In one particular sequence that went viral, Russell Westbrook air-balled a corner 3-pointer with 3 minutes, 58 seconds left. After Towns rebounded the miss, he looked twice at the path where the air ball took flight with a perplexed look. “I honestly don’t pay no mind to it,” Westbrook said of the Wolves talking smack. “Maybe the other guys [do]. But they weren’t talking to me. They were talking to individual guys particularly, but the trash talking doesn’t bother me none. “Nobody over there has done anything in this league that would make me pick my eyes up, like, ‘Oh, they’re talking mess. Let me respond.’ No. It’s fine. They’re good. They won the game. Happy for them. Move onto the next one.”
Earlier in the game, after Patrick Beverley forced a Westbrook turnover, Beverley could be seen plugging his nose as if to say something smelled bad and appeared to mouth the word "trash" twice. Beverley, who has a history with Westbrook, took to Twitter afterward to respond to Westbrook's remark that nobody on the Wolves has "done anything in this league." "Playoffs every year," Beverley wrote while retweeting Westbrook's answer. "2 western conference finals with 2 different Teams individual stats or team stats? I thought it was a team sport??"
Dane Moore: Anthony Edwards on Karl-Anthony Towns' swag: "KAT last year didn’t say a word on the court, now he talking crazy to people. It’s because he got swag. He got swag. He kill the drip coming into the game, showing off the watch. Yeah, he’s swaggy. For sure. Love dat. Love KAT."
On the day Kevin Garnett saw his No. 5 raised to the rafters at TD Garden, he officially buried his beef with Ray Allen. As part of the ceremony celebrating Garnett's six years with the franchise, he singled out Allen -- who was sitting in the front row of the assembled guests, alongside fellow Big Three member Paul Pierce -- for his being present after years of acrimony between the two. "It's good to see Ray Allen here," Garnett said. "Real s---. It's good to see you, man. You next, dog."
"Most definitely," Allen said. "I don't like being on the outside. There's so many people here that I love, that I spent time with ... those people, they're etched in my mind when it comes to my time spent here in Boston, and to not be able to connect with them was always -- it was always tough for me. "Just because I moved away doesn't mean that relationship, that friendship, ends. So it did center around Kevin and myself because I did get the sense that the people here felt how Kevin felt. Once he accepted me, then the people accepted me. That was the sense. I was glad we could do that and people could see, 'We won with this guy in 2008, and that's what matters most.'"
It was a moment that officially brought closure to a rift that opened up between them 10 years ago, when Allen chose to sign with the Miami Heat as a free agent. It was a move that ended a five-year run for the three stars -- all members of the NBA's 75th Anniversary Team -- that brought Boston a championship in 2008 and ushered in a new era of stars congregating in the NBA in an attempt to best them. "Yeah, that's a big one," said Philadelphia's Doc Rivers, who coached that 2008 title team, when asked about Allen being in attendance Sunday night. "Because that's been a problem, obviously, and the fact that it looks like the fence is finally coming down is really cool. "Very, very happy for Kevin, and really cool that Ray came today."
Keith Smart: Marcus Smart on guards not winning Defensive Player of the Year in a long time: "I don't understand why it's so hard for guards to win it....Guards not winning it, that's some BS. You got me and Rob not even in the discussion for it. On the best defensive team in the league."
Doncic would claim, quite incredulously, that he initially believed Gobert threw him to the court before a video replay revealed the absence of anything: “I thought it was the worst, and then I saw it and it was nothing,” Doncic said. “We were all laughing on the bench.” Gobert was not laughing. Instead, he was fuming about an apparently constant stream of over-the-top comments emanating from the deep reserves on Dallas’ bench. “There’s a lot of things being said that wouldn’t be said outside a basketball court. A lot of things I don’t say,” Gobert explained. “I’m not perfect, but I don’t say things to guys that I wouldn’t tell them to their face outside the locker room. It’s a lot of talk.”
