Josh Smith calls Hawks fans 'bandwagoners'

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The interplay between Smith and the Philips Arena crowd was lively throughout the night. Smith, an Atlanta native who played his first nine NBA seasons with the Hawks, was booed loudly whenever he touched the ball. The catcalls grew louder in the third quarter, after Smith drained a 3-pointer that rattled around the rim several times before dropping in. Smith then shushed the crowd by placing his finger over his lips as the Hawks called timeout. “I mean, those fans are fickle, very fickle and bandwagoners,” Smith said. “It really doesn’t mean anything to me.”

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February 12, 2016 | 6:45 am EST Update

Warriors optimistic about landing Kevin Durant?

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An NBA general manager reportedly believes Kevin Durant will sign with the Warriors. That general manager, unless it was Bob Myers in the first place, has company. Chris Broussard of ESPN on Durant: There are people in Golden State that think they’re getting him. People in management, and I think some players, too.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 104 more rumors
Chris Mannix believes Horford would be a perfect fit with the Celtics, but the price tag might be standing in the way. “From everything I’ve been told in the last two or three days, Atlanta’s requests for both Al Horford and Jeff Teague have been borderline ridiculous,” explained Mannix. “The kind of things teams like Boston, or Milwaukee, or Denver simply won’t deal for the players they want.
Although Nikola Mirotic was selected in the first round in 2011, Chicago was able to find a loophole in the CBA and pay him more than his rookie salary slot. Mirotic, who played in Europe after being drafted, arrived in Chicago before the 2014-15 season. League rules stipulate that teams can sign a first-round pick with either cap space or a salary exception when a player is three years removed from being drafted. In Mirotic’s case, the Bulls were able to sign him to a three-year contract using cap space.
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Monta Ellis led a closed-door meeting late Wednesday night following the Indiana Pacers’ dispirited loss to Charlotte, IndyStar has learned. After players showered and dressed, Ellis angrily called for the gathering. Ellis started by admonishing teammates to take more responsibility for the rest of the season, according to several people with knowledge of the meeting. The players-only assembly lasted briefly with Ellis as the principal speaker. “It falls on us,” a team source said about Ellis’ message. “We’re not doing what we’re supposed to do.”
No more. Boston has changed him, leveled him off. It’s made him seek higher goals. He’s an All-Star, but next year he wants to be a starter. He’s an elite point guard, but he wants to go down as one of the best little men of all time. He cedes the top spot to Allen Iverson, but refuses to believe he can’t surpass the accomplishments of anyone else. Boston’s equipment manager, John Connor, calls Thomas “Allen Iverson II,” a nickname Thomas loves and is determined to live up to. “AI is pound-for-pound the best player ever, in my opinion,” Thomas told The Vertical. “So everybody under Allen Iverson, I’m trying to be better than them.”
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