Rick Barry calls radio host a loser after argument over LeBron’s pass to Kyle Korver

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Hall of Famer Rick Barry knows a thing or two about the NBA. He seems to keep up on it, and he’s even called LeBron James the greatest small forward to ever play the game. Barry is strong-willed, and his opinions rarely come with any flexibility.

That’s why it probably won’t shock you to learn that, during a radio hit with Fox Sports Radio’s Rob King this week, Barry got so infuriated with King’s interpretation of LeBron James’ pass to Kyle Korver that he hung up on him.

Barry, adamant that James made the right call with 52 seconds left in Game 3, passing to Korver for an open 3-pointer. Korver missed, and the Warriors went on to win, 118-113.

WARNING: NSFW language ahead.

Via Twitter:

There are a couple things to take away from this.

First, Barry is correct. Korver is one of the best 3-point shooters in NBA history. Modern analytics have dictated the risk/reward for that kind of play as advantageous to good 3-point shooters.

Even further, LeBron was being guarded by Draymond Green at the time, who he had not beaten in full off the dribble. Green is a DPOY candidate this season and is one of the best defenders in the game. Kevin Durant was waiting on strong side help, so it wasn’t a guaranteed bucket for LeBron. Hoping for a foul is tough, given that in that situation referees are more likely to swallow their whistle when the reputations on either side of the ball for players are fairly evenly matched.

Now, Barry was of course wrong to pull out the argument that because King didn’t play professional basketball that he doesn’t have a right to an opinion. King was clearly playing the Devil’s Advocate role as radio host, poking at Barry to make his show better. That can be grating. But Barry did more to invalidate his argument by pulling out the You Didn’t Play In The NBA card. It’s not fair, and it has no bearing. Analysts — many of which played basketball their whole lives save for at the top level — are considered experts for a reason thanks to years of experience. It’s also a little silly to dismiss a side of a sports argument because of who it comes from instead of the merit of its context.

For the record, LeBron said he would pass to Korver if given the opportunity to do so again.

Report: Suns send Eric Bledsoe home, expect to trade him

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In a shocking twist, the Suns firing Earl Watson did not end the dysfunction in Phoenix.

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Bledsoe:

That is a first-rate tweet by Bledsoe. It’s great that he’s having fun with the wild situation, because the rest of us sure are amused peering in.

This was always going to be a long season in Phoenix, but things got out of hand in a hurry. The 0-3 Suns have been outscored by 92 – the worst three-game start in NBA history by 16 points. Now, comes the fallout.

At 27, Bledsoe was getting to be a little too old for a rebuild centered on Devin Booker, Josh Jackson, Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender and T.J. Warren. The Suns could have dealt Bledsoe in the offseason. Now, they’re negotiating from a position of weakness.

Bledsoe is a good starting point guard when healthy. He’s earning a reasonable $14.5 million this season and due $15 million in the final year of his contract next season. There should be suitors, and Phoenix can gain long-term assets while stepping up its tank.

But this sure seems like a crisis-control move more than anything else.

Willy Hernangomez ‘mad’ about falling from Knicks rotation

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Knicks president Steve Mills started his second tenure talking about rebuilding and listed Willy Hernangomez as a core piece.

But Hernangomez, coming off an All-Rookie first-team season, barely played in New York’s season-opening loss to the Thunder– drawing scrutiny.

Then, he didn’t play at all in a loss to the Pistons – eliciting a strong reaction from Hernangomez himself.

Hernangomez, via Fred Kerber of the New York Post:

“The same. I’m still mad,” Hernangomez said. “I cannot help the team win if I’m sitting on the bench. Two games in a row. It’s tough. I have to wait my moment. I cannot say nothing more.”

The Knicks are moving in different directions. Management is talking about building for the future. Coach Jeff Hornacek, who was hired by previous president Phil Jackson, is trying to win now.

There’s a fine line between developing Hernangomez through playing time and making him earn his minutes. Enes Kanter and Kyle O'Quinn might be better right now.

But being marginally better this season won’t get the Knicks anywhere meaningful except lower in the lottery. On the other hand, even on rebuilding teams, winning is most important to a coach’s job security. Earl Watson implemented the Suns’ tanking scheme, and look where that got him.

Hornacek is backed into a corner, and now one of the team’s most important young players is publicly expressing his displeasure. It’s the latest troubling sign in a locker room already suspicious of Hornacek.

Report: Eric Bledsoe requested trade from Suns before season

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Suns guard Eric Bledsoe tweeted yesterday:

In light of Phoenix’s 0-3 start and Earl Watson getting fired yesterday, that sure looks like a trade request. Still, there’s risk in making assumptions about vague tweets.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:

Why wouldn’t Bledsoe want out? The 27-year-old is in his prime and stuck on a young team that would rather tank than play him.

It’ll be interesting to see how Bledsoe explains the tweet. He previously paid lip service to his situation in Phoenix, but it appears he’s ready to open up. On the other hand, public trade requests typically draw fines from the NBA.

Another Hornets backup PG injured

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Hornets backup point guard Michael Carter-Williamsout.

Nicolas Batum, who handled a lot of playmaking with Charlotte’s second units – out.

Julyan Stone, another Hornets backup point guard – out.

Hornets release:

The Charlotte Hornets announced today that guard Julyan Stone has suffered a Grade 2 strain of his left hamstring. The injury occurred in practice on Sunday, Oct. 22 and he did not travel with the team to Milwaukee.  Stone is listed as out for tonight’s game against the Bucks and his expected recovery time is estimated at four to six weeks.

The Hornets have been outscored by an astounding 35.8 points per 100 possessions without starter Kemba Walker, producing an offensive rating of just 61.4. That’s in just 23 minutes, but the problem dates back to last season, when Charlotte was outscored by 7.0 points per 100 possessions with a 100.7 offensive rating sans Walker.

Now, the Hornets have little choice but to turn to rookie Malik Monk. Monk is a scoring guard, but his 6-foot-3 size means he has at least worked on playing point guard. Is he ready to play the position full-time for a team eying the playoffs. Probably not, but he’ll just have to do his best to keep Charlotte afloat in the few minutes Walker rests.