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Draymond Green on heckling Thunder fan: ‘This ain’t the ancient times. Slave days are over’

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Draymond Green and a Thunder fan got into it during the Warriors’ highly charged win — in Kevin Durant‘s first visit to Oklahoma City with Golden State — Saturday.

What happened?

Green, via CSN Bay Area:

That guy was just disrespectful to all of us the entire night. I’m all for you cheering for your guys. Cheer. Heckle. Heckle all you want. But don’t be disrespectful. Calling guys p-words and all this stuff and “Get over there, little boy.”

This ain’t the ancient times. Slave days are over. You’re not going to talk to guys like that. That’s disrespectful.

The fan, Rich Taylor, defended himself. Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman:

But Taylor said that while he did engage in back and forth with Durant and Green, he only cursed in repeating a phrase Durant directed at him. said nothing he aimed at Warriors players was vulgar or had racial undertones.

Green’s accusations of racial insults were “because I got under his skin,” Taylor said

“You’re under a microscope when you sit that close,” Taylor said. “I know walking in there that I can’t even swear. One swear word gives them the right to throw me out of the game. I’m from California. I’ve been going to Laker games since I was a kid. I’ve been going to Thunder games since they came here. I know what I’m allowed to say.”

Taylor said he told Green “Don’t kick anybody tonight” and called Durant a “p—-,” but only after Durant used called him one.

Is any of that racial on its face? Seemingly no.

But we can’t escape the greater context: A majority-white fanbase buys tickets that allows yelling at majority-black players. You can debate the relevancy and how to handle it, but that is the reality.

And in this reality, like any, words can have different connotations than in other situations.

 

 

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.