Oakleygate Plummets Further Into Stupidity

originally posted on deadspin.com


Report: Charles Oakley Once Again Allowed To Watch Sloppy Basketball At MSG

Photo: Frank Franklin II/AP

Former Knicks great Charles Oakley can once again watch all the triangle offense he desires at Madison Square Garden. The Oakley ban is gone, according to The Undefeated’s Mike Wise:

 

The Associated Press also spoke with a source who said the ban had been lifted.

 Last Friday, Knicks owner James Dolan and his binder appeared on Michael Kay’s radio show in an attempt to persuade the public that he, not Oakley, was the sympathetic character in this dispute. His lobbying wasn’t very effective: the Knicks owner spent a good portion of his time insinuating that Oakley needed “help” for some unspoken issue, and said that the former player would receive a lifetime ban from MSG.

“I mean, to me, you know, I think that, I mean, Charles has a problem,” Dolan said at the time. “I said this before, we’ve said it before, we’ve said that he’s his own worst problem. He has a problem. People need to, you know, sort of understand that, that, the, you know, he is—he has a problem with anger. He’s both physically and verbally abusive. He may have a problem with alcohol, we don’t know.”

When asked if the ban had been lifted, an MSG spokesperson supplied a copy of NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s statement from yesterday.

The NBA Is A Shit-Show Right Now

As we approach the NBA All-Star break (Feb 17-19), it seems that just about everybody in the Eastern conference is ready to take a weekend off of work.  Tensions have been rising in Chicago, New York and even in Cleveland where the King is unhappy upon his thrown, peering down amongst his constituents with a scowl that would make bitch-face uneasy.

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The NBA’s drama all started to hit the fan when earlier this week, Chicago’s Dwayne Wade explained how his teammates completely sucked, while talking in a post-game interview that threw a wrench into the Bull’s bicycle spokes:

“I’m 35 years old, man,’’ Wade said. “I have three championships. It shouldn’t hurt me more than it hurts (teammates). They have to want it.”

–Dwayne Wade

Jimmy Butler chimed in:

“I believe in the guys in this locker room, yeah, but I also believe that we probably have to be coached a lot harder at times,” Jimmy Butler said after scoring just 12 points on 4-for-11 shooting one night after he played 56 minutes against the Pistons. “I know Fred is a laidback guy and I respect him for that, but when guys aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do, you gotta get on guys, myself included. You gotta do what you’re supposed to do when you’re out there playing basketball.

“We weren’t doing what were supposed to be doing, what we wrote on that board before the game. Nobody spoke up. I did, but probably not enough times. I think he has to hold everybody accountable, from the No. 1 player, all the way down. Everyone has to do their job.”

And apparently Rajon Rondo chimed in via instagram as well:

“My vets would never go to the media. They would come to the team. My vets didn’t pick and choose when they wanted to bring it. They brought it every time they stepped in the gym whether it was practice or a game. They didn’t take days off. My vets didn’t care about their numbers. My vets played for the team. When we lost, they wouldn’t blame us. They took responsibility and got in the gym. They showed the young guys what it meant to work. Even in Boston when we had the best record in the league, if we lost a game, you could hear a pin drop on the bus. They showed us the seriousness of the game. My vets didn’t have an influence on the coaching staff. They couldn’t change the plan because it didn’t work for them. I played under one of the greatest coaches, and he held everyone accountable. It takes 1-15 to win. When you isolate everyone, you can’t win consistently. I may be a lot of things, but I’m not a bad teammate. My goal is to pass what I learned along. The young guys work. They show up. They don’t deserve blame. If anything is questionable, it’s the leadership.”

Chicago sounds like a dumpster fire right now, they’re 23-24 overall and spiraling out of control, Fred Hoiberg is on the hot seat.

****UPDATE: Jimmy Butler and Dwayne Wade will start the game tonight on the bench as a punishment.

The next big, weird, awkward happening is in the Big, Weird, Awkward Apple.  Carmelo Anthony is on the trading block, the latest rumor is a move to the LA Clippers for some combination of Jamaal Crawford (hasn’t he played for the Knicks like 4 times already?), J.J. Redick, and/or Austin Rivers.  My guess is that there will have to be a draft pick fixed into this move on both sides as well.  A Big-4 in LA could be forming with the likes of Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin and Carmelo Anthony, a solid core that will fight for that 2nd seed in the Western conference for the foreseeable future.

In addition to the Melo-trade talks, Phil Jackson seems to have lost control of this franchise (assuming he ever had control).  Whatever the hell offense they were trying to put together has now been dismantled by ZERO ball movement (Melo), ZERO outside shooting, ZERO defense, while Head Coach/scapegoat Jeff Hornacek gives ZERO fucks anymore:

“I don’t think our guys aren’t trying. Maybe we’re just not capable of it. I don’t know,” Hornacek said. “That’s what we’re going to have to figure out. Maybe you have to play some of these other guys. We might have to mix the lineup up somehow.”

–Jeff Hornacek

If “playing some of these other guys” includes giving Johkim Noah more floor-tic, Phil should just fire Hornacek now and put him out of his misery.

Derrick Rose pulled a disappearing act a few weeks ago, it’s still relatively unexplained as to what really happened with that.  In addition, D-Rose is shooting way too much.  In the last 5 games – all losses – Rose has taken 21.2 shots a game.  In games where Rose plays and the Knicks win, he averages 13.6 FGA.  In losses he averages 17.7 FGA.

And finally, this week Lebron James aired his grievances in true Costanzian form by taking to the media to complain about his front office NOT going hard after Melo, or any other available superstar.  Despite spending more than any other NBA franchise this season, Lebron isn’t content.  The Cavs (30-14) are currently committed to $127.5 million in salaries and $27 million in luxury taxes for this season.  They’ve spent more than any other NBA team over the three-years since Lebron came back.  The most recent acquisition was sharp-shooter Kyle Korver, who has yet to fully mesh with the Cavs’ offensive flow.

