Dan Feldman

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 29:  Head Coach Jeff Hornacek of the Phoenix Suns looks on during an NBA game against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre on November 29, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  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 Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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Does Jeff Hornacek have to run triangle for Knicks? Reportedly depends whom you ask

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Phil Jackson reportedly told new Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek he wouldn’t have to run to the triangle offense. Hornacek said he’d include triangle principles in his scheme.

What’s really going on?

Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports:

The message I was getting from the people around Hornacek was that he would get to coach whatever style he wanted to coach. The message I was getting from people with the Knicks was that that wasn’t necessarily true, that there would be, as you mentioned, the fingerprints of the triangle on that.

Hornacek said he’d use triangle elements. Maybe that’s more than lip service and he plans to appease Jackson (though that’s problematic because Hornacek isn’t experienced in coaching the triangle).

Or maybe Hornacek was just trying to quell controversy publicly now then run his own offense with Jackson’s approval (though that would become problematic if Jackson’s ego causes him to demand the triangle after the fact).

But if there’s a real misunderstanding how this will work, that’s already a major problem. It barely matters whether the Knicks misled Hornacek or Hornacek misinterpreted. The difference in expectations will be untenable.

Avery Bradley tells story of getting jersey from Kevin Garnett after Jeff Green got rejected

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 10:  Kevin Garnett #2 of the Brooklyn Nets and Avery Bradley #0 of the Boston Celtics battle for the ball during their game at the Barclays Center on December 10, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. 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 Al Bello/Getty Images)
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Avery Bradley said he doesn’t fear Kyrie Irving or anyone else.

Where did the Celtics guard find that attitude?

He credited Kevin Garnet for challenging him when they played together in Boston. Apparently, the respect was mutual – or at least more mutual than it was for former Celtic Jeff Green.

Bradley, via Tom Westerholm of MassLive:

“This year, I was telling my teammates when we were playing in Minnesota, I was like, ‘I don’t think KG’s gonna give me a jersey,'” Bradley said. “My teammates were like, ‘Man, what? He doesn’t talk to nobody but you. He’s gonna give you a jersey.’ I asked one of the ball boys and he was like, ‘He just turned down Jeff Green. He’s not giving one to anybody.’ So I asked, and KG wrote me a letter like, ‘I love you. This jersey is for you, keep working hard.’ He wrote me a letter, and now I have his jersey up at my house.”

Green twice played in Minnesota before Bradley did, so that checks out on the surface.

Poor Jeff Green. Rich Jeff Green. But poor Jeff Green.

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf supports Colin Kaepernick, still doesn’t stand for nation anthem

6 Mar 1994: DENVER GUARD MAHMOUD ABDUL-RAUF DURING THE NUGGETS GAME AGAINST THE MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES.
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Before Colin Kaepernick sat for the national anthem, Nuggets guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf waged his own anthem protest in 1996.

Jesse Washington of The Undefeated:

Twenty years later, despite losing prime years of NBA stardom, enduring death threats and having his home burned to the ground, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf still does not stand for the national anthem.

The quicksilver guard who foreshadowed NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest is now living in Atlanta, taking care of his five teenage children along with his ex-wife, training NBA players, and giving occasional speeches to groups in black or Muslim communities. At age 47, he has no regrets about choosing the difficult journey that Kaepernick is just starting.

“It’s priceless to know that I can go to sleep knowing that I stood to my principles,” Abdul-Rauf told The Undefeated. “Whether I go broke, whether they take my life, whatever it is, I stood on principles. To me, that is worth more than wealth and fame.”

Abdul-Rauf has never spoken to Kaepernick, and isn’t a football fan. But he supports the quarterback’s protest and message “1,000 percent,” saying that it created a valuable debate.

“It’s good to continue to draw people’s attention to what’s going on whether you’re an athlete, a politician, or a garbage man. These discussions are necessary,” he said. “Sometimes it takes people of that stature, athletes and entertainers, because the youth are drawn to them, [more than] teachers and professors, unfortunately.”

Kaepernick and Abdul-Rauf sat for different reasons, but the underlying ideas behind the acts – America wrongfully oppresses people, America rightfully protects free speech – are similar.

Abdul-Rauf’s motivations were largely lost amid controversy about his method of protest. The same is happening with Kaepernick, though not as severely, because Abdul-Rauf forged this path 20 years ago.

So, I’ll end with the questions I posed previously:

Is sitting during the national anthem an affront to American values? Is racism an affront to American values?

Which is worse? Which are you more angry about?

51Q: Did the Pelicans plug enough holes around Anthony Davis?

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 14:  Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans dribbles against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on March 14, 2016 in Oakland, California. 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 Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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We continue PBT’s 2016-17 NBA preview series, 51 Questions. Between now and the start of the NBA season we will tackle 51 questions we cannot wait to see answered during the upcoming NBA season. We will delve into one almost every day between now and the start of the season (we’re taking some weekends off).

After bottoming out to get Anthony Davis, the Pelicans steadily rose in the standings – 27 wins to 34 wins to 45 wins and the playoffs.

Until last season.

They regressed to 30-52, bringing a reality check: New Orleans was asking too much of Davis. He’d lifted the franchise as far as he could, but the weight on his shoulders was too much to bear.

So, the Pelicans set out to get Davis help. They drafted Buddy Hield No. 6 overall and signed Solomon Hill, E’Twaun Moore, Langston Galloway and Terrence Jones. New Orleans is now much deeper and younger, which should help the team avoid and withstand the type of injury problems that devastated it last year.

