Dan Feldman

Lamar Odom
Jordan Strauss/Invision for Walgreens/AP Images

Report: Lamar Odom enters rehab

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Since his near-death experience last year, there have been multiple reports of Lamar Odom struggling with substance abuse.

It appears he’s trying to improve himself.

Melanie Bromley & Mike Vulpo of E! News:

Lamar Odom is ready to get some professional help.

E! News can confirm the former Los Angeles Lakers player recently admitted himself into rehab in San Diego, Calif.

Hopefully, Odom emerges healthier in every respect.

DeMarcus Cousins and Brian Shaw got double technical foul for ‘friendly trash talk,’ Kings center promises more techs

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DeMarcus Cousins and Brian Shaw have been talking trash with each other for years.

Apparently, nobody alerted referee Monty McCutchen.

After Luke Walton got ejected from the Kings’ win over the Lakers night, Shaw – serving as Lakers coach – jawed with Cousins during free throws. That drew a double technical foul from McCutchen and gave Cousins his NBA-high ninth technical foul of the season.

Cousins, via James Ham of CSN California:

“I don’t understand what he saw,” Cousins said from his locker room stall. “B-Shaw and me talk trash since I’ve came into this league. Friendly trash talk, he (McCutchen) didn’t like the curse words me and B-Shaw said so he gave us techs.”

“It is what it is,” Cousins said. “I’ll talk to the league. We’ll see what happens, but I can guarantee this, it won’t be the last.”

“It’s been awhile since I’ve just went up to a ref and cursed him out. So I really don’t know what to do.”

“I see how some guys talk to the refs and it’s okay, and then there’s me,” Cousins added. “And then there’s me. Like I said, it just depends on their mood.”

Cousins has earned some of his technicals – and his reputation for crossing the line.

But referees have a duty not to judge players by their reputation and treat them all fairly. Cousins often draws too quick a whistle, and that was the case here. Officials should not interject themselves into trash talk that both sides view as friendly.

Clippers violate NBA’s concussion policy, play Austin Rivers with concussion

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The nasty truth about concussions: Player suspected of suffering a concussion often pass a medical evaluation shortly after whatever caused the suspicion.

How do you treat those players?

If they have a concussion, re-inserting them into the game would be dangerous. If they don’t have a concussion, keeping them from the game would hinder their team.

I believe players should be kept from returning to participation the day they’re suspected of having a concussion, even if they clear initial testing. The risk is just too great. The NBA’s concussion policy allows them to return.

That’s a value judgment, one where I and the league disagree.

But the absolute minimum is properly testing players suspecting of having a concussion as soon as possible, and the NBA’s concussion policy demands that. We can differ on protocol after a passed test, but sometimes, players fail the initial test. It’s imperative that test be done in accordance with the league’s policy.

Yet, that too often doesn’t happen.

The Cavaliers didn’t immediately evaluate Kevin Love after he showed numerous concussion symptoms in Game 2 of last season’s Finals. The Lakers had Larry Nance Jr. play through visible concussion symptoms before removing him from play to evaluate him.

And the Clippers failed to properly test Austin Rivers for a concussion during Saturday’s game against the Pelicans.

Rivers took an elbow to the head from Terrence Jones in the third quarter and went to the floor. Rivers didn’t look well and held his hands to his head. The Clippers realized something was wrong, removing him from the game. He continued to look distressed on the bench, clutching the towel he draped over his head.

And apparently, the Clippers made the completely logical judgment: Rivers might have suffered a concussion. We know this because Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Austin was tested for a concussion on the bench and passed the test.

So, Austin returned to the game to start the fourth quarter and soon lost his bearings. It was a scary sight, and the Clippers wasted no time getting him out of the game then.

Again, the NBA’s policy will allow concussed players to sometimes play. They just must pass an evaluation prior to returning.

The problem was Austin’s evaluation. The concussion policy says (emphasis mine):

If a player is suspected of having a concussion, or exhibits the signs or symptoms of concussion, he will be removed from participation and undergo evaluation by the medical staff in a quiet, distraction-free environment conducive to conducting a neurological evaluation.

The bench at an NBA arena during a game is not a “quiet, distraction-free environment conducive to conducting a neurological evaluation.”

Would the Clippers have identified Austin’s concussion if they tested him in the locker room? We’ll never know. Perhaps, his symptoms were delayed and wouldn’t have registered there either. But that environment would’ve given doctors the best chance to correctly diagnose him.

I don’t believe the NBA’s concussion policy goes far enough, but when not even that is followed, it puts players at far too great of risk.

NBA: Pelicans got away with key late foul in one-point win over Suns

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The Pelicans probably won’t complain how they won Sunday. Snap a five-game losing streak, and the rest doesn’t matter.

But the Suns might have a problem with the result.

New Orleans’ 120-119 win over Phoenix included a key missed Pelicans foul in the final minute, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report. E'Twaun Moore should’ve been called for committing a loose-ball foul on Eric Bledsoe with 57 seconds left in overtime, according to the league:

Moore (NOP) swings his arm back and makes contact to Bledsoe’s (PHX) neck area following the pass.

Importantly, it would have been a loose-ball foul – not an offensive foul – on Moore, because Bledsoe deflected the ball away first. The difference: A loose-ball foul, with New Orleans in the penalty, would’ve given Bledsoe two free throws in addition to ending the Pelicans’ possession.

(The report also includes an incorrectly uncalled foul on Suns guard Leandro Barbosa later on the same possession, but a correct call on Moore would’ve wiped out the rest of the play.)

Obviously, we’ll never know how the game would’ve played out with a correct call. But it’s reasonable for Phoenix to feel aggrieved about missing out on two free throws in a one-point game.

Evan Turner repeatedly swats at pointing DeAndre Jordan, both ejected (video)

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Evan Turner, on his way to help up Damian Lillard, bumped DeAndre Jordan – and Jordan didn’t like that.

Jordan pointed and barked at Turner – and Turner didn’t like that.

So, Turner kept swatting Jordan’s hand away, and Jordan kept pointing while the players jawed at each other. Eventually, both were ejected, and the Clippers hung on for a 121-120 win over the Trail Blazers.