NBA Suspends Shaun Livingston And Referee Courtney Kirkland For On Court Altercation

NBA Suspends Shaun Livingston And Referee Courtney Kirkland For On Court Altercation

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The NBA handed down some discipline today to Golden State Warriors guard, Shaun Livingston, as well as referee, Courtney Kirkland. Livingston was suspended for one game and Kirkland was suspended for a week after they essentially headbutted each other during the Warriors game against the Miami Heat.

Livingston was upset with the no call on what he felt was a foul and he wasn’t shy about letting Kirkland know about it. At that point, rather than walking away and just calling a technical foul, Kirkland engaged and walked towards Livingston and was part of the reason their heads touched. Livingston was immediately ejected.

He will miss the Warriors game tonight against the Pelicans, while Kirkland will be suspended from officiating a game until December 11th.

Written by Joe Casey

Twitter: @IamJoeSports

 

Dec 5, 2017 No Comments
Lavar Ball Pulls LiAngelo Out Of UCLA Over Suspension, Plans To Get Him Ready For NBA Draft

Lavar Ball Pulls LiAngelo Out Of UCLA Over Suspension, Plans To Get Him Ready For NBA Draft

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LiAngelo Ball hadn’t stepped on the court for UCLA this season and now he never will, thanks to his father, Lavar. The Elder Ball pulled his son out of school and there are no plans to try and enroll him elsewhere. The plan, according to Lavar, is to get “Gelo” ready for the NBA draft.

“I’m going to make him way better for the draft than UCLA ever could have,” he said.

“He’s not transferring to another school,” he told ESPN. “The plan is now to get Gelo ready for the NBA draft.”

Lavar is reportedly upset with UCLA for the indefinite suspension they gave to LiAngelo and the other two players who were caught stealing in China.  “I’m not sitting back and waiting,” LaVar Ball told ESPN. “He wasn’t punished this bad in China. We get back over here and the consequences were even stiffer than China. So basically they’re in jail here.”

In fact, Lavar removed LiAngelo from the school without notifying anyone related to the UCLA basketball program.  “I haven’t told any of those guys,” Lavar said. “They didn’t tell me anything, so why am I gonna tell them.”

Eventually coach Steve Alford was made aware of what’s going on and released a statement. “We learned today of LiAngelo Ball’s intention to withdraw from UCLA,” Alford said. “We respect the decision he and his family have made, and we wish him all the best in the future.”

Lavar seems somewhat delusional with the whole process of his son being suspended. Sure it was just a young, dumb mistake by LiAngelo, but for Lavar to think the whole thing was just going to go away soon and his son would only be suspended a few games is not realistic.

As part of his suspension, UCLA took away his meal card and he hasn’t been allowed to practice or travel with the team. Even before all of this happened, it was clear that LiAngelo was going to be coming off the bench for the Bruins, which was also something that didn’t sit well with Lavar. “They had him there just to use the Ball family name. They were going to keep the best shooter on the team coming off the bench? That’s like telling the Clippers back in the day not to play JJ Redick,” LaVar Ball said.

What happens now with LiAngelo is anyone’s guess. He wasn’t highly rated by any NBA scout, even before the incident in China happened, this according to Adrian Wojnarowski. This will also likely change the plans of the youngest brother, LaMelo, attending UCLA as well, which he had already committed to starting in 2019.

It’s never a boring day when Lavar Ball is involved.

Written By Joe Casey

Twitter: @IamJoeSports

Dec 4, 2017 No Comments
Kristaps Porzingis Is Showing He Is Ready To Lead Right Now

Kristaps Porzingis Is Showing He Is Ready To Lead Right Now

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Coming into the 2017-18 season, a question that was on the mind of many New Yorkers and people around the NBA was if Kristaps Porzingis was ready to take on the challenge of leading a team. Porzingis had the benefit of playing alongside Carmelo Anthony for his first two seasons in the league and was never really looked upon to lead anyone. Instead, he played his role and quietly watched how Anthony handled the spotlight and bright lights of New York City. On the court it was never a question as to who was going to take the last shot in a tight game, or who would shoulder the majority of the offensive load on a nightly basis. Anthony would handle all of that as Porzingis continued to get better without having to deal with the full glare of the media or expectations of clutch performances when it counted most.

