It’s a common courtesy in the NBA — guys who are about to be traded hear about it from their agents and others around the league, but when the hammer drops the GM or coach or someone from the team calls with the formal notification. “Thank you for your service ” and all that jazz anyone who has been fired knows too well.
Caron Butler learned the Clippers traded him to Phoenix through the crawl on the bottom of the television. Butler and Eric Bledsoe went to Phoenix and Jared Dudley went west to Los Angeles.
As you might imagine, for a veteran and professional like Butler perceived lack of respect didn’t sit well. He said as much to Jeff Caplan of NBA.com.
“I don’t leave with bitterness or anything, but a phone call would have helped the situation,” said Butler… “But it’s cool, it’s no hard feelings because that’s the nature of the business.”
There was a time not all that long ago where we just would have said “that’s the Clippers for you.” But the fact is their basketball operations have gotten a lot better in recent years — not just drafting Blake Griffin or trading for Chris Paul, but in terms of the professionalism with which the organization is run and perceived. This was a misstep that felt too much like the bad old days.
Caron Butler is the highest paid Phoenix Sun player this season at $8 million, and he also has the veteran presence to be a leader. He can work with fellow former Clipper Eric Bledsoe and the Morris twins. He can guide some guys.
Well, at least until the rebuilding Suns trade him. But I bet they at least call with the news themselves.
The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.
The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.
The Bulls won 128-121. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27.
Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll picked up a deserved flagrant for this foul.
With a couple of minutes left to go in the second quarter, Isaiah Thomas made the steal when DeMar DeRozan lost the ball on a drive, and Thomas was off to the races. Trying to prevent a lay-up, Carroll decided to foul Thomas far from the basket, but did so with a forearm shove that sent Thomas sprawling on the ground.
Thomas got up and had words, as did Jae Crowder.
Carroll got a flagrant and a technical, Thomas and Crowder each picked up technicals for jumping in.
When Stephen Curry wore a headband through the All-Star Game last weekend, West coach Steve Kerr jokingly called him “Seth” all night.
Dallas’ Seth Curry came out of the week-long break playing like an All-Star. He dropped 31 on the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night, a career high for him. He hit 13-of-17 from the field, including three from beyond the arc, but did a lot of his damage in the midrange.
It wasn’t enough, the Timberwolves got a comfortable 97-84 win behind 27 points from Andrew Wiggins and 26 from Karl-Anthony Towns. Nerlens Noel was not yet with his new team in time to play for the Mavs in this game.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points despite foul trouble and the San Antonio Spurs shook off the rust from a nine-day layoff to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 105-97 on Friday night for their third straight win.
Pau Gasol added 17 points and 11 rebounds off the bench in his return from a 15-game absence because of a fractured finger. LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Dewayne Dedmon grabbed 12 rebounds.
Blake Griffin scored 29 points for the Clippers, who have dropped consecutive games to the league’s two winningest teams since the All-Star break ended. They lost by 10 points at Golden State a night earlier. The Spurs have the league’s second-best record at 44-13.
Chris Paul added 17 points in his return after missing five weeks with a torn ligament in his left thumb.