While Lebron spoke about the younger, less experienced players like Kay Felder, DeAndre Liggins and Jordan McRae on the Cavs roster:

“No disrespect to DeAndre and to Kay: You think we can rely on them to help us win a playoff game right now?” James said. “And it’s no disrespect to them. But it’s like, it’s not fair to them.”

–Lebron James

I can understand that Lebron wants to remain competitive, you can see he’s smart enough to realize that they’re chasing the Warriors after the Durant addition.  But going media first is always the wrong way to handle things.  Why does this keep happening?  The NBA is plagued by players who are reporting to the media first before handling issues internally, then they complain about the media being too on top of them.  The past two weeks seem particularly gossipy and complainy, maybe the NBA needs a quick break.  All-Star weekend can’t get here soon enough.

 

Meanwhile In International Basketball…

Robinson

Former NBA journeyman and Napoleonic-God to all hoopers under 6 feet tall, Nate Robinson has resurfaced in Israel where he has signed for Hapoel Tel Aviv.  During an interview with Israeli television, a shirtless basketball toting, fold-up bicycle riding douche interrupts the on-screen back-n-forth with a challenge to the former NBA Dunk champ:

Nate’s response, “I’ll bust his ass” was perfect, a subtle and playful but obviously serious response to this Israeli Ben Affleck.  But who is this anonymous shit-talker?

Deadspin.com found out:

His name is Raz Nisim Cohen, he briefly played for a second-division team in the Israeli league, and has made a habit of profanely challenging pro basketball players in his country to one-on-one contests. The Times of Israel unearthed the above clip of Cohen calling out Hapoel Jerusalem’s Donta Smith.

Want more?  Yes of course you do:

And now I challenge you to watch his 27-minute shirtless highlight video, complete with Michael Bay-like slow-mo of killer cross-overs and 15-foot jumpshots set to 80’s and 90’s adult contemporary and Israeli counterpart music.  This guy is killing it at LIFE.

I can’t wait til Nate Robinson plays against him on local Israeli television on an outdoor court in Tel Aviv in front of 2’s of screaming fans.  Maybe the Knicks should just sign both Robinson and this guy?


More International News……..

Remember Ivan Johnson, former Hawks power forward and one of the most intimidating NBA players in recent memory?

Ivan-Johnson-TNT-Atlanta

Ivan The Terrible was just banned from the Phillipine Basketball Association FOR LIFE this morning for, “addressing the Commissioner with profanities and showing utter disrespect for authority.”

In the second quarter of the Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters (YES REALLY) game against the Meralco Bolts, Johnson got mad at referees after he was ejected for elbowing Bryan Faundo.  PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa reacted quickly and banned Johnson from the league and fined him 250,000 Phillipine pesos (about $5,000) before the game had even ended.

Just in case you’re keeping track, that’s TWO LIFETIME COUNTRY BANS for Ivan Johnson.  The Korean Basketball League banned him for life back in 2010 after he flipped officials the bird following an ejection.

I love Ivan Johnson.

20 Minutes of NOT Wasted Time

I’ve gone…..and done it again.  I fell down the rabbit hole of vintage 80s and 90s NBA highlights.

For anyone who is under 30, just shutup and watch these videos.  You need the education.

Let’s start it off with the best NBA Dunk Contests of All-Time:

A few notes: 1) Yes, Dr. J hit his head on the backboard in that first dunk.  2) The flat-top, gold-chain wearing, windmill machine from the Knicks is Kenny “Sky” Walker….and he was old school before old school was old school. 3) Cedric Ceballos could see through the blind-fold. 4) Brent Barry won a dunk contest without ever removing his warm-up jacket. 5) Stevie “Franchise” Francis sighting!  6) Jason Richardson’s bounce was DIRRRRRTTTTY. 7) Tracy McGrady would’ve won a dunk contest if his cousin, Vince Carter, wasn’t an alien from Planet Bouncey-Bounce. 8) Nate Robinson is so little!  9) Javale McGee was IN A DUNK CONTEST…and dunked on 2 hoops?!?!? 10) Vince Carter was ridiculous, and single-handedly made the wackest AND-1 shoes cool for like 5 minutes.

Shaq in high school is worth watching:

Vince Carter in high school is ALSO worth watching:

Oh, Lebron James was in a dunk contest in 2003:

And speaking of dunks, here’s MJ:

And just for fun, here’s some more MJ:

Remember “The Answer”?  Allen Iverson was UNGUARDABLE:

How about some Lakers love you say?  OK, Magic Johnson and the showtime Lakers:

How about a little more Shaq:

Julius Erving…AKA: the first Michael Jordan:

and last but least, The “Human Highlight Reel”, Dominique Wilkins:

Enjoy, more to come next time I’m feeling nostalgic……..

Nate Robinson Released By The Pelicans

Robinson

Nate Robinson’s quest to become the NBA’s version of Forest Gump has come to a screeching halt.  After starting at Point Guard for the Pelicans 2015-16 season opener, Nate has now been released.

Although Robinson was once a dynamic scoring-asset off the bench for the New York Knicks a few years ago, he’s struggled to make a consistent impact since undergoing ACL surgery in 2014.

hi-res-32ceb028c5ba3855ee3a8363d9990cb3_crop_north

Top-Five teams that make sense for Robinson (not counting his living room couch):

  1.  New York Knicks
  2. Denver Nuggets
  3. Sacramento Kings
  4. Minnesota T-Wolves
  5. Philadelphia 76ers