Dan Feldman

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).

Jordan Clarkson ejected for throwing ball at Dario Saric, who scored late (video)


With 12 seconds left, the shot clock off and his 76ers holding an eight-point lead over the Cavaliers, Dario Saric drove to the basket and scored.

Jordan Clarkson didn’t like that one bit.

The Cleveland guard threw the ball at Saric’s back and was immediately ejected. The technical free throw made the final score 108-97.

Clarkson, via Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

“If anybody say different, that they wouldn’t have did that, that they’d have did something different, or anything else, they lying,” Clarkson said. “Especially if it was at that (point — he said play) of the game. They know what’s up. That’s it.”

The Cavs were pressing in the backcourt on the play! How could Saric know Cleveland’s plan was to give up as soon as Philadelphia crossed halfcourt?

If he realized the defense had quit and hadn’t just been beaten, Saric probably shouldn’t have shot. I have no real outrage toward him either way, but we all know the common play is just to dribble the clock out when the trailing defense quits with the shot clock off.

But the 76ers were up just eight. Crazy comebacks can happen. I’d rather he take the safe two points if he had any doubt about the flow of the game. What if he looked back in the name of decorum, and the Cavaliers were still hustling, got a steal and used that to spark a comeback?

I get why Clarkson was mad. His team lost. But he’s wrong here.

Clippers’ Avery Bradley might undergo season-ending surgery

Abbie Parr/Getty Images
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When the Pistons traded for Avery Bradley last summer, there were questions whether they could afford him in unrestricted free agency next summer.

It’s looking far less likely Bradley will receive that major payday.

Bradley struggled with Detroit and has struggled with the Clippers since being included in the Blake Griffin trade (as much, if not more, for his expiring contract than his playing ability). A report emerged Bradley paid to silence a sexual-assault accuser. And he has missed L.A.’s last four games with a sports hernia injury.

Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times:

Bradley also said that surgery is a possibility, and that it could happen before the season is over.

But Bradley said ideally he wants to play this season.

“We’re just … ing it day by day and trying to strengthen up all the muscles around the injury,” Bradley said. “After that, we’re going to make the best decision, if that’s me playing or me getting surgery.”

“I think it was one of those things where me sitting, I was able to see that, thinking rest would make it better. But it made it worse,” Bradley said.

This cuts both ways. Bradley might lose a chance to redeem himself ahead of free agency, but rushing back could mean playing even worse or even exacerbating the injury.

Rest making the injury worse sounds like a major red flag.

The 27-year-old Bradley remains a tenacious perimeter defender, but teams are better taking advantage of his limitations switching onto bigger players. He’s also a notably poor defensive rebounders. And he takes and misses far too many long 2s to the point it’s destructive to his team’s offense.

Trying to sneak into the playoffs, the Clippers might be better off without Bradley the rest of the season. They have Lou Williams and Austin Rivers at shooting guard, though Rivers is also needed at point guard.

Both the Clippers and Bradley can both hope he returns to form this season and sets himself up to get paid this summer. But this injury is yet another obstacle to that happening.

Report: 76ers owner Josh Harris discussed White House job with Jared Kushner, then Harris’ firm loaned Kushner’s money

AP Photo/Chris Szagola

In the NBA world, 76ers owner Josh Harris is best known for condoning Sam Hinkie’s process, having second thoughts amid the planned losing then turning the team over to the Colangelos.

Now, Harris is drawing attention for his dealings with President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Jesse Drucker, Kate Kelly and Ben Protess of The New York Times:

Joshua Harris, a founder of Apollo Global Management, was advising Trump administration officials on infrastructure policy. During that period, he met on multiple occasions with Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, said three people familiar with the meetings. Among other things, the two men discussed a possible White House job for Mr. Harris.

The job never materialized, but in November, Apollo lent $184 million to Mr. Kushner’s family real estate firm, Kushner Companies. The loan was to refinance the mortgage on a Chicago skyscraper.

Even by the standards of Apollo, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, the previously unreported transaction with the Kushners was a big deal: It was triple the size of the average property loan made by Apollo’s real estate lending arm, securities filings show.

Apollo has sought ways to benefit from the White House’s possible infrastructure plan. And its executives, including Mr. Harris, had tens of millions of dollars personally at stake in the tax overhaul that was making its way through Washington last year.

An Apollo spokesman, Charles V. Zehren, said Mr. Harris was not involved in the decision to loan money to Kushner Companies. He said the loan “went through the firm’s standard approval process.”

My first question: Is triple the average loan size within Apollo’s normal range? It might be. By definition, some loans will be above the average size.

Either way, there’s probably enough plausible deniability to avoid any findings of wrongdoing.