Chauncey Billups became the latest offender of the league’s policy against flopping on Wednesday, receiving a warning for this kickout of his left leg late in the Clippers win over the Jazz on December 3.
It’s a clear flop, but the problem is that it worked to perfection. L.A. was trailing by two, and Billups was awarded three free throws for his actions. He made two of the three, and it helped the Clippers come away with a 105-104 victory.
It almost seems like the league’s purpose with these warnings to put the responsibility of calls made by the officials on the players, rather than on the referees themselves. The fines need to be harsher or suspensions need to be levied if that’s the true intention, because there’s no taking away those three free throws that were illegitimately earned by Billups.
Ettore Messina to coach Spurs in Game 3 following death of Gregg Popovich’s wife
Ettore Messina was a longtime head coach in Europe. The Spurs lead assistant also took over for a few regular-season games Popovich missed. So, making – rather than advising – coaching decisions won’t be a brand new challenge to Messina.
But down 2-0 to defending-champion Golden State is a tough place to make an NBA playoff debut.
On the bright side, there will be no pressure. Not only has San Antonio been outclassed the first two games of the series, focus is rightly on the Popovich family. A win would be a pleasant surprise and help Messina – who’s up for the Hornets job – in his pursuit of a head-coaching position. A loss would be quickly forgotten with more important matters at hand.
To that end, hopefully the time away allows Popovich the space he needs to grieve. That matters far more than a basketball game.
Report: Knicks to interview Kenny Smith for head-coaching job
I’m not on social media right now, but I was made aware through some friends through texts that a question was asked to me postgame, and a lot of people feel I was blindsided. That is absolutely false. Allie LaForce told me that she was going to ask the question and if it was OK.
And once I started talking about it, once we were on air, actually my emotions kind of took over. And that was just my emotions coming straight from my heart about the late Erin Popovich.
It’s unfortunate. It’s a tragic loss. My thoughts, my prayers, once again goes out to the Popovich family, to Gregg, to the Spurs family, to the whole Spurs fan base.
And also guys, please get off Allie LaForce’ back, because she followed the proper protocol and she warned me. So, get off her back, man. She’s very professional, and she does a great job at her work.
Like I said, thoughts and prayers to the heavens above. We all know the man above never makes mistakes, even when we question it. But it’s a sad, tragic time right now for the NBA family, and we’re all praying and hoping for the best.
It would have been surprising if LaForce hadn’t done that. Somewhere between nearly nobody and absolutely nobody in her position is trying to embarrass players.