Gooden says guys who draw charges will pay flopping fines

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Mark Cuban doesn’t love it. Neither does Blake Griffin. And Dirk Nowitzki.

While a lot of players have said they like the NBA’s new policy of fines for flops and hope that it starts to curtail the embellishment of contact in the NBA, not everyone does. There are concerns about enforcement, about unintended consequences, about a few things.

You can add Bucks forward Drew Gooden to the list above. He told Steve Aschburner of NBA.com that he expect guys known for drawing charges are going to now draw fines. Fair or not.

“I think the guys who are going to be in trouble are the guys who lead the league in [taking legit] charges,” Gooden said after Milwaukee’s morning workout. “Ersan [Ilyasova] had a play yesterday where Ekpe [Udoh] was about to take a real hard power-dribble and he anticipated it. He stood on his heels, he took contact and it was like a no-call. Is that a warning? Is that a violation? That’s gonna be the question….

“I think we’re making too many rules each year,” Gooden said. “It seems like the last five years, it’s been a new rule every year. Technical fouls are up. Hand gestures to the ref. It’s taking away from the game.”

David Stern said today that the league will be “conservative” on enforcement. We’ll see what that means, and what the impacts turn out to be. Not all of them will be expected.

Another point from Gooden — shouldn’t the referees have consequences for the calls?

Gooden added: “The refs should be fined if they call a flop as an offensive foul, how ’bout that? If they get fooled, they should get fined or they should get a warning.”

Remembering Notre Dame, Laker legend Tommy “the hawk” Hawkins

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Tommy Hawkins passed away recently at the age of 80.

The former NBA player was the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame (he still holds the school’s total rebounds record), was drafted in the first round, and went on to have a 10-year NBA career playing for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Cincinnati Royals. Los Angeles fans may also remember him as the long time director of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers after his playing days ended.

The NBA put together this well done video look back at Hawkins’ career.

Celtics’ Brad Stevens said early September tests will show if Thomas ready for camp

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Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.

Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.

Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”

The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.

Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.

Allen Iverson predicts LeBron James will win MVP

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LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.

Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?

Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.

LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.

It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.