I don’t know how many other ways to interpret a recent tweet from the legendary Laker point guard, which said that the “Lakers should think about calling the Orlando Magic.” (Johnson seems to have quickly deleted the tweet.)
Howard will be a free agent after this season, and after the Magic’s first-round exit despite some great play from Howard, who won his third consecutive Defensive Player of the Year award and had the best offensive season of his career, many believe he is not long for Orlando. The Lakers could offer Andrew Bynum, a great young center in his own right, in return, and Los Angeles would obviously be able to offer Howard both a huge market and a top-notch supporting cast. The Lakers defeated the Magic in the 2009 NBA Finals, with the key game in the series being decided when Derek Fisher hit a three-pointer to send Game 4 into overtime directly after Howard missed two free throws that could have iced the game for Orlando and tied the series at 2.
Still, neither the Lakers or the Magic appear to be itching to trade their centers right now, so these talks will probably stay dormant for a little while — which is probably why the Laker great deleted his tweet. After selling his ownership stake in the Lakers last October, Johnson is no longer officially affiliated with the team.
Clippers guard Patrick Beverley got ejected and fined for throwing the ball at Mavericks fan Don Knobler last month. Beverley’s punishment was warranted.
But what about Knobler? He admitted to insulting Beverley’s mother, though denied Beverley’s charge of profanity.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN:
Sources told ESPN that Don Knobler, a fan known for his flamboyant wardrobe who has long sat courtside at Mavericks home games, was banned from the arena for the remainder of the season after an investigation by the organization confirmed Beverley’s account of their interaction.
According to sources, fans complained that Knobler had inappropriately heckled opposing players on other occasions as well.
Good for the Mavericks for investigating. They’ve lost the benefit of the doubt on their investigations being thorough, but hopefully this one was.
Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic got ejected a few days ago for kicking the ball into the crowd, his second technical foul of the game.
That outburst also got him fined.
Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Luka Dončić has been fined $10,000 for kicking the game ball into the spectator stands, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
The incident, for which Dončić was assessed his second technical foul and ejected, occurred with 3:00 remaining in the third quarter of the Mavericks’ 111-99 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 19
Players usually get fined $25,000 for throwing something into the stands. But sometimes, they get just a $10,000 fine for that, seemingly if it appears they didn’t intend for the object to reach the crowd.
Did Doncic mean to kick the ball as far as he did?
Who knows? But it seems he got the benefit of the doubt here.
The Rockets signed Kenneth Faried, importantly to them, before their game against the 76ers yesterday. With Clint Capela injured, Houston needed another big against Joel Embiid.
But the Rockets had to open a roster spot for Faried. Their clear preference was trading Carmelo Anthony. Failing that, they’d release James Nunnally.
Houston agreed to deal Anthony to the Bulls but couldn’t complete the trade because the league office was closed, as is the norm on weekends and holidays (in this case, Martin Luther King Day). So, the Rockets dropped Nunnally, eating the remaining salary on his 10-day contract, increasing their luxury-tax bill and costing him the opportunity to play for a team that could use him.
Houston coach Mike D’Antoni, via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
“I don’t think it’s right,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said of having to terminate Nunnally. “There’s ways (the league) could have facilitated it.”
What happened to the Rockets was fair in that the rules were clear and applied equally to each team.
But I agree with D’Antoni. Games don’t stop for weekends and holidays. The league office shouldn’t, either.
Teams should have more ability to change their rosters on the fly, because games come so quickly. Halting business for weekends and holidays is antiquated. This is a global, multi-billion-dollar operation now.
The NBA can afford to employ enough people who review trades not to overwork any of them. It’d create a better product and make the sport operate more smoothly.
See, the Warriors are fallible.
Though Stephen Curry‘s mishaps coming during a blowout win undercuts the point.