Heat fans get on Barkley, he flips them off, idiocy ensues

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I was on a talk radio show in Miami today, where they should be celebrating the fact that their team seems to be taking control of their series against the Bulls.

And what was one of the big topics of the day? Charles Barkley flipping the bird to some Heat fans.

I linked to the video (via the Miami Herald) in our Monday Morning Links (language not safe for work) and figured it was just an interesting little oddity. Now it has blown up to a full-fledged discussion topic. Because there are not better ones out there, I guess.

Remember that Charles Barkley has been ripping the Heat for most of the season and recently called them a “whiney bunch.” TNT was broadcasting live from Game 3 with a studio setup outside AmericanAirlines Arena when a group of Heat fans started chanting “f—- you Chuck.”

After 20 seconds or so of this (on the video, we don’t know what else) Barkley flipped off the fans behind him. Who then cheered. Then threw some things at him. Which crossed the line. Again, here is the link to the video, it is NSFW.

According to our man Ira Winderman with the Sun Sentinel, TNT is now taking their studio show inside the arena for Tuesday’s game. We’ll see if that helps, it’s a more controlled environment but some of the things said to Joakim Noah that led to his response and fine were over the line should have had that person tossed from the arena.

Dwyane Wade, who has had some back and forth with Barkley, thought it was pretty amusing.

“It was great to hear; it was great to see, for my fans, to stick up for us,” he said. “And, at one point, Chuck got a little frustrated with it. Good for them.”

And Barkley, well, he was vintage Barkley about it on WQAM radio (as quoted by the Sun Sentinel).

“They were telling me I suck,” he said. “They were telling me I never won a championship. Like, ‘Come on, give me something better than that, dude.’

“I always laugh at that statement, ‘You didn’t get a ring. ‘I’m like, dude, you work at McDonald’s. My life’s a lot better than yours. You relax.’ “

Victor Oladipo’s practice dunk better than anything he – or maybe anyone – did in dunk contest (video)

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Victor Oladipo has grown into far more than just a dunker.

In fact, in Saturday’s dunk contest, he didn’t look like a dunker at all.

The Pacers star missed all three attempts of his first dunk, and a Black Panther mask was by far the biggest draw of his second. Oladipo was eliminated after the first round.

Maybe Dennis Smith Jr. wasn’t the only eliminated dunker who left something in his bag. This Oladipo dunk – 180 degrees, throwing ball off the backboard with his left hand while in mid-air, dunking with his right hand – while preparing in Los Angeles was awesome.

Larry Nance Jr. had the contest’s best dunk. This would have rivaled it.

Pelicans owner Tom Benson hospitalized with flu symptoms

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METAIRIE, La. (AP) — New Orleans Saints and Pelicans Owner Tom Benson has been hospitalized with flu symptoms.

A statement released Wednesday by the NFL and NBA clubs says their 90-year-old owner is resting comfortably at Ochsner Medical Center, a hospital which also serves as a major sponsor and which owns naming rights to the teams’ training headquarters.

Benson has owned the New Orleans Saints since 1985 and bought the New Orleans Pelicans in 2012.

In recent years, Benson has overhauled his estate plan so that his third wife, Gayle, would be first in line to inherit control of the two major professional franchises.

 

Report: Seattle hosting Kings-Warriors preseason game

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Kevin Durant spent his rookie season in Seattle, before the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. He has said Seattle fans deserved to see him grow up in the NBA after supporting his promising start.

They’ll get their chance.

Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee:

The Kings and Golden State Warriors have scheduled a preseason game next season in Seattle, according to multiple league sources.

The Oct. 6 meeting between Northern California teams will be the first NBA game in the Key Arena since the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City after the 2007-08 season and became the Thunder.

This game will be loaded with storylines. Not only Durant, but the Kings considered moving to Seattle a few years ago. And of course, the return of NBA basketball to Seattle.

At some point, Seattle will get its own team again. For now, this preseason game creates intrigue there.

Report: Kawhi Leonard cleared medically, seeking second opinion

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he’d be surprised if Kawhi Leonard played again this season, a stark reversal from just a month ago. Back then, even while announcing Leonard was out indefinitely with a quad injury, the San Antonio coach said Leonard wouldn’t miss the rest of the season.

What’s going on?

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

After spending 10 days before the All-Star break in New York consulting with a specialist to gather a second opinion on his right quad injury, All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard bears the burden of determining when he’s prepared to play again, sources told ESPN.

Leonard has been medically cleared to return from the right quad tendinopathy injury, but since shutting down a nine-game return to the Spurs that ended Jan. 13, he has elected against returning to the active roster, sources said.

The uncertainty surrounding this season — and Leonard’s future which could include free agency in the summer of 2019 — has inspired a palpable stress around the organization, league sources said.

At first glance, this sounds like Derrick Rose five years ago. Even after he was cleared to play following a torn ACL, the then-Bulls star remained mysterious about when he’d suit up. His confidence in his physical abilities seemed to be a major issue, and he was never the same player since (suffering more leg injuries).

But the Spurs famously favor resting players to preserve long-term health. They seem unlikely to rush back Leonard. They might even sit players who want to play more often. And Leonard isn’t Rose.

Still, it’s clear something is amiss in San Antonio. Maybe not amiss enough to end Leonard’s tenure there, but the longer this lingers, the more time for tension to percolate.