Dan Feldman

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 07:  Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates with Marreese Speights #5, Draymond Green #23, and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors after he made a three-point basket against the Indiana Pacers at ORACLE Arena on January 7, 2015 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)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Marreese Speights seemingly says he was misquoted on Draymond Green, writer says he has audio

3 Comments

Clippers center Marreese Speights, who played for the Warriors the last few years, offered insight into Draymond Green and Klay Thompson for Ethan Sherwood Strauss’ fantastic feature on Green:

“Draymond f—ed up practice and s—,” then-Warriors center Marreese Speights says. “Draymond’s a good guy, but I think at the end of the day, it hurt the whole chemistry of the year.” One player in particular, he says, took much of the heat: “Draymond and Klay got into it a lot.” (Thompson declined to comment for this story.

A code of conduct exists within the NBA. Some yelling is expected, but vets do not accept frequent Bobby Knight — style haranguings from younger players. Or, as Speights puts it, “Guys don’t respect you if you yell at them in front of all these fans. We’re not trying to lose the game. F — .”

Shortly after that was published, Speights tweeted:

Usual caveat: We don’t know what Speights’ vague tweets refer to.

If Speights is talking about these quotes, Strauss confirmed to me he recorded them and fact checkers listened to the audio before the story was published.

Maybe this is my bias both as a journalist and someone who knows Strauss, but I believe Strauss. I don’t think mainstream sports reporters are in the habit of making up quotes and attributing them to specific famous people. I also don’t think Ethan would be foolish enough to double down if he weren’t certain the audio verified the quotes.

Report: Marcus Smart to miss couple weeks, including Celtics’ season opener

2 Comments

Celtics guard Marcus Smart injured his ankle tonight, and I ended my post on that with, “Hopefully, that’s not as bad as it looks.”

You can judge whether this qualifies.

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:

The left ankle sprain injury Marcus Smart suffered in the second quarter of Wednesday night’s game against New York is expected to keep him sidelined for a couple weeks which means he will not play in the season opener against Brooklyn next week, according to league source.

It is the same ankle that Smart has sprained before, but it doesn’t appear to be as bad an ankle sprain as the ones he has had previously.

This puts pressure on Terry Rozier to sustain the progress he appears to be making as he enters his second season, but Boston has other options behind Isaiah Thomas. Starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can play some point guard. Demetrious Jackson is relatively polished for a second-round rookie.

It’s never good to lose a player as good as Smart for any amount of time, but the Celtics’ depth positions them to handle it relatively well.

There appears to be a wide gap between the Cavaliers, Raptors and Celtics and the rest of the East. This could make a difference whether Boston finishes ahead of Toronto, and that could change home-court advantage in a second-round series.

Overall, the Celtics just lose some margin for error.

Celtics’ Marcus Smart apparently injures ankle, helped off court without putting weight on it (video)

Leave a comment

Celtics guard Marcus Smart appeared to injure his left ankle in Boston’s preseason game against the Knicks tonight. He was helped off the court without putting weight on it.

Hopefully, that’s not as bad as it looks.

Report: Timberwolves still not ready to trade Ricky Rubio. Tyus Jones, on the other hand…

DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 28:  Ricky Rubio #9 of the Minnesota Timberwolves at American Airlines Center on February 28, 2016 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
5 Comments

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said they wouldn’t trade Ricky Rubio for now.

With Rubio mentoring No. 5 pick Kris Dunn and the Kings interested in a Rubio deal, not much has changed in Minnesota for Rubio. That’s not necessarily the case for third(fourth?)-string point guard Tyus Jones.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

There is still time until the 2016 NBA draft’s fifth overall selection, Kris Dunn, takes over as the Minnesota Timberwolves’ point guard – which is why the franchise is still resisting trade overtures for Ricky Rubio, league sources told The Vertical.

The Sacramento Kings are the most determined of several teams expressing interest in finding a pathway to a Rubio deal, league sources said, but Minnesota president and coach Tom Thibodeau is reluctant to move Rubio – outside of bringing back a no-brainer package, of course – until Dunn’s progress illustrates this season that he’s ready to fully take over the team.

Thibodeau doesn’t anticipate Dunn becoming the starter until approximately 20 games into the regular season, league sources said.

Several teams – including Philadelphia and New Orleans – have shown interest in point guard Tyus Jones, 20, whom the Wolves are more open to moving in the short term, league sources said.

If 20 games into the season doesn’t qualify as “short term,” will Jones be traded tomorrow?

The Timberwolves are wise to stick with Rubio, who’s proven to be a good starting point guard. If Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine ascend quickly enough and Thibodeau’s defense takes hold, Rubio could push the team into the playoffs. Dunn probably isn’t ready for that responsibility, and it’s no given he ever will be. With three years left on Rubio’s contract and four left on Dunn’s, there’s time to gather more information.

Jones, the No. 24 pick last year, has been the odd man out, and that’s even more true since Minnesota drafted Dunn. The 76ers could use another point guard with Jerryd Bayless injured, and ditto the Pelicans with Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans both out. The Timberwolves also have the insurance of Thibodeau-favorite John Lucas III as third point guard if they deal Jones.

I wouldn’t make a lopsided deal to pry Rubio from Minnesota if the Timberwolves are inclined to keep him. But getting Jones, a smart floor general and defensive pest, cheaply? That’s appealing.

Jurors pose for photos with Derrick Rose, judge cracks Lakers joke

NBA star Derrick Rose smiles as he leaves federal court in Los Angeles Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. Jurors cleared Rose and two friends in a lawsuit that accused them of gang raping his ex-girlfriend when she was incapacitated from drugs or alcohol. The jury reached the verdict Wednesday in Los Angeles federal court after hearing dramatically different accounts of the August 2013 sexual encounter. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
AP Photo/Nick Ut
10 Comments

Derrick Rose was cleared in his civil rape trial.

Unlike other high-profile cases involving athletes, police were/are investigating Rose once information of a potential crime came to light. Rose had his day in court, evidence presented and witnesses called on his behalf and against him.

And the jury ruled in his favor. No criminal charges have been filed, and given this trial and verdict, criminal charges seem unlikely.

We’ll never know exactly what happened between Rose, Ryan Allen and Randall Hampton and Jane Doe. But I believed the verdict, barring new information, meant we should allow Rose to move on with his life without forever ever being associated with rape. That was far better than the alternative – a society that perpetually condemns someone for being accused even after a fair trial brings a favorable verdict.

Well, here’s new information.

Julia Marsh of the New York Post:

“Best wishes,” Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald told Rose. “Except when the Knicks play the Lakers,” he joked.

Joel Rubin of the Los Angeles Times:

Diana Moskovitz of Deadspin on two jurors:

Jared said he doesn’t watch sports, while John said he did but wasn’t a Rose fan. After speaking with reporters, both went back inside to get their pictures taken with Rose and his attorney Mark Baute.

At best: The jurors soberly assessed Rose’s liability and, only after determining none, felt comfortable posing for pictures with him. The judge cracked a joke only with a similar understanding.

At worst: It’s indicative of a legal system that treats famous differently and usually better.

Either way: It feels gross and makes it harder for Rose to achieve the closure he desires, even after enduring a trial that ended with a verdict in his favor.