This is Kevin Garnett’s act — he plays in some 1960s NBA where the players hate the opposing players on and off the court and want nothing to do with them. Fans eat it up because that’s how they feel even though often KG comes off as an a******.
Which brings us to last night, when Ray Allen entered the game for the Heat and went over and shook the hands of the coaches on the Celtics bench in a move that Celtics fans would have called classy if their guy did it but won’t for Benedict Allen. Of course, KG wasn’t playing that game and sat there arms folded.
So KG, what gives? From the Boston Globe:
“You know what man, I was just trying to stay as neutral as I could but obviously I’m an intense person. Other than it was blank, I just saw the Heat uniforms and obviously he’s on the other side and I just tried to play the game, man.”
Celtics fans already eat this up because he’s their guy and short of KG saying he eats puppies before games they’ll back whatever he says.
I’m tired of the act. I don’t buy the “I can’t like a guy off the court and go hard at him on it” crap — in your own life you don’t play harder in pickup against your friends than you do some random guy who jumped in the game? It is possible to be civil off the court and hard on it, all the guys on the Olympic team got a long great, you think Kobe Bryant is going to go easy on Kevin Durant because of it?
Whatever. I’m done with the whole Ray Allen/Celtics “feud” anyway. Clearly after that game the Celtics have bigger things to worry about anyway.
Kevin Durant told fans, dismayed by the lack of competitive games and series this postseason, “If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.”
Daring customers to choose another form of entertainment might not be good business for the NBA, but it’s not as if many fans needed an invitation. I doubt anyone was on the fence about watching then made up their minds after hearing Durant’s comments.
Yet, the Warriors star offered an apology.
Durant, via Chris Haynes of ESPN:
“I mean, life can be simple, man, Durant told ESPN. “If you don’t like the way the game is going, just turn it off. If you’re enjoying it, just keep it on. Life is simple. I didn’t mean it to disrespect anybody, but if you felt disrespected, I’m sorry. But if you don’t enjoy the game, turn it off [and] turn something else on. If you do, enjoy the rest of it, man.”
This is just a softer touch on the same sentiment – and just as reasonable.
People who love the NBA will watch. People who hate the NBA won’t. And people in the middle will fluctuate depending on the quality of the product.
Anyone mad at Durant the first time was just looking for a reason to get upset. That group will probably find a source of irritation in the follow-up quote, too.
The rest of us didn’t need this (half-hearted) apology, anyway.
The Clippers are unraveling.
Of course, whether they can re-sign Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are the big questions. But they also must deal with smaller matters in free agency – like Marreese Speights.
Speights will opt out, his agent tweeted:
The Clippers will hold Speights’ Non-Bird Rights (technically a form of Bird Rights), allowing them to give him a starting salary up to $2,540,346 without using cap space or the mid-level exception.
The 29-year-old Speights, a stretch five who takes charges, fits the modern NBA. He could probably get more if he seeks it.
The Clippers won’t have cap space unless they lose Paul and Griffin, and at that point, re-signing a veteran like Speights is of little use. So, it would likely require the taxpayer mid-level exception or Speights taking a discount to keep him.
Luc Mbah a Moute can and likely will also opt out, and he’ll fall in the same Non-Bird situation. The Clippers would likely prioritize their mid-level exception for him – if it’s enough for either player.
Keeping Paul and Griffin is of the utmost importance, but that’s not the Clippers’ only challenge. Even if they keep those two stars, assembling even a decent supporting cast will difficult. Possibly losing J.J. Redick is the main issue there, but handling Speights’ and Mbah a Moute’s roster spots will also be pivotal.
Zaza Pachulia became the villain of the Western Conference finals when he injured Kawhi Leonard and torpedoed the Spurs chances of upsetting the Warriors.
But his teammates stood by him – then shared this fun moment with him after Golden State won the West.
Manu Ginobili received an emotional sendoff in the Spurs’ season-ending – and maybe Ginobili’s career-ending – loss to the Warriors last night.
The postgame press conference featured a lighthearted moment when, after the Argentinian guard answered a couple questions in Spanish, an American reporter – not wanting to miss big news – asked whether Ginobili had just announced his retirement.
No, Ginobili assured the reporter. He says he plans to take a few weeks to consider his options.