Jeff Ayres (formerly Jeff Pendergraph) played for the Indiana Pacers last season, a team that took the eventual champion Heat to seven games during the Eastern Conference Finals.
In the final game of the series, with the score out of hand and the contest having already been decided, Ayres got into a shoving match with Norris Cole, and although the confrontation was minor, both players were ejected by the officials to prevent things from escalating during garbage time.
Ayres signed with the Spurs in the offseason, and played for his new team against the Heat in Miami on Saturday. Apparently, though, the name change and the new uniform weren’t enough to make the Heat players forget about how Ayres played against them in last season’s playoffs.
From Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News:
Ayres felt no love lost in Miami after switching to the Spurs.
“That’s what it felt like,” Ayres said. “People were trying to take out my knees and stuff. I was like, it’s preseason take a chill pill.”
The Heat seemed to take the rematch against the Spurs quite seriously, so we’ll take Ayres’ word for it. Despite the fact that the game meant nothing in the standings. Dwyane Wade looked sharp and the Heat rolled to a 121-96 victory.
On Monday, Dion Waiters agreed to a one-year, $2.9 million deal with the Heat, far less than most people thought he would get as one of the few significant free agents still on the market. Tuesday afternoon, he posted an explanation on Instagram for his deal.
Here’s what he said:
I didn’t do it for the money… I did it for the opportunity to go out & ball & have fun. Everything else will take care of its self!!! I just felt like it was the best situation for me…& my family. I could have waited & got wat I wanted. But I rather be happy then miserable at the end of the day!!! Meaning Yu can have everything & still not be happy… #heatnation let’s get it!!! #provethemwrong #stamped #Philly
It seems clear, based on the market, that the kinds of offers Waiters was hoping for weren’t out there for him. In Miami, with Dwyane Wade gone, he’ll probably start at shooting guard and have plenty of opportunities to prove himself in hopes of landing a long-term deal next summer.
While we wait for the Celtics to make a bigger move to trade for another star, they’re filling out the end of their roster. Sheridan Hoops’ Michael Scotto is reporting that they’ve signed Demetrius Jackson, the No. 45 pick in last month’s draft, to a four-year deal.
Jackson declared for the draft after his junior season at Notre Dame. Talent-wise, he has the chance to be a major steal for Boston — DraftExpress has him ranked as the 17th-best overall prospect in this year’s draft class. But he might not play much his first year. The Celtics’ roster is already crowded and there’s still the chance that they’ll make another move with some of their much-vaunted assets if the right star becomes available.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks have signed undrafted rookie free agent center Matt Costello of Michigan State.
The 6-foot-9, 245-pound Costello averaged 5.7 points and 5 rebounds on the Hawks’ summer league team in Las Vegas.
Costello averaged 10.7 points and 8.2 rebounds as a senior at Michigan State. He holds the school’s career record with 146 blocked shots.
Terms of the deal were not released.
Jamal Crawford knows how to get buckets.
He does it against NBA level defenders, so put him in a free-flowing pro-am — let’s say the Seattle pro-am in his hometown — and he barely breaks a sweat dropping 44. And nailing the game winner.
Doc Rivers hopes to see a lot of that next season.