Early in the second quarter, the Clippers’ Glen Davis made a lunge for loose rebound in his usual bull-in-a-china-shop way, a ball Jermaine O’Neal had already started to control, and there was a collision.
The video is painful to watch as you see O’Neal’s right knee hyperextend backwards. O’Neal was in pain on the floor for a couple minutes before being helped back to the locker room. He was diagnosed with a sprained knee and did not return, which was a blow to a Warriors team already shorthanded along the front line.
After the game, O’Neal did not mince words about Big Baby, speaking with Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com.
“I looked at it as just a dirty play,” he said.
“I’m not going to go try to dive into somebody’s legs,” O’Neal continued. “It wasn’t a scramble for the ball. I respect people’s ability to come out and perform and take care of their family, based on their bodies.
“Either he has terrible balance as a pro athlete, or that was a dirty play.”
Davis was whistled for a common foul on the play.
It is not yet known if O’Neal will be able to go in Game 7, although he said unless his ACL is ruptured he will be back on the court for Game 7.
Just add this fuel to the fire of bad blood between these teams.
NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.
Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.
Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.
A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”
Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.
DeMar DeRozan has a $10,050,000 player option for 2016-17. Given the rapidly escalating salary cap, it’s a practical certainty DeRozan will opt out and get a major raise.
But he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.
DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:
“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.
“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”
This sounds awfully similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, who stated his desire last year to become the great Trail Blazer ever and then signed with the Spurs this summer.
Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.
Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.
I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.