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.”
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.
Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.
Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.
Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.
The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.
BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.
The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.
In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.
Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.
New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.
That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.
First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.
The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.
Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.
That seemed odd.
In fact, it’s unprecedented.
That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron James‘ cachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.
Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.