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Team Power, 3’s Company scuffle during Big3 Final (VIDEO)

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Friday night was the final in The Big3 playoffs. It pitted Team Power versus 3’s Company, with the former eventually coming out on top, 51-43.

But before things could wrap up in the Big 3 season, things got a little testy between each side. Early in the first half, Corey Maggette and Dahntay Jones exchanged words after Maggette hit a jumper over Jones. Apparently upset with Jones tapping his leg on a fadeaway, Maggette went after the former Cleveland Cavalier, giving him an earful.

That’s when things exploded, and the two teams got into a bit of a scuffle. Things eventually settled, and Team Power came out on top.

Here’s what it looked like when Team Power won:

Maggette led the way, scoring 27 points while adding six rebounds and two assists.

As Gordon Hayward returns, Jayson Tatum says he’d be OK coming off the bench

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With LeBron James now with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Boston Celtics are slated to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference this upcoming season. They will have to battle the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors for top billing in the East, but guys like Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward will help propel Boston forward as they try to seek an NBA Finals bid in 2019.

Tatum was a breakout star for the Celtics last season after Gordon Hayward went down early in the year with a dislocated ankle and broken tibia. It was exactly what Boston was hoping for, and moving forward they now have a bevy of talent on the wing and at guard.

The only problem?

With Hayward back, coach Brad Stevens will need to find playing time for all of the top tier talent he has on the Celtics roster. That means Tatum could end up coming off the bench this year, something that he says he is willing to do.

Via Boston.com:

“Everybody has a job to do,” he said. “Our job is to be the best versions of ourselves and come together for a bigger goal, which is winning a championship. Brad’s job is to manage playing time and manage all sorts of stuff. That’s why he’s the coach. We got a bunch of selfless guys on the team that just want to win. We’ll figure it out.”

Tatum said it does not matter to him whether he starts or comes off the bench.

“I understand how deep our team is,” he said. “I just care about winning and doing what I can while I’m on the floor.”

The most successful NBA teams are able to put aside ego and fill roles the way they need to in order to achieve their ultimate goal. Manu Ginobili was undoubtedly better than some of the players who started over him with San Antonio Spurs, but he often embraced his bench role. If Tatum can do that, even for just part of a season, it could give the Celtics an unmatched rotational strength in the East.

For now, Tatum is saying all the right things and it looks like Boston is going to be a complete hassle to deal with in 2018-19.

Vince Carter: ‘I have a young guy’s mentality with a 40-year-old body’

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ATLANTA (AP) Vince Carter can’t say his 21st NBA season will be his last.

At least not yet.

Carter signed a one-year veteran minimum contract Friday with the rebuilding Atlanta Hawks, his eighth team, in what could be his final stop before starting a career in broadcasting.

It appears to be the right mix for Carter, the league’s oldest active player. He turns 42 in January and wants to be ready for a television job when his playing days end.

Atlanta, home to Turner Broadcasting and NBA TV, is the right place to be, but Carter isn’t quite ready to announce his retirement.

“I know playing this game that the media and the fans and people can be cruel,” he said with a grin. “It’s like, `You’re old and you’re playing against guys half your age. You shouldn’t be out here.’ But then for me that is my goal, to prove that I’m able to do that. And I put in a lot of work in mentally as well as physically just preparing myself.”

Carter says the once-dynamic dunker, a live highlight reel of a player known as “Vinsanity ,” still lives inside him. It’s just different now that he’s been a reserve in stops the last six seasons with Dallas, Memphis and Sacramento.

“Yeah, I’m still the same person,” said Carter, the 1999 NBA Rookie of the Year and an eight-time All-Star. “My approach is still the same. My work ethic, my ability to play the game is still the same. Obviously it’s limited. You just don’t get to see it as much, but it’s the same guy.”

He wanted to play for the Hawks because they offered a chance to earn extra minutes. Atlanta is likely to be among the league’s worst teams this season and will begin training camp Sept. 25 with Taurean Prince, John Collins, Dewayne Dedmon, Kent Bazemore and either Trae Young or Jeremy Lin as its starting five.

Carter says he and new coach Lloyd Pierce have been texting each other frequently since Carter agreed to a contract late last month. They already know what his role will be, to mentor Prince, Collins and Young – the three core players the Hawks are building around – and to lead by example.

He did much of the same last season with the Kings, averaging 5.4 points and 2.6 rebounds in 58 games for a team that finished 27-55.

The Hawks figure to win far fewer games, but Carter believes the long-term plan looks promising.

“The makeup and the makeover of what this organization is trying to do is positive,” Carter said. “It’s in the right direction. We live in a world where we want it right now, but the reality is that sometimes it doesn’t happen that way. The potential is there to put the pieces together. My job is to come in and be like, `Yeah, I might not be here a couple of years but if I can help lay some foundation and some ideas to lead them in the right direction, that’s what I’m going to do.’ ”

Carter isn’t the oldest player to ever play for the Hawks. Kevin Willis, Carter’s teammate in Toronto from 1998-2001, spent his first nine-plus seasons in Atlanta before returning at 42. The Hawks went 13-69 and had the NBA’s worst record.

