For lottery-bound groups, this time of year is brutally tough because the primary decision-makers have to do what’s best long term. More than a few guys in that locker room sense the organization wanting to make a big shakeup, that the front office is “trying to trade Kevin and Tristan.” While it’s their job to block out any noise and focus solely on basketball, they are also human. On top of that, losing is really hard, especially home blowouts against lousy teams. There is such a thing as an acceptable loss in a rebuilding season. Saturday night, however, was not one.
May 18, 2022 | 11:07 am EDT Update
While Doncic is fighting to push the Dallas Mavericks to the next level in the playoffs after triumphing over the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference semifinals, Real Madrid is back in Belgrade to compete for the “Undecima.” And Blancos coach Pablo Laso broke down what makes his former wunderkind so special.
“Luka has been a great player since he arrived at Real Madrid when he was 13 years old,” Laso said in the opening presser for the EuroLeague Final Four. “But he’s also been a great person since that day. That made him so big. When people talked about the NBA and how he’s going to play there, I didn’t have any doubts. No doubts that he’s going to play good. Because probably the best thing he has a person, and for sure as a player, is that he’s able to adjust in any situation. And that’s something that you have to have as a person. And Luka has it.”
A Mark Cuban and Lil Wayne feud is one of the main storylines of the NBA playoffs? That seems to be the case as the Mavs owner and famous rapper have exchanged NSFW blows with one another on social media. Cuban’s dog in the fight is that he is obviously the owner of the Dallas Mavericks. However, Lil Wayne was cheering for the Suns and is a friend of Chris Paul. Lil Wayne had previously called out Mavs star Luka Doncic during the Suns and Mavs series.
Cuban responded by referencing a lyric from one of Wayne’s albums after Dallas embarrassed Phoenix in Game 7. “It’s a sh*t show, put you front row.” Lil Wayne responded to Mark Cuban with a now deleted Tweet. However, the message read as follows: “Mark Cuban don’t make me get u smacked boy U playing w me?? I will piss in ya fkn mouth ho.”
May 18, 2022 | 10:54 am EDT Update
But even some of Spoelstra’s closest friends had never seen him like that, not just the emotional outburst in the huddle but the dark brooding he did for the rest of that quarter, almost stopping coaching as he managed the fury. For Butler, three seasons’ worth of give-and-take with Spoelstra finally led to finding the line. It wasn’t just that moment with Butler verbally shoving back at his coach; it was a long buildup. “Spo was exasperated,” one team source said.
Even Butler, who sometimes seems to actually enjoy creating conflict on his team, wondered whether this was a breaking point, sources said. Two days later, after Spoelstra missed a game because of an unrelated personal matter, he returned, reset and ready. Butler was relieved, so was the rest of the team, and everyone started over, because at the end of the day and the end of the season, Butler is worth it. What he brings, especially in a playoff setting, buys him more leeway. It’s the NBA way — always has been, and always will be. It’s a little tougher at times for the Heat, an organization that thrives on holding players to high standards and not being afraid to attack problems, but it’s true just the same.