Now at the age of just 22, all of that has changed. With Anthony’s departure to Oklahoma City, it is now Porzingis who is expected to lead. The Knicks coaches and fans alike are looking to him to carry the offense, to take and hit late game shots, to deal with the full attention of the media and perhaps most importantly, deliver hope to a generation of fans, whom with a few exceptions, have seen nothing but year after year of losing. The good news is although we are only eight games into the season, Porzingis is showing he is more than capable of being that leader on and off the court.

Lets start with the hard numbers. Porzingis is averaging career highs in points (29.0), field goal attempts (22.0), field goal percentage (48.3) and rebounds (7.8). Add scoring at least 30 points in six of the first eight games and just under 2 blocks per game and it’s no wonder chants of MVP are raining down on the Unicorn during the Knicks somewhat surprising 4-4 start. He’s earned every one of those chants with his performance and overall effort.

We have seen more confidence and emotion from him through just eight games this season than perhaps we did in his first two seasons combined. After the Knicks opened the season with a loss to the Thunder, it was Anthony who said he was happy to see Porzingis be so aggressive and confident with his decision making. Those trends have continued through seven games since as he is doing things different than we have seen before. In his first two seasons, there would be times Porzingis was hesitant to shoot over a defender, even when being guarded by players much shorter than himself. This season, he is wasting no time establishing position and going up with the ball over defenders of all heights as he knows there is really no such thing as a bad shot for him. With each passing game, more and more of that confidence exudes from his 7’3 frame. In fact, after the Knicks win over the Phoenix Suns, it was former Knicks player, Tyson Chandler who said he had a real shot to become the best player in the league. It was a comment that Porzingis was appreciative of but he didn’t shy away from it. “Those are some big words coming from him. I believe so, too. I believe so, too,” Porzingis said. “And that’s something I’m going to work towards.”

It was also a statement that Knicks coach, Jeff Hornacek found easy to agree with. “We knew he had the talent to do it. When you become that guy and the focus is on you, that was our hope he’d do that,” Hornacek said. “It’s panned out. That’s to his credit. Playing in EuroBasket made a big difference of being the main guy. He knew could translate it when he comes here.

“He’s enjoying that role, and has the confidence to do it. You’re always surprised when a guy comes out scoring 30 every night, but in a way you’re not surprised.” He did also add “He’s become a better all-around defender,’’ in regards to MVP talk. The Knicks of course will have to at the very least be a playoff team for any of that MVP talk to become legit.

Even showing more of that confidence, Porzingis has adopted the “Mamba mentality” from the player he loved the most growing up, Kobe Bryant. Not long after dropping a career high 38 points on the Denver Nuggets, Porzingis explained how he goes about things in the same way that Bryant would. “I watched a Kobe interview, the game he had 81. He said at any moment he didn’t stop, ‘Oh I got 50. I got 60.’ He just kept going. That’s my mentality always. Whatever is going on I just keep being aggressive, keep playing my game, and once the game is over I check my stats.”

Off the court, besides conducting himself like a model citizen despite all the sinful opportunities that lie within the big apple, Porzingis is being more vocal through the media. Recently, his brother Janis drew the ire of Knicks fans when he gave an interview to a Latvian publication, where he sounded as if he was threatening the Knicks in regards to his brother signing a contract extension this summer. In the past, Porzingis may not have even addressed any of it and remained silent, similar to how he was all summer after skipping out on his exit interview last season. Instead, he spoke about everything directly and wanted to clear the air as a leader would. “I think fans know I’m here in New York, I love New York and I see myself as a Knick for a long, long time,” he said. “And I think they shouldn’t be worrying about that.”

“I thought the article and everything was taken out of context. A big part,” Porzingis continued. “But it is what it is. He made those comments and right now I really want to focus on the game, really. Just during the season I don’t think this is the right time to talk about things like that.”

