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Knicks color commentator Walt Frazier: Kevin Durant will have asterisk by name

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The Clippers ousted Bruce Bowen as TV analyst after he ripped Kawhi Leonard, a player the Clippers want to sign.

Where does this leave Knicks color commentator Walt Frazier and Kevin Durant, a long-rumored Knicks target?

Frazier, as transcribed by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:

“Durant, as great a player he is, I would still hold back (giving him credit) because he joined a team that really didn’t need him,” the Knicks legend told SiriusXM NBA Radio on Tuesday. “He’s right there with LeBron, probably would’ve surpassed LeBron as the best player in the game soon, but for him doing that I still don’t give him the full credit that he probably would’ve deserved if he stayed in OKC and won a title with that team.”

Asked where Durant will land on his rankings, Frazier said, “He’s going to be down the list for me because of that. There will be an asterisk next to his name.”

Frazier is far more entrenched in New York than Bowen was in L.A. Frazier’s job is probably safe.

But these comments likely won’t endear the Knicks to Durant. His business partner – Rich Kleiman, a Knicks fan who’s often the connecting link in Durant-New York rumors – certainly took notice:

I doubt Durant would have signed with the Knicks, anyway.

That said, I could also see Durant relishing the opportunity to prove he doesn’t care about criticism. I don’t think he’d sign with the Knicks just to own the haters, but it could be a positive rather than a deterrent.

To Frazier’s point: He’s mostly wrong.

All championships have varying degrees of difficulty. Durant leading the Thunder to a title would have been more impressive than winning with the Warriors. Even if it wasn’t his primary motivation, he did take the easy route by joining Golden State. But that doesn’t invalidate Durant’s championships. He still earned those. Deciding whose championships have asterisks gets plenty problematic in a hurry, as the discussion would have to extend far beyond Durant.

And Durant wasn’t LeBron James, anyway. Durant is an all-time great. LeBron is in the running as the all-time greatest.

Jonas Valanciunas hits game-winning free throw, spoils James Harden’s 57-point night (video)

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The Grizzlies blew a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter and a five-point lead in the final 30 seconds of overtime. James Harden scored 57 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter and all 10 of the Rockets points in overtime.

But Jonas Valanciunas saved Memphis from total collapse. He drew a foul on his putback and hit the game-winning free-throw with 0.1 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 126-125 win Wednesday.

Report: Suns exploring signing Jimmer Fredette

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Jimmer Fredette remains a fascination because he scored a ton at BYU eight years ago and… other reasons.

He has been lighting it up in China, and his season there just ended. Now, the former No. 10 pick could return to the NBA after three years away.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:

Phoenix still needs another point guard, and the 6-foot-2 Fredette looks like one. But he hasn’t shown the playmaking to play point guard regularly. He’s better, and sometimes even effective, off the ball.

Fredette could have stuck in the NBA with a different attitude. His long-distance shooting was an asset.

But he’s also now 30 years old. A new approach likely won’t be enough. His shortcomings, particularly defensively, will be even more pronounced as his athleticism has declined.

The Suns are bad and will remain bad, with or without Fredette. But their younger players have shown signs of progress lately. Fredette’s high-usage style could interfere with their development.

It’s hard to see the upside here other than a brief uptick in attention.

Marcus Smart shoves down Joel Embiid from behind, gets ejected (video)

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Marcus Smart recently bemoaned the lack of physicality in the NBA.

After Joel Embiid dropped his shoulder into him on a screen, Smart brought some to tonight’s Celtics-76ers game.

Smart shoved Embiid in the back, sending the center to the floor. A cheap shot? Yes. Embiid wasn’t looking. But Smart would surely argue Embiid started it. I also doubt Smart intended to push Embiid from behind. Smart just wanted to get at Embiid as quickly as possible, and Embiid happened to be facing the other way when Smart arrived.

Smart got a flagrant 2 and the accompanying ejection. Embiid received a technical foul.

Before James Harden, how many players scored 30 points against every other team in a season?

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James Harden became the first player in NBA history to score 30 points against all 29 opponents in a season.

But the NBA has had 30 teams for just 15 of its 73 seasons.

Obviously, the larger league makes Harden’s feat more impressive. He had to score 30 against more teams. The Rockets also play most opponents, those in the Eastern Conference, only twice. In previous eras, players had more cracks at scoring 30 against fewer teams.

Still, anyone to score 30 points against every opponent has a certain immunity to bad matchups. It’s special.

How many players have done it?

We must start with Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 30 points against all nine teams in the 1964-65 NBA. He began the season with the San Francisco Warriors and, with them, scored 30 against the 76ers. Then, he got traded to Philadelphia and scored 30 on the Warriors. He also dropped 30 on every other team.

Including that season, there have been 85 times a player scored 30 points in a game against every opponent in a season.

Only Harden, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird have done it since the NBA-ABA merger. Jordan (1986-87) and Bird (1984-85) did it against 22 teams.

Everyone else did it against 17 or fewer teams.

Here’s everyone to score 30 in a game against every opponent in a season with the player’s highest-scoring game against each team listed, starting with Chamberlain doing it against every team then following in chronological order:

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