Mario Chalmers suspended one game for swinging forearm at Dirk Nowitzki (VIDEO)


When you think of the league’s most physical players, Mario Chalmers isn’t a name that immediately jumps to the top of the list.

But after his ejection on Friday for swinging a forearm to the face of Dirk Nowitzki, Chalmers has racked up enough flagrant foul points in the early part of the season that the next one will land him a league-mandated suspension.

And that would be on top of the one-game suspension that was handed down by the league on Saturday. Chalmers will miss Miami’s next game in Charlotte against the Bobcats.

From Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

With Friday night’s ejection for his forearm to the head of Dallas Mavericks forwardDirk Nowitzki, Chalmers now has four points in the NBA’s flagrant-foul system. By rule, a player is suspended for the next game once he exceeds five points.

With each Flagrant 1 foul counting for one point and each Flagrant 2 counting as two, Chalmers put himself on the precipice of suspension with Friday’s Flagrant 2, a call that came eight days after Chalmers was assessed a Flagrant 2 for an elbow to the neck of Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin.

Chalmers seemed to be earnest in explaining what happened. To hear him tell it, he was simply trying to free himself from Dalmbert, and the shot to Nowitzki was simply collateral damage.

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“Dalembert had my arm so I had to get my arm free,” he said of his swinging motion. “There was nothing intentional about it. I didn’t even see Dirk.” Chalmers tried to tell the same to the officials before he left the floor. “I just told them, ‘Look at the replay and look at Dalembert holding my arm,’ ” he said. “That’s all I said to them.”

The hit on Griffin was absolutely a flagrant two — Chalmers left his feet and delivered a forearm to Griffin’s neck, so it’s tough to buy any excuses there. The one that caught Nowitzki could indeed have been accidental, and the explanation Chalmers gave seems to make sense.

But clearly, the league didn’t see it the same way.

PBT Extra: Kobe Bryant understands now is time to walk away

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It was expected Kobe Bryant would retire at the end of this season.

It was not expected Kobe would make that official on Nov. 29 — it’s caught the media at Staples Center Sunday (of which I was one) and the fans by surprise.

In this PBT Extra, I talk with Jenna Corrado about the mood inside Staples Center Sunday.

More importantly, I discuss the sense I got that Kobe understands it’s time to walk away, and he is at peace with that.

Luke Walton: Warriors concerned about health, not 72 wins

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Stephen Curry acknowledges the Warriors – who are 18-0 and won four straight to end last season – talk about the NBA record of 33 consecutive wins.

But what about another major record Golden State is chasing, 72 wins in a season?

Shooting guard Klay Thompson called it possible. General manager Bob Myers deemed it impossible.

Interim coach Luke Walton would prefer everyone just keep quiet.

Walton, via CSN Bay Area:

“The 72 thing is far, far away,” Walton said. “We shouldn’t be spending any time thinking about that.

“I’ve also said before that we’re not going to coach this season trying to chase that record,” Walton said

“We’re still going to give players nights off on back-to-backs,” he added. “And we’re going to do our best to limit minutes for some of our players. Our main concern is being healthy come playoff time.”

I don’t think Golden State will win 72 games, but prioritizing health won’t necessary stop the Warriors. They’re so deep.

They outscore opponents by 5.8 points per 100 possessions when Curry sits, 5.6 when Draymond Green sits. Those marks would rank seventh among all NBA teams.

Golden State has the luxury of resting players and continuing to win. That’s what makes the chase for 72 realistic. This team is less likely than most to wear down late in a season where it’s pushing to win every game.

Health entering the playoffs is important, but a 72-win season would raise these Warriors to legendary status. If they’re in range late in the season, I think they’ll go for it – even if the top seed is already secured.

But for now, Walton is probably taking the right approach. Plenty of teams start fast (though never this fast) then drift back toward the pack. No point risking Golden State’s health yet.

Kevin Durant to media: You treated Kobe Bryant ‘like s—‘

Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant once told the media, “You guys really don’t know s—.”

The Thunder star expressed regret, but if he knew how we were going to treat Kobe Bryant, he might have stuck to his guns.

Durant, via Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman:

I did idolize Kobe Bryant. I studied him, wanted to be like him. He was our Michael Jordan. I watched Michael towards the end of his career when he was with the Wizards, and I seen that’s what Kobe emerged as the guy for us.

I’ve been disappointed this year because you guys treated him like s—. He’s a legend, and all I hear is about how bad he’s playing, how bad he’s shooting. It’s time for him to hang it up. You guys treated one of our legends like s—, and I didn’t really like it. So hopefully, now you can start being nice to him now that he decided to retire after this year. It was sad the way he was getting treated, in my opinion.

But he had just an amazing career, a guy who changed the game for me as a player mentally and physically. Means so much to the game of basketball. Somebody I’m always going to look to for advice, for help, for anything. Just a brilliant, brilliant, intelligent man. And it’s sad to see him go.

Kobe is shooting 20% from the floor and 30% on 3-pointers for a 2-14 team. How else should we describe his season?

Why not bash the person most publicly critical of Kobe? Or the many people around the NBA who recognize how far Kobe has fallen? Or Byron Scott, who has repeatedly intensified discussion of Kobe’s demise?

Why is the media, which is not some monolithic entity anyway, the primary target?

There are writers who fawn over Kobe, writers who criticize him and many more who do both. We don’t all think alike.

If we did, Durant would be bound to treat Kobe like s—, too.

Hassan Whiteside thanks Hassan Whiteside in Kobe Bryant tribute


Like many players, Hassan Whiteside posted a tribute to Kobe Bryant upon the Laker star’s retirement announcement.

But Whiteside’s is a bit, um, different.

Whiteside salutes himself for making Kobe smile. (That’s not a smile.) The Heat center also tweeted a screenshot of the Instagram post with the hashtag “#koberetire,” which sounds pretty commanding.

Is Whiteside in on the joke or is he that self-centered? I’m honestly not entirely sure.