“The officials have got to get to a point where they check — on both sides — that no lines have been crossed, verbally or with actions,” he said. “There was a lot of things being said out there. At some point, we’re men, too. My thing is, I’ve gotta keep my mind in the right place. My team needs me in the game. “You’ve got guys on the bench that don’t play that just keep talking and saying some stuff, and the officials can hear and they don’t do anything. As a man, it’s like, is it worth being suspended? We shouldn’t have to ask ourselves that question,” Gobert continued. “[The refs] have to do a better job keeping that in check. It’s actions, but the words carry weight. If someone is disrespected, at some point, as men, we’re gonna ask ourselves: Do we want to stay on the court, or penalize our team and stand up for ourselves? I usually take the first option.”
Later, as the first half expired, Doncic drove the lane, looked for a foul, did not get one, and began chirping at the referees for the umpteenth time, prompting an annoyed Gobert to toss the ball to him as he began to exit the court. That led to Doncic trying to fire the ball back at Gobert, and for the players to be separated. Doncic was subsequently assessed a technical. “They’re two, three games ahead of us and it was a big game. So those games are going to get chippy at some point,” Doncic would tell reporters afterward. “… Just, you know, emotions. That’s it.”
NBA on ESPN: “If [the Nets] do not win a championship. … Kevin Durant is on the verge for being recognized more so for the guy that left Steph Curry to go with Kyrie Irving, than he is for the two chips and two finals MVP.” — @stephenasmith. Kevin Durant: Egregious
But all this Grizzlies fun is too much for LeBron James, who didn't make it past the free throw line in the backcourt during Memphis' latest highlight. A minute later, a Lakers turnover leads to another fast break for the Grizzlies. Bane swishes a trailer 3 -- wide open because James is slow getting back in transition -- and lets the all-time great know about it: "Them footsteps ain't scaring nobody."
James has seen and heard enough, especially from Bane. James breaks up the Grizzlies' party in the paint to confront him under the basket. "That's your last time," James says to Bane, loud enough to be heard clearly on the local television broadcast. "That's your last motherf---ing time. That's your last time disrespecting me."
Along with setting the record straight on the long-told story of Oakley’s fight with Barkley at a late-1990s players’ association meeting — “I did not punch Charles Barkley,” Oakley clarifies in the book. “I did, however, slap the s--- out of him” — Oakley refuted Barkley’s recent public claims that their relationship has since become cordial. “He’s not close with Michael (Jordan) no more. I don’t know who he’s really on (good) terms with now,” Oakley said of Barkley. “So I know he wants to come to the cookout and play 18 holes with us. But we’re not inviting him no more. He’s out. You act up, you go stand in the corner with one leg in the air .... That’s Charles, in the corner of the playground by himself. You can see him, because he’s kind of big.”
And the trash-talking ensued. But it was all one-sided. Curry never said a word back to Porter. "I highly encourage it," said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr of players jarring with Curry. "I think he's unfazed by it, to be honest," Juan Toscano-Anderson said. "He finds it comedic. I mean, he's great. He's gonna do what he does. ... What do y'all say? Steph's gonna Steph."
Keith Smith: Jayson Tatum on defending himself on Twitter: "I don't have a problem with Perk. We don't even know each other. I just saw it and I responded. We both said what we said, and we move on. It is what it is."
Garnett shares something else -- a point posited by scouts throughout Wiggins' basketball life. Early on, frustrated by the perceived gap between his talent and performance, Garnett wondered about Wiggins' passion for the game itself. "I thought he liked basketball, but I don't think he loved it," Garnett says. "Like, Wiggs has other interests in life. He has other things that stimulate him, and I have to respect that."
"I can't really tell someone the order to love something in," Wiggins says, in response. "I love basketball, sure, but it's temporary. I can only play basketball for so long."
Gina Mizeell: Joel Embiid on his back and forth with Montrezl Harrell: "I wouldn’t say I baited him into that (second tech) but I like to think that I'm a troll. I like to think I kind of made him get out of his comfort zone, and that got him kicked out...
“I don’t know, you’ve got to ask the ref, man,” Harrell said when asked to explain what happened. “...He got his rebound, he got an and-one, and it’s cool you got an and-one, but he had it in my face. I ain’t one of them guys. It is what it is, I wouldn’t change it no differently from what I did, on either emphasis, both techs. I stand on both of them and I don’t feel I did nothing wrong.”
