Posted on: March 6, 2012 3:11 pm
 

Video: Clipper Darrell cries on television

Posted by Ben Golliver  

This tiff between the Los Angeles Clippers and superfan Darrell Bailey was already at the soap opera stage, and that was before Bailey broke down in tears on television.

To quickly recap: Bailey was essentially the only fan of the franchise for more than a decade when they were terrible and he cut no corner and spared no expense to spread the Clippers gospel. The Clippers are finally good thanks to drafting Blake Griffin and trading for Chris Paul, and now they have a problem with Bailey and some of his methods, as they believe he's working to profit personally off of their brand.

Bailey said he was "devastated" by the team's stance and then this video happened.

During an on-air interview with an ABC affiliate in Los Angeles, Bailey broke down in tears and covered his face as a clearly disturbed host attempted to explain the tension between Bailey and the Clippers.

The video serves as a reminder that whether Bailey is trying to cash in or not, he's still poured gallons of blood, sweat and tears into fashioning his identity. It's also a reminder that this is a complete mess. Why the Clippers thought it was a good idea to go public with their grievances will remain a mystery forever. 

Here's the video of Clipper Darrell crying on television via YouTube user dwhizzzy and @Marcel_Mutoni.

Posted on: March 6, 2012 3:02 pm
 

Report: The Warriors have spoken to everyone

By Matt Moore

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Warriors have spoken with about half the league regarding trades to be made at the deadline. It's a pretty leaky faucet the Warriors have somewhere. Among the remarks, the Chronicle reports the Warriors spoke with the Hawks about trading for their All-Star, Joe Johnson
Atlanta: The Warriors think they could get Joe Johnson but feel he's a more expensive and possibly inferior player to Monta Ellis. They'd like Josh Smith, but they haven't found the Hawks willing to part with the forward.
via Considering the Warriors' trade possibilities.

This is the first time a substnative rumor regarding the Hawks being open to Johnson has surfaced. Johnson is in the second year of a six-year max deal which was panned by essentially everyone at the time. Johnson is a six-time All-Star, but his field goal percentage has dropped to 42 percent this season along with his assists and asssist rates, as well as his rebound rates.

But there's a hitch here. While Ellis is only shooting a better and is a much better assist creator, Johnson is a far superior defensive player. With Mark Jackson's committment to improving defense on the Warriors, Johnson might be a better fit as the primary scoring weapon for the Warriors in a volume shooting capacity. The Hawks, on the other hand would be be getting a gift if the Warriors took Johnson. It clears their books, gives them an offensive threat to respond with and possibly move again. 

Johnson is the star of the franchise, but Al Horford was also given a huge extension last year and something has to be figured out with Josh Smith as well as Jeff Teague

The Hawks will likely make the asking price too high, but it's interesting the Warriors have gone down that path at all.  
Posted on: March 6, 2012 1:36 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2012 1:53 pm
 

Charles Barkley: NBA had bounties

The only way Barkley would have won a ring is if someone bountied Jordan. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver  

Hall of Famer Charles Barkley said that a "bounty system" -- purposefully injuring an opponent for monetary gain -- isn't exclusive to the NFL, where pay-for-hit has become a lead headline in the offseason.

Indeed, in a DanPatrick.com interview, the TNT commentator said he personally participated in a bounty during the 1980s.

"One time," Barkley said, before refusing to identity the target's name and team. "I can't tell you that... I can't incriminate myself."

Barkley's definition of a bounty is apparently a little bit different from the standard. In his version, the purposeful injury was a method for ensuring that the unwritten rules of the game were upheld rather than merely an attempt to knock a particular player out of action.  

"We were getting beat by 30 points, back in my Philadelphia [76ers] days," Barkley remembered. "I'm a firm believer, if a guy shoots a three, that you knock his ass as far in the stands as you possibly can. We were getting beat by 30 or 40, I can't remember. This guy was shooting threes and running up and down the court. I said, 'Hey, we've got to hurt that guy right there.'"

Barkley put the bounty amount at $5,000.

