Dan Feldman

DeAndre Jordan gets ball stuck in Knicks’ scoreboard during warmups (video)

1 Comment

Before all the Charles Oakley drama at Madison Square Garden last night, DeAndre Jordan provided a lighter moment during warmups.

Jordan poked the ball away from a teammate trying to dribble by the Clippers center. In celebration, Jordan tossed the ball high into the air.

And it didn’t come down.

 

Mark Cuban, Jason Williams headline NBA All-Star Celebrity Game rosters

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 01:  Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks during the first half at American Airlines Center on March 1, 2016 in Dallas, Texas.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
8 Comments

One-time Donald Trump supporter/Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will meet Hillary Clinton supporter/Bucks owner Marc Lasry in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.

A rehashing of political rivalry?

Cuban has probably gone too far the other way for that, but it should be fun to see the owners match up on the court. I’m also looking forward to watching for Kings and Grizzlies player Jason Williams, whose flashy passing always befit a just-for-fun exhibition.

The full rosters:

East

  • Brandon Armstrong (former NBA player and social media star)
  • Win Butler (musician)
  • Nick Cannon (actor, recording artist)
  • Rachel DeMita (NBA2K TV personality)
  • Ansel Elgort (actor, recording artist)
  • Marc Lasry (Milwaukee Bucks owner)
  • Caleb McLaughlin (actor)
  • Peter Rosenberg (media personality)
  • Oscar Schmidt (Basketball legend)
  • Lindsay Whalen (WNBA player)
  • Jason Williams (NBA legend)
  • Kris Wu (recording artist)

Coaches: Jemele Hill (ESPN), Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors), Fat Joe (recording artist)

West

  • Miles Brown (actor)
  • Tom Cavanagh (actor)
  • Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks owner)
  • Baron Davis (NBA legend)
  • Andy Grammer (recording artist)
  • Jiang Jinfu (actor, model)
  • Anthony Mackie (actor)
  • Romeo Miller (actor, recording artist)
  • Hasan Minhaj (actor, comedian)
  • Master P (actor, recording artist)
  • Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks)
  • Aarón Sánchez (celebrity chef)

Coaches:  Michael Smith (ESPN), Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors), Rocsi Diaz (television personality)

The game will be broadcast on ESPN on Friday night.

Knicks on Charles Oakley: ‘Everything he said since the incident is pure fiction’

Former New York Knicks player Charles Oakley exchanges words with a security guard during the first half of an NBA basketball game between the New York Knicks and the LA Clippers Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
10 Comments

The Knicks said Charles Oakley “behaved in a highly inappropriate and completely abusive manner” last night.

Oakley, who was charged with misdemeanor assault and trespassing, said he didn’t yell at Knicks owner James Dolan or doing anything to warrant security confronting him.

The Knicks are doubling down:

Oakley clearly didn’t handle himself properly once confronted — though his contempt would be understandable if he did nothing to provoke the large security presence, including people putting their hands on him, that suddenly surrounded him.

The contentious issue seems to be the lead-up. Did Oakley cross a line in fan behavior, or did the Knicks just preemptively want him ejected?

Both sides have their own versions. The truth usually lies somewhere in between, and the Knicks have a right to rebut Oakley’s retelling.

But do the Knicks, who’ve done nothing to earn the benefit of the doubt, really want to escalate a public fight with a fan-favorite former player?

NBA agent: Mitch Kupchak only GM who won’t tamper with free agents before July 1, disadvantages Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak speaks to reporters at team headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Friday, April 15, 2016. With Kobe Bryant's $25 million salary, ravenous shot selection and dominant personality gone from the basketball team after 20 years, Kupchak says he will meet with head coach Byron Scott and owner Jim Buss in a few days to discuss their options for the Lakers, which finished with the NBA's second-worst record at 17-65 in Bryant's farewell season. (AP Photo/Greg Beacham)
AP Photo/Greg Beacham
6 Comments

The Lakers have dreamed big in free agency the last few years, but they’ve struck out on the biggest stars. Then, after missing out on players like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, the Lakers have settled for scraps with the next tier of free agents already committed elsewhere.

What are the Lakers doing wrong?

Though teams aren’t technically permitted to contact free agents until their previous contracts expire — when the calendar turns from June 30 to July 1 Eastern each year — tampering is commonplace and selectively enforced. But Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak takes a different approach.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

Said one player agent, who has dealt with Kupchak on several contracts, “He’s the only GM in the league who won’t engage at all before 9:01 p.m. [PT] on the first night of free agency. Then when he calls to express interest, there’s no stickiness to it.”

My first thought: What about Timofey Mozgov? The Lakers agreed to a four-year, $64 million contract with him within the first hour of free agency last year. Shelburne covers it:

According to sources, Kupchak was reluctant to allow Mozgov to be tempted by other offers, giving him a four-year, $64 million deal just minutes after free agency began.

I still find it hard to believe such a large contract was agreed upon so quickly. But, if I were Mozgov and someone offered me $64 million, it would take only minutes to accept. Because of the moratorium, the contract couldn’t be finalized for another week, anyway. There was still team to work out the fine print.

Kupchak’s approach is commendable. The onus should be on the NBA to set clear and enforceable tampering rules and allow everything else. But that doesn’t appear to be happening any time soon, and in the meantime, the Lakers are falling behind. Not only do pre-July 1 conversations help make inroads with free agents, those talks reveal information that can be useful when formulating a plan.

Maybe this is why the Lakers hired Magic Johnson. He’s willing to tamper — though he’s not great at getting away with it.

Bucks’ Jabari Parker tears ACL, out for full year

Jabari Parker, de los Bucks de Milwaukee, abandona la cancha tras lastimarse una rodilla durante el partido ante el Heat de Miami, el miércoles 8 de febrero de 2017 (AP Foto/Jeffrey Phelps)
AP Foto/Jeffrey Phelps
11 Comments

The Bucks’ worst fears about Jabari Parker, who injured his knee last night, were realized.

The forward will miss the rest of the season and likely part of next season.

Bucks release:

Bucks forward Jabari Parker suffered a left knee injury during the third quarter of last night’s game vs. Miami at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. This morning, Parker underwent an MRI that revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. Parker will undergo surgery to repair the injury and will miss the remainder of the 2016-17 season. The recovery and rehabilitation period is estimated at 12 months.

There is no silver lining here. This is a brutal injury for Parker and the Bucks.

Milwaukee might — might — find adequate fit replacements in Mirza Teletovic, Michael Beasley or Thon Maker. But all are massive talent downgrades. Using John Henson, Greg MonroeRoy Hibbert and/or Spencer Hawes in two-big lineups would drastically change the team’s style.

Parker was having a career year, averaging 20.1 points per game and becoming the true stretch four the Bucks needed him to be. Improved playmaking also showed the all-around potential that made Parker the No. 2 pick in the 2014 draft.

Two games and three games out of playoff position, Milwaukee faces even more daunting postseason odds now. The Bucks might even become sellers before the trade deadline (beyond Miles Plumlee‘s bloated contract), though Khris Middleton‘s return could buoy them and Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s incredible production will prevent too deep of a slide.

Parker will be eligible for a contract extension this offseason, and this injury — his second ACL tear in his left knee — will only complicate negotiations. Parker also missed most of his rookie year with the same injury. Was he always especially prone to this tear? Is he more susceptible now? Both sides will dig into those questions when determining Parker’s long-term value.

For now, this is a real short-term setback to everyone involved.