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Karl Malone on Cavs resting LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love: “Get your a– playing”

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The Cleveland Cavaliers rested LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love during a 108-78 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday. That decision earned Cleveland GM David Griffin a call from the league office.

It also earned the Cavaliers some ire from NBA Hall of Fame forward Karl Malone.

Speaking with ESPN’s Sage Steele, Malone said only 10-year veterans should be allowed to rest.

Via Twitter:

“If you don’t have at least 10 years experience, get your ass playing. It’s not work — it’s called playing. Besides, tell our underpaid service members and police and first responders to rest. They can’t.”

The seemingly random connection between NBA players and public servants aside, I think we all have some kind of agreement that national TV NBA games should deliver a quality product for both in-person and broadcast viewers.

As Kurt pointed out yesterday, there is a big problem with the league promoting these games as show stoppers, yet having a schedule that’s so rough some teams feel the need to rest players coming off a back-to-back.

It would have been nice to see a full lineup against the Clippers on Sunday for Cleveland, but even by Malone’s logic we still would have been missing LeBron. Love is in his 9th year and Irving is in his 6th.

Still, that there is no variation in Malone’s logic is sort of ridiculous. Love just came back from knee surgery, and Irving sprained his ankle the game prior. Not everyone can have Malone’s playing record. In fact, almost nobody does save for James himself. He is one of the only superstars in the modern NBA with a healthy consistency like Malone. According to ESPN, in his first 12 seasons he only took nine DNP-rests.

In any case, keep it coming. We need to talk more about the NBA schedule because it’s ridiculous. Plus, more weird Karl Malone quotes are cool, too.

Draymond Green says Warriors are “more relaxed” this season

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Last year, the Warriors entered the NBA Finals with the weight of expectations: Defending NBA champions, 73 regular season wins, if they got the title they would leap up the ladder of all-time great teams, lose and it would be a massive let down. We all know what happened from there.

The Warriors are back in the Finals, taking on the Cavaliers for the third year in a row — but this year things are going to be different. Mostly because of Kevin Durant changing the equation. But also the Warriors mindset is better if you ask Draymond Green. Which Mark Spears of ESPN did.

This makes sense. The Warriors to a man denied the pressure and how physically/mentally taxed they were by the chase for 73, but it clearly wore on them physically and mentally. Green was thrashing about and drawing techs, over-reacting to everything (although sometimes that feels like his default setting). Curry was injured but also tired. The Warriors opened the door, LeBron James and the Cavaliers stormed through it.

Will a rested Warriors make a difference this time around? Maybe. But again, Durant matters more than rest.

Report: Harlem Globetrotters to resume series with Washington Generals

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The Harlem Globetrotters dropped the Washington Generals as an opponent a couple years ago – a sad development for basketball traditionalists.

But the sport’s most-lopsided rivalry is returning.

Darren Rovell of ESPN:

Sources said the Generals will be put into rotation to play the Globetrotters again as early as this summer and will take on a greater life than before as the lovable losers.

This just feels right. There’s a spirit about the Generals that complements the Globetrotters so well.

Report: Turkish government issues arrest warrant for Enes Kanter

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The current, authoritarian government in Turkey is not big on dissent (they have beaten protestors of the Turkish regime at a march in this country). Or human rights.

So what’s real trouble for them is opposition and dissent from a famous, well-known person.

Which brings us to Oklahoma City big man Enes Kanter. He is a native of Turkey, and he has been outspoken in his opposition to that country’s current president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Last week the Turkish government revoked Kanter’s passport while he was traveling the globe promoting his charity. He barely got out of Indonesia and was able to get to Romania, where he was detained for a stretch before getting to return to the United States via London.

Now, the Turkish government has issued an arrest warrant for Kanter, reports the Agence France-Presse.

Turkey issued an arrest warrant on Friday for Turkish NBA star Enes Kanter, accusing him of being a member of a “terror group”, a pro-government newspaper reported.

A judge issued the arrest warrant after an Istanbul prosecutor opened an investigation into Kanter’s alleged “membership of an armed terrorist organisation”, Sabah daily reported.

He is in no danger of being extradited by the United States because of this. If anything, it strengthens his case for U.S. citizenship based on asylum.

Kanter is a supporter of the Gülen movement in that country, which is led by the exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, who currently lives in Pennsylvania. That movement has opposed Erdogan (who recently won a disputed election in that country that gives him sweeping, almost dictatorial powers). Erdogan blamed Gulen for masterminding a failed 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, one with members of the military involved (after that attempt members of the Gulen movement have been swept up by the government all over Turkey). This has come at a cost for Kanter, who has been disavowed by his own family because of his political beliefs.

Kanter is not about to back down from his position. Which means it may be a long time before he gets to visit his homeland again.

Report: Duke guard Frank Jackson undergoes foot surgery before NBA draft

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Duke guard Frank Jackson declared for the 2017 NBA draft with an outside shot of going in the first round and a likelihood of getting picked in the second-round.

This won’t help his stock.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Duke’s Frank Jackson, a well-regarded point guard in the 2017 NBA draft class, underwent right foot surgery and is expected to be fully recovered sometime in July.

When Jackson recovers will determine whether he plays in summer league, and that can affect transition to the pros as a rookie.

The bigger questions: Will this hinder his athleticism long-term? Does this put him at greater injury risk?

Jackson, a 6-foot-4 scoring guard, relies on a strong first step to attack the basket and high elevation on his jumper.