Will that be enough?

Davis is a special player. At age 23, he just can’t do it alone in a tough Western Conference – though the Pelicans have come close to asking.

Since Davis entered the NBA, only James Harden has accounted for a higher percentage of a team’s wins (as measured by win shares) than Davis:

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At least the Rockets tried to pair Harden with Dwight Howard, a former superstar who has declined amid injury issues as he has aged. (Interestingly, Houston’s latest reboot includes Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon, two players who didn’t help Davis enough in New Orleans.)

For three of his four seasons, Davis’ supporting cast has underwhelmed for one reason or another. Last year, poor health hammered the Pelicans, but too many of Davis’ teammates struggled when on the court. At least he remained excellent in his 61 games.

This influx of young talent could help, but it’s far from a given.

New Orleans has invested too heavily in Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca, centers who don’t really fit Alvin Gentry’s offense. Compounding the problem, those bigs – who shift Davis to more power forward – mean Hill will primarily play small forward. Hill’s ball-handling and outside shooting are much bigger assets at power forward.

So, I don’t know whether the Pelicans got better now. I also don’t know much better they’ll be in the future with Solomon Hill making nearly $13 million per year and Moore making $8.5 million per year over the next four seasons.

New Orleans is onto its latest reshuffling around Davis, and it was time for a new plan. Just like the old one, it might work, but it’s far from a certainty.

Derrick Rose facing persuasive case against him in rape lawsuit

Derrick Rose
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Knicks guard Derrick Rose is being sued for rape. He denies the accusation, saying the group sex was consensual.

Unfortunately, evidence in the case is disturbing.

Lindsay Gibbs of ThinkProgress:

Rose flat-out denies ever having group sex with Doe, because every time he pushed the issue, she would refuse.

Q: Have you ever had a threesome or a foursome with [Plaintiff]?

Rose: No.

Q: All the other times that you pushed that issue with her, she refused; isn’t that right?

Rose: Yeah

Jessica Groff, Doe’s friend who was at Rose’s party with her, said in her deposition that it was “very obvious” Doe was intoxicated. In fact, Doe even burned her hand after she picked up rocks in the fire pit for “no rational reason.”

After Groff allegedly had a fight with Allen that night, she decided to leave the party. However, she refused to leave Doe alone at the house.

“I knew [Doe] was very intoxicated,” Groff said in her deposition. “I definitely was not going to leave her there alone. I did not feel safe and did not believe [Doe] would be safe if left alone.”

So Groff and Doe got a cab, and Groff dropped Doe off at her apartment.

Later that night, Rose inquired about whether Doe got home safely, and the two began conversing again through text message. Rose wanted to send someone to pick up Doe and return her to his house, but she wanted Rose to come to her apartment, alone.

Texts between Derrick Rose and Jane Doe on the night of the alleged rape.

Eventually, Rose arrived at Doe’s apartment with Allen and Hampton. She stopped responding to texts well before they arrived, as was revealed in the Plaintiff’s Opposition to Defendant Rose’s Motion to Preclude Use of Pseudonym at Trial, filed on August 29:

The evidence shows that Plaintiff was unconscious when Defendants arrived to her apartment in the early morning hours of August 27, 2013, and that she did not respond to texts or calls from Defendants Rose and Allen:

2:05 AM Call from Defendant Allen to Plaintiff Unanswered

2:12 AM Call from Defendant Allen to Plaintiff Unanswered

2:27 AM Text from Defendant Rose to Plaintiff “Hello?”

2:29 AM Call from Defendant Allen to Plaintiff Unanswered

2:49 AM Call from Defendant Allen to Plaintiff Unanswered

2:50 AM Text from Defendant Allen to Plaintiff “We outside”

2:50 AM Call from Defendant Allen to Plaintiff Unanswered

2:51 AM Call from Defendant Allen to Plaintiff Unanswered

2:52 AM Call from Defendant Allen to Plaintiff Unanswered

2:52 AM Text from Defendant Allen to Plaintiff “Wake yo ass up”

2:53 AM Call from Defendant Allen to Plaintiff Unanswered

In a deposition on June 17, Rose says that he didn’t talk with Allen and Hampton about the reason they were going to Doe’s apartment, but that the reason was understood because “we men.”

Q: Did either Mr. Hampton or Mr. Allen tell you why they wanted to go to Plaintiff’s home on the night in question?

Rose: No. No.

Q: So they just said, ‘Hey, it’s the middle of the night. Let’s go over to Plaintiff’s house’ and they never gave you a reason why they wanted to go over there?’

Rose: No, but we men. You can assume.

Q: I’m sorry?

Rose: I said we men. You can assume. Like we leaving to go over to someone’s house at 1:00, there’s nothing to talk about.

However, while the defense is using Doe’s texts inviting Rose over to her apartment that night as proof that she consented, Rose admitted in his deposition that nowhere in the text message did she consent or even mention group sex.

Q: All right. Is there — within what you just reviewed in those text messages, is there anything within them that would lead you to believe that plaintif wanted to have sex with you and the other two defendants on August 26th, 2013?

Rose: No.

Perhaps, the alleged victim sobered up and then consented to group sex after previously repeatedly rejecting it. Anything short of that – her consenting while overly intoxicated or not consenting at all – is rape. That’s a narrow window for Rose to prove the legality of his actions, though he certainly deserves an opportunity to do so.

I suggest reading the entire ThinkProgress article for more details on the case.