He also spoke on comments his brother made where it seemed he was taking direct shots at Carmelo Anthony for how he handled things last season. Porzingis also shot those down. “Me and Carmelo, we have a great relationship no matter,” he said. “It’s taken out of context. A lot of that stuff, it’s not how he meant it. Me and Melo, we know what kind of relationship we have. I’m not worried about that.” In a city like New York, you can’t let rumors grow into something bigger and become a distraction and that appears to be something he already knows.

While it has only been a small sample size, it’s clear that anyone who was concerned with Porzingis needing another year with Melo before he could lead on his own, or needing more time to develop in general, were dead wrong. It’s still a long season and the Knicks may or may not wind up being a playoff team but there is no debating that the era of the unicorn is off to a great start and his leadership may be just the thing to guide them into the postseason.

Written by Joe Casey

Twitter: @IamJoeSports

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 5, 2017 No Comments
Steph Curry Fined $50,000 For Throwing Mouthpiece, Andre Iguodala Fined As Well

Steph Curry Fined $50,000 For Throwing Mouthpiece, Andre Iguodala Fined As Well

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The NBA handed down fines today on Warriors players, Steph Curry and Andre Iguodala for their actions during Saturday night’s loss to the Grizzlies. Sam Amick of USA Today was first with the information.

The $50,000 fine is the maximum the league is able to enforce for the situation. This comes after Steph was fined $25,000 for throwing his mouthpiece during the finals in 2016. The league wasn’t able to prove that Steph was trying to throw his mouthpiece at the ref, which is likely the reason for no suspension.

The strangest part of all of this is the $15,000 fine for Iguodala. He seemed to be trying to calm Steph down and never once did I see him get hostile towards the referees. Kevin Durant was the one who had alot to say to the refs and got ejected along with Steph. The league did not announce any type of discipline for Durant.

For his part, Steph has been apologetic about the whole incident. “I didn’t even need to watch it,” said Curry. “In the grand scheme of things, it’s Game 3, we were playing terrible, I was frustrated because I was fouling and I thought I got fouled on the last play. The reaction was definitely a little over the top.”

The Warriors play at Dallas on Monday night and will look to get on track after a 1-2 start.

Written by Joe Casey

Twitter: @IamJoeSports

Oct 23, 2017 No Comments
Dwyane Wade Asks Coach Ty Lue To Bring Him Off The Bench, JR Smith To Start Once Again

Dwyane Wade Asks Coach Ty Lue To Bring Him Off The Bench, JR Smith To Start Once Again

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Most athletes talk about being a good teammate and doing things for the better of the team before themselves but few actually put their actions where their mouths are. Dwayne Wade is one of those few. Cavs coach, Tyronn Lue, said earlier on Monday that Wade came to him and said he would prefer to come off the bench rather than start.

According to Lue, the reason for Wade wanting the change was for the betterment of the team overall, since he has struggled in his role in the starting lineup and thinks the team would benefit more by JR Smith starting in his place.

At the Cavs practice today, Wade was able to explain things in his own words to reporters.

As Wade mentioned, him coming off the bench and being a leader for the second unit was something he discussed with Lue when he first signed with the team.  Although it’s still very early in the season, Wade has struggled in the starting role, averaging 5.7ppg, while shooting only 28% from the field. His average of 23 minutes per game isn’t exactly starter minutes either. The move to the bench should give him a little more freedom on the court as the playmaker with the second unit, where he won’t be playing off of Lebron as much. After practice, Wade took to twitter and it was clear he is very content with the move.

One lesser talked about situation in all of this was the rumored tension between Wade & Smith after Wade took his starting role after Smith claimed he was told nothing would change when the Cavs signed Wade. This move by Wade should smooth over any lingering feelings and build better team chemistry. Overall it’s a smart move by a veteran athlete who has already won at the highest levels and sees what his role can be to help this team reach it’s peak.

Written By Joe Casey

Twitter: @IamJoeSports

Oct 23, 2017 No Comments