Author: Dan Feldman

LeBron James responds to Cam Newton: ‘I’m LeBron of the NBA’

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Cam Newton has blended an incredible combination of size, speed and skill to lead the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl.

Remind you of anyone?

Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

At Super Bowl media day earlier this week, Newton was asked if he was the LeBron of the NFL, and Newton responded, “Why can’t LeBron be called the Cam Newton of power forwards?”

“I heard that,” James said Wednesday morning prior to the Cavs’ shootaround in preparation for their game against the Charlotte Hornets. “I heard that. I’m not a power forward, though.” A reporter then asked if he was the Newton of the NBA, to which he replied, “I’m LeBron of the NBA.”

“I’m not a power forward right now, and I’m not slowing down any time soon,” James said. “So, I like being a wing guy. It’s cooler.”

Newton doesn’t mind throwing a nod to LeBron. But, of course, neither player – among the best in their sports – wants to shortchange himself by being compared to the other. They want to be the measuring stick.

That’s understandable and fine for players of that caliber.

Also credit LeBron for avoiding an unnecessary controversy, because if he’s a power forward, where does Kevin Love fit? LeBron can play both forward positions, and he might be better suited to play the four. But that’s not a conversation Cleveland wants to have right now, thank you very much Cam Newton.

Lauren Holtkamp, once publicly criticized by Chris Paul, calls key late technical on Clippers PG

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Chris Paul made waves last year when he said of rookie referee Lauren Holtkamp, “This might not be for her.”

The Clippers point guard insisted he was merely protesting a technical foul, not making a sexist comment. The NBA fined him $25,000 for publicly criticizing officiating.

If you wanted to argue Holtkamp held a grudge, last night would be Exhibit A.

The Clippers were trailing the Timberwolves by two points with 20 seconds left. Paul and J.J. Redick attempted to trap Ricky Rubio, and Redick was called for a foul.

Paul clapped in the direction of Holtkamp, who was in somewhat close proximity and walking closer to report the foul to the scorers’ table. As Paul turned away, she called a technical foul.

Rubio made the technical free throw, helping Minnesota pull away for a 108-102 win.

Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:

Asked if the Clippers were provided with an explanation from officials, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said, “Overt clap. That was the explanation. Overt clap.”

“It’s crazy,” Paul said. “I guess it was for what I said.” Asked specifically what he said, Paul replied, “Nothing. I said nothing.”

“You cannot get techs in the fourth quarter,” Paul said. “That was a big call. [Rubio] missed one free throw. That would’ve put us down three instead of down four. Regardless of the situation, I have to do a better job of not putting it in the hands of them to make a call like that. So that’s on me.”

Paul neither affirmed nor dispelled the notion that his previous run-in with Holtkamp informed the fourth quarter call.

“The [NBA has] got my money already,” Paul said. “I got kids in private school.”

Told he and Holtkamp shared a history, Paul interjected, “Do we?”

I dislike how officials change their standards late in close games. But they do.

Players get more leeway to complain in the final moments. That’s accepted and understood by everyone involved.

A technical for a somewhat aggressive clap in that situation is practically unheard of. More troublingly, that seems like a weak tech at any point in the game.

Maybe Holtkamp warned Paul earlier in the game. Maybe he said something that didn’t show up in the telecast. Maybe this was just an isolated bad call unrelated to the people involved.

Heck, Holtkamp might have just lost patience with Paul for constantly complaining to all referees, not anything specifically he said about her.

Retribution wasn’t necessarily the cause of this technical foul.

But this one sure looked more suspect than most.

Photo of Blake Griffin’s hand

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Blake Griffin broke his hand punching a Clippers equipment manager.

How does Griffin’s hand look now?

Mike Babcock of TMZ:

Left: That’s not so bad.

Right: Dear lord, get that off my screen.

Ex-NBA All-Star Jayson Williams charged with drunken driving

SOMMERVILLE, NJ - APRIL 30:  Former NBA player Jayson Williams, (C) stands with defense attorneys Billy Martin (L) and Joseph Hayden as the jury foreman reads the verdicts in Williams' manslaughter trial at the Somerset County Courthouse April 30, 2004 in Somerville, New Jersey. Williams was acquitted of the most serious charge of aggravated manslaughter in the shooting death of Costas "Gus" Christofi. He was found guilty on four counts, hindering apprehension or prosecution, tampering with evidence, tampering with a witness and fabricating evidence and the jury could not reach a verdict on a reckless manslaughter charge.  (Photo by Frank H. Conlon-Pool/Getty Images)
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DELAWARE, N.Y. (AP) — Former NBA All-Star Jayson Williams, who served more than a year in prison for the 2002 accidental shooting death of a limo driver, has been charged with drunken driving after he crashed his vehicle in upstate New York.

The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office tells the Times Herald-Record of Middletown (bit.ly/1TG5igD) that Williams was driving home on the night of Jan. 26 when he hit a utility pole along a road in the rural town of Delaware, 95 miles northwest of New York City.

Police says the 47-year-old Williams was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Williams told deputies he swerved to avoid hitting a deer. Officials say Williams had difficulty standing, slurred his speech and failed a field sobriety test.

Williams retired from the New Jersey Nets in 1999.

NBA: Lakers benefitted from two blown calls late in win over Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins, right, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 119-115. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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The NBA admitted to two officiating errors in the final two minutes of the Lakers’ 119-115 win over the Timberwolves on Tuesday.

Both were significant, and both boosted the Lakers 76ers.

Julius Randle scored with 1:04 left to put the Lakers up three. Just prior, he should’ve been called for travelling. NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

Randle (LAL) moves his pivot foot after ending his dribble. The official is looking for any potential illegal contact and does not pick up the pivot foot.

A few possessions later, Randle forced an Andrew Wiggins turnover – by getting away with fouling Wiggins. NBA:

Randle (LAL) makes body to body contact with Wiggins (MIN) that affects his drive to the basket and causes him to lose control of the ball.

That play was reviewed to determine who touched the ball last before it went out of bounds, which leads to one of my gripes. If we’re going to stop play to review a call, why not get it right? The officials couldn’t review for a foul, just who touched the ball last. But the league clearly believes video review can determine fouls – hence the existence of these Last Two Minutes Reports. Delaying games for reviews can be tedious, but as long as the game is already halted, reviews should be used more fully.

As it is, officials probably saw their missed foul on Randle. They just couldn’t do anything about it. They correctly ruled Wiggins touched the ball last and gave the Lakers possession with a three-point lead and 17.9 seconds left.

Minnesota began intentionally fouling, and Kobe Bryant hit 6-of-6 free throws to ice the win for the Lakers – but, more importantly, the 76ers.

The result moved the Lakers one step closer to losing their top-three-protected first-round pick to Philadelphia.