Kyrie Irving falls to fourth among Eastern Conference guards in All-Star voting, stands to lose about $9 million


The NBA has released its third batch of All-Star voting results (see the first and second):

Eastern Conference


1. LeBron James (Cle) 971,299

2. Pau Gasol (Chi) 527,582

3. Carmelo Anthony (NY) 456,186

4. Chris Bosh (Mia) 354,609

5. Kevin Love (Cle) 260,269

6. Marcin Gortat (Was) 155,636

7. Joakim Noah (Chi) 139,307

8. Jonas Valanciunas (Tor) 125,796

9. Al Jefferson (Cha) 77,518

10. Kevin Garnett (BKN) 76,595

11. Nikola Vucevic (Orl) 68,722

12. Paul Pierce (Was) 59,264

13. Paul Millsap (Atl) 55,224

14. Nikola Mirotic (Chi) 52,562

15. Al Horford (Atl) 48,465


1. John Wall (Was) 564,977

2. Dwyane Wade (Mia) 507,326

3. Kyle Lowry (Tor) 406,974

4. Kyrie Irving (Cle) 372, 065

5. Jimmy Butler (Chi) 263,914

6. Derrick Rose (Chi) 240,092

7. DeMar DeRozan (Tor) 97,093

8. Louis Williams (Tor) 43,652

9. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Mil) 31,700

10. Bradley Beal (Was) 28,387

Western Conference


1. Anthony Davis (NO) 922,381

2. Blake Griffin (LAC) 490,786

3. Marc Gasol (Mem) 476,660

4. Tim Duncan (SA) 374,814

5. Kevin Durant (OKC) 330,297

6. LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 315,405

7. Dwight Howard (Hou) 211,531

8. DeMarcus Cousins (Sac) 209,742

9. Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 186,017

10. Kawhi Leonard (SA) 115,194

11. Rudy Gay (Sac) 97,856

12. DeAndre Jordan (LAC) 75,777

13. Tyson Chandler (Dal) 63,906

14. Nick Young (LAL) 62,502

15. Serge Ibaka (OKC) 60,842


1. Stephen Curry (GS) 958,014

2. Kobe Bryant (LAL) 862,568

3. James Harden (Hou) 690,843

4. Chris Paul (LAC) 401,945

5. Damian Lillard (Por) 210,794

6. Klay Thompson (GS) 170,827

7. Rajon Rondo (Dal) 165,427

8. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 159,264

9. Jeremy Lin (LAL) 148,763

10. Tony Parker (SA) 75,325

A few observations:

Rumor: Mark Jackson “hot name” to be Knicks next head coach

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This summer is going to be nothing like last summer. Way back in the summer of 2017, while you were desperately trying to avoid hearing again dancing to “Despacito,” NBA coaches were feeling safe — there was not one coaching change in the offseason.

Already this season Earl Watson in Phoenix and Jason Kidd in Milwaukee both were fired, and both of those teams will be conducting coaching searches this summer. The buzz around the league is there will be an opening in Orlando, too, and possibly Detroit depending on whether Stan Van Gundy wants to pull a Doc Rivers from last summer.

Then there’s the Knicks — Jeff Hornacek would like to know his status. Understandably. The scuttlebutt around the league is he may want to sharpen his resume and get in touch with a realtor, but nothing is official.

Marc Stein of the New York Times took it one step further in his weekly newsletter, saying former Warriors coach and current ABC/ESPN commentator — not to mention Knicks player — Mark Jackson would be at the front of the line to get the Knicks coaching job.

The former Knicks guard Mark Jackson keeps coming up as a hot name to succeed Hornacek, amid a growing belief the Knicks’ new front-office chief — Scott Perry — will want to install his own hand-picked choice heading into next season.

It’s difficult to fault Hornacek for much of the chaos that has engulfed the Knicks during his two seasons in charge. But there’s no avoiding the fact he was a Phil Jackson selection, which could well doom him now that the organization seems intent on cutting every non-Porzingian tie to the Phil era as possible.

