Courtney Lee accuses Wizards assistant of entering court and imitating player (video)

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John Wall grabbed a defensive rebound, sprinted the other way and scored to nearly ice a Wizards win.

But, down 113-110 with 13.7 seconds left, the Knicks still had a chance.

Carmelo Anthony passed to Courtney Lee, who – given the circumstances – had a good look at a 3-pointer from the corner. But Lee passed to Brandon Jennings, who turned the ball over, clinching Washington’s victory.

Why didn’t Lee just shoot?

He got spooked by Wizards assistant coach Sidney Lowe, who came onto the court and apparently sounded like a defender.

Lee:

I’m looking at Oubre closing out next to me, and I’m hearing somebody right next to me saying, “I’m here. I’m here. I got your stunt. I got your stunt.”

And, so I don’t shoot it. I drop the ball, thinking it is going to be a double closeout. And then I try to make a play to Brandon, and I think he bobbled the ball a little bit, and that’s the end of the game.

But come to find out it was the assistant coach, not a player.

I thought it was one of their players because you’re getting ready to shoot – in my peripheral you see a body right there, and he’s saying, “I’m right here. I’m right here. I got your stunt.” Usually in basketball terminology, that’s we’ll switch or I am going to jump out. So, I shot-faked and drove. But I still should have shot the shot.

I don’t know if it was part of the defensive scheme for the coach to be out there and saying that and being on the floor standing next to me, but that happened.

We lost. I should have shot it.

Lee added, via Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN:

I think it’s something they [the NBA] need to take a look at

I loathe coaches crossing the sideline onto the court, and it happens way too frequently. It’s unsafe and detracts from the play on the court. Players should not have to worry, even subconsciously, about anyone but the nine other players in the game encroaching their space.

Lowe’s words elevated this instance into something bigger. His accompanying position well onto the court is, sadly, far too common.

If this is the turning point that causes the NBA to crack down on this awful sideline behavior, I’m all for it.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.