Heat deny report Celtics bus burglarized during season

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Earlier today we passed along a Yahoo report — from an anonymous source — that during a late regular season game when Boston was in Miami that the team bus had been burglarized and “a lot” of money and more had been stolen.

The Heat are denying that report.

And they have details. Here is what the team said, passed along from our man Ira Winderman at the Sun Sentinel.

“After our last regular season home game vs. Boston, a Celtics player [Nenad Krstic] made a claim while boarding the team plane following our game that $1,200 was taken from his personal bag that was left on one of the team buses. Additionally, Lawrence Frank also claimed his bag was stolen while they were still here at AA Arena that night, but he found it before they left for the airport.”

“‘We were notified later that night by our NBA team security contact, Tom Fassenella, about the player’s claim and were told the NBA was investigating it. There was an attempt by the NBA to interview the player in Washington the following day but the player was not made available to them.”

“Additionally, NBA security requested Miami Police take a police report, but the player refused. Subsequently, AmericanAirlines Arena Director of Security Bob Hundevadt and Tom reviewed surveillance video of the bus parking area, which was continuously on the night of the game and they observed no unauthorized personnel boarding the bus. The only people on the bus were TSA, and the NBA determined they were not involved.”

Contacted Wednesday night, a Celtics spokesman said the Heat depiction of the events, “as far as I know is accurate.”

To answer your question about why airport TSA was on the bus, when teams have back-to-backs or rapid flights out of an airport after a game (charter flights) it is pretty common for TSA to pre-check bags and the like so long as the bus is secured.

After that, we’ll let you decide the truth.

This is in the past. Right now the Celtics should be a lot more worried about what is happening on the court.

Elfrid Payton slams chasedown block on LeBron James (VIDEO)

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LeBron James is usually the guy handing out chasedown blocks. He’s famous for them, and has carted out his signature move in the biggest moments of his career.

He’s also not used to having his own shots blocked from behind, and certainly not by opposing point guards.

Enter Elfrid Payton.

During a play halfway through the first quarter against the Orlando Magic on Thursday, LeBron was on a drive to the hole with Elfrid trailing far behind.

Thanks to a pinch by two Magic defenders, LeBron had to try and use brute force a bit deeper in the paint than he wanted to.

That allowed Payton — running at full speed — to catch up and pin The King on the glass.

Cleveland still got the best of the Magic, as Isaiah Thomas hit a clutch free throw to win the game with 11 seconds left, 104-103.

All-Star Joel Embiid doesn’t need Rihanna: “On to the next one”

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For about as long as we can remember, Joel Embiid has famously thirsted after Rihanna on Twitter. Fans have tried to boost his standing with the singer, but it apparently that has not been enough.

In 2014, Embiid mentioned on social media that a “famous girl” — presumably Rihanna — told him to “Come back when you’re an All-Star.”

Well, today is that day.

Embiid is a starter out of the Eastern Conference, and on Thursday night he had his chance to speak to Rihanna (or whomever) via national TV on TNT.

Did Embiid decide to reach out to this famous person? Apparently he’s off it.

Via Twitter:

This is like that scene from Private Parts when Howard Stern hits No. 1 and he tells Paul Giamatti’s character to get lost.

Embiid had the chance to curve Rihanna (or whomever) and took it. Long live The Process.

Here are the weirdest NBA All-Star voting results for 2018

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NBA All-Star voting is over, and now we have the results. The starters are in, and what’s left is for us to wait until they announce the teams after they are picked in double secret ceremony.

Of course, the NBA did release the full voting results via their PR website this week, and as such there are some head scratchers. My boy Patrick Redford over at Deadspin did an excellent job rounding up some of the players who got exactly one (1) vote from other players.

The gag here is that these guys presumably voted for themselves.

Of course, what I found most interesting was actually the guys who got multiple votes from their compatriots without being All-Star caliber players.

My favorite list of player-voted non-All-Stars includes: Michael Beasley (4), Gordon Hayward (2), Boban Marjanovic (2), Jahlil Okafor (4), Quincy Acy (2), Tyler Zeller (4), T.J. McConnell (2), Elfrid Payton (2), Zaza Pachulia (3), Taj Gibson (6), Zach Randolph (5), Maurice Harkless (2), Deyonta Davis (3), Lonzo Ball (9), Mike Conley (3).

There’s a whole smattering of guys in there who either didn’t play enough, aren’t stars, are injured, or who aren’t very good.

That multiple players took time to vote for these guys really speaks to the frivolity of the NBA All-Star Game. At least outside of player contract incentives.

Bring on February!

LeBron James throws behind-the-back, nutmeg pass for assist (VIDEO)

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LeBron James is one of the best passers the NBA has ever seen, but even this is too hard to believe.

During Thursday’s game between the Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron through a ridiculous behind-the-back pass that nutmegged Orlando’s Aaron Gordon.

The result of the play was a bucket for Dwyane Wade.

Via Twitter:

I mean, that’s just … insane.