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StatMuse: Donovan Mitchell before/after Shaq’s comments: Before: 24 PPG 4 RPG 5 APG 44/41/85% After: 24 PPG 5 RPG 5 APG 44/44/82% You can’t take credit, @Shaquille O’Neal. Spida has always been elite. pic.twitter.com/LMARAN6sys
What about the Donovan (situation)? For me, he has been amazing media-wise since he got into the league… …Chuck interjects — Charles Barkley: But yeah, you know Sam, let me tell you something. Me and Kenny actually had a conversation this weekend about this, because (Kenny) was talking to his dad. And his dad says, ‘I was watching the show the other night and I went and did some research (and) Donovan has only had one game of double-digit assists his entire career. He’s had only one game of double-digit rebounds in his career. Kenny Smith had 90. He had 90. And Kenny Smith ain’t half the player Donovan Mitchell is. He had 90 games where he had either 10 assists or 10 rebounds. And that was the point.
Charles Barkley: We said the kid was a hell of a player. But as far as being a superstar, nobody’s a superstar until they can win the game multiple ways. And listen, that to me is an indictment on Donovan Mitchell. Come on, man. As much as you have the ball, you only had one game with double-digit assists? And one game double-digit rebounds? Come on. I mean Sam, that’s almost impossible.
O’Neal has been roundly criticized for the interview, with both fans and modern stars like Kevin Durant and LeBron James speaking in Mitchell’s defense. But rather than apologize for his statement, O’Neal has doubled down on it. On Monday, O’Neal posted an Instagram slideshow showcasing former teammates Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Steve Nash, Gary Payton, Penny Hardaway and LeBron James with a caption that read: “This is what greatness at the guard position looks like. I played with the best ever-to do it. You know I know what best look like. #donthavetohate. Y’all kno I got G14 classification to say what I say.”
Immediately after the game he went on TNT and had to hear Shaq, who said earlier in the night that Mitchell was just a scorer, say: “I said tonight that you are one of my favorite players but you don’t have what it takes to get to the next level. I said it on purpose because I wanted you to hear it. What do you have to say about that?” What did Mitchell have to say? “Aight.”
Ben Anderson: Donovan Mitchell on the comments from Shaq and Barkley on @NBAonTNT . “I hate to take a win like this and make it about what they said about me. Look at how we played, look at how we guarded. I’m happy.”
Eric Walden: Donovan Mitchell, on the TNT commentary: “We’ve won seven in a row. I hate to take a win like this and make it about me. … I’m here to play basketball and to win and to be the best teammate I can be. If they don’t like it, they don’t like it.”
Tony Jones: Rudy Gobert on the TNT crew and comments: “At the end of the day, whatever they want to call us, if we keep winning games, they will have to watch us anyway. Hopefully they have to watch us until July. And then they can call us whatever they want.”
Eric Walden: Mike Conley, on Shaq’s comments about Donovan Mitchell: “I’ve been a big fan of Don’s and seeing the way he’s grown, even before he was here. I don’t know how you can make a statement like that regarding his progress at such a young age. He’s gotten better every year.”
Ryan McDonald: Donovan just posted this on Instagram
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February 28, 2021 | 6:15 am EST Update
Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love is on this quick two-game trip with his teammates so he can continue to rehab a high-grade strained right calf, but the five-time All-Star is “unlikely” to return until after the NBA All-Star break, league sources tell cleveland.com.
Given the Cavs only have two games remaining — Monday in Houston and Wednesday at home against the Indiana Pacers — before a needed nine-day break, sources said the team doesn’t see the upside in pushing it. They want to use the extra days to get his calf better, so he can be 100 percent for the Second Half.
The Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant will still serve as an NBA All-Star Game captain despite a hamstring injury that will keep him from playing. Durant and fellow All-Star Game captain LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers will each draft a roster out of the pool of selected All-Stars. The All-Star draft will air on TNT on March 4. It remained unclear whether Durant will travel to Atlanta for the game on March 7.
A Knicks official said Rivers was at the Garden, but in the back getting treatment for a sore ankle. Rivers was not listed on the pregame injury report submitted to the NBA. On the box score, Rivers was listed with a DNP-Coach’s Decision. Earlier this week, Rivers said of his situation: “I can’t control if I’m traded today, tomorrow or the next day. What I can control is how I am as a player.’’
His father, Mychal Thompson, believes Klay’s basketball lifespan could run until he’s 40 years old. “I said, if you really want to, you can play till you’re 40 years of age, but the key to that is you have to take care of your body, as you go into your 30s,” Mychal said, recounting to NBC Sports Bay Area a conversation he had with Klay.
That doesn’t mean he’s a finished product. There’s a reason the Raptors signed him with G League intentions and not for the NBA roster. The 10-day contract (about $82,000) affords them six games to see how he can fit and progress in their environment. It’s an audition by another name, and not the first time the Raptors have used a 10-day to get a 905 look at a prospect. “This gives us a chance to get Donta down in our system, teach him our ins and outs and the way we operate our offence, our defence, our schemes, and see how he looks running those,” general manager Chad Sanders said. “With Tampa just down the street, it’s a chance for us to get him out there and get some reps and get a chance to evaluate him for the big club.”
Callie Caplan: Luka, on ABC, asked about recent comparisons to Larry Bird’s game: “More, more games to go. A long time before you can compare me to Larry Bird. I just want to keep hooping, have fun playing basketball.”