No big three era in Boston? No banners at The Garden since 1986?
According to former Warriors GM Chris Mullin, it almost worked out that way because he was on the cusp of a trade that would have brought Kevin Garnett to the “We Believe” Warriors until one of the worst owners in NBA history killed the deal.
“It was basically done,” Mullin says. “I was doing an extension with [agent] Andy Miller on Kevin Garnett’s deal. KG liked Baron enough, and we had talked enough. He said, ‘Yo, I’ll do it.'”
A 2007 draft-night three-team deal with the Timberwolves and Charlotte (then the Bobcats) would’ve sent Garnett to the Warriors, Richardson to the Bobcats and picks and talent to the Timberwolves. It fell apart, Mullin says, when then-Warriors owner Chris Cohan dragged his feet and ultimately said no….
“We were making moves to get KG, and then we traded J-Rich for Brandan Wright,” says Matt Barnes, one of the few players aware of Mullin’s plan at the time. “We won more games, but it just wasn’t the same anymore. It all shifted so quickly. The magic was gone.”
This can lead to a lot of fan fiction NBA, what might have been different. Could KG have motivated the mercurial Davis, who at his best was brilliant but was never motivated to bring it — or put in the work needed to bring it — nightly? Would it have mattered with the Kobe Bryant/Pau Gasol Lakers who both won the West (65 games) and the NBA title? What would Boston have done had KG not joined Paul Pierce and Ray Allen?
The one thing this should remind us? Cohan was the second worst owner of his era (Donald Sterling still takes that honor) and Warriors fans should appreciate what they have now because of the desert they went through to get there.
The game had just started and when he got the ball the eyes of every Heat defender was on Devin Booker because, well, who else on the Suns do you actually fear? Exactly.
That gave Marquese Chriss room to cut backdoor, get the alley-oop pass, and finish it with the reverse — and make it look like he wasn’t even trying.
Miami went on to the comfortable 112-97 win. That combined with both Detroit and Chicago losing has the Heat as the eighth seed in the East for the day, one up on the Pistons and two games ahead of the Bulls.
Three Things We Learned Tuesday: Robin Lopez, Serge Ibaka exchange punches, but Raptors have more fight than Bulls
If you missed Tuesday’s NBA action because you were getting a neck massage from a python, well, we question your judgment. But, we’ve also got you covered, here are the biggest takeaways from a night around the Association.
1) Robin Lopez, Serge Ibaka exchange punches in a brawl, then Raptors punch Bulls in the mouth with comeback win. Most NBA “fights” consist of a push and some posturing, others step in to make sure the two guys — who don’t really want to fight — don’t have to back up their words. Technicals are handed out, and everyone gets back to the game.
However, what started as a rather innocent play of Toronto’s Serge Ibaka and Chicago’s Robin Lopez battling for rebounding positioning, followed by a little bump in the back, escalated quickly into an actual punches thrown brawl in the third quarter of the Bulls’ visit to the Raptors Tuesday night.
The two were fighting for position, even after the ball went through the hoop, and Ibaka seems to hit Lopez in the back with a little bit of an elbow (and Lopez has back issues), which appears to set everything off. Lopez’s punch missed, while Ibaka’s caught Lopez in the hair, not the body.
This is the exact moment Serge Ibaka punched straight through Robin Lopez's hair and I cannot stop laughing. pic.twitter.com/4t9Rwy2tmA
Both men got technicals, were ejected, and can expect a suspension from the league for this one. Also, the Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic and Raptors assistant coach Jamaal Magloire got technicals for a separate shoving match after the main fight.
Notice the score in the video above when the fight took place late in the third, the Bulls were firmly in control of the game. The Bulls carried a similar lead into midway through the fourth when DeMar DeRozan sparked a 15-0 Raptors’ run that made it a game. Eventually, that went to overtime, where an 8-0 Toronto run that gave them the win. DeRozan finished with 42 points, Jimmy Butler had 37 for the Bulls.
It’s a big win for the Raptors, who are now half a game back of the Wizards for the three seed in the East (the three seed means avoiding Cleveland in the first round). For Chicago, the loss combined with a Miami win has the Bulls two games out of the playoffs in the East.
2) Bulls’ GM Jerry Krause passes away at the age of 77, deserves better than his public reputation. Jerry Krause will forever be haunted by a comment that he argued was taken way out of context.
“Players and coaches don’t win championships. Organizations win championships.”
He got the blame in a lot of quarters for breaking up the six-time champion Chicago Bulls of Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson, when the fact is Krauss deserves plenty of credit for those six titles. On one side there was Jordan, who intimidated everyone on and off the court to get his way, while Jackson manipulated everyone around him to get what he wanted. Krauss stood up to both of them — Krauss traded Jordan’s pal Charles Oakley to get Bill Cartwright because he knew Chicago needed that style of big man. Krauss was not always right, but the guy Jordan nicknamed “crumbs” — because whatever he ate still seemed to be on his shirt — had the fortitude to stand up to Jordan when few did.
Krauss inherited Jordan, but MJ didn’t win those titles alone, and it was Krauss who put Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, John Paxson, B. J. Armstrong, Cartwright, Ron Harper, Dennis Rodman, Toni Kukoc, Luc Longley and Steve Kerr around Jordan. Krauss helped build those teams, and he deserves credit for that. Krauss is up for the Hall of Fame as a contributor, I don’t know if he gets in, but he certainly contributed to all those titles in Chicago.
3) The Warriors route the Mavericks on way to fifth straight win. Are we done worrying about the Warriors now? Kevin Durant got hurt right as the team hit its toughest part of the schedule, Stephen Curry‘s legs were heavy, and his shot was off, and the team with the best record in the NBA stumbled for a bit. Then they got to go home for a week, play three games against teams at .500 or below, and suddenly they look like their old selves again.
Golden State picked up its fifth straight win Tuesday night with a 112-87 route of the Mavericks in Dallas. Maybe Seth Curry summed it up best when asked if it was fun to start at point opposite his brother Stephen, and he said yes, until the game tipped off. Stephen outscored Seth 17-10, if you’re counting.
The win keeps the Warriors 2.5 games up on San Antonio for the best record in the NBA. Considering the Warriors have a slightly easier schedule the rest of the way, it’s hard to see them blowing that lead.
Damian Lillard drops John Henson to floor with crossover (VIDEO)
Midway through the fourth quarter Tuesday night, Portland’s Damian Lillard brought the ball up, got the high pick from Noah Vonleh, which forced John Henson to switch onto Lillard. Henson has no shot at guarding Lillard in space, and the crossover literally makes Henson trip over his own feet and hit the floor.
The Bucks went on to win the game 93-90 when Lillard missed a couple of threes and got his shot blocked at the rim too in the final minute.
This is why you roll the dice on 10-day contracts. Most of the time it just helps fill a roster space, but sometimes you might find something that fits with what you do.
The Lakers may have found a keeper in David Nwaba, and after his second 10-day had expired the team signed him to a two-year deal, the Lakers announced Tuesday. It goes through the rest of this season and has a team option for the next one.
“We have been impressed by David’s focus and determination, especially on defense,” said Lakers GM Rob Pelinka. “He has a mentality about him that is infectious, and he works hard every day to improve himself. He has brought energy to both our Lakers and D-Fenders games, and has certainly earned his spot on the roster.”
Nwaba is an L.A. native who attended University High in West Los Angeles, then Santa Monica Community College, then finished his college ball up the coast at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He’s averaged 3.6 points in 14.4 minutes per game with the Lakers.