A+E Networks Hosts the NCTA Reception - Arrivals

Mark Cuban tries to start more thoughtful discussion of race, finds it’s not easy

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In the wake of the Donald Sterling fiasco, Mark Cuban sat down with Inc. and tried to have a more nuanced discussion of the topic of race and bias (this was part of a longer interview on a variety of business topics). How thoughtful or insightful you feel his comments are speaks a lot to your perceptions on the issue, but it’s pretty clear Cuban’s trying to have a deeper, more nuanced conversation.

Nuance can get lost in the Internet translation.

Cuban got into it with a Bleacher Report writer (and eventually a founder) over their story on the video  where the original headline on an article was “Cuban: ‘I Know I’m a Bigot’” (that has since been changed to “Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban: ‘We All Have Our Prejudices and Bigotries’.”) The lede of the article, which once said Cuban “shot himself in the foot” has been changed as well. Bleacher Report corrected its mistake.

I’m not going to get into that dust up (which has a longer history), if you want more read Awful Announcing which took a good look at it.

I think Cuban, like myself and many others, want to be “the white guy who gets it” in a discussion about race, but the fact is we don’t. I don’t think a “color blind society” is either possible nor an answer to racial and other bigotry issues, rather we need respectful inclusion and understanding. Many of you probably see it differently. Whatever the next steps are requires a nuanced and open-minded national conversation, not one that can take place in 140 characters. Not one where every comment becomes a partisan battle for power. As Cuban found out, it’s hard to have that conversation even in a 2:30 clip without it becoming something else.

Report: Khris Middleton could return to Bucks before All-Star break

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 16:  Khris Middleton #22 of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts during their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 16, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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The Bucks projected Khris Middleton to miss about 70 games when he tore his hamstring before the season. That extended absence often leads players just to shut down for the year, but Middleton vowed to return in time for the playoffs.

He might get back far sooner than that.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Sources told ESPN.com the Bucks think Middleton, who suffered a hamstring tear just days before the season began, “has a chance” to return to the lineup during a three-game homestand next month before the All-Star ‎break.

Whether Middleton ultimately makes his season debut before or after the All-Star Game, he is expected to be kept on a minutes restriction as he eases way his back from the injury, sources said.

The Bucks have started Tony Snell, who has held his own as an outside shooter. But Middleton will upgrade Milwaukee on Snell’s biggest strength and provide massive defensive improvement. After a strong start, the Bucks have really struggled lately on that end.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has led Milwaukee to a 20-21 record, though the team is better than its won-loss mark indicates. The Bucks will be even better with Middleton, who will rival Jabari Parker as their second-best player and fit seamlessly.

Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)

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Isaiah Thomas usually saves his best play for the fourth quarter, but the Celtics guard showed out early with this pass between Marshall Plumlee‘s legs to get Kelly Olynyk a layup.

Thomas uncharacteristically just didn’t have enough late. Though he scored 39 points, he shot just 2-for-9 in the final period, as the Knicks pulled away for a 117-106 win.

Kevin Durant misses dunk so hard, ball flies past halfcourt (video)

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Kevin Durant played great in the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night, but – perhaps fueled by excess emotion – he missed this incredibly emphatic dunk attempt.

Later, Russell Westbrook showed his former teammate how to do it (sparking their apparent conversation):

James Harden outduels Giannis Antetokounmpo as they produce fantastic highlight video

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James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo met in a battle of two of the NBA’s best point guards. (Still weird to say.) The final lines:

  • Harden: 38 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks
  • Antetokounmpo: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks

The winner? Harden and the Rockets, who topped the Bucks, 111-92.

But the real winner? Anyone who gets to watch this highlight video. It just gets better as it goes.