AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Donovan Mitchell explains rant about James Harden (‘If that’s what he needs to win f—ing MVP, f— it’)


James Harden drew a couple Donovan Mitchell fouls late in the Rockets’ Game 4 win over the Jazz on Sunday.

That clearly didn’t sit well with the Utah rookie as he left the court:


If that’s what he needs to win f—ing MVP, f— it.

Playing against Harden, who excels at drawing fouls, is frustrating. Losing in the playoffs is frustrating.

Mitchell’s reaction is understandable – but also one had to answer for.

Mitchell, via Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News:

“Obviously, he’s the MVP. There’s no doubt about that. I’m pretty sure that we’ve all said things that in the heat of the moment, you get upset,” Mitchell explained. “It’s more so about myself. You try so hard to fight back, and we did. I’m definitely upset that it came out that way. But you can’t do anything about it; I understand that.

“There are cameras everywhere, and I’m getting used to that,” he added. “Like I said, he is the MVP and rightfully so. I’m really focused on just going out here and seeing what we can do for Game 5, and not really the calls. That’s not who I am.”

Competitiveness isn’t always pretty in front of a camera. We don’t need to drag Mitchell through the mud for this, and I doubt it affects him.

He has long done an excellent job of focusing on the task at hand.

Report: Cavaliers won’t suspend or fine Rodney Hood

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

The Cavaliers have experienced so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so much internal strife this season.

They thought they put several problems behind them by resetting the locker room just before the trade deadline. Sweeping the top-seeded Raptors in the second round only provided further indication Cleveland had moved past these issues.

Until Rodney Hood refused to enter Game 4 in garbage time.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

Cleveland Cavaliers swingman Rodney Hood apologized to general manager Koby Altman on Tuesday for declining to enter the game when his number was called on late in a 128-93 blowout win over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night, a team source told ESPN.

Hood “feels awful,” according to the source, and he plans to apologize to his teammates and coaching staff in person as soon as they get back together after a couple of days off

Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:

Cleveland guard Rodney Hood will not be suspended or fined for refusing to enter the game in the fourth quarter of the Cavaliers’ blowout victory over Toronto on Monday, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

Not punishing Hood is the simplest way to move on. A suspension or fine would keep this a story, and the Cavs don’t want that drama. They’ve already have more than enough in the last year, which plays benefits Hood’s benefit this time.

As long as his teammates – who were clearly dismayed with his refusal, given how quickly it leaked after the game – are forgiving, everyone can move on.

But free agency won’t necessarily be as sparing this summer. Hood has had a rough year on the court, and this incident will only add concern.

Timberwolves assistant Rick Brunson resigns, reportedly amid sexual-harassment allegations

AP Photo/Jim Mone

As the Mavericks investigate their predatory work environment, increase attention is turning to the Timberwolves.

Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic:

Brunson was charged with attempted criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual abuse, aggravated battery and domestic battery following an incident with a masseuse in 2014. He was acquitted of all charges and vehemently denied wrongdoing.

Under president-coach Tom Thibodeau, the Timberwolves hired Brunson 2016.

Brunson played for the Trail Blazers, Knicks, Celtics, Bulls, Raptors, Clippers, SuperSonics and Rockets in a nine-year NBA career. He also worked as an assistant in Chicago (under Thibodeau), Denver and Charlotte.

Kevin Love befuddled by whatever was in his cup at press conference (video)


I don’t know what Kevin Love expected in his cup. I don’t know what was in Love’s cup. I’m just certain those two things were different.

The best part is Love peering into LeBron James‘ cup to see what the superstar got.

Report: Hornets hiring Spurs assistant James Borrego as head coach

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The Hornets narrowed their coaching search to Spurs assistant James Borrego and Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga.

Apparently, Charlotte chose Borrego.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Borrego has worked under Gregg Popovich with the Spurs the last three years, still a strong implicit endorsement for any coaching candidate. In 2015, Borrego served as the Magic’s interim coach. He didn’t exactly impress in the most visible role of his career, but taking over a losing team mid-season is no easy task.

He’ll get a fresh start in Charlotte – though not an easy situation.

The Hornets aren’t good enough to warrant clear playoff status, but they’re also too capped out to simply upgrade the roster or rebuild. They might just be stuck.

It’s now on Borrego to help get them out of this purgatory.

If Charlotte is trying to win now, Kemba Walker is a nice start. The rest of the veteran roster – Dwight Howard, Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams – is good enough to win moderately with the right breaks.

If the Hornets are rebuilding, that’d likely begin with the return in a Walker trade. They also have their own lottery pick this year, Malik Monk and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

It’s just unclear which direction new general manager Mitch Kupchak will take the team. But we now know he’ll do it with Borrego coaching.