Chase Hughes: Kyle Kuzma said hecklers motivated him, that the ending was "their fault." He said it was Cavs fans had a sign that said "Without LeBron, Kuzma wouldn't have a ring." He told them: "Cleveland wouldn't be shit without LeBron."
The rumblings began following the Pelicans' 0-3 start (currently a league-worst 1-11 after Wednesday’s loss to OKC), coupled with Griffin's public handling of All-Star forward Zion Williamson's prolonged recovery from offseason foot surgery. New Orleans brass certainly hoped Griffin's tenure would finally lead to a playoff berth, despite its tenuous two years building around Williamson. Word of a heated exchange between the chief executive and Sacramento Kings associate head coach Alvin Gentry has since circled around the league.
While New Orleans projected optimism about competing for a postseason berth during the Orlando bubble, Gentry and a large portion of Pelicans staffers were already prepared for the coach's ouster, sources said, as Griffin was widely known to covet Ty Lue, who was the head coach in Cleveland when Griffin served as the general manager for LeBron James' 2016 championship team. Griffin would often tell team and other league officials that he'd given Gentry "all the answers to the test, and he still fails," sources confirmed to B/R.
That expression was first reported in a September article from NOLA.com, which served as the catalyst for Griffin and Gentry's exchange in New Orleans, sources told B/R. After the Kings defeated the Pelicans 113-109 on Oct. 29, Griffin approached Gentry in the bowels of Smoothie King Center to offer a warm hello to his former head coach, yet Gentry brushed off his initial efforts as inauthentic. From there, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the incident, Griffin denied the findings of the NOLA.com article, particularly his "answers to the test" line, and the notion that he played piano for Williamson during the team's bubble stay in Disney World.
Gentry responded with his own choice words, noting how his eventual replacement, Stan Van Gundy, who was also fired after one season in New Orleans, finished just one game better (31-41) than the Pelicans did under Gentry (30-42) the year he was let go. "You must not have given Stan the answers to the test, either," Gentry shouted at Griffin, according to multiple sources, and the two men had to be physically separated.
The aftermath of that event has seemed to ripple around the league, leading to increased whispers about the future of New Orleans without Griffin at the helm of the Pelicans basketball operations. League observers have noted New Orleans' repeated appearances in national television games, that were supposed to feature Williamson, have cast a far larger spotlight on the Pelicans' losing dynamic than otherwise would have existed.
In a recent Instagram story posted by Garnett, he cropped the sharpshooting Allen out in a photo taken during the 2011 All-Star game where the four of them were named All-Stars for the Eastern Conference. Tensions began to rise with the emergence of Rondo in the Celtics’ locker room being a huge factor. Allen and Rondo have been involved in shouting matches as told by Allen in his 2018 memoir, From the Outside: My Journey Through Life and the Game I Love.
Kamiah Adams-Beal: @Ronnie2K is a whole joke at this point. Ronnie 2K: Oh boy we have the wife upset too. That’s real love, I appreciate that!
Apparently, though, Ronnie 2K had a follow-up tweet to mock Kamiah after her latest rant about the game. The post has since been deleted, but not before the wife of the Wizards guard saw it and his followers saved a screenshot.
Kamiah Adams-Beal: Dogs bark. Ducks quack. So don’t be so surprised when clowns, do clown shit. But atleast I have the courage to stand on my own two feet. @ me next time pussy @Ronnie2K. That was deleted quickly 😭😂
Kevin Porter Jr: @Ronnie2K what my scan coming like? I better be in the 80s ya’ll can’t grill me me this year, & please can u have my swag right wit da long socks/calf sleeves, & my right arm sleeve sheeesh, ya’ll got me out there lookin like I’m at la fitness Camoot 2k. @NBA2K. Ronnie 2K: Swagged out… but a 77. Did we get this right or should he be in the 80s as he says? #2KRatings. Kevin Porter Jr: A 77? Carry on 🥱, You got rookies rank higher than me? Can you validate that?
