It’s one of the “highlights” — and we use the term loosely — of Friday night of All-Star weekend: NBA rookies taking on NBA sophomores (officially called the Rookie Challenge). There’s a lot of showboating and not a lot of defense — basically a less interesting version of the All-Star game itself. But this year things may be different. We’re reserve our judgment on better, but different. Here are the rumblings, via Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.com.
There have been rumblings that this year’s Rookie-Sophomore game won’t pit the two draft classes against each other, but rather feature two teams with a combination of rookies and sophomores. We’re hearing that two TNT personalities – possibly Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal – will assemble the teams from the pool of selected players and coach the squads, as well. That means we could see Kyrie Irving throwing alley oops to Blake Griffin or John Wall running a fastbreak with MarShon Brooks.
All changes to such an event are made in an effort to improve the television product. So, Shaq mumbling coaching instructions and Ricky Rubio looking at his teammates and asking, “What did he say?” in much clearer English does have the potential to be a better product. And funnier. But we’ll withhold judgment. We’re not sure much of anything can save this game.
DeMar DeRozan fined $25,000 for throwing ball at ref Scott Foster
Many people would like to throw a basketball at NBA official Scott Foster — he’s not exactly the favorite of several NBA players. San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan got his chance to do exactly that this week, and he was promptly given a technical and a ejected from the game.
Now, the NBA has handed down discipline for DeRozan.
On Sunday morning, the NBA announced that they had fined DeRozan $25,000 for throwing a ball at Foster.
Things are heating up in the NBA playoffs, and emotions are running high. No doubt the referees are doing their best, but it’s not been the most impressive performance by the boys in gray thus far.
The officials will continue to face criticism as the playoffs go on, but hopefully people will calm down and cooler heads will prevail from here on out. There’s no need to throw balls or rush into the officials’ locker rooms the way DeRozan and Marks have.
Nets GM Sean Marks gets suspended for going into ref’s locker room after Game 4
Emotions are high as the playoffs move into the second week. Things got a little testy between the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night as Jared Dudley got in the face of Joel Embiid after the Sixers big man committed a hard foul on Jared Allen.
That caused Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler to respond to Dudley, who overreacted to a good, hard playoff foul by Embiid. The result of the fracas was an ejection for Butler and Dudley, and a flagrant 1 on embiid.
But apparently that’s not the end of the disciplinary process for the NBA.
Nets general manager Sean Marks went into the officials locker room after the game — no doubt to discuss what happened here — which is a big problem in the eyes of the league.
Sources: Nets and GM Sean Marks were livid over belief Embiid’s flagrant 1 fouls in Games 2/4 should’ve been deemed a 2. More than message to league with ref challenge, Marks intended to message his team on how franchise is determined to support way they're competing in series.
You set up a bonding experience with your son or daughter, one you hope will leave an impression on them and create a memory that will last a lifetime… for example, you get courtside seats, just behind the basket, for one of the first NBA playoff games in Brooklyn, ever.
Then everything hits the fan.
Joel Embiid commits a flagrant foul on Jarrett Allen, Jared Dudley rushes in and shoves Embiid to stand up for his teammate, Jimmy Butler runs in to shove Dudley on the same premise, and suddenly there is a wave of large professional athletes about to trample you and your son. So, you grab him, move onto the court, and get out of the way.
There were two fathers with the same thought, one on either side of the fracas that spills into the first row.
Unable to find a new NBA contract for this season, Andrew Bogut went home. The Australia native signed to play for the Sydney Kings in Australia’s NBL, where Bogut ended up being the league MVP and Defensive Player of the Year, leading the Kings on a deep playoff run.
When that run ended, the Golden State Warriors came calling, asking him to fill a role — a role that got much larger after DeMarcus Cousins tore his quad. Bogut has played well for the Warriors in the postseason, and there is a good chance Cousins will not be back in Golden State (the Warriors can only offer him a small raise off what he made this season, that likely will not be enough, even after the injury), so the Warriors may try to retain Bogut for next season.
“The be all and end all is that I gave my word (to the Kings)… That is basically what it comes down to…
“Someone outside of the Warriors could offer me a deal that would be pretty lucrative and a decent one-year deal, but I’m sold and locked in on coming to the Sydney Kings again to try and better what we did last season.”
Saying you’ll walk away from a lot of money and actually doing it are two different things, but Bogut is a man who stands by his word. He probably returns to Sydney for next season.
When that season ends, however, don’t be shocked to see Bogut back somewhere in the NBA helping a team make a playoff run.