Kevin Garnett says he won’t waive his no-trade clause

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Kevin Garnett has said that this is his last All-Star game. He’ll be turning 37 soon, and this will be his 15th All-Star game. He knows his way around this whole spectacle. It’s the same party every year for him.

As a gift for what might be his last appearance, Garnett fielded tons of questions from the media on Saturday regarding the rumored trade talk that would send him to the Los Angeles Clippers for Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan.

While many think that Los Angeles might be the only place Garnett would accept a trade to because of his home in Malibu, Garnett was pretty firm on wanting to remain a Celtic on Saturday:

Asked on Saturday morning at All-Star weekend if there was a circumstance or team for which he would drop his no-trade clause, Garnett said, “No.”

Garnett then added, “Why would I come back and make the visits to rally this team to go further only to be set up to have change?”

“That’s what today’s going to be about it,” Garnett said. “This is what y’all want to talk about today? You want to talk about trades?

“I get it. I get it,” Garnett said. “It’s all good. If it’s up to me, I’m going to live and die green all day.”

But it is up to Garnett, since he has a no-trade clause.

“OK then, so what are we talking about?” Garnett said.

Via Jeff Zillgitt | USA Today Sports 

If you thought Kevin Garnett wouldn’t be vocal on his opinions regarding his future, you don’t know Kevin Garnett. He’s obviously an incredibly loyal guy, and it is completely up to him whether he gets moved. The Celtics can’t trade him without him signing off on the deal.

According to Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe, Garnett has not been approached about a trade, either.

“Garnett said Celtics team president of basketball operations has not approached him recently to discuss any potential trades. He said he has not talked to coach Doc Rivers about any impending trades, either.”

All that said, Garnett isn’t a lock to be a Celtic after Thursday’s deadline. If the Celtics can find a deal for Paul Pierce first, then KG might be more open to being moved. There was a previous report that said Garnett would only accept a trade if Pierce was already traded AND if he was being moved to Los Angeles.

Which has to make the Clippers’ brass think about a few things. If the Clippers are really the only logical landing spot for Garnett, why trade both of your valuable young assets in Bledsoe and Jordan? Shouldn’t the Clippers have the bargaining power? If the Celtics really want to move Pierce and Garnett and begin their rebuild, there has to be some leverage in being the only team (forget about it, Lakers fans) that can net him.

As is, it sounds like Garnett wants to stay in Boston. Add that to the reported reluctance of the Clippers front office to trade Bledsoe and Jordan, and this has the makings of a deal that fizzles out. If Celtics GM Danny Ainge really wants to move Garnett, it sounds like he’ll have to tear down the rest of the team first.

Dikembe Mutombo says he is putting together a group to buy the Rockets

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It appears as though Houston billionaire Dan Friedkin will have some competition if he decides to bid for the Rockets. Namely, former NBA big man Dikembe Mutombo.

Mutombo played in the NBA from 1991-2009, ending his career with five seasons in Houston. The franchise apparently made an impact on the Hall of Fame center, as he is apparently looking to buy the franchise per an interview with USA Today.

Speaking with Adi Joseph over at FTW, Mutombo would not give out names of his partners but said that he will be able to make a bid in the coming weeks.

Via FTW:

“I’m putting together a group to buy the Houston Rockets, and we’re getting close,” he said. “Getting close in the next couple weeks, maybe I’ll have a chance. Lot of people, lot of people and good people with a lot of money.”

With Leslie Alexander’s decision to sell the team, it certainly would be interesting to get another NBA player as part of team ownership in this league.

Watch the 10 best 360 plays from last season (video)

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The NBA’s top-10 highlight packages have been pretty enjoyable. This one is oddly specific – but still dizzyingly fun.

Kevin Durant on White House visit with Donald Trump: “Nah, I won’t do that”

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It’s not much of a surprise, but at least we have confirmation. If the Golden State Warriors are invited to the White House for a championship visit with Donald Trump, at least one star won’t be going: Kevin Durant.

Speaking in an ESPN article published on Thursday, the 2017 NBA Finals MVP said he didn’t respect who currently held the office of president.

Durant was interviewed as part of his Kevin Durant Day in his local Washington D.C. area suburb of Seat Pleasant, Maryland.

He is not the first NBA player to come forward and speak out about Trump in the aftermath of Charlottesville. LeBron James, Jabari Parker, and other NBA players have denounced the tone of Trump’s politics and positions in the public sphere.

The Warriors star had a lot to say on the subject, but I think this was most poignant.

Via ESPN:

“Nah, I won’t do that,” said Durant, the 2017 NBA Finals MVP. “I don’t respect who’s in office right now.”

“I don’t agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that,” said Durant, who said it wasn’t an organizational decision. “That’s just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they’ll all agree with me.”

“He’s definitely driving it,” Durant said. “I feel ever since he’s got into office, or since he ran for the presidency, our country has been so divided and it’s not a coincidence. When [Barack] Obama was in office, things were looking up. We had so much hope in our communities where I come from because we had a black president, and that was a first.

“So to see that and to be where we are now, it just felt like we took a turn for the worse, man. It all comes from who is in the administration. It comes from the top. Leadership trickles down to the rest of us. So, you know, if we have someone in office that doesn’t care about all people, then we won’t go anywhere as a country. In my opinion, until we get him out of here, we won’t see any progress.”

Durant also mentioned the need for more sports stars to come out and voice their opinions as a matter of leadership and as role models in the community.

That is definitely a huge part of the impact that sports stars can have. We all know how important NBA players are to pop culture and the culture of basketball itself. Couple that with how much influence they have as individual brands, as major players in the corporate sphere, and hopefully it will help them make a positive impact.

It’s great that NBA players are coming out and standing up against this kind of violence, and good on the NBA for making sure their voices as individuals aren’t silenced.

Chris Bosh to ‘host’ players-union awards revealed via tweets

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The NBA didn’t reveal its major regular-season awards until after the playoffs and draft – until most fans had turned the page toward the offseason. But at least the league got a revenue-drawing nationally televised award show out of the delay.

What is the players union doing, and how does Chris Bosh come into play?

National Basketball Players Association release:

CHRIS BOSH TO HOST NBPA “PLAYERS VOICE AWARDS”

11-Time All-Star to Reveal Awards Via Social Media

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced today that 2017 Players Voice Awards will be revealed exclusively via social media tomorrow beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET.

The Players Voice Awards are voted on solely by NBA players

The awards and videos will be revealed via @theNBPA on Twitter, and NBPA.com will curate all of the content throughout the day.

Voting took place at the end of the regular season and did not consider postseason performances.

The full list of Players Voice Awards includes:

  • Best Rookie
  • Comeback Player of the Year
  • Best Off the Bench
  • Best Defender
  • Hardest to Guard
  • Player You Secretly Wish Was On Your Team
  • Best Dressed
  • Home Court Advantage
  • Coach You’d Most Like to Play For
  • Clutch Performer
  • Best Social Media Follow
  • Most Influential Veteran
  • Global Impact
  • Most Valuable Player
  • Best Teammate (one per team)

I’m still not sure how Bosh is hosting tweets or what took so long for the union to get to this. The players-union awards, which debuted two years ago, haven’t gained much steam. I don’t think this will help.

On the other hand, not much is happening this time of year. Diehard basketball fans are thirsting for activity, and this provides some.

But they’d care at any time. I don’t think this moves the needle at all for casual fans.

As a hardcore basketball follower, though, I am curious who wins – and how Bosh fits into all of this.