Memo to Dwight Howard, Stan Van Gundy, Phil Jackson, Matt Barnes, Rasheed Wallace and anyone else trying not to get fined while criticizing the referees:
Follow Mark Cuban’s lead. The Dallas Mavericks owner went with the use of code words rather than just come out and say the officiating sucked. Here, from the ESPNDallas:
“I’m proud of our guys, the way they kept on fighting back. I’m not so proud of the NBA. I’m not proud of my inability over the last 10 years to have the impact like I want to have, so I kind of feel like I owe fans an apology,” Cuban told ESPNDallas.com. “But, that’s just the way this business goes. But, congratulations to the Spurs.”
Just a note of clarification, a personal little pet peeve of mine in that quote, the line “Cuban told ESPN Dallas”: Cuban did not tell that to ESPNDallas, he told it to every member of the media there in a big media scrum in the hallway. There were 20 or so media members there. It was broadcast on NBATV. The hot thing in journalism now is to take comments made to every available member of the media and say “as told to ProBasketballTalk” or whatever, but it’s misleading. It tries to sound exclusive when it’s not. Okay, stepping down off the soapbox now.
Cuban was smart, you just need to be able to read through the lines to get his meaning. He also refused to elaborate on his comments, not that he needed to. He was pissed about the officiating, but he has tried to work on that on a macro level. He has tried to change the way the officials are instructed, trained, monitored and assigned. So he put the blame on the big picture, not the night’s referees, and avoids a fine that way. While still saying the same thing.
Problem is, the referees were not the reason the Mavericks were down 22 in the first half. And that is why they lost the game, not the referees.
The 76ers offered Jimmy Butler a five-year max contract, according to Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports. However, Adrian Wojnarowski reported Philadelphia wasn’t offering Butler a five- or even four-year max deal.
What explains the discrepancy?
Zach Lowe of ESPN:
But on June 30, there was no five-year maximum offer for Butler, multiple sources say.
That doesn’t explicitly say the 76ers offered Butler a five-year max earlier, but it intentionally leaves the possibility wide open. After all, when Philadelphia traded for Butler in the final year of his contract, everyone knew he expected a max contract. He said so himself. After early tension, the 76ers still expressed desire to re-sign Butler. As free agency neared, they kept sending those signals.
Maybe Philadelphia had second thoughts about paying Butler so much. There are reasonable concerns. But it’d be odd if the 76ers went so far down the road toward re-signing Butler only to reverse course at the last moment because of internal evaluations. That assessment could have been made earlier.
Al Horford unexpectedly became available, and Philadelphia used Butler’s vacated cap space to sign him. With Butler and the capped-out Heat wanting him in Miami, the 76ers also leveraged another good player – Josh Richardson – in a sign-and-trade. Perhaps, once realizing it was an option, Philadelphia just preferred Horford and Richardson to Butler (and retaining J.J. Redick‘s Bird Rights). That’d be simple enough.
Whatever happened, I bet it’s the crux of the secret story Butler recently alluded to.
Nets forward Kevin Durant said, “The cool thing now is not the Knicks.”
Brooklyn is cool.
So, the Nets are getting more overt about connecting to the image of their borough. After wearing Notorious B.I.G.-inspired uniforms with Coogi-sweater-style trim, Brooklyn is slapping “Bed-Stuy” – the neighborhood brought to mass popularity by Biggie, Jay-Z and others – onto its jerseys.
I can’t decide whether these jerseys are actually cool or trying too hard to be cool.
Also, the Nets apparently aren’t daunted by a Coogi lawsuit.
SALT LAKE CITY — Wataru “Wat” Misaka, the first non-white player to play in the league that was the predecessor to the NBA, has died. He was 95.
Misaka played three games for the New York Knicks during the 1947-48 season in the Basketball Association of America. He was the league’s first player of of Japanese descent.
A 2008 documentary called “Transcending: The Wat Misaka Story” told the story of what Misaka went through as a trailblazing athlete.
Misaka attended a 2013 Utah Jazz game to watch Jeremy Lin play.
The University of Utah athletic department said in a news release Thursday that Misaka died Wednesday in Salt Lake City. He grew up in Ogden, Utah.
Mikasa was the point guard on the Utah team that won the NCAA Tournament in 1944 and the NIT in 1947.
If you missed this because Reggie Miller’s color commentary makes you reach for the mute button, nobody would blame you. It’s something we all feel the need to do.
However, doing it Thursday night during the Pelicans’ win over the Suns would have caused you to miss Miller doing some actual reporting on the return of Zion Williamson, saying sources tell him the rookie is on track to return in “mid-December.”
If your first reaction is “I trust Reggie Miller’s reporting as much as the Weekly World News” you would generally be correct.
But in this case we may want to listen. First, Miller does talk to GMs, coaches, and front office types. Second, what he says fits the already established timeline for Williamson’s return from knee surgery, which was “around or before Christmas.” This is not breaking news so much as a confirmation of what we already know.
Williamson certainly makes the Pelicans more dynamic, more athletic, plus much more entertaining and watchable. The sooner we get him back on the court, the better for all of us.