Stan Van Gundy is ticked. Dwight Howard missed one game (and is a game-time decision Tuesday vs. the Pistons) due to back spasms he and his center claim comes from Brendan Haywood “double punching” Howard in the back during the third quarter of the Magic/Mavericks game.
Van Gundy sent the film to the league office. Let’s hope he has some camera angle other than what is available from the game footage, otherwise it looks like two guys just battling in the post like every other NBA game (the league agrees and has said there would be no discipline for Haywood). Haywood brings his arms in like an offensive lineman, but that is different than a punch.
So how does Hawyood feel about being the best punching center in the NBA? They asked him at ESPN Radio Dallas (via Sports Radio Interview).
“Man I am just sitting here training with Floyd Mayweather getting ready for my next fight.”
He was joking, folks. And by folks I mean the Van Gundy family. Besides, if he was training with Mayweather he’d be ducking fights, not trying to start them.
Haywood seems amused by the allegations.
“Like I said it is a physical game and sometimes guys get testy with elbows, throwing forearms. No one throws any punches out there. NBA guys? We are not about that. It’s all WWE to us. We’re fake tough guys. No one throws any real punches. It’s unfortunate Stan feels that way. I know he has to protect his guy, but it’s just not the case. No one has any footage of it I guess except him, so unless he has (Magic assistant coach) Patrick Ewing on the bench taping with his iPhone I don’t think that really happened.”
And by the way Brendan, who is the most physical center in the Association?
“Oh Dwight [Howard] hands down. I mean first play of the game he popped me real good in my chest. He hit me so hard in my chest I felt it in my knee. You know you are not supposed to get hit hard enough in your chest when you feel it in your knee.”
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.