San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - Game 6

Refs say Rick Barry is wrong, Ray Allen didn’t travel on critical shot in Game 6 of Finals

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Ray Allen’s shot at the end of regulation to send Game 6 of the Finals into overtime was as clutch as they come, especially considering those now famous yellow ropes in place along the sidelines that were there in preparation for the Spurs’ trophy presentation.

NBA Hall-of-Famer Rick Barry has turned it into a mini-controversy this summer, however, claiming in multiple interviews that Allen traveled before delivering the breathtaking shot.

The NBA’s referees, who are gathered in New Jersey this week for their annual preseason summit, politely disagree with Barry’s assessment.

From Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com:

On Thursday the league invited some members of the media to look at some of the work the officials have been doing and discuss some minor rule changes and adjustments. But one thing that came up was Allen’s huge shot. Was it or wasn’t it a travel?

The answer from the best in the world was definitive: No.

Barry and others feel that Allen took three steps, one more than allotted, before shooting the ball. Looking at it frame-by-frame, indeed there is some gray area there. Under league rules, a player is permitted two steps after the “gather.”

Whether you side with Barry or with the officials on the issue depends on when you believe Allen began his so-called gather.

For what it’s worth, Kurt Helin pointed this out in our original post on the subject, and ended up seeing it the same way the referees did.

The NBA rule on traveling was described by the league this way:

A player who receives the ball while moving is allowed a two count rhythm but must release the ball prior to the third step touching the floor.

Does Allen take a third step? Looking at the replay I don’t think so. The NBA allows a “gather” and two steps and Allen is well within that.

The conclusion by those in the officiating profession won’t change Barry’s or anyone else’s opinion, of course. But if nothing else, the assessment of the referees should be weighted more heavily than those on the outside when considering the differing views.

Writer recants report of Kevin Durant telling Russell Westbrook he’d re-sign with Thunder

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 03:  Kevin Durant #35 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder talk to head coach Billy Donovan during their game against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on March 3, 2016 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The report that Kevin Durant told Russell Westbrook he’d re-sign with the Thunder before choosing the Warriors?

Never mind.

Royce Young of ESPN:

I misspoke in saying that Durant specifically told Westbrook he was coming back.

Warriors/Brazil center Anderson Varejao to miss Olympics with back injury

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Dan Clark #13 of Great Britain shoots over Anderson Varejao #11 of Brazil in the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match between Great Britain and Brazil on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Basketball Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Center Anderson Varejao will miss the Olympics for host Brazil because of a herniated disc in his lower back.

The Golden State Warriors announced the injury Wednesday and say that Varejao should be ready for the start of training camp but will not be healthy enough to play in the Olympics. Varejao recently experienced back pain while training with the Brazilian National Team and returned to California to be examined by Dr. Robert Watkins earlier this week.

Varejao averaged 2.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 22 games after signing with the Warriors on Feb. 22. He re-signed with the team earlier this month.

Suns add Jay Triano, Tyrone Corbin to coaching staff

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PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix Suns coach Earl Watson completed his staff Wednesday, naming Jay Triano associate head coach and Tyrone Corbin and Nate Bjorkgren assistant coaches.

Triano spent the last four seasons as assistant coach with the Portland Trail Blazers, including Watson’s final season as a player in 2013-14. The first Canadian-born head coach in NBA history when he directed Toronto, he also is the coach of Canada’s national team.

Corbin was Sacramento’s interim head coach for 28 games in 2014-15. He played the Suns in 1987-89.

Bjorkgren remains with the Suns after spending last season as assistant coach/player development coordinator. He also was head coach of the Suns’ NBA Summer League team the past two years.

The Suns also named Marlon Garnett assistant coach/player development coordinator, and Scott Duncan and Jason Fraser player development coaches.

Report: Paul Pierce probably wants to come back and play for Clippers, but still thinking it over

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The Los Angeles Clippers still have Paul Pierce under contract. Not many minutes for him, but he has a roster spot.

Pierce probably wants come back but is thinking it all over, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.

Pierce has been debating this with himself for a while now.

Pierce saw a dramatic drop off in production and how much he was used last season by Rivers. Pierce averaged a career-low 6.1 points per game on an also career low 48.9 true shooting percentage. His PER of 8.2 was also a career low. You get the idea. By the end of the season Pierce was mostly an afterthought for Doc Rivers (although he did start one game after Blake Griffin was out and the Clippers’ playoff dreams were toast).

Pierce would be more mentor than a key player on the court, but he would be on probably the third best team in the West, a team that capable of making a deep playoff run. Does he want to do that for one more season? You know Doc would welcome him.