If something that bad happens again, Carter says he won’t complain. For years he’s passed up on chances to sign with a contender and chase that championship ring he never won.

And it’s not like he needs the money after earning over $160 million in his career .

“To just sit on the end of the bench, I just can’t do that,” he said. “That’s just not who I am. I guess I’ve been around long enough, and what’s engrained in me and what’s been instilled in me, that’s not my thing.”

Carter describes himself as a longtime veteran who has a coach’s mentality but doesn’t want to coach.

“I love to play, man,” he said. “I have a young guy’s mentality with a 40-year-old body.”

And a potential Hall of Fame candidate who has his eyes set on becoming the NBA’s next broadcaster with a household name. He’s already worked as a guest analyst for NBA Summer League and high-profile youth games.

TNT could be his next step.

“I have a fear of when it’s over not being prepared for the next phase,” Carter said. “Now that I’m nearing the end, whenever that is, I want to make sure when that door is closed and I leave my basketball shoes in the gym or where I choose to leave them, I’m ready for the next phase.”

More AP basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

LeBron James testifies in case involving use of player tattoos in video games

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Is the art tattooed on your own body your personal property to do with what you please? That is the question at hand in one federal case between the makers of the NBA 2K video game and a tattoo shop that has done work for none other than LeBron James.

In fact, LeBron himself recently testified that he felt as though his body art was his to do with as he pleased once it was inked onto his skin and paid for. But the tattoo shop, Solid Oak, says that they did not give permission for the art they had done on LeBron’s body to be licensed in the 2K video games.

Via The Hollywood Reporter:

“My understanding is that [my] tattoos are a part of my body and my likeness, and I have the right to have my tattoos visible when people or companies depict what I look like,” stated James. “I always thought that I had the right to license what I look like to other people for various merchandise, television appearances, and other types of creative works, like video games.”

Then turning to the matter at hand — a lawsuit brought by Solid Oak Sketches against Take-Two over the NBA 2K video franchise — James adds, “In the fifteen years since I’ve been playing professional basketball, this case is the first time that anyone has suggested to me that I can’t license my likeness without getting the permission of the tattooists who inked my tattoos. No tattooist has ever told me I needed their permission to be shown with my tattoos, even when it was clear I was a public basketball player.”

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the judge in the case has denied a move for dismissal, instead allowing time for more fact-finding on the issue at hand.

On its face this seems patently ridiculous given that money was exchanged for the item in question, therefore Solid Oak wood have no claim to any kind of ownership over tattoos on LeBron’s or anyone else’s body. But just as car manufacturers are trying to make it so you can’t legally work on your own car, it’s not immediately clear what will happen in this case.

No doubt with LeBron testifying on behalf of 2K there will be some significant backing on his side of this debate.

David Stern ordered Joey Crawford to see psychiatrist after Tim Duncan ejection

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Former NBA referee Joey Crawford has a reputation. Some believe him to be one of the better referees to ever have graced the Association. Others believe that Crawford vastly overstepped his purview while on duty as a referee.

No matter your opinion of Crawford, you no doubt remember the incident in 2007 between the veteran referee and then-San Antonio Spurs big man Tim Duncan. During a game in Dallas against the Mavericks, Duncan was seen laughing after a call he didn’t agree with. The Spurs star had previously picked up a technical foul on the floor, and minutes later Crawford ejected him after seeing Duncan laughing.

It was certainly a low point for Crawford, both publicly and personally. Jackie MacMullan has been publishing an excellent mental health series over at ESPN, and Crawford was one of the people interviewed for the referee segment. He admitted that the league made him seek out therapy after ejecting Duncan in 2007.

Via ESPN:

The Duncan incident was in 2007. Duncan was sitting on the bench laughing. And I threw him. That laugh bothered me. I thought it was incredibly disrespectful. But I knew the minute it happened I was gonna be in trouble.

[The suspension] was a big deal. It really shook me. That’s when I realized, ‘I gotta do something about this.’ I had to talk to a professional to help me deal with all the anger.

Stern suspended me for the rest of the season. I thought there was a good chance my career might be over. Stern orders me to go see a Park Avenue psychiatrist. He tells me to go twice — two hours each session. This guy is going to make a determination on whether I’m crazy or not. I go up, and I’m scared to death. I’ve already been fined $100,000. I’m in a suit, and I’ve got sweat all the way down to my belt. So, this psychiatrist didn’t know a basketball from a volleyball. After two hours, he says, ‘OK, we’re all done.’ I said, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! I’m supposed to come another day for another couple of hours. Have you already decided I’m crazy?’ He said, ‘You’re not nuts.’ I said, ‘Well, what am I? What’s my problem?’ He said, ‘You’re overly passionate about your job.’ I thought, ‘OK, I can live with that diagnosis!’

I ended up going to see Dr. Joel Fish in Philadelphia. Everybody in Philly in the sports world went to see him when they were having problems. The guy saved my career. I started seeing him a couple of times a week.

The de-stigmatization effort in the NBA around mental health is an important one as it impacts how fans may view seeking out help for themselves while looking through the lens of their heroes on the floor.

Good for Crawford for making an adjustment, not only for his career but for his family as well.