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.

 

Pop For President In 2020

Who do we need to call to make this a real thing?  Is there a petition we need to start?  Can Obama help make this happen?

More from Coach Pop:

“I’m a rich white guy, and I’m sick to my stomach thinking about it. I can’t imagine being a Muslim right now, or a woman, or an African American, a Hispanic, a handicapped person. How disenfranchised they might feel. And for anyone in those groups that voted for him, it’s just beyond my comprehension how they ignore all of that. My final conclusion is, my big fear is—we are Rome.”

Coach Pop and Bernie for President/Vice President in 2020!!!

Dec 18, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich on the sidelines against the Los Angeles Clippers at the AT&T Center. San Antonio won 115-107. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

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Let’s make America NOT-Russia again!

This Derrick Rose Thing Is Weird

College football is over, the NFL is winding down, although still very much a headline grabber for every sports media outlet.  Very soon all we’ll have left to complain about is “The Orange Is The New Black” in the White House and college/NBA basketball.

Just to get us warmed up, I introduced you all to the newest rising star in the NBA last week, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks (he’s my new NBA man-crush, bare with me).

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Transitioning from the fun and exciting to the strange and progressively odd, let’s talk the Knicks’ Derrick Rose.  Reportedly, Rose was a no-call-no-show for the Pelicans game a few nights ago, citing “family issues” as the reason he went completely MIA and off the grid for 24 hours.

More reports have surfaced today about the incident, expanding on the details of this emerging story.

deadspin.com reported:

Rose, according to two independent sources who spoke to the Daily News on the condition of anonymity, was such an emotional wreck Monday afternoon that his only solution was to abruptly leave the Knicks to be with his mother and his son.

In fact, Rose’s state of mind was such that for a brief time he talked about walking away from basketball for an extended period of time to clear his mind. That seems hard to believe since Rose is only 28 years old and could land a lucrative free agent contract this summer, something he talked about two years ago.

Derrick Rose sounds like a troubled young man, you can tell by his body-language and his general depressing demeanor.  Family issues are always tough, I would imagine even more amplified for professional athletes, but going completely off the grid with no communication is completely unacceptable behavior for any professional business or sports franchise at any level.   The Knicks need to cut/trade Rose or put him on extended leave from the team and let him get his personal life together.  The moment that a player talks about “walking away from basketball” at the age of 28, especially a former MVP who’s career has tanked lately due to injury, the sad truth is there’s no way that Rose is mentally stable enough to contribute to a team’s success or even be a decent teammate right now, much less a leader or effective point guard.

It’s hard to remember some times that professional athletes are real people with real emotional problems, Derrick Rose is a tough kid from the projects of Chicago who’s outlet (seemingly) has always been basketball.  Since his injury problems and eventual trade from his home town of Chicago to New York, he hasn’t been the same player on the court, and I would imagine it’s finally taken it’s toll on him off the court.  Maybe he’s hit the breaking point mentally?

2016 was a tumultuous year for Rose, he was traded from Chicago to New York and basically told by his home town team that they were done waiting on him to recover from his multiple injuries/surgeries, essentially cutting bait of him and making him some one else’s problem.  Then there was the very public rape case that he was eventually found not-liable for…..

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Have you ever seen a rape case get thrown out, that leads into a photo shoot between the defendant and the jurors?!?!?  Well, you have now:

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Jurors John and Jared pose with Derrick Rose and his attorney, Mark Baute, in the lobby of the federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. The jury had cleared Rose in the civil trial earlier in the day. Photo: Diana Moskovitz/Deadspin

Several articles have come out over the last few days concerning this topic, it seems like the media snowball is rolling and picking up steam on the Knicks point guard.  I’m sure more details and insight will continue to surface, this may be just the tip of the iceberg.  Just for entertainment purposes (and a gag reflex), check out Greg Anthony’s take on the situation here.

Just to clarify, Greg Anthony isn’t the most credible source to be discussing “unacceptable behavior”.  

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Community Service erases crimes right?

Maybe somebody should tell Mr. Anthony to take a seat on this one?

 

You Should Know Giannis Antetokounmpo

Pronounced “YAN-iss  AH-DEN-de-Koombo”.

Say it with me now……Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Well done.

