Game 4 of the NBA Finals was the 50th officiated by longtime referee Joey Crawford, and while he managed to stay out of the spotlight for the most part, he did have one memorable exchange.
Crawford was caught telling either Cavaliers big man Timofey Mozgov or Warriors defensive ace Draymond Green to “do me a favor and shut up,” and while this may not seem to be the most professional way of communicating, keep in mind that officials are often berated by players and coaches throughout the game, and are subjected to hearing far worse.
Make sure to check out Warriors’ assistant coach Alvin Gentry taking all of this in on the sidelines; his reaction, a combination of shock and amusement, is priceless.
Report: Kings’ employees had no idea Vlade Divac was in charge until they heard it through the media days later
When the Kings hired Vlade Divac and named him the Vice President of Basketball and Franchise Operations, it was originally believed his role would be more on the business side of things.
Once it became clear that ownership brought him in to run the basketball side, however, those currently in the front office — adviser Chris Mullin and GM Pete D’Alessandro — bolted for better opportunities.
The Kings’ franchisee has never stopped tinkering with his front office since acquiring the team in May 2013, eventually adding enough members that no one outside the walls really knew who reported to whom. (The midseason hiring of George Karl, a known personnel meddler from the sidelines, only complicated the issue.) D’Alessandro showed his hand by offering a “no comment” when asked about Divac’s arrival once it became clear Vlade would be more a decision-maker than a community ambassador.
This is the craziest thing about Divac’s arrival: According to league sources, no one but Divac and Ranadive actually understood he’d be in a powerful basketball operations position until a few days after the announcement. It was assumed that because Divac has extremely limited front office experience — one year as a scout for the Lakers — and deep business connections, he’d be a glad-hander instead of a personnel boss. Even folks in the front office, according to sources, were unclear Divac had personnel power until the big man said as much in the media and Ranadive confirmed. Imagine getting a new boss and not realizing it until a few days after s/he arrives. That’s some serious professional whiplash.
The organization can obviously operate however it chooses, but the Kings franchise has a long history of handling things poorly and making questionable decisions.
Hopefully for the fans in Sacramento, Divac can finally provide some stability while working toward achieving a sustained measure of success.
WATCH: Kristaps Porzingis impresses in workout for league execs
Kristaps Porzingis is projected to be a top-10 pick in the June 25 NBA Draft, although the way he impressed in front of league scouts and executives during a workout on Friday at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas, he could end up being selected much higher.
Porzingis is 7’1″, but shot the ball from NBA three-point distance consistently and with ease. He also showed the ability to knock down jumpers from midrange, which will make him a potential force in pick-and-pop situations.
In addition to the shot-making ability, Porzingis showed a nice touch inside, and went through his workout with a high level of energy while ferociously attacking the rim whenever he got the chance.
One scout believes Porzingis is worthy of the No. 1 overall pick, and is clearly better than Karl-Anthony Towns. It’s tough to envision teams passing on Towns or Jahlil Okafor with the first couple of selections, and the Sixers are heavy with bigs, so taking a guard with the third pick (D’Angelo Russell or Emmanuel Mudiay) would make the most sense.
But the Knicks at four is where things get interesting, and Phil Jackson was among the many from around the league who attended this workout in person.