Dan Feldman

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 12: Gold medalist basketball player Kevin Durant of the United States acknowledges the crowd during a game between Pittsburgh Steelers and the Washington Redskins FedExField on September 12, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Kevin Durant booed by some at Redskins game (video)


Kevin Durant was among the Washington-area Olympians honored at last night’s Redskins game.

But not everyone in the crowd – sure to contain Wizards fans – was inclined to cheer Durant. Some even went to the other extreme.

JP Finlay of CSN Mid-Atlantic:

Wizards fans preemptively booed Durant in Washington before he signed with the Wizards. Seeing Durant actually spurn his hometown team didn’t soothe any hurt feelings.

Maybe a few boos were always inevitable in a large crowd. But it’s still surprising to hear anyone so aggrieved that they’ll boo Durant while he’s be celebrated for winning a gold medal for the USA.

Perhaps, Durant knew something when he sulked inside for two days after choosing Golden State.

NCAA follows NBA out of North Carolina

Michael Jordan
AP Photo/Chuck Burton

The NBA fancies itself an instrument of social change more than is probably accurate, but the league definitely led here.

No, the NBA wasn’t the first business to remove money from North Carolina after the state passed its infamous anti-gay bill. But the NBA publicly denouncing the law then moving the 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte sent strong messages. The popularity of sports offers a platform to bring light to a cause – especially when the league’s stance is backed by current players, former players and coaches.

The NCAA followed the NBA’s lead, pulling its championship events from North Carolina.

North Carolina, Duke, North Carolina State, Wake Forest and numerous lower-level teams still play in the state. The Hornets aren’t leaving Charlotte. Practical realities exist.

But the message – bellowed by the NBA and now others – to North Carolina is clear: Choose between economic activity and discriminating against your citizens.

Report: Mitch McGary’s problems more peculiar than just failed marijuana test

Oklahoma City Thunder Media Day
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Mitch McGary tested positive for marijuana in college. The Thunder center has apparently violated the NBA’s marijuana policy four times.

But the latest infraction was different than at least the first.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The violation isn’t believed to be another positive test, but rather a failure to live up to procedural guidelines set forth in the program, league sources said.

McGary’s career is in peril because of his inability to maintain a lifestyle that’ll allow him to play in the NBA. McGary left the Thunder for the final few weeks of the season for what the franchise termed “personal reasons.” McGary essentially left the team on his own, league sources said.

What is going on here? Are these problems all related to marijuana? Did McGary skip a test – an automatic violation – because he knew he’d fail it anyway? Are there deeper issues?

McGary is just 24 , and he’s in the third (and final guaranteed) season of his low-paying rookie scale contract. The Thunder won’t get an asset for him, but there appeared to be a chance he could stick in the league – either after a trade that’s primarily a salary dump, claimed off waivers or signed after clearing waivers.

But not like this. McGary isn’t nearly good enough for a team to invite these issues.

Report: NBA suspends Mitch McGary another 10 games, bringing total to 15

2014 Oklahoma City Thunder Media Day
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Everything we understood about Mitch McGary is still true.

It’s just a little more.

Suspended, likely finished with the Thunder.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The initial five-game suspension matched a third marijuana violation. An additional 10 games matches a fourth marijuana violation.

McGary entered the NBA to avoid a one-year NCAA suspension for marijuana. Since, he apparently hasn’t followed his own advice.

He also hasn’t contributed much in Oklahoma City. The Thunder traded for Joffrey Lauvergne, giving them a more viable big man and 16 players – one more than the regular-season roster limit – with guaranteed salaries.

The odd man out is even clearer now.

2014 second-rounder DeAndre Daniels signs with Italian team rather than Raptors

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 15:  DeAndre Daniels of the Wildcats looks to pass the ball against Cedric Jackson of the Breakers at Perth Arena on February 15, 2015 in Perth, Australia.  (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
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Joel Embiid is reportedly healthy. Dario Saric signed with the 76ers.

That leaves No. 27 pick Bogdan Bogdanovic and No. 37 pick DeAndre Daniels as the only players picked higher than 50 in the 2014 draft who’ve yet to play in the NBA.

Bogdanovic, whose rights are held by the Kings, impressed in the Olympics. On the other hand, Daniels – drafted by the Raptors – isn’t gaining much traction.

After spending his first pro season in Australia and his second in the D-League, Daniels signed with Italian team Pallacanestro Mantovana.

He could have signed with Toronto, which extended the required tender – a one-year contract, surely unguaranteed at the minimum, a team must offer to retain exclusive negotiating rights on a second-rounder. That would’ve meant going to training camp to compete with Fred VanVleet, Jarrod Uthoff, E.J. Singler Yanick Moreira and Drew Crawford for the Raptors final regular-season roster spot.

Daniels making the team obviously would’ve been his best-case scenario. But even getting waived would’ve allowed him to become an NBA free agent before heading overseas.

As is, even if he plays his way up to NBA-caliber in Europe, he can sign in the NBA only with the Raptors (unless they trade him).

Daniels has battled injury since leaving Connecticut, and maybe he realized he wasn’t ready to beat out VanVleet and Uthoff. Perhaps, it was prudent to secure the deal in Italy rather than what might have been available overseas come October.

But with Toronto having fewer guaranteed salaries than regular-season roster spots, this might have been the year to try out for the team – and at least open other NBA doors if waived.

While a questionable decision by Daniels, this is a win for the Raptors. They maintain his exclusive negotiating rights among NBA teams – without paying him or using a roster spot on him.

Of course, that matters only if Daniels eventually belongs in the NBA, and this indicates he doesn’t yet feel he does.