“As you know I’m a fan of Evan and I think he’s had a really good year,” Ainge said. “I think he’s had a good two years [with the Celtics]. He won a lot of games for us. Down the stretch of games, he’s a good guy to have on your team, he’s a versatile player. He plays multiple positions.” When asked if he’d like to re-sign Turner, Ainge said: “Yes. We’re big fans of Evan. I think Evan likes us and we like him.”
February 24, 2017 | 6:34 pm EST Update
The Golden State Warriors have reached out to Turner Sports to discuss Shaquille O’Neal’s ongoing coverage of center JaVale McGee, league sources told ESPN.
Durant part 1 on McGee: “JaVale works extremely hard, has come in here and done extremely well as a player. He only wants to be respected like anybody else. I understand that Shaq works for a company that wants him to do that type of stuff, make fun of players. It’s cool, it’s funny, but when you keep doing it time and time and time again and a guy actually disagrees with you and you threaten him. I didn’t know cops could threaten civilians like that. It’s definitely childish. But that’s what they want from these stars and these retired players is to feud with the guy who’s playing now and make arguments and disagreements. If I was JaVale, I’d feel the same way. It’s childish.”
Durant part 2, asked whether it’s affected McGee’s career: “It has. It has. Shaq wants to make a joke about it. But if it was him in that position, he’d feel the same way. We wouldn’t call him a bum and all this because he’s such a great player obviously. But still, everybody can’t be Shaq. He’s trying to make his money and enjoy the game of basketball and the perception of him now is that he’s a dumb player because he makes mistakes out there on the court. Shaq was a sh**** free throw shooter, he missed dunks, he airballed free throws, he couldn’t shoot outside the paint. He was bigger than everyone, didn’t have no skill, bigger and stronger than everyone. Still a great player, but you had your flaws as a player and you played on five or six teams, too. So it’s not like he’s just some perfect center. You had your flaws, too. I didn’t know cops could go on Twitter and threaten civilians like that. I’m glad JaVale challenged him.”
Durant part 3 on McGee: “You don’t see when he dunks on somebody, when he blocks a shot in the stands, when he catches a lob, when he beats another big man down the court and gets a reverse layup. Because they don’t put that on Twitter. The perception of him is that he’s dumb. And once you get labeled something in this league, it’s hard to shake it. But I’m sure he’s changing some people’s minds about what he’s doing as a player because he’s playing so well. It’s not just because he’s on a good team. You still got to put the work in. He’s out there catching those lobs, getting double-doubles, changing the game for us. He’s doing that because he put the work in, so respect that man.”
Kerr on McGee: “JaVale has been fantastic for us as a player, as a teammate, fantastic guy. He’s funny, he’s fun to be around, he does his job. He’s a total pro. I don’t blame him for being frustrated. Shaq has been picking on him for years and years and years and JaVale, rightfully so, is frustrated. It never ends. It’s one thing to have a little fun. But I think he can go a little over the top. You think about JaVale’s career where you’re in this position where someone on national TV is making fun of you night after night. It’s not the greatest thing for your reputation. I can tell you that I had a preconceived notion of JaVale before I got here that turned out to be false. A lot of that is what goes on with Shaqtin’ A Fool. It’s unfortunate. It’s kind of the way this whole thing has played out. It’s too bad.”