Beyond justifying his earlier shot against Carmelo Anthony’s title aspirations with the Lakers, Karl did indeed point some blame at himself as well. “Don’t get me wrong, my reaction was, those sleepless nights were about the coaches — trying to figure out how to motivate Melo, how to motivate Melo to understand that he’s good enough to win championships. And in a lot of ways, we failed..”
Following Team USA’s win over France in the gold medal game, Durant and Draymond Green took to Instagram Live to roast Kendrick Perkins and their doubters who thought they would be falling short of a medal finish, let alone gold. “Everybody who said we were going to take the L. … They had some power rankings out. They had us fourth behind Slovenia. Come on, man,” Durant said. “Talking about they’re catching up to us, like, are you serious? This skill is unmatched, you dig?”
“I’m disappointed in Scottie, because he’s burning every bridge,” Barkley said. “I know he has a book coming out. Listen, Scottie was a very good player, I’ve always liked Scottie, too. I’ve always liked him, I’ve never had a disagreement or an argument with him. But he’s taking shots at me, and I’m just laughing, because I’m like, ‘Yo, man, you do know we’re, like, 60 years old. We don’t have beefs anymore, we’re like 60.’
“I was disappointed he’s taking shots at Michael, Phil Jackson, and myself,” Barkley went on to say. “But I understand he’s got a book coming out. And I just think it’s silly and stupid, to be honest with you. Listen, hey, we know you’ve got a book coming out, stop trying to take shots at big fish, he’s big game hunting. You come after myself, you come after Michael, you come after Phil Jackson, and we know you’ve got a book coming out. But it really just makes you look stupid and silly in the long run, to be honest with you.”
We spoke with Jennings about the Wagyu-quality beef between the two guys ... and he tells us Pippen's resume cannot live up to KD's, so he better respect the greatness. "I mean if I'm KD I wouldn't listen to Scottie," BJ said outside Crustacean on Thursday. "I mean, KD is better than Scottie." When we pointed out the ring count -- Scottie has 6, KD has 2 -- Jennings says it's bigger than that. "At the end of the day, KD was shorthanded, and at the end of the day, he did the best that he could do just like when Mike left the Bulls back in the '90s and Scottie had a chance to be the man."
Kevin Durant: This guy Scott also wanted to enjoy his summer so he chose to rehab during the season lol yo @ScottiePippen THEY FOLLOWED PHIL, NOT YOU!!!
Davis, a member of the Celtics' 2008 championship-winning squad, had some thoughts on the injury. In an Instagram reply, Davis seemed to imply that it was a result of basketball karma after Irving stomped on Boston's center court logo earlier in the playoffs. "Karma is real. Energy is real no matter what you guys say," Davis said in another IG comment. "That logo means something negative or positive. Ky wished that on hisself (sic). Energy is real, always have respect for other no matter if its (sic) a logo are (sic) not."
Tommy Beer: Julius Randle, during post-shootaround media availability this morning, says he doesn't care about Capela's comments: "Why would I give a hell what Clint Capela has to say?"
Stefan Bondy: Derrick Rose on Clint Capela: “You want me to say something about that? ....I’m not going to say anything.”
Stefan Bondy: Derrick Rose on Clint Capela: "I'm 32 years old. I never talked shit in my life. I'm not going to start now that Clint Capela said something."
Stefan Bondy: Clint Capela (who has been awesome in this series BTW) ripped Julius Randle for his Flagrant foul at the end of Game 4: "You’re just trying to look physical but it’s not working. It’s kind of your last solution."
Word spreads quickly on social media of Nurkic's comments, too. Perkins responded to Nurkic's "clown" comment in what is now a deleted tweet. But apparently that response was too nice. Instead, Perkins decided to throw some gas on the fire and used an old video of Kobe Bryant speaking fondly of the now TV personality.
