Mike Brown emotional, angry over threats received by Steve Blake

18 Comments

Lakers guard Steve Blake and his wife received some serious threats via Twitter after the Lakers’ Game 2 loss to Oklahoma City on Wednesday. It’s the negative part about the way social media works, where anonymous lunatics can lash out at those in the public eye without consequence.

The events affected Blake and his family obviously, but they also had an affect on Lakers head coach Mike Brown.

Speaking before Game 3 on Friday, Brown struggled to find the words to express his feelings on the matter, before speaking emotionally and angrily about the way Blake and his family were attacked.

“We understand the passion and the love that people have for this team, and I respect that,” Brown said. “I respect you guys saying what you want to say about me and Steve, and beating us up; that’s you guys’ job, and you respect people saying that stuff. But … everybody has family. You don’t want to touch that. That’s the only thing, and it gets me emotional right now. I just feel bad for his family, I feel bad for him. That just shouldn’t be a part of life, to have somebody want to do stuff like that, attack your family. Frickin’ kids, man? That’s … no. I don’t like that.”

Brown believes Blake will be able to play through it, but reiterated just how tough it is for a player to have to deal with something like this.

“He handled it I guess the best he can,” Brown continued. “You guys wouldn’t like that. Nobody would like that. You kind of feel helpless out there, because all these people — you don’t know who did it. And people know when we’re leaving, and when we’re in town. That’s tough to deal with, man. Tough … It’s a shame. It’s a doggone shame.”

Thunder head coach Scott Brooks spoke more briefly on the matter, but he seemed to take it just as seriously.

“It doesn’t make sense,” he said. “It is a game, and it is an important game for both teams. But it’s not that important.”

Spurs’ LaMarcus Aldridge nails three from one knee during warmups (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

Take that Stephen Curry.

Gregg Popovich would pull him so fast he’d look like a fidget spinner if he tried this in a game, but during warmups before Game 4 Monday night LaMarcus Aldridge knocked down a deep three from one knee.

If Aldridge is taking a lot of threes that’s not a good sign for the Spurs, but we’ll see if he can have a big night and keep the Spurs alive in this series.

Stephen Curry drains shots from near half court during warmups like they’re layups

Getty Images
3 Comments

Stephen Curry‘s pregame warmups draw people into the arena early, it’s a show in and of itself.

Before Game 4 Monday night, Curry was taking a couple shots from the center-court logo. And draining them. Like layups. Because he can.

We’ll see if he can put on that kind of show when the game tips off.

Gregg Popovich makes it official: No Kawhi Leonard for Game 4

1 Comment

This was expected. It still sucks to hear.

Kawhi Leonard is out for Game 4 vs. the Warriors Monday night.

Leonard has sprained his left ankle in Game 5 against the Rockets and sat out Game 6 of that series (a San Antonio win), then returned for Game 1 against the Warriors. He re-injured his ankle twice in that game — once stepping on David Lee‘s foot, once when Zaza Pachulia slid under him on a jumper and took away his landing space. Leonard left that game with his team up 23 points, but the Warriors rallied back to win Game 1 and have controlled the series ever since. Leonard has not returned to the series.

San Antonio will play with pride on Monday night, but it may not be enough. You can bet the Warriors were reminded all day about taking their foot off the gas after what happened with Cleveland Sunday.

Report: Orlando hires Toronto GM Jeff Weltman to be president of basketball operations

Leave a comment

In Toronto, Masai Ujiri is the head of basketball operations and the guy with the hammer on deals. Jeff Weltman was his right-hand man and team GM.

Make that was his right-hand man, Weltman has been hired by the Orlando Magic to run its basketball operations, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

The Orlando Magic have hired Toronto Raptors general manager Jeff Weltman as the franchise’s president of basketball operations, league sources told The Vertical.

Weltman met with Orlando CEO Alex Martins and ownership on Monday, finalizing a five-year deal, league sources said.

Orlando officials had been intrigued with Cleveland GM David Griffin, but moved steadily toward Weltman as they became further engaged with his candidacy in recent weeks, league sources said. Weltman has been deeply involved in every aspect of the Raptors’ front office under president Masai Ujiri as Toronto became a perennial Eastern Conference contender.

Making a move now is smart in this sense: The Magic have the No. 5 pick in this draft and would want the guy making the big picture decisions about this roster on board to make this selection.

That roster already has some quality pieces — Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic, maybe Elfrid Payton — but has underachieved. There were questions about the culture and a lack of accountability, and that blame ultimately fell on GM Rob Hennigan and he was let go. Frank Vogel is locked in as

Frank Vogel is locked in as coach, so how well Weltman and Vogel work together — and share a vision — will be key.

Weltman is well-respected around the league. He spent five seasons as an assistant GM in Milwaukee, and has been with the Raptors since 2013 as that team has risen up the Eastern Conference standings and had its best run in franchise history. He also has worked with the Clippers and in Denver. He’s been one of those guys expected to get a chance in the big chair for a few years now.

He’s got it, and it’s an interesting challenge in Orlando.