The Knicks were frustrated at the end of the loss to the Pacers — at one end Iman Shumpert brushed Paul George on the elbow during his three pointer and was called for a foul. At the other end on the final shot, Carmelo Anthony helped create a lot more body contact with George but there was no call on ‘Melo’s shot.
That frustration just cost Knicks coach Mike Woodson $25,000.
With the 3-8 Knicks needing every edge they can get, Woodson went with the “our star isn’t getting enough respect from the refs” line of arguments in an interview on ESPN Radio, as transcribed by our friends at Newsday (hat tip to SLAM).
“Absolutely not,” Woodson said Thursday on ESPN Radio. “I’m not going to shy away from that either. I think Melo gets hit more than ever….
“I’ve been at this thing 30 years,” Woodson said. “Sometimes I’m starting to wonder what’s a foul and what’s not a foul. What are you going to do? They can’t see everything and I understand that. Sometimes they miss calls. I thought he got bumped on it. Hell, he didn’t get the call so we have to move on.”
The league is consistent — players or coaches who criticize referees get fined. So the league came down with a $25,000 fine on Woodson Friday for those comments.
Woodson will gladly pay it if it gets his guy some calls… well, not gladly, but it’s less painful.
Anthony’s free throw rate (the number of free throw attempts per field goal attempts) is at .339, which is really close to the .344 he got last season. His free throw rate in general has been lower in New York than it was in Denver — because in Denver he attacked the rim more and didn’t settle for jumpers.
This was Woodson just trying to get an advantage, as he should. But Anthony has not been the problem with the Knicks offense — he remains an elite scorer in this league. It’s the lack of consistent help around him that is the bigger issue. And that’s not on the refs.
Kevin Garnett intimidates people. In the machismo-fueled world of professional sports nobody comfortably admits they were intimidated, but in the wake of Garnett announcing his retirement, a number of players stepped forward to say exactly that. And that KG trashed talked them fearlessly.
Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams found a way to avoid that — tell KG he didn’t speak English.
Adams was lucky, KG had a reputation for going harder at foreign-born players with his trash talk and intimidation. Then again Adams is not the kind of guy prone to be intimidated.
Athletes are injecting themselves into the needed national conversation about race, violence, and policing in this nation. That has taken some very public forms, including LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony speaking at the ESPYs, and Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem and leading others to do so. Some NBA players likely will follow Kaepernick’s lead.
Pistons coach/GM Stan Van Gundy likes seeing players speak out.
A couple of his Detroit players — Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris — said they backed the 49ers quarterback. Here is what the never shy Van Gundy said about all of it, via Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
“I’m encouraged by the fact of what some of those guys stood up and did at the ESPYs and had a conversation,” Van Gundy said. “I’m really proud of the fact that we have guys that not only see the problem, but want to try to do something about it…
“To me, in some ways, (police brutality is) just the most visible to focus on and it goes to deeper inequities in our criminal justice system, our education system so there’s so much to focus on,” Van Gundy said. “I think it’s great that we have players that want to be part of that conversation, and a lot of players that want to go beyond the conversation and be part of the solution.”
Van Gundy has been telling his players part of that solution is to vote.
The players union and NBA sent out a release saying they wanted to work together to create positive change, but details are still vague on what that might be. The only thing we know for sure as we head into the NBA season — with as divided a nation and election as anyone can remember as a backdrop — is that some NBA players are going to try and keep the conversation going.
It was the last game of the group stage of the 2000 Olympic basketball tournament at the Sydney Olympics, the USA was taking on France, another USA win on its way to another gold medal.
But what we all remember is this one play — Vince Carter dunking over the 7’2″ French center Frederic Weis.
Best. Dunk. Ever.
Weis was never the same.
In an impressive career — two-time All-NBA, eight-time All-Star, hours and hours of crazy highlights — this is always going to be the highlight at the top of the list. So we will use the anniversary of this dunk to look at it one more time.
Hat tip to nitramy at NBA Reddit.
The final minutes of a close NBA game rank among the best moments in sports – which is pretty remarkable, considering frequent stoppages interrupt and impede enjoyment of the game.
Clutch play. Timeout. Clutch play. Timeout. Clutch play. Timeout.
Coaches should probably call fewer timeouts, because drawing up a play also allows the defense to set. But timeouts give the offense the option of advancing the inbound spot into the frontcourt, a key advantage. So, teams will keep calling timeouts.
Steve Aschburner of NBA.com:
For Charlotte’s Steve Clifford, the ability in the final two minutes of a game to advance the ball without requiring a timeout to be called could speed up the action. That has been used on a trial basis in the D League and in Summer League, and several coaches felt it worked well.
“The game is at an all-time high in popularity, but a lot of people complain about the last two minutes,” Clifford said. “I think it would add a different dimension but it would also be a good thing in addressing our biggest issue.”
Not that the coaches would be willing to lose any of their timeouts, though. They just wouldn’t save them specifically for that purpose.
I’m here for that.
I’m unsurprised control-seeking coaches want to keep all their timeouts, and reducing those seems unlikely, anyway. The NBA pays its bills through commercial breaks.
Would moving those advertising opportunities earlier in the game pay off? Audiences are probably larger in crunch time, but an action-packed closing stretch could hook fans and grow overall audiences. It’s always a difficult decision to forgo maximizing immediate revenue in pursuit of more later.
But I’m fairly certain fans would appreciate the change, which is at least a starting point in considering it.