Was there motivation, too, behind the comments from Perkins and Smith? “Not really motivate, I don’t know if I do anything different from game to game,” Nurkic said. “I just feel like I was more into not getting the fouls. Trying to contest and be into him.” Whatever it was, it worked, and those around the Blazers could tell. A member of the Blazers’ coaching staff was asked if he was the one who showed Nurkic the tweet. “Wasn’t me,” the coach said. “But I’m glad whoever did tell him!”
Rajon Rondo has some history with the Dallas Mavericks, and that much is not lost on Mavs owner Mark Cuban. Appearing Thursday on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, Cuban had funny trash talk for Rondo ahead of Mavs’ first-round series against Rondo’s LA Clippers. “I hope he shoots a lot,” said Cuban of Rondo. “I hope he takes more shots than any guy on the team from outside the paint.”
Brandon 'Scoop B' Robinson: Kyrie Irving’s sneakers won’t touch Dennis Schroeder’s feet ever again says Lakers PG: “Unfortunately l can’t wear them no more. It’s not possible after what happened in the game. “I can not do it. Not going to wear it again. We will do giveaways for everybody who wants them.”
Brown received word of the comments and fired back at the trio live on Instagram and with an hour-long YouTube video (Warning: graphic language below). In the video, Brown called Jackson “fake” and Barnes “Becky with the good hair” and claimed Arenas took millions from them through contracts. “I think you guys need to focus and channel that energy to some more real problems,” Brown said. “And Stephen Jackson, maybe you can put that (expletive) blunt out and pull your pants up on your ass and put that rag down and act like a grown-ass man instead of a little ass boy.”
After Brown’s rant, Jackson responded on Instagram, saying he refused to interact with him. Jackson claimed Brown chose to target them because of their platforms in sports media. “Don’t make this personal bro,” Jackson said in the video. “A million people talk about you, but you want to come at us because you know we hot, because you know we can put you back on. ... It ain’t personal. Wish u the best big guy.”
Neil Dalal: Bradley Beal on Kent Bazemore on First Take: "Don't make fun of something that's not funny." Yep, that's it. Don't joke about injuries and there won't be a problem.
Bradley Beal: @24Bazemore you don’t know me or shit about me bruh!!! You don’t know why I go out there and play and it damn sure ain’t for another man’s approval!!! You a straight LAME!!! But it don’t surprise me coming from you, thats what’s yo type do!!
Monte Poole: Kent Bazemore, marveling at teammate Stephen Curry: “49 points in 29 minutes, that’s unreal. We got guys hurting hamstrings to keep up.” Curry leads NBA in scoring, at 31.9 ppg Bradley Beal is second, at 31.4, but will miss at least 2 games with, yes, a strained hammy.
Stefan Bondy: Julius Randle on Jae Crowder: “He’s just a frontrunner. He didn’t say a word in the first half. They were down and they tied the game up and he got a stop on me and wanted to say something. That’s just who he is. Everybody in the league knows it. But I’m not worried about him.”
Clutch Points: Reporter: "You aware how tough the schedule w/ 2 against Celtics, 1 against 76ers, 1 against Bucks?" Jimmy Butler: "That's tough for you?" R: "I don't know." JB: "Maybe if your sorry ass was on our team it'd be tough, but I think we'll be just fine" 🤣 pic.twitter.com/sESF09v44p
Malika Andrews: Steve Nash said that the organization has had internal discussions about profanity-ridden exchange -- which included misogynistic comments -- that Kevin Durant had with Michael Rapaport that was posted on social media. Nash declined to share specifics of the conversation.
Rapaport posted private messages that he said Durant had sent him -- which included threatening language and anti-gay and misogynistic slurs. Coach Steve Nash said the organization had a conversation with Durant about the language used in the exchange.
No, the NBA should NOT punish Kevin Durant for the homophobic insults he used in a private IG convo with Michael Rapaport ... so says P.J. Tucker. "Of course not, he did nothing wrong," the Milwaukee Bucks player told us in Beverly Hills on Wednesday before taking on the L.A. Lakers. "He didn't do nothing wrong."
