Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman smack Clippers as unprofessional

8 Comments

The biggest threat to the Clippers becoming a contender in the next few years is the Clippers.

Not the players so much but the organization and owner that have been a laughing stock for decades due to poor management. Do you think they were able to trade that away? Not if you listen to Chris Kaman and Eric Gordon.

The two current Hornets talked with Marc Spears of Yahoo about their experience with the Clippers and the trade that brought them to New Orleans. And both didn’t hesitate to smack the Clippers.

“(The Hornets are) very professional,” Kaman said. “I’m not used to that. No, serious. It was an adjustment. After eight years [with the Clippers], I didn’t know it could be like this. I wasn’t used to it. The way they handle business … they’re up front with you and they tell you what’s going on and what’s going to happen….”

“All you do is take the man’s word and take that he said that no one is going to go anywhere,” Gordon told Yahoo! Sports. “… To completely lie like that is something unprofessional.”

The Clippers explained the situation this way: They had broken off talks with New Orleans and told Gordon and Kaman they were no longer pursuing the trade. Then 24 hours later the Hornets (owned by the league) called up and wanted to negotiate more, offering a deal the Clippers liked better. However, after the league had killed the Lakers deal for Chris Paul just days before, the Clippers were worried and didn’t tell Kaman or Gordon or anyone else that the deal was close again.

So Kaman and Gordon learned about the deal on twitter while at a community event with Clippers season ticket holders.

You can say these comments is just sour grapes from a couple of players who got traded, but this kind of treatment of staff and players is long-running throughout the organization. I’m not going to repeat stories I was told off the record, but know that there are many more similar in tone to this. And some terrible stuff on the record, too.

The Clippers are fun, they are exciting, they have a bright future right now with two of the most exciting players in the league paired together and some good young talent around them. They have a basketball front office that can get this team to an elite level. So long as everyone else in the organization just stays out of their way and doesn’t screw it up.

John Wall scores 37 as Wizards down LeBron James, Cavs 127-115

Associated Press
1 Comment

CLEVELAND (AP) John Wall scored 37 points, Bradley Beal added 27 and the Washington Wizards began a challenging road trip by beating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 127-115 on Saturday night.

Wall scored 18 in the first quarter, when the Wizards shot 82 percent, and Washington held on down the stretch to avenge an overtime loss to the NBA champions last month.

James, who briefly wore goggles to protect an eye injury sustained Friday night, scored 24 and added 11 rebounds and eight assists. Kyrie Irving added 23 points and Kevin Love 17 for Cleveland, playing at home for the only time in a seven-game stretch.

Washington’s victory cut Cleveland’s lead in the Eastern Conference to a half-game over idle Boston.

Rudy Gobert calls out Jazz teammates after loss: “We’ve just got to compete. We’re too nice.”

Associated Press
1 Comment

Utah and the L.A. Clippers are almost locked into a first round, four vs. five battle in the Western Conference. The only question is which team will have home court, and the Clippers took a big step towards that beating the Jazz at home Saturday. While the Jazz still has a half-game lead, the Clippers have a much softer schedule the rest of the way.

After that loss, Jazz center Rudy Gobert was ticked off and called out his teammates. Via Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

“We’ve got guys that compete, but some of us don’t compete. Some of us just think about scoring. That’s what it is. … Coach keeps repeating it: We’ve just got to compete. We’re too nice. Those guys, we know they’re going to get calls. We’ve just got to come out aggressive and ready to fight.”

Interesting comments for a team that is third in the NBA in defensive rating and 13th in offense.

Gobert is frustrated as Utah has dropped four of its last five, and the slump has been on both ends of the court. The defense has struggled, but if guys are looking to score too much they aren’t doing it efficiently because the offense has been worse.

This slide likely costs Utah home court in the first round, which could matter in what will be a tight matchup with Los Angeles. Utah needs to find its grinding rhythm again heading into the playoffs, at their best they can knock off the Clippers in the first round. Just not like they are playing now.

One thing to watch, Utah’s Gordon Hayward asked out of the game in the fourth quarter due to what is being called a bruised muscle in his leg. If he misses any time or if this lingers, it could be trouble for the Jazz in the postseason.

 

LeBron James starts game with protective goggles. That lasts about a minute.

1 Comment

LeBron James suffered a scratched cornea Friday night when he went up for a layup late in the third quarter and Jeremy Lamb tried to contest and caught him clean across the face. LeBron got the and-1, but had trouble keeping his eye open in postgame interviews Friday.

Saturday he did play — wearing protective goggles. As you can see above.

That lasted about a minute.

LeBron was likely frustrated as the Cavaliers defensive woes had the Wizards up double digits much of the first half.

Kobe Bryant says he’s “only a phone call away” if organization needs his advice

4 Comments

For the first time since he walked off the court in his final game, Kobe Bryant was back at Staples Center Friday night.

The reason was Shaquille O’Neal was getting a statue out in front of Staples Center (a building that may not have gotten built without the two of them). The two famed feuders sat next to each other and joked around through the ceremony. Time heals all wounds.

With the new management of the Lakers — specifically Kobe’s former agent Rob Pelinka as GM — there has been speculation Kobe could take on a role. He’s not looking for something formal, according to reports, but he didn’t say no, either, when asked.

I picture Kobe as a guy who someday buys a team, not a guy who wants to haggle with agents over the details of a contract. He’s not going to take on a day-to-day role, he likes the retired life and what he is building with the Kobe brand.

That said, the Lakers front office can use all the smart voices it can get as they try speed up a rebuild. They should give him a call every once in a while.