Regardless of the sport or the circumstances, Barkley felt like the bounty was something that should stay in the locker room and away from media scrutiny.

"People are clearly going to overreact to the bounty thing," he said. "You have to be a punk to snitch that out. That's like giving a reporter an anonymous quote." 

It's impossible to truly compare the NFL and NBA versions, obviously. In the NBA, there are so many different methods for enforcing unwritten rules or dealing with out-of-line behavior that don't involve maiming someone. There are hard, clean fouls. There is plenty of dead ball time to mill around and exchange thoughts without a line of scrimmage intervening. There's running your offense at a guy over and over to let him know he should chill out on the other end. There's purposeful trash talk that escalates to double technicals. There's pushing, shoving and "Hold me back!!!!" There's nose-to-nose staredowns. There's talking loads of trash to a guy while he's shooting a free throw. There's hard fouling the violator's superstar teammate to send a message. There's walking over a guy when he's on the ground to send a message. 

The list goes on and on. Even the most intense NBA games rarely, rarely get to the point where a bounty would serve any real purpose. Of course, no pads or helmets and no tackling helps too. From Barkley's description, it sounds like this was a fairly rare occurrence. That's a good thing.

The "non-injury" theatre just laid out is fairly entertaining, in a pro wrestling sort of way. It's also way better than watching someone get carted off the court due to injury. 

Hat tip: ProBasketballTalk
Category: NBA
Posted on: March 6, 2012 4:57 am
 

Blake Griffin gets technical; was it dirty?

Posted by Ben Golliver 

You won't see this one replayed in a goofy Kia commercial. And, hopefully, someone gets through to Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin to let him know this type of play isn't OK, it's borderline dirty.

During the fourth quarter of a tightly contested game between the Clippers and the Timberwolves at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Griffin pulled down Luke Ridnour from behind after the Minnesota guard he broke up a transition pass from Chris Paul to Griffin. 

L.A.'s All-Star forward came barrelling down the key and, after the ball was already out of bounds, pulled Ridnour back towards him by yanking on his shoulder as the two crashed into the baseline. Thankfully, Ridnour's legs somehow managed not to get caught underneath him or he could have been looking at a broken bone or ruptured ligaments. His right foot did briefly catch on the court but pulled free quickly, ensuring that he narrowly avoided what could have been an ugly knee injury.

"What is that?" the FSWolves broadcaster noted in disgust. "Ridiculous."

The Timberwolves players, to their credit, immediately appealed to the officials in Ridnour's defense. The Timberwolves fans, to their credit, immediately and loudly lit into Griffin with boos over his action. The referees, to their credit, hit Griffin with a technical foul.

Minnesota went on to win the game, 95-94. Appropriately, the winning margin was equal to Ridnour's made technical foul shot, so at least there was some justice here.

In Griffin's defense, he plays all out, all the time. He gets into more than his fair share of mix-ups and melees. He's clearly a target around the league. This one, though, was inexcusable. 

Here's the video of Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin's technical foul and scary hit on Minnesota Timberwolves guard Luke Ridnour. 