“The Greek Freak” or sometime known as “The Alphabet”,  is the latest superstar to emerge in the NBA, albeit for a team (Milwaukee Bucks) that casual NBA fans probably thought was an NBDL squad up until reading this article.  Sorry Milwaukee, but most people couldn’t find you on a map if their life depended on it.  You’re the Delaware of the midwest.

Just to clarify that video clip, check out where he took off from for that dunk………….Giannis is a silky-smooth 7’0″, 220 lb comic-book athlete with the grace and length of a Princess Diana-Simpsons hybrid creature gifted to our basketball community from Hermes (Greek God of Athletics) himself.

  • If you don’t get that reference it’s ok, I’ll spell it out for you…..Princess Diana was extremely graceful and known for her beauty and poise, while The Simpsons is the longest running scripted TV show in the history of the boob-tube.  Diana=grace, The Simpsons=length….got it?  Grace and Length. 

He’s been compared to Russell Westbrook due to his explosive and unprecedented athleticism.  Some have put him in the Kevin Durant category due to his incredible length and ability.  There’s been mention of classics like George Gervin and even Magic Johnson.  But in my mind only one comparison truly fits, Scottie Pippen 2.0 or as I like to call him, “Scottie Pippen Part 2 –  If a Gazelle Could Ice Skate”.

If you stood Giannis side-by-side next to Kristaps Porzingas and told them to group hug the USC marching band, their palms would touch in Australia and their fingers would interlock off the coast of Madagascar.

According to basketballreference.com , Giannis is officially a “Shooting Guard and Small Forward and Point Guard”:

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He can guard any position on the floor, he can score from anywhere on the floor and at only 22 years old, he’s leading his Bucks in basically every category this season at 23.9 ppg, 9.1 rpg and 5.8 apg, pushing hard (and well-deserved) for an all-star spot in 2017.

NBA scouts often use a word that can be the kiss of death for some while being evaluated, that word is “potential”.  In some cases this word is code for an incredible athlete who has a lot of work to do in specific skill-sets and/or the mental game needs to vastly improve.  But in this case, the “potential” for Giannis is off the charts, even if the outlier reference-point is Russell Westbrook.  There’s no kiss of death “potential” for “The Greek Freak”, in the immortal words of Biggie Smalls, the sky is the limit.

 

 

Craig Sager has Died

Craig Sager Has Died


Photo: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

TNT basketball sideline reporter Craig Sager has died. He was 65.

Sager had started treatments for leukemia in 2014. In March of this year, doctors gave him three to six months to live after the cancer was no longer in remission. Sager had planned to cover the Rio Olympics this summer, but had to skip them to undergo more treatments. In a deal with ESPN, he assumed duties with Shelley Smith in Game 6 between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, his first NBA Finals assignment.

Sager developed a comical rapport with San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, who was curt with everyone but eventually softened up towards the reporter, as well as his son, Craig Sager Jr. Sager didn’t want preferential treatment, however, as he told SI’s Richard Deitsch:

“Pop saying he wanted me back and then promising to be nice? I was like, Oh, my God, that’s unbelievable, what an honor,” said Sager. “But then I started thinking about it: If I come back and Pop starts being nice to me, it just wouldn’t be right. I want him to go Serbian on me.”

The Associated Press wrote about Sager’s third bone marrow treatment with stem cells in September, and the sideline reporter’s refusal to accept the bad odds dealt to him:

“Man, life is too beautiful, too wonderful, there’s just too many things,” he said. “It’s not just you. It’s your family and kids and all. Fight. Fight until the end. Fight as hard as you can.”

Even Coach Pop liked Craig Sager (click here).

JR Smith Gives The MOST JR Smith Answer EVER

Further solidifying his strong-hold on the biggest knucklehead in the NBA, JR Smith replied to reporters’ questions about what happened last night when he walked off the court DURING the game to show the Bucks’ Jason Terry some love on the bench, leaving his man wide open for a dunk.  Here’s the play:

Here’s the post-game response:

Never-mind the ski-mask, we’ll just tip-toe past that detail for now (obviously trying to hide from reporters the same way a 4 year-old would, by closing his eyes and covering his face with his hands, peak-a-boo) he tries to dodge the question in every man’s first reaction to a question he doesn’t want to answer: “uhhhhh, what, uhhhhhh what play are you talking about?”  “Wait, what are we talking about?”.

Then following it up with, “I didn’t know I was in the game.”

GENIUS.

Well done JR, welllllllllllllll done.