<span class="vcard">Kurt Helin</span>

Festus Ezeli

Warriors’ Festus Ezeli suspended one game for grabbing Tyler Hansbrough’s throat

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If you grab a player by the throat, you’re going to get a suspension.

That’s what Warriors’ big man Festus Ezeli did in his first game back from injury Friday night against the Raptors. Late in the third quarter Ezeli and Tyler Hansbrough battled for rebound position, they started to head back up the court and, likely after some words were exchanged, Ezeli turned and grabbed Hansbrough by the throat. The two squared off, but people got in the way before any punches were thrown, as is the NBA way.

The league came out Saturday and announced Ezeli was suspended one game. He will sit out Sunday vs. the Celtics.

Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr had planned to rest center Andrew Bogut on Sunday but now may have to change those plans, reports Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com.

Current, former players react to death of Anthony Mason

New York Knicks v Golden State Warriors
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He was self-made. He was tough. He took no guff from anybody. He was New York.

Anthony Mason will be missed. The popular former Knick, who also spent time with Miami and other teams, passed away Saturday following a battle with heart issues.

Players current and former have gone to Twitter to express their sadness at the passing.

Russell Westbrook takes knee to face, it leaves dent (VIDEO)

Russell Westbrook
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With 2.5 seconds left in the game and his Thunder down three to the Trail Blazers, Russell Westbrook drew a foul in the act of shooting and got three free throws. Hit them all and overtime was likely, but he missed the first one. He made the second then intentionally tried to miss the third (it bounced in), and as he took that final shot he charged forward trying to get the rebound.

Westbrook fell to the floor and while trying to get back up was incidentally kneed in the head by teammate Andre Roberson.

After that, there was a visible dent in Westbrook’s head. You can see it in this photo.

source: AP
Russell Westbrook

Westbrook was evaluated by doctors after the game but did not speak to the media.

There are concerns the dent could be the sign if something more serious, reports Royce Young of ESPN.

Former All-Star, popular Knick Anthony Mason dies at age 48

Anthony mason knicks
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Anthony Mason, popular for his intensity — and being the most physical player on Pat Riley’s tough Knicks teams — has died at the age of 48.

His son Anthony Mason Jr. has confirmed the passing, providing this statement (via the New York Post).

“First I want to thank all those who offered prayers and well-wishes for my Father, our family really appreciates it. Overnight New York City and the world lost a legend, a friend, a brother but more than anything our father, Anthony Mason. As you all would expect our father – Big Mase – put up an incredible fight, dealing with a severe heart issues. I’m wishing this was something else I was writing, but Pops we’ve got to let you know we love you and know you’ll  always be with us.”

Mason had suffered multiple heart attacks on Feb. 10 and had undergone several surgeries at the time, including one lasting nine hours, according to long-time Knicks reporter Peter Vecsey. Family members said recently he had been improving. However, he was still in the hospital and unable to speak.

Mason played 13 NBA seasons but is best remembered as a fan-favorite Knick from those mid-90s teams under Pat Riley. He was a self-made player who had gone undrafted but whose game became central to the Knicks identity. His intense defense, toughness, and physicality were a big part of the team during the Patrick Ewing era. He could defend either forward position well and at times was even was asked to defend the five. Mason was named the Sixth Man of the Year in 1995.

“As a competitor, there was none fiercer than Anthony Mason,” Knicks president Phil Jackson said in a statement. “Standing on the opposite end of the playing field, coaching in those great Chicago/New York battles, No. 14 in the Orange and Blue always stood out. On behalf of the entire Knickerbocker community, our condolences go out to his family. Rest in peace, Mase.”

Eventually when Riley left for Miami he recruited Mason to join him, and it was with the Heat Mason made the All-Star Game in 2001. During his career, Mason also played for the New Jersey Nets, Denver Nuggets, Charlotte Hornets, and Milwaukee Bucks.

Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.

Langston Galloway three forces overtime, Knicks go on to victory (VIDEO)

New York Knicks v Detroit Pistons
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As Jeff Van Gundy and many other coaches like to say, it’s a make or miss league.

The Knicks’ Langston Galloway’s pull-up three was not the kind of shot any coach would recommend — a rushed, contested pull-up three from way behind the arc — but it went in.

That shot forced overtime. There was a second OT. Then Shane Larkin happened; he dropped nine in the second OT and the Knicks beat the Pistons in Detroit. Because that’s the way this season just seems to go.