Barea Hinrich

First NBA flopping warnings go to J.J. Barea, Donald Sloan


Congratulations J.J. Barea and Donald Sloan, you have gotten the historic first warnings from the NBA for flopping.

The league announced Monday that Minnesota’s Barea and Cleveland’s Sloan got warnings — there are no fines until their second offense (and then it is just $5,000 for the next offense).

The goal rather is to leak these and hopefully create some public humiliation (you know reporters are going to ask about this) that will keep guys from doing it in the future.

These are both pretty legit calls by the NBA.

Sloan has no room to argue. He was trying to pressure Chicago’s Kirk Hinrich as the Bull guard brought the ball up the court, and Sloan did get bumped on a Nazr Mohammed pick, but then he tried to sell the contact by looking like a second shooter in the grassy knoll took him out.

In Barea’s case, he was sliding with the ball handling Jimmer Fredette as he came across the top of the key, Fredette used his left arm to keep some space and while there was a little contact Barea threw his arms in the air and sold it well past the point of what the contact would have warranted. In this case Barea could argue he was throwing his arms up to keep his balance or that it wasn’t really that severe, but it was a pretty clear sell.

It will be interesting to see if this has any real impact as the season wears on, and particularly during the playoffs when more is at stake and players are willing to risk more.

Kings’ Karl admits mistakes in DeMarcus Cousins trade controversey

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In the NBA, elite players have the leverage. It is just simple supply and demand.

DeMarcus Cousins is an elite player — and a favorite of owner Vivek Ranadive. He is not going anywhere.

Which made this summer’s “George Karl wants trade Cousins” a battle the coach couldn’t ultimately win — the owner wasn’t going to sign off on it, and the fans are going to side with Boogie. Remember Karl said he never had a player that was untradable, and that spiraled into reports Karl probed trade options with other teams, much to the frustration of management and Cousins himself.

Karl owned up to some of his mistakes in an interview on Comcast Bay Area, as reported by James Ham at

“To be honest with you, I apologized to DeMarcus for making the trade comment that I’ve never coached a player that’s untradeable,” Karl told Christensen. “That was wrong for me to say, because you all (the media) took it and blew it up into crazy.”

“But it’s my responsibility to be smart enough to not say things like that,” Karl continued. “So I did apologize because I thought that was the only thing, maybe some other things, but really the only thing that got us separated was that comment that then everybody wrote the we’re going to trade [Cousins].”

The relationship between Cousins and Karl — not to mention Rajon Rondo and other veterans — is the biggest key to the Kings’ season. Karl and Cousins say their relationship is solid now, but what happens when that is put under stress at some point during the season?

In talking to people around the team, the Kings players seemed to have formed a tight bond — even if part of the glue of that bond is a distrust of Karl that can work for them. This is a team that has the talent to compete for the bottom couple playoff seeds in the Western Conference, but everybody needs to be pulling on the rope in the same direction. We will see pretty quickly if the Kings can do that.

Pistons reveal “Detroit Chrome” alternate uniform

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I’m a fan of the Pistons’ alternate uniforms in general — their “Motor City” ones may be may favorite alternates around the league.

Now they have a new one — Detroit Chrome.

The Pistons will break these out for seven home games this season. From the official release:

The inspiration for the Detroit Chrome jerseys came about as a way to honor our coolest cars from the past and the cars of the future. Detroit is universally known as the auto capital of the world, where chrome leaves an indelible mark on the cars we create. The uniforms feature a matte chrome base color with clean simple lines inspired by the classic muscle cars that have roared up and down Woodward Avenue for decades. The navy trim and Detroit emblazoned across the chest represent the blue collar work ethic that the auto industry and region was built on.

Clean, simple, cool — I like it.

That would look good in the first round of the playoffs, too. (I’m predicting they get the eight seed.)