Posted on: March 6, 2012 2:15 am
Edited on: March 6, 2012 2:22 am
 

Report Card 3.6.12: Celebrating revenge

The Bulls did some celebrating of their own in a beatdown of the Pacers. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Bulls second-half defense The Bulls' win over the Pacers in a "revenge" game for celebration-gate earlier in the month was close in the first half. In fact, the Pacers lead. It was going well. The pace was how the Pacers want it, and the Bulls offense had resorted back to "Rose dribbles around and then passes to Noah in the pinch post who holds it for too long until passing it to someone for a mid-range jumper which misses. Then the third quarter happened, a 33-13 cannibalistic raid which started with the Bulls attacking the Pacers dribble furiously to create turnovers then running out for dunks and transition threes. It was like Chokeholds in Seven Seconds or Less and it turned a great battle into a rout before the Pacers could figure out they were hit.
OKC defense The Thunder won the free throw differential, again. The Thunder had some bizarre offensive possessions again. But when the Thunder absolutely needed to shut down the Mavericks, they did. The defense for OKC has come miles in the last three weeks. They blanketed Dirk and disrupted Dallas' playsets enough to completely block out any chance of a miracle tying bucket. They allowed too many Dirk Nowitzki threes early in the fourth, but their recovery down the stretch was championship level.
Orlando Magic/Toronto Raptors The Raptors have no center, no real power forward, and are playing Jamal Magloire and a series of tweeners. And yet outside of Dwight Howard's dominant 36 points, the Raptors hung with the Magic. That says a lot about both teams. The Magic needed a clutch J.J. Redick three to finish them off and this team simply had no frontcourt to defend Orlando with. That's a problem loss.
Sacramento Kings Essentially, twice against the Nuggets, all the Kings had to do was avoid the exact thing they wound up doing. Don't foul Arron Afflalo on a desperation three-pointer at the end of regulation. Don't miss free throws. Don't let Lawson go ISO with space. And yet they did all these things, twice blowing leads that seemed safe and tossing away a game they had every chance to win.
Clippers composure Kenyon Martin gets T'd up needlessly inside the final three minutes. Blake Griffin gets a technical for a bad fall into Luke Ridnour, then missed both of his free throws for the fouls which started it. Chris Paul misses a tying free throw. For whatever reason, the Timberwolves turn the Clippers into toddlers with buckets on their heads, running into walls and down stairs.



E FOR EFFORT
Dwight Howard (36 points on 20 shots, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks in 26 minutes)
Al Jefferson (25 points on 16 shots, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks)
Kevin Love (39 points, 17 rebounds, huge shot after huge shot in the win)
Posted on: March 6, 2012 12:19 am
 

Video: Ty Lawson goes Lawesome in OT

By Matt Moore

Ty Lawson is stepping up and becoming a regular clutch machine. After hitting a game winner just days ago, Lawson stepped up in overtime and helped the Nuggets overcome a 5 point deficit with 15 seconds to go in a win over the Kings

 

The Nuggets are starting to find that they have two closers, Arron Afflalo and Lawson. Both players played huge roles in the comeback Monday night, and both have the ability to score out of the ISO set, the preferred NBA offensive set. With big shots against Houston and Portland in the last week, the Nuggets are recovering their momentum they lost due to injuries. 

It's nice to see Lawson taking the next step. 


Posted on: March 5, 2012 7:57 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 8:26 pm
 

Reports: Clippers interested in Ray Allen trade?

Ray Allen could be on the move before the trade deadline. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver 

Talk about a dream trade, at least from one side.

Multiple reports indicate that the Los Angeles Clippers are interested in trading for Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen in advance of the Mar. 15 trade deadline.

CSNNE.com reports that the Clippers are one of a number of teams interested in the veteran sharp-shooter who is in the final year of a contract that pays him $10 million this season.
Among those believed to have some interest in Allen, are the Los Angeles Clippers. With the season-ending injury to Chauncey Billups, the Clippers have a huge void to fill at the shooting guard position.
SI.com also reports the Clippers' interest, but foresees difficulty making the deal.
Yet for all the talk of Boston point guard Rajon Rondo possibly being traded, some league executives have shooting guard and free-agent-to-be Ray Allen pegged as the most likely to be moved. Sources say the Clippers are interested, having lost Chauncey Billups to season-ending injury and lost out to New York in the J.R. Smith sweepstakes. But the price is likely too high, as Boston wants a package that includes a young talent and a draft pick.
So, yeah, talk about a dream scenario: championship contender fills biggest hole with best available player at that position without real assets to provide in return. Not super likely.

Boston would indeed do best to move Allen at the deadline for a young asset and pick rather than allow him to expire this summer. Allowing him to come off the books this summer is a nice back-up plan, but he still has significant value, especially to contenders, because of his proven playoff ability. The aging, inconsistent Celtics have no shot of making a substantive run through the East; cashing in on Allen would make the deadline a success.

