When NBA union director Billy Hunter asked for a show of hands in a New York hotel on Monday it was unanimous. All the guys in the room backed the idea of the union filing a “disclaimer of interest” and taking the fight to the courts.
But for some rank-and-file players who would rather just get back on the court, they don’t feel heard in all this.
Take what Glen Davis told the Boston Herald. The Celtics (well, free agent) forward speaks for others.
“I don’t think I’ve been kept in the loop as far as what’s going on and how things are going on,” he said. “I want to be kept in the loop, but when I say that, they say, well, come to the meetings.
“It’s not just Paul (Pierce, Celtics team rep) making that decision,” said Davis. “It’s also Derek (Fisher) and Billy Hunter. I talk to players, but my friends are guys like Paul and (Kevin Garnett) – guys who are in a different stage of their careers. I don’t talk to a lot of the guys who are more in my stage, like Carl Landry and DeJuan Blair.”
On the other coast, Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins was frustrated, too, as are a number of younger players, he told the Sacramento Bee.
“Some of the young players I talked to, it’s not about the money. We just want to go out there and play ball,” Cousins said. “For me, it’s knocking off time for me to be improving as a player. This whole situation is really not helping out us younger players.”
With 450 members in the players’ union — well, trade association now — it’s not going to be able to keep everyone happy. Some guys care and seek out the information, others stand back and let others take the lead. Not everyone is going to seek out the information on where things stand.
But remember that while the sentiment in that New York hotel conference room was unanimous, it is not across the full width of the NBA.
Houston Rockets G Patrick Beverley is known around the NBA for being a dogged defender. His skill set was on full display on Friday night, where Beverley shut down Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook on a potential game-winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
It all started early in the matchup, when Beverley — notorious for getting under the skin of both Westbrook and other NBA opponents — flopped with some serious gusto just 36 seconds into the first quarter.
The game continued like this, but the real highlight of Beverley’s defensive night was stopping Westbrook — who dropped his 7th straight triple-double — on an isolation play with six seconds left in the fourth quarter.
With the ball on the left garden spot, Westbrook gave a couple of dribble hesitation moves to Beverley, then tried to rise up for the go-ahead bucket.
Beverley was right up on him, and forced an airball from Westbrook:
The Rockets guard was so happy about the stop and the eventual win that he celebrated a little too enthusiastically with Houston coach Mike D’Antoni.
Going for a chest bump, Beverley wound up blasting through his own coach:
Toronto Raptors stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan are becoming one of the best duos in the NBA, on and off the court. They joked around in the locker room after their win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night, 101-94, but the comedy started before the two even left the floor.
In a postgame interview with CSNNE DeRozan was asked what the message was at halftime from coach Dewane Casey.
DeRozan — with Lowry looking devious in the background of the shot — was gracious.
“Just get [Lowry] the ball,” DeRozan smiled.
Pleased with the result, Lowry responded with a “That’s a good message right there!” before running off to the locker room.
The interview continued to be interrupted, with Raptors big man Jared Sullinger giving the camera a drive by “DeMar for President!”
New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount even showed up to show DeRozan some love.
The Golden State Warriors are so talented, perhaps the officials are predisposed to blowing whistles in their favor. At least, that’s the only explanation you could give to a Utah Jazz fan after seeing what happened between Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Utah’s Joe Johnson on Thursday night.
As Durant came off a curl on the far side of the court, he used a screen set by Curry on Johnson.
With the ball in his hands, Durant rose to fire but found himself locked in arms with another player. Durant’s shot attempt helplessly bounced away as he shot, and officials whistled Johnson on the play.
Of course, a closer look reveals that the player Durant’s arms were tangled up with was … Curry.
Yes, Curry had arm locked what he thought was Johnson on the screen but was instead his teammate and MVP candidate.
It didn’t matter, as referees awarded Durant the free throws, of which he only made 1 of 2.
Perhaps that’s some solace?
Golden State beat Utah, 106-99.
New York Knicks C Joakim Noah has an awkward jumper and free throw technique, there’s no denying that. His two-handed, horizontal approach to shooting a basketball is ripe for criticism.
DeMarcus Cousins thinks so, at least.
During a game between the Sacramento Kings and the Knicks, Cousins decided to give Noah a little tongue-in-cheek trolling about his form.
Looks about right.