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Tim Hardaway regrets anti-gay comments, but believes dialogue that resulted was a positive

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Tim Hardaway played 14 NBA seasons, most notably as a part of the Run TMC Golden State Warriors. But he was also a key component of the Miami Heat teams that challenged in the Eastern Conference in the late 90s.

He found himself in the spotlight once his career was through for making some horribly ignorant anti-gay remarks back in 2007, but has since learned why what he said was wrong, and has been working towards educating others on the topic ever since.

Hardaway now regrets ever making those comments. But he does believe that the dialogue that resulted was ultimately positive in helping those similarly dense gain a new perspective on things.

From Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida:

Over the past several years, Hardaway has provided support at several gay events. When Jason Collins earlier this year became the first active NBA player to reveal he is gay, Hardaway called Collins the day the news broke to offer his support. Hardaway earlier this month was the first signer of a petition seeking the legalization of gay marriage in Florida.

As much Hardaway regrets the comments, he said they at least resulted in dialogue he believes ultimately advanced society.

“What I said and how I said it, it was bad,” Hardaway said. “But I think it opened up a lot of eyes and made people really, really understand that these are people and that we shouldn’t bash them or throw rocks at them or anything like that. I think that opened up a lot of eyes, opened up a lot of dialogue to which people didn’t even want to touch (before). Now, I think they will touch it. I’m not saying that it’s a good thing (the comments were made), but, if I didn’t say that, I think we still would be further back.”

That’s debatable, obviously. But what’s important is how Hardaway was able to completely change his views on the subject after coming from such a dark place on it initially.

Nowadays, Hardaway is employed by the Miami Heat as a team scout. And when he’s not talking up the potential of Greg Oden and his ability to lead the Heat to a third straight title, he’s trying to work his way up in the organization, while setting his sights on obtaining a general manager position at some point in the future.

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.