During Sunday’s All-Star game, Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade delivered a hard foul on Kobe Bryant that resulted in Bryant breaking his nose. Today, the Heat’s “Big Three” all talked about the foul and the resulting injury. Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel says that Wade has apologized to Bryant for injuring him, but does say he intentionally “took the foul”:
Dwyane Wade said he was sorry. To Kobe Bryant. So as far as the Miami Heat guard is concerned, it’s case closed when it comes to his hard foul that broke the nose of the Los Angeles Lakers guard in Sunday’sNBA All-Star Game.
“I sent him a message, with my apologies. Unfortunate that happened to him, but that’s all I could do,” Wade said following Tuesday’s practice at AmericanAirlines Arena, the first time he has commented on the incident since Sunday. “He knows it’s no ill intent on me to do that. Did I take a foul? Yes, I took a foul. So, talk about me for taking a foul. But I never wanted that kind of outcome.”
LeBron James made the astute observation that Kobe Bryant never needs extra motivation when it comes to basketball, especially when he’s playing against the Heat:
LeBron James says not to overstate any added motivation for Kobe Bryant going into Sun
day’s Heat-Lakers game: “Kobe doesn’t need extra motivation. He motivates himself. He’s always prepared to play, especially when we go against him.”
Chris Bosh, meanwhile, said that the foul will add some “spice” to the already-anticipated matchup:
Chris Bosh on what Dwyane Wade’s swipe at Kobe Bryant does for Sunday’s Heat-Lakers game: “It was already spicy enough. It’ll be fun. It’ll be something to play on the reels over and over before the game.People like that. They like to tune in. So I’m sure it will be pumped up a lot.”
It’s true that Bryant never needs extra motivation, especially when facing the Heat: after the Lakers lost in Miami last regular season, Bryant infamously stayed in the gym taking jump shots for quite a while after the game was over. Still, it will be interesting to see what effect Wade’s foul will have on what was already a highly anticipated contest on Sunday.
Suge Knight is facing a murder, threat and robbery charges in three separate cases.
The former rap mogul was in court yesterday to set a trial date for the murder charge.
Marisa Gerber of the Los Angeles Times:
A few minutes later, during a separate hearing in the criminal threats proceeding, another judge asked Knight to return to his courtroom in May. The judge then turned to Knight, asking who he thought would win the NBA playoffs.
“At this time…” Knight said, before the judge cut him off, saying he wanted a once-and-for-all answer.
“Houston,” Knight responded.
“Alright, Houston. Good pick,” the judge said.
Shortly after Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to a Game 4 win over the Celtics on Sunday, someone eating at a Milwaukee taco restaurant tweeted a photo of the Greek Freak waiting for a table. According to the tweeter, nobody helped Antetokounmpo at all.
The picture went viral.
The restaurant claims a manager greeted Antetokounmpo and released surveillance footage to prove it:
“We appreciate everyone’s passion for treating Giannis and all customers with great customer service,” Monday’s follow-up read. “It is something we strive to do every day. We reviewed the entryway footage from last night, and we are proud to reaffirm that Giannis was promptly greeted by our manager and told the wait time. Giannis has been a customer many times and he has graciously accepted our apology for not being able to seat him and other customers more quickly last night. Our focus is now on supporting our team on this playoff run. Go Bucks.”
The release concluded with the hashtag #TacoBoutAMisunderstanding.
For his part, Antetokounmpo never griped publicly about the taco restaurant. The wait was longer then he wanted so he went elsewhere.
He has more important issues to focus on – like Game 5 in Boston tonight.
Kevin Durant liked an Instagram comment critical of Russell Westbrook.
Here we go again?
Royce Young of ESPN:
I’m not inside Durant’s mind. He could be lying to cover another burner Instagram snafu.
But I tend to believe him. It’s easy enough to accidentally click like, and the greater context is on his side.
Durant has always tried to downplay a feud with Westbrook. Even at the personal rivalry’s peak, Durant just seemed as if he wanted Westbrook to like him. So, it’s nearly impossible to believe Durant – even for a button-pushing moment – wanted to publicly slight Westbrook.
But maybe Durant wanted quiresultan or some other alter-ego to do so? Maybe, as beaten down as he looked by the controversy over those deleted tweets last summer, Durant didn’t learn his lesson and still uses burner accounts. I certainly wouldn’t rule that out.
Again, though, this would be a weird message. Last summer’s deleted tweets praised Westbrook while slamming the rest of the Thunder. Durant was going to have a burner account take the opposite stance now? That doesn’t really add up.
The NBA has a hard rule during altercations: Any players who leave the bench area receives a one-game suspension. Intent doesn’t matter. It’s not negotiable. The league simply doesn’t want more players entering a fracas.
Russell Westbrook found a gray area last night.
The Thunder star was waiting to check into Oklahoma City’s Game 4 loss to the Jazz when Raymond Felton fouled Rudy Gobert, um, unpleasantly. Gobert and Felton got into it, though not immediately. Once they did, Westbrook walked onto the court, and he and Gobert swiped at each other.
Gobert and Felton eventually received technical fouls. But could harsher punishment be in store, especially for Westbrook?
Andy Larsen of KSL.com:
A pool reporter request to the game officials to ask them about the play was initiated, but the NBA indicated that the officials wouldn’t comment on the matter because it would be reviewed by the league’s disciplinary committee.
The key question should be: Did a referee already beckon Westbrook into the game? If one did, Westbrook shouldn’t be suspended. If none did, Westbrook should be suspended.
The league will talk to the refs and get a better understanding of what happened. Their account matters most.
But one indicator working against Westbrook: Steven Adams – whose toughness is beyond reproach – was also waiting to check in and stayed on the sideline. If Adams had already entered the game, wouldn’t he have gotten involved? Maybe not, but his hanging back is circumstantial evidence pointing toward a Westbrook suspension.
Again, though, the referees’ accounts matter far more.