Tag: Greg Oden

Adam Silver

NBA to review domestic violence policies in wake of NFL’s ugliness. It shouldn’t have taken that.


Greg Oden allegedly had a domestic assault situation last August. James Johnson was arrested on a domestic abuse charge in June and in July signed a two-year deal with the Toronto Raptors (charges against him were dropped). Former Thunder player DeAndre Liggins had an ugly domestic abuse case filed against him (he is now out of the league as well). Three other NBA players and one assistant coach had domestic abuse charges against them dropped.

That is all within the past 12 months.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver shouldn’t have needed a public scandal in another sport to make him understand that domestic violence was a serious issue and one that impacts the NBA directly. This is something the league should have taken more seriously long ago.

But the public relations disaster around the NFL and the Ray Rice case certainly caught the Commissioner’s attention. Silver spoke on Monday to announce a genuinely good New York City based NBA Cares project tied into the All-Star Game there next February (repairing a Staten Island court damage by hurricane Sandy), but when the media got to talk to him they had more serious questions and domestic violence is on that list. Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com was there.

Again, Silver doesn’t need the NFL, he can look at his own crime blotter and see the problem. There can be a culture of entitlement and being “above it all” that comes with the confidence needed to become a professional athlete, something as true for guys coming into the NBA as it is in the NFL. A discussion of domestic violence during the rookie training program is not enough.

Changes need to be made. Silver and the league needs to be more proactive than the NFL and its commissioner have been (although that’s a low bar to clear).

The NBA’s long-standing policy on all arrests and legal matters has been to let the judicial system play out then base any punishment off that outcome. Will that work anymore? (It certainly would not have been good for the NFL in the Adrian Peterson situation.) The CBA does give the NBA wide latitude if it wants on these cases. The NBA needs to be more proactive here — it can’t eliminate the situations but it needs to deal better with the ones it has. The league took no action on the cases already mentioned in this post (some charges were against players out of the league, others the charges were dropped). The problem is with the cases that were dropped (we don’t know what really happened in those situations), or in future similar situations, a player suspended without pay after an incident who then sees the charges dropped will have grounds to challenge the league. However, we also know that a lot of clear cases of abuse see the charges dropped for a variety of reasons.

Unfortunately, Silver will be put to the test on this sometime sooner rather than later. It will be interesting to see how he and the league (and teams) respond, especially if this is a name player and not just an end-of-bench guy, because there will be a much brighter spotlight on them now. Sitting back and ignoring the situation is no longer an option.

Kevin Durant has grown close with Karl Malone

Kevin Durant, Karl Malone

Kevin Durant famously declared he was sick of being second.

He’d been second behind Greg Oden in the draft, but mostly, Durant was referring to LeBron James. LeBron had beaten him once in the Finals and thrice in MVP voting.

Karl Malone also knows a little something about finishing second to the greatest player of an era. The Jazz star lost to Michael Jordan twice in the Finals and once in MVP voting.

So, Durant and Malone can relate.

Durant in Esquire:

I’ve gotten close with Karl Malone, who’s called me numerous times when he can see on TV that I’m struggling, feeling bad after a loss. He can tell.

In related news, the Wizards and Knicks are in a bidding war to hire Malone.

And-1 Links: League Pass alert — Ben McLemore is the new Pizza Guy

Isaiah Thomas pizza guy
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Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.

• League Pass alert:

(For those of you confused, let me explain. One of the joys of the NBA League Pass that brings you all the NBA games is it uses local broadcasts, which means you get local commercials. Some of those are just classically bad. One of the League Pass regulars’ favorites — including mine — was Isaiah Thomas in Sacramento as the spokesman for Pizza Guy. Just great ads. Then Thomas went to Phoenix this summer. Now McLemore is the new Pizza Guy. This is big.)

• If you haven’t read the scouting report that got Danny Ferry in trouble, here you go.

• You know that whole week off the NBA is taking around the All-Star Break? It means every team has another one or two back-to-backs this year. That is not good for the game ($$ story).

• Nick Young’s girlfriend pop star Iggy Azalea is better at trick shots than you:

• Jamal Crawford got married this summer and Sir Mix-a-Lot performed at the wedding. What else did you expect?

• Former NBA player Keyon Dooling writes about the abuse he suffered as a child and his recovery. Powerful stuff.

Jalen Rose still has an issue with Chris Webber (and he talks about other stuff, too).

• Veteran Caron Butler wants to lead the young Pistons team this year.

• It’s hard to see a way that Greg Oden is back in the NBA anytime soon. If ever.

• If you missed it from last month, Adidas decorated the Great Wall of China for John Wall.

• The City of Charlotte is pumping in $33.5 million for arena upgrades. Because that’s what city funds should go for (*cough*).

• Former NBA player Jonny Flynn signed with the Italian team Orlandina Basket.

• Former NBA guard Sundiata Gaines signed with Sidigas Avellino in Italy.

• Devin Ebanks inked a contract with Herzliya of the Ligat HaAl.

• Chris Bosh enjoys his celebrity.