Shawn Marion says he has a couple years left, wants to end career in Dallas

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I never fully trust when a player at his exit interview says, “I want to stay with Team X” because everything changes when we’re a few months removed from the season, another team expresses their love them backs it up with a big fat check.

But I tend to believe it when Shawn Marion is talking about staying in Dallas.

He is a free agent this summer and everyone knows he’s not going to make the $9.7 million he made last season, but at that reduced rate might he be interested in Miami or chasing another ring as a role player?

Maybe. But he’d rather stay in Dallas. Here is what Marion said at his exit interview, as transcribed by Bryan Gutierrez MavsOutsider.com, when asked what it would take to bring him back to Dallas next season.

“Not too much. This is a great city, the fans here are amazing, even media guys are awesome. It’s a great environment here. Mark and Donnie have built an amazing franchise here. It’s like a family here. I’m going to weigh my options out and see what it’s going to take for me to get another championship ring. I would love to add to the ring I have. I’m going to retire here, regardless. I’m going to be a Dallas local here in the coming years. I’m going to make this my home.”

He was vague when asked about Miami but was clear a ring mattered a lot more than money (something generally more true of veterans):

“Oh yeah, by far. It’s not about money right now. I’ve made a lot of money in my career. I’ve been truly been blessed. I’m not taking any of this for granted. I’ve just got to weigh my options. Of course, we’re close here, not too far. We’ve got a lot of guys here that are free agents again. It’s going to be interesting. We’re going to see what’s out there and what’s available. I’ve just got to wait it out.”

“I’m looking at maybe two, a couple of more (years in the NBA). I think I’m going to have to call it after that. I think it’ll be time. It’s not all about basketball. I have a son now. A lot of it is predicated on him.”

Dallas will bring back Dirk Nowitzki and much of this same roster — a good team that won 49 games and pushed the Spurs to seven games. But the Mavs are a couple steps away from contender status in the West and they are not likely to get what they need this summer, with this free agent class.

Which means Marion might need to give serious thought if a Miami or Oklahoma City or Clippers or someone else calls with an offer.

But I’d bet on him slipping on a Mavs jersey next year. They want him back, and it is really where he wants to be.

Hours after game-winning tip, restaurant told Giannis Antetokounmpo he had to wait

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Giannis Antetokounmpo was the toast of Milwaukee Sunday night: With the game on the line after a Boston comeback, he tipped in a missed Malcolm Brogdon lay-up that proved to be the game winner. (Jayson Tatum was in good position for Boston, he tried to move Antetokounmpo out of his rebounding spot, it just didn’t matter.)

Well, you would have thought Antetokounmpo was the toast of the town, but when he went to BelAir Cantina (a chainlet of Mexican restaurants in the area) he was told he had to wait. And wait. To the point he eventually left.

As you might imagine, the 6’11” Antetokounmpo walking into a restaurant a couple hours after tying up the series with the Celtics drew fast attention on social media. So did the fact he couldn’t get service.

First, good on Antetokounmpo for not pulling the “do you know who I am?” line. He was reportedly unassuming and just left after a while. No hard feelings, his girlfriend later tweeted this out.

As for BelAir Cantina, I kinda get it — I worked my way through college as a waiter and bartender. The restaurant got slammed, everyone working there was in the weeds, and things fall through the cracks. It happens.

But when the 6’11” toast of the town walks in, he cannot slip through the cracks. Cannot. Rather than social media posts about him not getting served and walking out, there would have been pictures all over of him eating the lamb barbacoa or whatever. It’s good for business. If you give the man a little special treatment after the game, nobody is going to complain (except the people who were going to complain about everything anyway… in that sense working in a restaurant was good preparation for me to use Twitter someday).

 

 

Kevin Durant apparently likes Instagram comment critical of Russell Westbrook (photo)

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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Last summer Kevin Durant tweeted and deleted that the Thunder’s surrounding cast around him and Russell Westbrook was lacking when he played for Oklahoma City. Those tweets – another criticized Thunder coach Billy Donovan – appeared to be intended to come from a burner account, but Durant said he actually meant to send them from his own account.

Now, he apparently liked an Instagram comment with the opposite message about Westbrook. (I say apparently, because I can’t verify the authenticity of these screenshots, but they at least pass the initial smell test.)

“Like” is Instagram’s word. Maybe Durant uses the function for a different purpose – to note a comment, rather than endorse it.

Perhaps, Durant misread the conversation. The comment he liked rejected the notion that the Thunder were “subpar,” but it criticized Westbrook for them not living up to their ability. Perhaps, Durant focused on the comment sticking up for Oklahoma City overall and missed the part about Westbrook being the shortcoming. Skimming that conversation, it’s a plausible mistake.

Maybe Durant just actually hit the like button. It’s easy enough to do.

Or maybe Durant and Westbrook haven’t really gotten less hostile toward each other. Maybe Durant meant to like this from a burner account.

Those nefarious possibilities are the scintillating ones.

After getting crushed for those tweets last summer and repeatedly downplaying his feud with Westbrook, the Warriors star clearly wanted to move on from these storylines. But all those questions have suddenly reemerged. Perhaps for legitimate reasons, perhaps for benign ones. But we won’t know more about Durant’s intent until he answers to this.

Amir Johnson on South Beach: 2006 Pistons ‘let the streets beat us’

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Amir Johnson is a savvy veteran on the young 76ers.

On the 2006 Pistons, he was a scarcely used rookie straight out of high school.

But he was learning lessons he’d apply to his current role.

Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press:

Philadelphia heeded Johnson’s advice. The 76ers won Games 3 and 4 in Miami to take a 3-1 series lead.

The Pistons went 0-3 in Miami during the six-game 2006 Eastern Conference finals. There was little shame in losing to those Heat. They pushed Detroit to seven games in the 2005 conference finals and were – with Dwyane Wade transcendent while Shaquille O’Neal remained in his prime – even better the following year.

But too much partying is a major charge and a somewhat surprising one. The Pistons were led by the same veteran core – Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace – that made the previous two NBA Finals and won the 2004 title. They’d been around long enough to know better.

Gregg Popovich to miss Spurs-Warriors Game 5

AP Photo/Eric Gay
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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has missed Games 3 and 4 of his team’s first-round series against the Warriors following the death of his wife, Erin.

Unsurprisingly, he won’t coach the Spurs as they leave San Antonio for Game 5 tomorrow at Golden State.

David Aldridge of NBA.com:

Popovich should take all the time he needs. Ettore Messina is capable as acting coach, and Popovich being with his family now is more important anyway.

This will probably be the final game of the series. Up 3-1, the Warriors are the better team and at home.