Stephen Jackson has strong words for Serge Ibaka

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Late in the Thunder’s win over the Lakers on Friday, Metta World Peace and Serge Ibaka got tangled up while battling for rebound position inside.

Both players received technical fouls, a few words were exchanged, and that was that.

But another NBA player watching from afar sided with World Peace, and had some strong words for Ibaka that he made public via his Twitter account.

From Stephen Jackson of the San Antonio Spurs:

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That’s a photo of the tweet taken from SBNation, who embedded it earlier. Jackson has since deleted it, but he’s not pretending that it never existed.

Jackson wanted to make it clear that his issue with Ibaka was a personal one, and that he wasn’t simply coming to the defense of his former teammate from his days in Indiana, Metta World Peace Ron Artest.

“FYI my Ibaka comment had nothing to do with Ron Artest,” Jackson wrote, and then posted to his Instagram page. “Last 2 times we played he ran up on me and I told him in the game next time u run up on me I’m going in ya mouth. I’m speaking for myself. For u all who wanna jump to conclusions.”

This is a very long-winded way of saying that Stephen Jackson appeared to use his social media accounts to threaten Serge Ibaka.

The league could of course fine Jackson for this, if in fact they can determine exactly what the phrase “going in ya mouth” means. It doesn’t sound pleasant, that’s for sure, and should Jackson get into it with Ibaka on the court when the Spurs and the Thunder next meet on Dec. 17, whatever ends up taking place will now be viewed as premeditated on Jackson’s part, to say the least.

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.