Joe Johnson says he shouldn’t have been laughing on bench during blowout loss to Knicks earlier in season

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The last time the Knicks played the Nets, they dealt Brooklyn a 29-point loss back on April 2 that was decided well before halftime.

New York led by more than 30 points at times in the second half, leading to extended garbage time that apparently went on too long for two of the Nets’ veteran players.

Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson were shown during the nationally televised contest having some laughs while on the bench late in the game, and Jeff Van Gundy called them out for their less than professional behavior during the broadcast.

In advance of the final meeting between the two teams this season, Johnson said that Van Gundy was right.

From Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:

“(Van Gundy’s) probably right. We shouldn’t have been laughing,” said Johnson, who was spotted on television smiling and laughing with teammate Paul Pierce multiple times over the course of 3½ minutes in garbage time of a 29-point defeat at the Garden two weeks ago. “I can’t remember honestly what Paul said, but it had to be super funny for me to laughing and for us to losing the way we were losing.”

The scene on ESPN prompted Van Gundy, a television analyst, to declare on the air, “I don’t think it’s too much to ask that you’re taking it seriously.”He later said it was insulting to Nets fans and was “a horrible look for the league.”

Van Gundy wasn’t appalled or anything, and was merely pointing out that if any die-hard Nets fans were still watching, the reactions of Pierce and Johnson were less than desirable. While it was really just a minor transgression, it’s still nice to see that Johnson recognizes it.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.