Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points like Bobby Flay loves chipotle.
• Knicks coach Mike Woodson was on ESPN radio in New York that the Knicks would not be trading Iman Shumpert. Now, Woodson doesn’t get to make that call, but I think it’s a sign he is on the part of the Knicks front office that doesn’t want to see Shumpert moved. Most likely he will not be, unless the deal is too good to pass up.
• One guy who is ending up in more and more trade scuttlebutt is Brandon Jennings. He switched agents to a guy known for getting his clients into big markets and Jennings is a restricted free agent this summer — you can see the big poison pill free agent offer coming, and so can the Bucks. So they may have no choice but to move him now and get something in return.
• If you read one thing today, it should be the fantastic piece by former 76ers beat writer and current ESPN employee Kate Fagen about the sexism in the culture of sports.
• Over at Grantland Zach Lowe has a great Q&A with Dirk Nowitzki.
• While we’re talking great interviews, here is one with Nicolas Batum over at SLAM.
• Dominique Wilkins says that before the legendary 1988 dunk contest against Michael Jordan he didn’t even practice.
• Covering the NBA can warp your perspective of what a tall human being looks like, and then there are some guys who even NBA regulars look at and think, “damn.” Yao Ming is one of those guys. Check out the picture at this link of him standing next to NFL defensive end J.J. Watt.
• Quincy Pondexter missed five weeks with a sprained knee, came back and played one game for the Grizzlies, and now will be out through the All-Star Break. At least.
• The Clippers eight-game road trip as seen through Civil War style correspondence.
• An attorney has been convicted in the murder of Eddie Curry’s ex-girlfriend and daughter.
• Donald Sloan is leaving Sioux Falls of the D-League to play in China. Why? Money.
Is the Derrick Rose/Jimmy Butler relationship nothing but puppy dogs and rainbows? No. There will be sparks between two intense competitors.
Have those sparks started a fire Bulls fans should be concerned about? A report on Wednesday said the core problem was Butler doesn’t respect Rose’s work ethic, which provided some kindling for that spark to catch.
However, as you would expect, Butler said this was all much ado about nothing, that he and Rose are all good. Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
Spin this however you wish: Their relationship is fine and someone in the media is making this up; or their relationship has been rough, and this is all just leaking out now.
This is a Bulls team in a bit of a transition as Rose declines some and Butler has grown into a top-flight player. Clearly that dynamic has some people around the team — likely the people in one of one of the players’ camps doesn’t like the power struggle or where it leaves his buddy — talking out of school to the press.
But as Butler noted, winning cures all ills. If Chicago can get off to a fast start, nobody will be asking chemistry questions.
For now, however, tounges are wagging.
The NBA is still investigating and can take its own action. In theory people involved in the incident could decide to file a civil lawsuit (although Fisher said he would not).
However, Memphis’ Matt Barnes is not going to face any criminal charges for an altercation he instigated with Knicks’ head coach Derek Fisher at the home of Barnes’ estranged wife in Los Angeles, according to police, who talked to TMZ.
Matt Barnes will NOT be charged with a crime for allegedly attacking Derek Fisher over the weekend … the Redondo Beach Police Department tells TMZ Sports.
Cops tell us they did respond to an incident and a police report was filed regarding the altercation — but officers say the case “was reviewed and there is no basis for criminal charges.” As we previously reported, a witness at the home says Barnes struck Fisher in the face and a fight ensued. However, the NY Post is reporting that Fisher did not want to pursue charges against Barnes.
Fisher has been seeing Gloria Govan — Barnes’ estranged wife and star of the “Basketball Wives” reality series — for several months, and was over at her house in the South Bay of Los Angeles Saturday night, along with other friends. Barnes said he got a call from one of his two sons, who “looked distressed” that Fisher was over, and that caused Barnes to drive over to the house. Once he arrived an altercation broke out between the two men, with Barnes allegedly texting a friend that he beat up Fisher and spat in his wife’s face. That’s not going to scar the young boy any further, well done.
If Barnes did this as described (and we don’t know the details), the NBA has to look hard at this. Barnes does not get to decide for a woman he is no longer seeing who she can and cannot see, and who she has over to her home. She is not property. That is the level of control seen in domestic abuse situations, and the league can’t sit back and tolerate it.