Manu Ginobili, DeJuan Blair

Spurs deny Manu Ginobili permission to play in World Cup

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The will he?/won’t he? saga of Manu Ginobili appears over.

The Spurs guard clearly wanted to represented Argentina in the 2014 World Cup in Spain. A leg injury appeared as if it would keep him out, but he didn’t give up.

With the decision hanging in the balance, San Antonio is just making it for him.

Buck Harvey of the San Antonio News-Express:

I understand the Spurs’ point of view here, but I wish they would have given more deference to Ginobili.

He knows his body and cares about the Spurs. Let him decide what’s right for himself.

Political conditions related to Argentinean basketball might have kept him out anyway, and there was no guarantee he’d play through the injury. It’s just no longer his decision.

The Spurs have some right to protect themselves when they’re paying a player millions of dollars. They’ve also benefitted immensely from Ginobili developing his game in international play, so there is some precedent for letting him proceed. It could be argued they owe it to him.

In the end, this is not a choice I like, but it is one I understand.

Markieff Morris flips off Suns fan (video)

Phoenix Suns' Markieff Morris reacts to a call during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
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Markieff Morris‘ frustrations last night didn’t end with his scuffle with teammate Archie Goodwin. They didn’t end with the Suns’ loss to the Warriors, either.

As Morris was leaving the court, a fan heckled him: “Markieff, you f—ing suck. I can’t wait until you’re traded.” Though Morris probably agrees with the second sentence, he flipped off the fan:

Though it’s difficult to confirm that video was from last night, it jibes with a previous report of the incident.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7

Morris will likely at least be fined. Considering his previous behavioral problems this season – he threw a towel at Jeff Hornacek – I wouldn’t completely rule out a suspension. But a fine seems most likely.

Dwight Howard commits ridiculously sloppy inbound violation (video)

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An embarrassing lack of focus by the Rockets? I can hardly believe it.

Late in a game against a team Houston is battling for playoff position, Dwight Howard was just careless, stepping on the baseline as he inbounded the ball. It’s a needless goof, and he’ll get plenty of deserved criticism for it.

But don’t overlook Patrick Beverley‘s frustration foul on Damian Lillard before the ensuing inbound. That was nearly as foolish and even more costly.

The sequence sparked a 7-0 run for the Trail Blazers, who seized control of the game en route to a 116-103 win.

DeAndre Jordan dunks on Marcus Smart before Smart knows what’s happening (video)

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Marcus Smart went to tag DeAndre Jordan on the pick-and-roll, and Jordan took off from so far from the basket, he was dunking on Smart before the Celtics guard could do a thing.