C.J. McCollum: ‘I hate’ 44-minute game


The NBA’s plan to experiment with a 44-minute game hasn’t met much resistance.

Sure, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki and Erik Spoelstra said the focus should be on the number of games, not their length. But none of the three categorically dismissed a 44-minute game.

Michael Jordan endorsed a 48-minute game, because get off my lawn. That’s not a helpful argument, though.

The idea of a 44-minute game was met with something between a shoulder shrug and finger pointed at the real issue.

Except to Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum.

You probably won’t find someone a player vocally opposed to 44-minute games.

McCollum, via Peter Socotch of CSN Northwest:

“As of right now I hate it,” he said. “I’m a guy who comes off the bench. That’s just diminishing our role even more. Teams look to play their starters as much as possible. The shorter the game, obviously, it’s more the starters play, which means it’s less that the reserves play, which means we’re less valuable, which means we get paid less, pretty soon we’ll be out of the league. So I’m not in favor of it.”

“When you’re a starter, you play “x” amount of minutes, so you’re going to get paid regardless.”

McCollum makes a good point. Even though games would be eight percent shorter, teams won’t cut everyone’s minutes by eight percent. They’ll keep their starters at the same level and reduce the reserves’ playing time.

That means bench players are less important, which means the gap between their pay and the starters’ will rise.

You can see why McCollum, a fringe rotation player depending on the team he were on, wouldn’t like that. You can see why a lot of players wouldn’t like that.

There are more reserves than starters in the NBA, something the National Basketball Players Association should keep in mind as the league considers altering its game length. (If I thought the NBA were devious, I might wonder whether a 44-minute game was proposed with the intent of dividing the union as the impending 2017 lockout/strike approaches.)

Kyrie Irving (shoulder) out for Nets-Pacers

Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Kyrie Irving missed the Nets’ win over the Bulls on Saturday.

He’s not healthy enough to play the Pacers tonight.

Nets public relations:

Kyrie Irving (right shoulder impingement) is OUT.

Brooklyn (5-7) lags behinds Indiana (7-6) in the Eastern Conference’s middle morass. The Nets must try to catch up in the playoff race without their best player.

But it’s a long season. Brooklyn has plenty of time to gain ground. Spencer Dinwiddie is capable in relief, and the unselfish Nets can create ball movement while Dinwiddie rests.

I’m more concerned about next week. A segment of Brooklyn’s schedule:

  • Nov. 24 at Knicks
  • Nov. 25 at Cavaliers
  • Nov. 27 at Celtics

That’s the team Irving spurned in free agency, the team Irving requested a trade from and the team Irving just left after pledging to re-sign. Those are juicy matchups. Hopefully, Irving is healthy enough to play in all three.

Ray Allen says he would’ve returned to Celtics if they signed Kevin Durant in 2016

Elsa/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Ray Allen left the Celtics on bad terms in 2012. He finished his career with the Heat in 2014.

But Allen apparently could have come back with Boston in 2016… if Kevin Durant signed there first.

Allen, via Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston:

“I had a conversation with (Ainge) and I told him this was my last-ditch effort. I would’ve went back,” Allen said on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria” radio show.

“This was when Kevin Durant was a free agent. He was thinking about going to Boston. And I said, ‘Hey, if you guys land Kevin, I would certainly look at lacing them back up one more time and try to make something good happen here in Boston.’ “

This is a fascinating “what if?” – for the Celtics on the court and for Allen’s legacy in Boston.

But it also probably didn’t come close to happening. Durant said his top two choices in 2016 free agency were the Warriors and Thunder. Even Allen himself said he never neared a comeback.

Still, it’s interesting – after all the animosity – Allen even spoke to Celtics president Danny Ainge about returning.

European coach berates his players: ‘You’re good guys. F— you’ (video)

Mikhail Serbin/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images
1 Comment

Remember Luigi Datome? He spent a couple seasons with the Pistons and Celtics.

He makes an appearance in this wild video featuring Fenerbahce coach Zeljko Obradovic (warning: profanity):

A partial transcript the best I could muster:



Festivus isn’t for another month, but someone is already ready for the airing of grievances.

Report: Rockets waiving Ryan Anderson

Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images
1 Comment

To facilitate a trade from the Rockets to the Suns last summer, Ryan Anderson reduced the guarantee of his 2019-20 salary by $5,620,885. Anderson barely played in Phoenix, got traded to the Heat, barely played in Miami and got waived. He again signed with the Rockets this summer.

Now, after barely playing in Houston, Anderson will continue his odyssey elsewhere.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Anderson was guaranteed $500,000 on his minimum-salary contract this season. By the time he clears waivers, he will have earned $434,704. So, assuming Anderson goes unclaimed, Houston will be on the hook for the remaining $65,296.

This might end the career of the 31-year-old Anderson. Once a premier stretch four, he no longer stands out in a league where 3-point shooting has become a common skill for power forwards. He’s also a major defensive liability.