Kurt Helin

John Henson ejected for taunting after blocking Matt Barnes, then Barnes chases him down tunnel


League disciplinarian Kiki Vandeweghe is going to be busy watching film tonight. A suspension for Matt Barnes and maybe some other fines coming from this one.

The game was over, there were less than 10 seconds left and Milwaukee was ahead of short-handed Memphis by 10. The Grizzlies had the ball, but usually a player just dribbles it out, hands it to the referee, and starts getting ready to go to the club.

Matt Barnes, who had scored 18 first quarter points, decided he was going to take one last shot, drove into the lane and shot a little floater — and John Henson rejected it.

Then Henson mean mugged.

Henson was ejected for taunting. He was good with that, high-fiving fans and throwing his jersey to them as he left the arena.

An ejection was not enough for Barnes — he eventually chased Henson down the tunnel. Watch Grizzlies’ coach Dave Joerger try to hold Barnes and call security over before Barnes breaks free and goes running after Henson.

Barnes got all the way to the Bucks locker room but did not find Henson.

Barnes is going to get a multi-game suspension for this. Henson may be writing a check to the league. Ke

Markieff Morris ejected after flagrant-2 foul on Isaiah Canaan


The Wizards were getting frustrated. They had led Thursday night’s game by 24, but the Sixers had made a comeback and were making it a game.

Markieff Morris took it a step too far. The Sixers’ Isaiah Canaan was on a breakaway and Morris raced up with the chance to challenge the shot, but instead, he ended up hitting Canaan in the head.

Intentional or not, it was a blow to the head and that’s an automatic ejection. Morris may see a fine for that.

The Wizards held on to win, 99-94, another needed victory in their efforts to make the playoffs in the East.

Dunks, blocks, Hassan Whiteside putting on show against Hornets


This is why Hassan Whiteside is going to become a very wealthy man this summer.

He’s a big with ridiculous athleticism and hops, and while he doesn’t have a lot of offensive moves he can finish the alley-oop with the best of them.

And of course, he can block shots, just ask Frank Kaminsky. The Hornets’ rookie had backed down Justice Winslow and went up for the shot, but Whiteside marked it return it to sender.

It wasn’t enough, Charlotte beat Miami 109-106, in a battle of teams that could climb to the three seed.

AP Source: NBA free agent moratorium to be 5 days shorter this summer

DeAndre Jordan
Associated Press
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MIAMI (AP) — A person with knowledge of the decision says the NBA and its players have agreed to shorten this summer’s free-agent moratorium by five days.

The moratorium will run from July 1-6. Teams were alerted to the change on Thursday, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither side discussed the move publicly.

Until now, the moratorium was scheduled to run through July 11, with players and teams able to execute new deals at 12:01 a.m. on July 12. The moratorium exists in large part to allow the league time to calculate the exact amount of the salary cap and luxury-tax figure for the coming season.

Players and teams can agree to deals during the moratorium, but they cannot be signed.

Last season, DeAndre Jordan verbally agreed to play for Dallas early in the moratorium, but changed his mind by the end and re-signed with the Clippers.

Kevin Durant on Oklahoma City: “It’s been great so far. I love the city.”

Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka
Associated Press
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The most likely outcome next fall is that Kevin Durant is pulling an Oklahoma City Thunder jersey over his head.

We know he likes the city of Boston. And that his people have done their due diligence on Golden State (many around the league think that could happen). We know that Miami, San Antonio, Washington, New York, the LA Lakers, and every other team in the NBA would like to make their pitch to Durant.

But Oklahoma City has always been the shortest odds. Both because Durant likes it and is comfortable there, and because it is already an elite team with another Top 5 player.

After days of being asked about other destinations, Durant was honest about loving OKC in an interview with Bloomberg, (as transcribed by Erik Horne of the Oklahoman).

“It’s been great so far. I love the city. As far as being marketable, with social media and how things are going nowadays, you can be marketable anywhere. I’ve gotten everything that I’ve wanted to get while being in Oklahoma City; that’s never the problem. I just enjoy playing the game of basketball.”

But could he make more money in marketing and endorsements in a big city?

“It’s easy to think like that when you hear it a lot, but like I said it comes back to loving the game for what I started it for as a kid, which was just to have fun. I’m blessed enough that if I work hard enough I can make the money that I want to make, but I’ve made so much in my career already that I can take care of my family, and it’s all about having fun playing with great people and being around great people every single day. That’s more important to me.”

Durant is thinking about his legacy — he wants to win. Now. That’s part of what drives the idea of Golden State and nixes ideas like the Lakers or Knicks. Durant can make more money in salary in Oklahoma City, but if it’s about the money he’ll sign a two-year contract with the Thunder, with an opt-out after one (the same kind LeBron James signed this summer), then he can use that opt-out and the summer of 2017 Durant can get a larger slice of an even higher salary cap.

If Durant is going to open up the door and listen to pitches from other teams question he’s going to ask himself is this: Where do I stand a better chance of winning a ring than Oklahoma City? And that’s going to eliminate a lot of places that think they are in the hunt.

Ultimately, the answer may be “there’s no place like home.” And we don’t mean Washington D.C.