Already there have been denials of a couple of things Stein had in his newsletter. The Pistons and Chauncey Billups both shot down the idea they have discussed a front office spot for him after Van Gundy is pushed out of the GM role, and Alex Lasry denied that the Bucks have a list that includes Jeff Van Gundy. So, use as much salt here as you would like with the Jackson rumor.

The Jackson-to-the-Knicks rumor makes some sense — Jackson built the defensive foundation on which the Warriors have won titles, and he’d be an easy sell to fans and any cantankerous owners who may have a say in the matter. However, the Knicks would be wise to do a broad search and get the best possible guy, not just the guy easiest to sell. Jackson was beloved by his players but pushed out in Golden State for legit reasons, all of which must be considered. Talk to the highly respected David Fizdale. Bring in Monty Williams. That’s just the top of the list, but the Knicks need to nail this — they have the hardest thing to get in building a team, a franchise cornerstone piece in Kristaps Porzingis, but they need to do a better job of creating a culture/foundation/system, and putting players that fit said system around KP. Also, once they pick a system, stick with it fully for at least three or four years — give it a chance to breathe.

It’s too early to call this anything other than a rumor, but it’s something to watch as we head to summer.


Report: With his knee not progressing as hoped, Kyrie Irving to get second opinion

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Kyrie Irving has missed the last three Celtics games — two of them losses — due to a sore knee. This is the same knee where he fractured a kneecap in the 2015 NBA Finals, and GM Danny Ainge admitted that in the next few years Irving may need a maintenance surgery to keep the issues down.

Now comes a report that just time off has not yet had the desired effect on Irving’s knee, so he will seek a second opinion, Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports broke the story and Brad Stevens of the Celtics confirmed it (with some more details by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports).

There is no timetable for Irving’s return, but he will not be on the Celtics’ four-game road swing through the West that starts Friday.

Getting a second opinion is the smart move. NBA team doctors are very good at their jobs, but as with any serious medical issue, a second opinion is a good idea (plus, team doctors are paid by the team, which can create a conflict of interest). Most likely the second doctor says “rest is all you need,” but better to be safe than sorry.

Boston is going to be ultra conservative in bringing Irving back. The simple fact is that in the wake of injuries to Daniel Theis and Marcus Smart (who maybe could return in the second round of the playoffs), it’s unlikely the Celtics get out of the Eastern Conference this season. They lack a high-level secondary playmaker on offense after Irving (Boston’s offense is eight points per 100 possessions worse when Irving is not on the court this season) and with the injuries their defense can’t carry them far enough. Boston has always played the long game with this rebuild, and they will do it with Irving as well.

Jordan Clarkson says he believes dinosaurs were pets of bigger people

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Kyrie Irving debuted his flat-earth beliefs on Channing Frye‘s and Richard Jefferson‘s podcast.

Now, another Cavaliers guard is following in those footsteps with another zany theory.

Jordan Clarkson on Road Trippin’:

I don’t believe in dinosaurs, either. Well no, I actually do. I believe that – this is gonna get a little crazy, alright? I’m gonna take y’all a little left on this. OK, so y’all know how we got dogs and stuff, right?

So, I think it was bigger people in the world before us, and, like, the dinosaurs was their pets.

How big were these people? Clarkson:

Oh, you look at a dinosaur. They got to be three times bigger than them.

I too have seen The Flintstones:

Stephen Curry cleared for return by Warriors doctors, Friday vs. Hawks likely date

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For the second half of their last game, a loss in San Antonio, the Warriors were without all four All-Stars — Kevin Durant (ribs), Stephen Curry (ankle), Klay Thompson (thumb), and Draymond Green (hip contusion).

Starting Friday against the Hawks at Oracle Arena, at least one of those guys should be back — Curry.

This was expected. If this had been the playoffs, Curry would have returned last weekend,  but considering his multiple ankle sprains this season and his importance to the team, the Warriors decided to be extremely cautious. They will do the same with Durant, Green, and Thompson, with the goal of having them all healthy at the start of the postseason.

Curry is averaging 26.3 points and 6.2 assists per game, shooting 42.4 percent from three this season. The Warriors offense is 14 points per 100 possessions better this season when Curry is on the court.