Wizards’ Kelly Oubre fined $25,000 for kicking ball into stands at end of Game 2

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The clock had expired, the Wizards and their fans were celebrating going up 2-0 on Atlanta in their first-round series, the ball was bouncing out near midcourt…

And Washington’s Kelly Oubre Jr. did his best Lionel Messi and kicked the ball far into the stands.

That cost him a $25,000 fine from the league, which frowns on guys doing something that could potentially injure fans.

It was innocent and not done with any malicious intent, but that’s moot. Oubre gets fined.

He should have cursed during his postgame interview, it costs less.

Russell Westbrook fined $15,000 for cursing during media interviews

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In Game 2 against the Rockets, Russell Westbrook dropped 51 points, 10 rebounds, and 13 assist — the first 50-point triple-double ever in the playoffs.

The Thunder still lost. After the game, Westbrook didn’t want to talk about his historic night.

That comment cost him $15,000, as the league fined him for “inappropriate language during a postgame media interview.”

I’m sure if Westbrook were asked about the fine, his response would be similar to the one that got him in trouble in the first place.

Also, I’m pretty sure the media members in attendance were not offended. They’ve heard the language before.

Game 3  between the Rockets and Thunder is in Oklahoma City Friday.

Report: Orlando eyeing Cavaliers GM David Griffin, who is without contract after season


LeBron James got a long-term deal in Cleveland. So did Kevin Love. They locked up Kyrie Irving a while ago. Tyron Lue got a five-year contract. Tristan Thompson and J.R. SmithIman Shumpert signed multiyear deals. The Cavaliers have locked up their core.

Except for GM David Griffin. As was reported by ESPN a few weeks back, Griffin is working without a contract for next season. Griffin has the endorsement of LeBron and Lue, but that hasn’t gotten him a deal yet.

Now the Orlando Magic — who fired their GM Rob Hennigan after the season — may try to poach Griffin, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The Orlando Magic’s search process for a new top basketball executive could extend until the end of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ playoff run, which would allow Orlando to gauge the interest of general manager David Griffin, league sources told The Vertical.

The Magic are researching multiple possible candidates to replace former GM Rob Hennigan, but the possibility of Griffin does intrigue Orlando president Alex Martins and top Magic officials, league sources said.

There are a few things to unpack here.

First, if I were Griffin’s agent, this is exactly the story I would want leaked. Even if Griffin would much rather stay in Cleveland, demand for his services will put pressure on Cleveland to make an offer, the kind befitting the GM of a title team.

Second, this would mean the Magic are willing to go through the draft with assistant GM Matt Lloyd running the show — the Magic are projected to have the No. 5 pick in the June draft and have a key chance to add a core piece to their young roster.

That roster already has some quality pieces — Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic, maybe Elfrid Payton — but has underachieved. Frank Vogel is locked in as coach, and the new GM needs to be able to work with him.

Most likely the Cavaliers will step up and offer Griffin a healthy contract after the season, but so long as he is not locked up, there will be other suitors lurking.

Bulls’ Rajon Rondo has fractured thumb, out indefinitely


Rajon Rondo, after a rough start to the season blending in with the Bulls, accepted his role the second half of the year, grew in importance to the team, and has been crucial to Chicago going up 2-0 on Boston in the first round, setting up a potential 1/8 upset.

Now Rondo is out indefinitely with a broken thumb, the Bulls have announced. Here is the entire press release:

Rajon Rondo injured his right hand in Game 2 at Boston on Tuesday night. Rondo underwent a subsequent exam and x-rays that confirmed a thumb fracture. Surgery is not required for this injury, and he is out indefinitely.

Rondo has averaged 10.2 points and 6.6 assists in the first two games of the playoffs against Boston, running the offense on one end and, more importantly, being a key part of the defense that has stymied the Celtics on the other. Chicago has been +14.5 per 100 possessions with Rondo on the court through the first two games, -5.4 without him (there is other noise in that number, obviously).

Rondo is tough, but it’s obviously unclear when he could return.

This means a lot more Jerian Grant, Michael Carter-Williams, and maybe some Cameron Payne for the Bulls at the point, although in practice it means Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade handling the ball. Coach Fred Hoiberg likely will try some no point guard lineups, but the mid-season trade of Taj Gibson (and Doug McDermott) make that much harder.

After two games where the physical Bulls knocked the Celtics around — in Boston — it was challenging to come up with things the Celtics could do differently to change this series around. Chicago has owned the paint and the glass, and their length and physicality has bothered Boston up and down the roster. But this injury changes the dynamics of the series and opens the door to a Boston comeback that seemed nearly impossible 24 hours ago.

Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov says he’s selling 49 percent of Nets

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MOSCOW (AP) — Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has told Russian media he’s selling a 49 percent stake in the NBA club.

The Russian billionaire announced his intention to sell a minority stake in December, and now says “49 percent of the Brooklyn shares are up for sale,” in comments reported by R-Sport.

He adds that “currently the process is going on and we are looking for a buyer.”

Prokhorov took an 80 percent stake in the then-New Jersey Nets in 2010, moved the team to Brooklyn in 2012, and took full ownership in 2015.

Brooklyn went 20-62 this season, which was the worst record in the NBA and its third consecutive season below .500.

The Nets last made the playoffs in 2015, losing to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round.