Dan Feldman

Charles Oakley: ‘I’m not an alcoholic’

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Knicks owner James Dolan went on the radio and, piggybacking the team’s initial statement, suggested Charles Oakley has alcohol and/or anger issues. Oakley acknowledged drinking before reaching Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, but said that didn’t impact his ejection and arrest.

What role does alcohol play in Oakley’s life?

Marc Berman of the New York Post:

Oakley continues to help fight alcoholism in supporting his friend, ex-Net Jayson Williams, and assisting at treatment centers in Florida.

“Dolan might think because I go to volunteer at Rebound Institute treatment centers with Jayson that I’m a client,’’ Oakley told The Post. “I’m just supporting the amazing work Jayson is doing. I’m not an alcoholic, but Jayson is.’’

If Dolan truly believed Oakley has an alcohol problem, publicly diagnosing and discussing it would be shameful. If Dolan didn’t believe Oakley has an alcohol problem, accusing him of that would also be shameful.

No matter anything else, Dolan is wrong for making this a battleground in his public feud with the former Knicks forward.

NBA: Clippers got away with two key fouls late in win over Knicks

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
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The Charles Oakley drama distracted from the actual basketball game at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, though the predictable result did little to generate intrigue anyway: The 32-21 Clippers beat the 22-32 Knicks.

However, with correct officiating down the stretch, New York might have pulled the upset.

The Knicks were shortchanged four late free throws due to incorrectly uncalled fouls in their 119-115 loss, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report.

DeAndre Jordan blocked Derrick Rose‘s shot, but the Clippers center should’ve been whistled for a shooting foul with 1:03 left, per the league:

Jordan (LAC) makes contact to Rose’s (NYK) face during his drive to the basket.

A correct call would’ve meant two free throws for Rose, who’s shooting 87% from the line this season and 82% for his career.

We’ll never know how the game would’ve proceeded if Rose went to the line, but the Knicks trailed by three when Kristaps Porzingis should’ve drawn an Austin Rivers loose-ball foul while attempting to grab an offensive rebound with 10.2 seconds left, according to the league:

Rivers (LAC) makes contact to Porzingis’ (NYK) arm as he attempts to tip the rebound in.

Because the Knicks were in the penalty, a correct call would’ve meant two free throws for Porzingis, who’s shooting 78% on free throws this season and 81% for his career.

Instead, New York had to intentionally foul, and the Clippers added another free throw to reach their final four-point lead.

NBA: Wizards got go-ahead free throws in win over Nets on missed call

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After a questionable call late in the Wizards’ win over the Nets on Wednesday, John Wall started to argue. But he then bit his tongue, figuring, “Why just keep giving up money?

Another reason Wall should have turned silent: Washington had just gotten a far more favorable call earlier in overtime.

With the game tied, Otto Porter drew a Bojan Bogdanovic shooting foul with 1:21 left and then sank both free throws. But that whistle shouldn’t have been blown, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

Bogdanovic (BKN) makes legal contact with the ball.

The teams exchanged scores, but with the Wizards still up two and the shot clock and game clock nearly synced, Brooklyn had to begin intentionally fouling. Washington then pulled away for a 114-110 win.

Should Thunder fans cheer or boo Kevin Durant? Russell Westbrook: ‘It’s up to them’

AP Photo/Ben Margot
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Kevin Durant seems to know what he’s in for when he returns to Oklahoma City with the Warriors tomorrow.

But Russell Westbrook isn’t egging on Thunder fans.

Erik Horne of The Oklahoman:

When asked if he cares whether he cares if Chesapeake Energy Arena cheers or boos Durant on Saturday night, Westbrook said “it’s up to them what they want to do.

“Obviously, Kevin’s done a lot for Oklahoma City and our team when he was here, so it’s kinda up to them,” Westbrook said. “It doesn’t really matter to me one way or another.

“It’s a basketball game, and we’ve gotta go out and compete.”

Durant is getting booed like nothing you’ve heard in years, maybe ever. Nothing Westbrook could’ve said would’ve changed that.

Mostly, I’m surprised to see Westbrook say anything positive about Durant after taking oh so, so, so, so, so, so, so many shots at his former teammate.

 

Alex Len suspended, three others fined for Suns-Grizzlies fight

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Troy Daniels, Tyler Ulis and Marquese Chriss did most of the pushing and shoving. Devin Booker did most of the trash-talking.

Alex Len paid the biggest price.

NBA release:

Phoenix Suns center Alex Len has been suspended one game without pay for leaving the bench area and entering the playing court during an altercation, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

In addition, Suns guard Tyler Ulis and forward Marquese Chriss and Memphis Grizzlies guard Troy Daniels have each been fined $15,000 for their roles in the altercation, which took place with 1:10 remaining in the fourth quarter of Memphis’ 110-91 win over Phoenix at FedEx Forum on Feb. 8.

Len will serve his suspension tonight when the Suns host the Chicago Bulls at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Len is the unfortunate victim of a well-intended and effective rule that sometimes reaches further than ideal. In the name of avoiding escalation, the league simply suspends anyone who leaves the bench during a fight — even someone like Len, who was clearly trying to deescalate the incident. Already-scrapping players don’t always immediately know why someone is running toward them, and it’s better to limit the numbers involved. Len should have known better.

Everyone else gets off fairly light — especially Booker, whose jawing with Daniels got this skirmish rolling.