN that he will sign with agent Bobby Petriella of Rosenhaus Sports Representation

Simons looks like a mid-first-rounder, though his range is quite wide considering how large of a jump he’s making. Teams can learn relatively more about him in workouts and interviews.

A 6-foot-4 shooting guard who specializes in scoring, Simons is quick on his feet with a quick release off the dribble – with range from beyond the 3-point arc to an impressive floater game. Those floaters will be important, because Simons isn’t nearly strong enough for the NBA. He’s also a lackluster passer, though because of physicality concerns, no team will count on Simons to run an offense anytime soon, anyway. He’ll have time to develop as a distributor.

By signing with agents, Simons loses his college eligibility. Drew Rosenhaus, a big-name football agent, isn’t certified with the National Basketball Players Association. Petriella’s only NBA client has been Diamond Stone, a 2016 second-rounder who’s out of the league. They’re all in this bold venture together now.

As the NBA considers changing its draft rules for young prospects, Simons will be an interesting case study. He obviously meets the draft-eligibility requirements in the one-and-done era, but he’s also jumping from prep-school competition to the NBA. The league’s strength and nutrition programs should serve him well. His overall development could influence the wider debate.