Quickly, L.A.'s interest here is obvious. Allen fits a hole perfectly, stretches defenses to open the court for All-Star guard Chris Paul, can make teams pay for double-teaming on All-Star forward Blake Griffin and adds the postseason experience a newly-formed team can't get enough of.

The only real rule from Boston's side is that any future money they take back must be for a player they see as a long-term fit or for a talented youngster on a rookie deal who will have the opportunity to blossom. That's where it gets tricky to make a deal with the Clippers.

The best package they could create would be Mo Williams, Eric Bledsoe and a future, future pick. Williams would be needed to help match contracts with Allen, Bledsoe is L.A.'s one remaining tradeable young asset and the pick would have to be generated from another deal or pushed into the future because L.A. has already moved its 2012 first in a previous deal. Another version could include trading Randy Foye's expiring contract, Chauncey Billups' expiring deal and Bledsoe but that starts to create roster spot issues for Boston to accept back all those players in trade.

The biggest problem with either scenario is that Bledsoe does not play a position of need for Boston. At 22, he unquestionably possesses untapped upside and, other than injury insurance, he doesn't figure to see much time as long as All-Star Chris Paul is in town. He's played just 64 minutes all season with so many veterans competing for minutes for the Clippers and because he's dealt with some injuries. His external worth to a team without depth at the one is far greater than his internal worth, making him an obvious trade chip.

But Boston has its own incumbent All-Star in Rajon Rondo and a young prospect in training in Avery Bradley. Assuming Celtics GM Danny Ainge doesn't move Rondo in a blockbuster -- always a possibility -- the uber-talented point guard represents the one bit of certainty heading into the future, with Hall of Fame forward Kevin Garnett and Allen likely moving on. Even franchise forward Paul Pierce's future isn't guaranteed. Rondo can be the cornerstone centerpiece in any rebuilding or blow-it-up scenario. All deals are therefore assessed on whether the incoming pieces fit with him.

Taking back Williams, who is on the books through 2012-2013 assuming he picks up his player option, doesn't make a lot of sense in that framework. He's playing well this season, averaging 13.5 points per game and shooting nearly 40 percent from deep, but he's not a starting caliber backcourt complement to Rondo and a GM facing the challenges Ainge is facing would likely prefer cap flexibility to Williams' contract, given its $8.5 million price tag.

Basketball fans should want Allen on the Clippers. It would transform L.A. into a team that could give both Oklahoma City and Miami a run for the title. But without the intervention of a third (or fourth) team or an extreme act of charity from Ainge, this one wouldn't seem to have real legs.
Posted on: March 5, 2012 6:16 pm
 

Fun day, Sunday for Rondo, Williams

By Matt Moore

It's an interesting debate, to be honest. And the answer to the question says a lot about who you are. The question, in reality, is more interesting than the answer, as the answer is impossible. 

The question... in question, so to speak? Which one is better: 

Whose Sunday was better?
Deron Williams (57 points, 16-29 from the field, 4-11 from three-point land, 21-21 from FT line, six rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 1 block. Five turnovers. )
Rajon Rondo (18 points, 17 rebounds, 20 assists, 1 steal, 1 block. 7-20 shooting, 4 turnovers.)


Rondo put together the kind of all-around game that very few players can put together. Guys can score points, but they can't score points (even with 20 attempts), and snare that many rebounds, and dish that many assists. Actually there are few that can dish that many assists on their own. Only two players have come close to what Rondo did, Oscar Robertson and Wilt Chamberlain. You know. Those guys. Even against the Knicks who Rondo always manages to slice and dice to pieces couldn't have expected a performance like that. The numbers just leap off the page at you. That kind of production is essentially that of two players. The shooting numbers are bad. But you cannot say anything but that Rondo was the biggest reason the Celtics won in overtime over the Knicks. 

Williams, on the other hand, set the Nets franchise record and the NBA season high for 2012. And, well, he scored a double-nickel-plus-two. Williams was blistering, efficient and unstoppable. He was facing the Bobcats, but then, Kobe's 81 was against a terrible Raptors team. You do what you have to in order to win, and Williams needed to score 57.

So who you got?

 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com