Friday night’s game between the Thunder and the Lakers wasn’t close, but Serge ibaka and Metta World Peace appeared to try to make up for that by getting tangled up in the closing minutes.
With under three minutes to play and Oklahoma City leading by 10, Ibaka and MWP were fighting for position on a free throw attempt from Jodie Meeks.
The shot went in, which makes this all the more ridiculous. But after the two got tangled up, neither wanted to be the one to break the hold first, so words were exchanged, and double technicals were handed out by the officials.
World Peace has the reputation, obviously, and has the bad blood with the Thunder franchise after dropping James Harden with a vicious elbow just last season.
But Ibaka has been known to throw a death grip of his own, so let’s just chalk this one up to two so-called tough guys not wanting to back down from a non-existent confrontation.
Where this gets interesting, of course, is in the event that the Lakers get their act together before the postseason, and end up in a seven-game series against the Thunder. Incidents like this will be filed away by both teams if that happens, and the end result could be a true rivalry that would be amazing to see play out.
President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.
“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”
There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.
It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.
Kings hire former WNBA Seattle coach Jenny Boucek as assistant
The first was Becky Hammon, who has been part of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff for several years (and has coached their Summer League team). The second was Nancy Leiberman, who has been on the staff in Sacramento for a couple of seasons now.
Now the Kings have hired former Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek as an assistant coach on Dave Joerger’s staff. She will work as an assistant player development coach.
A former WNBA player in the league’s inaugural season, the past three years she has coached the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (she was fired midway through the last season), and prior to that had been the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09.
Video of Kawhi Leonard struggling to board team plane concerning
The San Antonio Spurs have been very tight lipped about how serious Kawhi Leonard‘s ongoing quadriceps issue is. He hasn’t played in the preseason or now the start of the regular season, with no timetable for his return. Part of that is the nature of the Spurs organization, but it leads to the feeling there is something more there.
Now surfaces this video of Leonard gingerly, slowly making his way up some stairs to the team plane, and it’s concerning.
To be fair, there is a real lack of context here, but according to the San Antonio Express-News, he had just come out of a rehab session. That means he might have been especially sore (and could have been iced up for the flight).
Still, this video makes one think it could be a while longer before we see Leonard back on the floor for San Antonio. (By the way over the past three seasons, including this one, the Spurs are 15-4 when Leonard sits. They will be fine short term.)
Nike “very concerned” after LeBron James’ jersey rips on opening night
Nearly three days after one of its jerseys tore in the first regular-season game of its new deal with the NBA, Nike released a statement Friday expressing worry about the issue, without offering insight as to what happened or what will be done.
“The quality and performance of all our products are of utmost importance,” the company said in a statement. “We are obviously very concerned to see any game day jersey tear and are working with the NBA and teams to avoid this happening in the future.”
This is the first year Nike has the NBA apparel contract, having just taken it over from Adidas. They made the jerseys similar to what had been done for the 2016 Rio Olympics, where there were no issues, but these jerseys are lighter than the former Adidas ones. It’s unclear what, if any, changes could be coming.