ibaka griffin

Serge Ibaka and Matt Barnes ejected after altercation involving Blake Griffin (VIDEO)


LOS ANGELES — Late in the second quarter of Wednesday’s matchup between the Clippers and the Thunder, Serge Ibaka got tangled up with Blake Griffin while defending him in the post, and flung him towards the ground after being whistled for the foul.

Matt Barnes immediately shoved Ibaka in retaliation, and that was followed by the usual amount of pushing and shoving by all players on the floor that typically happens any time an altercation takes place.

The referees went to the courtside monitors to review the incident, and ejected both Ibaka and Barnes for their respective roles in it all, and Griffin received a technical foul for no apparent reason.

Ibaka’s ejection makes sense, for a couple of reasons. His flinging of Griffin after the play was over was completely unnecessary and got the whole thing started, and as things escalated it appeared as though one of his shoves at Griffin ended up being closer to a punch.

These two have a bit of a history, which may have contributed here. Back in March, Ibaka caught Griffin with a pretty good shot to the groin, but was not ejected for it then. Tonight’s overall episode didn’t seem as severe, but Ibaka’s night is finished.

Oklahoma City was already thin on the front line without starting center Kendrick Perkins, who missed the game due to a death in the family. The Thunder took a 62-53 lead into the half thanks to a three-pointer from Russell Westbrook with two seconds left.

Kobe Bryant says his age 37 is not like Michael Jordan’s age 37

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Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.

There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.

Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.

“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”

Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.

Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.

That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.

And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.

Celtics ease to 124-91 win at Olimpia Milano in Global Games

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MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.

Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.

Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.

Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.