We told you how Lakers swingman Matt Barnes lost it and punched an opponent at a San Francisco pro-am game, refused to back down from the action and got suspended a game for it.
Now, we get the words of the guy on the wrong end of the swing.
First things first, Dillon Sabia says he dodged the punch, it never connected. Sabia — a player at the College of Marin, a community college in the Bay Area who redshirted last season — also told the Marin Independent Journal he is no fan of Barnes.
“He was pretty mad the whole game, being a little whiner and being really immature,” said Sabia…
“I guess he didn’t like how I boxed him out. He tried to wrap his arms around my neck and throw me on the ground, then I turned around and ran at him and we started talking smack to each other,” Sabia said. “He pushed me, I pushed him in the chest and then he took a swing at my head. I turned my head, he barely clipped my ear.
“Everybody out there is either playing professionally overseas or playing college ball. Everybody’s out there for a reason. There’s no need for him to be, like, all pissing and moaning and being immature about a situation.”
Sabia was suspended for a game as well. Barnes has said guys were being overly physical with him all night, pushing on him because he was the NBA player and he had to stand up for himself. Barnes is not always the most level headed of guys, but I didn’t see the game so I’m not going to say if he was justified or not. But you still can’t throw a punch.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.
For two decades, Kobe Bryant saw everyone and everything as an obstacle to overcome: The Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic, Celtics, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Smush Parker, a torn Achilles. It didn’t matter. Kobe’s work ethic and drive had him rising above it all.
His focus hasn’t changed now. Kobe was on the Jim Rome show, and the topic of the new-look Warriors with Kevin Durant came up, along with the “woe is me” attitude of some players (and plenty of owners and GMs).
“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” he said. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”
Easier said than done to make that happen, but that attitude is the only one to have if you think you have a chance. You can be sure LeBron James is thinking that way and telling his Cavaliers teammates the same.
We’re going to miss Kobe.