Dan Feldman

DeMar DeRozan ends Drew League game by chucking ball at ref (videos)

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There’s a quiet aggressiveness to DeMar DeRozan.

It boiled over in a Drew League game.

The above video shows the final incident, the Raptors star throwing the ball at a referee just before the final buzzer. The video below shows more context:

DeMarre Carroll on Raptors: ‘A lot of guys didn’t trust each other’

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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Raptors president Masai Ujiri said his team needed a “culture reset.”

That meant a shift from relying on Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan isolations in favor of a more free-flowing offense. It could work and make Toronto a better team.

But DeMarre Carroll – whom the Raptors just traded to the Nets – has heard it before.

Carroll, via Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun:

“I wasn’t happy, my agent, we thought the style of ball was going to be different, it was going to be more team-oriented, but I guess it was still ISO, so I thought they would have moved me last year, but that didn’t happen.”

“They say they’re going to try something different, I would love to see it (work). It’s always good to do it,” he said, adding he believes they will start the season trying to stick to the new plan.

“But once adversity hits and stuff starts going wrong, guys are going to go back to ISO basketball, that’s how it is. You’ve got to trust it. It’s one of those things you’ve got to build, you’ve just got to trust each other. This year, I feel like a lot of guys didn’t trust each other and a lot of guys, they didn’t feel like other guys could produce or (be) given the opportunity, so there was a lot of lack of trust on our team, so that’s what hindered us from going (as far as they wanted to go).”

Carroll joined Toronto from the Hawks, who made sharing the ball a core tenet while building a 60-win team. Atlanta’s identity was built on unselfishness.

The Raptors are returning the same coach (Casey) and many of the same players, including Lowry and DeRozan. Pivoting with the same people is more difficult.

Again, maybe Toronto can do it. But Carroll’s skepticism is founded.

Paul George: Kevin Durant, Reggie Jackson endorsed Thunder

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Paul George is openly discussing what could lead him to re-sign with the Thunder or leave for the Lakers in free agency next summer.

It seems the former Pacer is just getting his head around joining Oklahoma City, which surprisingly traded for him amidst much more heavily reported interest from the Celtics, Cavaliers, Rockets and Lakers. But George isn’t joining the Thunder blind.

Kevin Durant and Reggie Jackson, who both left Oklahoma City on poor terms, provided George with perspective.

George, via Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated:

“KD was like, ‘That place will blow you away,’” George says. “He told me, ‘They can offer what other teams can’t in terms of the people and the preparation and the facility, down to the chefs and the meals.’ He was pretty high on them. He thought it was a first-class organization in every way.”

Jackson, despite his own turbulent exit from the Thunder, told his buddy that he would love it.

The Thunder have built a reputation as a franchise that allows its players focus on basketball and development. The team provides excellent support staff. Media is kept at arm’s length. Oklahoma City, a small market, provides few distractions.

It’s not for everyone, but the environment appeals to many players.

Durant left for a great situation with the Warriors. Jackson became a starter for the Pistons, which never would have happened with Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City.

Durant’s and Jackson’s desire to leave the Thunder doesn’t mean they loathed Oklahoma City, and kudos to them for recognizing the bigger picture. Playing for the Thunder helped both before they were ready to move on.

Will Oklahoma City be the right team for George in coming years? Nobody can know yet, but it sounds as if he’s going in with a favorable mindset.

Report: Carmelo Anthony confident he’ll be traded to Rockets

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Knicks star Carmelo Anthony is reportedly open to waiving his no-trade clause for the Rockets, and the teams are discussing a deal.

But will a New York-Houston trade actually happen?

Anthony apparently thinks so.

Ian Begley of ESPN:

I’m told that Carmelo feels pretty confident that a deal will get done at this point to Houston.

But the teams, to date, are nowhere near the finish line, because it’s so tough for the Knicks and Rockets to get a deal together one-to-one. So, it looks there’s going to have to be a third team involved. Probably Ryan Anderson is going to have moved off to that third team for this deal to happen.

I’m always skeptical of potential three-team trades held up by a mysterious third team taking a player nobody wants – in this case, Ryan Anderson, who’s due $61,264,636 over the next three years. Anderson is an excellent long-range gunner for a power forward, but that’s a lot of money to pay the 29-year-old with extensive injury history and major defensive shortcomings.

Maybe the Rockets and Knicks will send sufficient sweeteners to get someone to take Anderson, but I sure don’t share Anthony’s optimism.

Report: Michael Jordan joins Derek Jeter’s bid to buy Miami Marlins

AP Photo/Kathy Willens
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Michael Jordan’s fondness for baseball is well-documented. The greatest basketball player of all time even retired from the NBA for a couple years to play minor-league baseball.

Now owner of the Hornets, Jordan is trying to buy a share of another team – the Miami Marlins, as part of Derek Jeter’s bid.

Josh Kosman, Ken Davidoff and Claire Atkinson of the New York Post:

Interestingly, NBA great Michael Jordan is among a group of about 15 investors in the Jeter camp, sources said — although the ex-hoopster is said to be kicking in very little cash.

Jeter sees Jordan as a role model in how to become a successful sports executive, a source who knows Jeter said.

Jordan has successfully transitioned from playing to owning. He could help Jeter.

But Jeter reportedly wants control of the Marlins without contributing too much money. What are the odds Jordan has, or eventually develops, similar aspirations?