LeBron James, Tim Duncan

LeBron James on Spurs: ‘They don’t like us’


Tim Duncan, after the Spurs beat the Thunder in Game 6, didn’t mince words during his on-court interview with David Aldridge.

“We’ve got four more to win. We’ll do it this time.”

In his postgame press conference, Duncan expanded.

“We’re happy that it’s the Heat again,” Duncan said. “We’ll be ready for them. We’ve got some experience, obviously, from last year against them, and we’ll go back and look at some film. And we’ve got that bad taste in our mouths still. Hopefully, we’ll be ready to take it this time.”

LeBron James heard him loud and clear.

Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report:

To some degree, I think this is LeBron just looking for motivation, contriving a way to work himself up.

There is a perception by many fans the Spurs represent the best of professional sports and the Heat the worst. For these people, it’s wrong that LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh took their futures into their own hands and signed with the Heat. The Spurs did it the right way – sitting their injured superstar as long as possible, tanking, lucking into a No. 1 pick, drafting a future Hall of Famer and building around him for nearly two decades. Or something like that.

Anyway, I’ve never seen Duncan and the Spurs feed into that narrative by declaring a moral supremacy to Miami, but that doesn’t mean LeBron can’t project those opinions onto the Spurs themselves anyway. Whatever gets him in the right state of mind for the NBA Finals.

Duncan has a much easier task in that regard. He just has to think about last year.

Matt Barnes says he went to house because his son looked distressed

Derek Fisher, Matt Barnes, Russell Westbrook
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So far, the only substantive accounts of the Matt Barnes-Derek Fisher altercation have come from anonymous sources.

The Knicks coach has deflected questions.

But Barnes is giving his account, at least of the lead-up.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

It’s completely understandable that Barnes would act to ensure his children’s welfare.

And let’s say everything he said is true. It still leaves important questions unanswered.

Did Barnes – as he reportedly texted a friend he did – beat up Fisher and spit on his estranged wife, Gloria Govan? If so, why did Barnes deem that necessary to protect kids?

Gregg Popovich resting himself for Spurs game at Sacramento

Gregg Popovich
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Gregg Popovich said he wouldn’t coach in July.

Apparently, he’s taking off part of October, too.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

It’s not that surprising to see Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw staying home. Veterans miss preseason games all the time just to rest. With the Spurs, it happens even in the regular season.

But it’s still a little strange to see the head coach sit out, even though Popovich also did it last year.

It makes sense, though. Who cares about this preseason game? If travelling less helps the 66-year-old Popovich stay fresh in the years ahead, that’s well worth it. Plus, it gets Messina a little extra experience. Some day, he might be the head coach.