Well, that was the one video that didn’t sit well with Kyrie and the player took to social media to make it clear he doesn’t like people making fun of his culture and his ancestors. “I respect your comedy, but tell your ignorant counterpart @maxisnicee do not disrespect my ancestors or indigenous cultures with his gestures. It’s sacred to us Natives to burn sage and it’s a remembrance of the people who died to preserve our customs,” he wrote on Instagram.
It also wasn’t the only thing that caused the Lakers to channel their inner MJ meme and take things personally: We hear some of those guys talking about how they’re the team to beat in LA. It’s fine if Kawhi says stuff like that. He’s defending a championship. We don’t trip if someone like Patrick Beverley is talking trash; that’s how he feeds his family. We get it. We respect the hustle. Oh? Then who did bother the team by saying stuff like that? Do tell, Jared. But we think it’s disrespectful for Paul George, who hasn’t won, to put himself on the level of Bron and AD. This motivates us. When we see those guys around the compound, we don’t really kick it with them. The one exception of course is Markieff, whose twin brother, Marcus, is on the Clippers. This probably keeps tensions from boiling over.
Andrew Greif: Paul George: "God bless you Jared Dudley. I don't know what it is, dudes love throwing my name in stuff. But God bless you, Jared."
According to former NBA champion and no. 2 pick Darko Milicic, this new display of strength also showed that Jokic is so superior to Gobert that if the French center gets a contract of 205 million, then the Nuggets big man has to sign for half a billion. “We must be aware that money is the basis of NBA’s existence. If Gobert is worth that much money, then our Jokic should sign a contract for 500,000,000 dollars. That’s how much better he is than Rudy,” Milicic said to 24 Sedam.
The McGruder-Warriors beef simmered on social media after the game with McGruder’s teammate Wayne Ellington speaking up in his defense, calling Klay and Draymond ‘unprofessional’ and ‘not classy.’ And, thanks to one eagle-eyed NBA Redditor, we know that Kevin Durant smashed the like button on an aggregation of Ellington’s comments.
August 16, 2022 | 7:52 pm EDT Update
“Who’s talking about what kind of pressure?” Doncic joked when asked about the Slovenia national team’s goal and explain that he is aiming for the top again: “We are going to Germany to win gold. In every competition where we compete, the goal must always be the first place. We will do everything for it, but we will see if we make it. In 2017, no one took us seriously when we announced our attack on the gold medal, today is different. It’s nice when you see that everyone will make an extra effort against us to win”.
Stefan Bondy: Re: Brunson tampering investigation, heard at least one Knicks employee had cell confiscated by NBA. Something else I learned: players have never turned in devices and won’t unless it’s CBA bargained. Union won’t stand for that. Rightfully so. Agents also don’t turn them in.
“It was just guys who knew their roles,” Cuban said. “Like an Andrew Wiggins. I think he was the one who beat us, and I told him that after the series. We knew what to expect from Klay and from Steph and from Draymond. We didn’t know what to expect or how Wiggs would step up, and he did.”
Apparently, Cuban was already in deep discussions with then-Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss about a potential blockbuster deal: “I was going back and forth with Dr. Buss, and I forgot who called who, I think he called me, actually, and said, ‘Look, we think we might be parting ways with Kobe,’” Cuban said. As it turns out, however, the deal “all fall apart” when Cuban told a Lakers PR guy named Elvis about it. Word quickly spread and Cuban believes Mitch Kupchak ended up convincing Kobe to stay in LA.
Cuban made it abundantly clear that he believed they were already at the finish line: “I thought it was done,” he reiterated. “I thought it was done, yeah. Done. Done. Done. Like, let’s start talking about putting together the trade call.”
August 16, 2022 | 5:44 pm EDT Update
Another offseason, another summer of trade rumors. That had Tyler Herro offering a resigned smile Tuesday at a Miami Heat back-to-school event at Target at Dadeland Station. “I mean, every summer, that’s just what it is,” Herro said after helping a group of youths fill their back-to-school carts. “I mean, ever since I’ve been here, my name’s been in rumors. So rumors, like I said last summer, they don’t bother me. I’m just getting ready for this season and whether I’m on the Heat or somewhere else, I’m getting ready for the season.”