Shannon Brown, Jared Dudley

Shannon Brown not happy about recent string of DNP-CDs

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The Suns are unquestionably in a rebuilding mode, and after trying (but mostly failing) to win games during the first half of the season by putting the players on the floor who would give them the best chance to do so, the team is now focused on the future and developing its young talent.

That meant that a serviceable backup point guard in Sebastian Telfair was sent packing at the trade deadline, after he began to ride the bench in favor of rookie Kendall Marshall getting those minutes instead.

Now, it’s Shannon Brown’s turn.

Brown deserves to be on the court, given his talent level in relation to others on the roster who are getting that playing time. And understandably, he’s not happy with the new role the team has placed him in.

From Craig Grialou of ArizonaSports.com:

“It bothers me every night,” he said. “It bothers me from when the first time I didn’t play.”

“It hurts. It is what it is though. I understand it’s a business and I can’t take it too personal.”

Brown said he was talked to “but nobody gave me no real answer. They just sent me around the world and come back to nothing. I talked to them but they say all the stuff that in the end doesn’t justify why or give me a good reason of what’s going on.”

“It ain’t easy. I definitely think it’s undeserved. There’s a lot of things I could say but I’m going to just stay professional about the whole situation and let the season play out.”

It’s tough to blame either side here, although if what Brown said about not being able to get a straight answer as to the reason for his diminished minutes playing time, then management could have handled things a bit better.

But then again, Brown has been around — Phoenix is his fifth NBA team, and he’s now in his seventh season. He should know the reason he’s sitting; the Suns know what they have in Brown, they need to see more of guys like Marshall, Wesley Johnson, Marcus Morris, and even Michael Beasley to a certain extent to see where they go from a roster standpoint in the future.

Brown is under contract through the end of next season for a very reasonable $3.5 million. If the team goes into a full-blown youth movement to completely start from scratch, it would be very easy to move Brown — and his expiring contract — somewhere where he’d be more content.

PBT Extra: Who do you want to see most in first All-Star Game?

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Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.

This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.

The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.

Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.

Russell Westbrook: ‘Don’t say what’s up to that b— a—’ (video)

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Did Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant talk during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night? Westbrook said no, though video and first-hand accounts indicate otherwise.

Even more clearly: Westbrook – who walked near teammates Enes Kanter, Anthony Morrow and Jerami Grant – didn’t want someone talking to someone as they left the floor after the game. ESPN caught Westbrook saying, “Don’t say what’s up to that b— a—.”

You will never convince anyone Westbrook is referring to anyone but Durant.

Russell Westbrook commits epic travel (video)

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Between getting laid out by Zaza Pachulia and apparently talking with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook committed a travel for the ages.

The Thunder guard took an inbound pass against the Warriors and just started walking up court without dribbling. The violation was so blatant, NBA officials even called the travel.

And it’s not as if they’re inclined to blow a whistle in that situation. Before Westbrook, Kemba Walker set a high bar last season, but he got away with this walk:

Are Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant on speaking terms after apparent conversation? Westbrook: ‘Nah’ (video)

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Russell Westbrook deleted Kevin Durant‘s goodbye text and, months later, told the whole world they still hadn’t talked.

That apparently changed during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder yesterday – though not if you ask Westbrook.

Westbrook dunked in the third quarter, and according to ESPN commentator Mark Jackson, Westbrook told Durant, “Don’t jump.” Anthony Slater of The Mercury News also wrote of the same quote.

ESPN’s telecast caught Durant clearly speaking to Westbrook shortly after. It appears Westbrook is talking back, but his back is to the camera.

After the game, Westbrook denied the exchange:

 

  • Reporter: “Are you and KD on speaking terms?”
  • Westbrook: “Nah.”
  • Reporter: “You guys had a little exchange in the third quarter.”
  • Westbrook: “What exchange?”
  • Reporter: “You and KD said something to each other.”
  • Westbrook: “Oh. You gotta maybe sit closer to the game. You maybe didn’t see clearly.”

This is so Westbrook – stubborn to the point of denying reality.

That approach worked for him when everyone rightly told him he was a significantly lesser player than Durant. Westbrook ignored that fact until it became false.

I suspect he wants to forget this exchange so he can maintain a cold animosity toward someone he prefers to resent.