David Stern “delighted” with job Adam Silver is doing

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We always like people who clean up our messes for us.

Former NBA commissioner David Stern never cleaned up the mess that was Clippers owner Donald Sterling — through years of lawsuits and embarrassing the league, Stern chose to ignore the problem. Stern chose not to fight. He didn’t want an Al Davis to his Pete Rozelle image of himself.

So when racist comments Sterling made to his girlfriend went public and viral, it fell to Silver to act — and Silver brought the hammer down. A lifetime ban. A $2.5 million fine. And Silver said the league would start the process to force a sale of the Clippers out of the Sterling family. All of that made with a “you want to take this to court — go for it” attitude.

Not shockingly, when the Wall Street Journal asked David Stern what he thought of the job Silver was doing, there was nothing but praise.

“He and I worked together for 22 years. I told everyone he was going to be great at his job and I’m delighted to see that I was right,” Mr. Stern said this morning, attending the DLD tech conference at the IAC Building in Manhattan.

What is Stern doing in his retirement? Making more money than you. Or me. Put together.

Mr. Stern is consulting a number of digital companies, he says, interested in building global brands in the realm of sports, gaming and gambling. “Everyone’s interested in competition it seems. And I have a bit of experience in that department,” he said. He declined to name the companies.

Rockets’ Clint Capela on Warriors: ‘I expect to beat them’

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During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”

Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.

The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.

Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:

“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.

That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.

There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.

PBT Extra Player of the Week: Victor Oladipo

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Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.

That place turned out to be the Pacers.

Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.

That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.

Watch Pacers fan boo Paul George during introductions (video)

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Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.

Pacers fans delivered.

They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.

John Wall returns for Wizards-Grizzlies

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.

Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.

The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.

“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”

Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.