With under two minutes remaining and a home loss to the Nets almost certainly at hand, Kevin Durant let frustration get the best of him. He argued an illegal screen call on teammate Kendrick Perkins, and was issued two quick technicals from the nearby official, which resulted in an automatic ejection.
For almost anyone else in the league, this really wouldn’t be all that newsworthy. Durant’s image is so clean, of course, that this unusual display (and clear F-bomb directed at the official) is something worth watching.
It was the first career ejection for Durant, now in his sixth NBA season. Perhaps the fine folks at Nike were on to something.
At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.
The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.
China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.
China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.
Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.
This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.
The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.