Dan Feldman

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Report: Andre Iguodala and Spencer Dinwiddie only players to attend meeting with referees


Update: Referees union:

It’s hard to see how helpful this meeting could have been, even if the size was by design. Andre Iguodala cares about his and the Warriors’ interests. Spencer Dinwiddie cares about his and the Nets’ interests. They’re not ideally positioned to convey concerns of players on other teams, though Iguodala’s place in the players union gives him some mass perspective.


As tension between players and referees has endured and maybe even escalated, a meeting between both sides during All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles drew a lot of attention.

The actual result sound underwhelming.

Ken Berger of Bleacher Report:

Three referees attended the meeting: Marc Davis, Jason Phillips and Brian Forte, two people briefed on the meeting told B/R. Among the other key participants were Michele Roberts, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, and Lee Seham, general counsel for the National Basketball Referees Association, the people said.

Only two players attended, and neither one was a current All-Star: Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala, an NBPA vice president, and Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie, the All-Star Skills Challenge winner, the people briefed on the meeting told B/R.

Only two players?

All-Stars LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Anthony Davis, DeMar DeRozan and Draymond Green have notably had problems with officials this season. This was a chance to address their concerns. Other players could have also gone to Los Angeles for the meeting.

However, All-Star Weekend is incredibly busy for All-Stars with sponsor events, media sessions and the actual game and contests. Other players relish the break and rare opportunity for a vacation. This meeting wasn’t necessarily well-timed, though it’s also possible there weren’t better options until after the season.

It’s easy to blame players for not showing up. It’s just not that simple.

Someone from the union probably had to be there, and I bet Iguodala was designated. I’m also not surprised Dinwiddie – nicknamed “The Mayor” and trying to carve out a more prominent place in the NBA – got involved. Hopefully, Iguodala can use his union post to convey diffusing information to other players.

But I wouldn’t count on improved player-referee relations this season. Too many players are convinced referees treat their team unfairly. (If they all think that, it can’t be true.) And too many referees are insensitive to the fact that players are in the midst of high-pressure competition during their interactions.

More meetings between players and referees could help and should happen. A better time would be next preseason, when referees could meet with teams as they travel around the country. That’d allow a far larger number of players to listen and be heard.

By the way, it’s fine there were only three referees at the meeting. Unlike players, who have their competing agendas, referees are essentially on the same team. A few officials can represent the whole group.

Gregg Popovich: Kawhi Leonard ‘doing what he’s supposed to do’

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said last week he’d be surprised Kawhi Leonard returned this season, noting it was getting late for the star forward to acclimate. Then, a report emerged San Antonio had long cleared Leonard to play, but he was seeking other opinions.

It all seemed as if the Spurs were trying to pressure Leonard into playing.

Now, Popovich sounds much more patient.

Popovich, via Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News:

“He’s doing what he’s supposed to do,” Popovich said. “He’s working hard at it. He wants to get back, and when and if he feels like he is ready to go, he will be there.”

Maybe we read Popovich and the Spurs all wrong.

More likely, Popovich is backing off now that Leonard is telling teammates he’ll play again and is reportedly targeting a return this month. This seems like a positive step toward détente.

Dwyane Wade makes shot over backboard (video)


Dwyane Wade is having a heck of a week.

He hit the game-winner against the 76ers on Tuesday. Then, he scored 25 points off the bench – including this incredible shot over the backboard – against the Lakers last night.

Los Angeles put a damper on things, though, winning 131-113.

De’Aaron Fox buzzer-beating floater sends Kings to overtime, where they snap losing streak (video)

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De'Aaron Fox isn’t tanking.

His Kings are* – wisely, though starting too late – in their last year to add a high draft pick before conveying their 2018 first-rounder to the 76ers or Celtics.

*My definition of tanking: Anything a team does that’s driven, at least in part, to improve draft position by losing more.

But the competitive Fox wants no part of that strategy. He proved it with this buzzer-beating floater to force overtime last night. Sacramento topped the Nets in the extra period, 116-111.

This is the Kings’ first win over a non-tanker – Brooklyn already traded its 2018 draft picks – in more than a month. Sacramento’s only February wins came over the Bulls and Mavericks. These wins could come back to bite the Kings.

For Fox? He just made it less like Luca Doncic steals his job.

Report: Cavaliers suspended J.R. Smith for throwing bowl of soup at assistant coach Damon Jones


The Cavaliers suspended J.R. Smith for their loss to the 76ers due to “detrimental conduct.”

What does that mean?

Brian Windhorst and Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith earned his one-game suspension from the team Thursday by throwing a bowl of soup at assistant coach Damon Jones, multiple sources with knowledge of the incident told ESPN.

This will go right up there in the legend of J.R. Smith along with offering the pipe, untying shoelaces and getting fined more than $1 million during his season in China (for, among other things, once ordering thousands of dollars worth of unwanted room service to his team’s bill just to see whether he could).