Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman smack Clippers as unprofessional

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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.

Celtics to retire Paul Pierce’s number after Cavaliers game in February

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The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.

Now, we know when.

Celtics release:

The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11

After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.

DeMarcus Cousins on Confederate statues: ‘Take all them motherf—ers down’

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DeMarcus Cousins grew up in Alabama, played collegiately at Kentucky and now plays in New Orleans.

So, yeah, the Pelicans star has an opinion on Confederate statues.

Cousins, via TMZ:

“Take all them motherf*ckers down,” Cousins said … “Take ’em all down.”

These statues glorify people because they fought a war against the United States in the name of preserving the racist institution of slavery.

Not whom I want to honor, either.

Kevin Durant: Kyrie Irving-LeBron James situation ‘just a regular NBA problem’

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Kevin Durant knows something about star teammates not always getting along.

So, the Warriors forward is not freaking out about the disconnect between Kyrie Irving and LeBron James and Irving’s subsequent trade request.

Durant, via Chris Haynes of ESPN:

“It’s just a regular NBA problem, right? A lot of teams have gone through this before,” Durant told ESPN. “They’ll figure it out. That’s a great organization, a championship organization. They’ll figure it out.”

“It’s not the end of the world,” Durant said. “Both of those guys won a championship together. They love each other. If Kyrie wants to do something else, that’s on him. I’m sure whatever happens, it’ll work out for the best for both of them. But it’s just a normal NBA problem. It’s just two big stars that it’s happening to.”

Durant is definitely right in the larger sense. Teammates spat and requests trades more often than we realize. Remember, both Irving and the Cavaliers probably prefer this never became public.

But I’m not sure Cleveland will figure this out with the ease Durant suggests. David Griffin, who had proven so adept at putting out these fires, is gone. LeBron’s free agency looms. This could be extremely destructive to the Cavs.

The fact that this “regular NBA problem” became public only intensifies it – and raises it something greater.

Report: Heat signing Jordan Mickey

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Jordan Mickey – the No. 33 pick by the Celtics in 2015 – became the first second-round pick in memory to sign the year he was drafted and receive a higher initial salary than first-round picks.

He’s keeping the checks coming.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Mickey will be the Heat’s 16th player with a standard contract, though Matt Williams (unguaranteed) will likely be waived to meet the regular-season roster limit.

I’m not sure where Mickey fits on this team, which already has several bigs. Hassan Whiteside, Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk will likely play ahead of him. Miami also has A.J. Hammons (who might be just dead salary) and Udonis Haslem (who might provide nothing more than veteran leadership).

The Heat could just see Mickey as someone they can develop. At that point, how he fits into the current roster doesn’t really matter.

Mickey – 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan – is a mobile defender with nice timing for blocking shots inside. He even possesses a work-in-progress 3-pointer in his arsenal. There’s plenty for Miami to help mold.