Charles Oakley on today’s NBA players: ‘Some should wear dresses’

Charles Oakley has some thoughts on the current generation of NBA stars.

Speaking in Dallas before this weekend’s BIG3 event, the former Knicks star said today’s players are sensitive and that some should wear dresses.

The elbow jumper. It’s just part of his natural scoring instinct. When he gets you on the elbow he can create something, he is going to move his feet 100 different ways, but he knows where he is going. He can make a fallaway from there, which is the kind of clutch, late-game move you need. Of all the things he does, that is the one that shows just how good he can be.

He gets a little selfish out there. He won’t be able to do that with a team as talented as the Celtics. There are too many other scorers. But he does get it in his mind sometimes that he is going to take the shot, and he might use up all the clock before he throws up a dud. That is fixable, though.

You can do anything with this guy defensively. He can guard four positions. He has instincts, he can swallow up shooting guards with his length and his athleticism, but he is strong enough to handle 4s. His ability to get to the basket is terrific, but the way he can switch off anyone and still handle himself defensively, that is going to change things for the Suns.

He won’t be able to live off athleticism on the offensive end in the NBA. He needs to completely rebuild his shot, I think. He is young enough that you can break him down and rebuild his jumper and probably do it pretty quickly.

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Michael Jordan on LaVar Ball: ‘I don’t think he could beat me if I was one-legged’

Michael Jordan finally responded Monday to LaVar Ball’s outrageous boast earlier this year in USA Today that Back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one.

Answering questions at his Michael Jordan Flight School in Santa Barbara, Calif., Jordan not only addressed Ball’s comments but also put the man in his place succinctly.

It doesn’t deserve a response, but I’ma give it to you because you asked the question, Jordan said. I don’t think he could beat me if I was one-legged.

A little context: LaVar Ball played one season at Washington State, averaging 2.2 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. Michael Jordan played 13 seasons in the NBA and averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game.

No one in his right mind thinks Ball could beat MJ one-on-one, including, now we know, MJ himself.

All of this, of course, comes with an obvious caveat: Griffin’s health. He has suffered a number of injuries over the last three seasons that have limited him to playing 163 out of a possible 246 regular season games. Seeing as most of those have been lower body injuries, it raises concerns about how prepared he is to put the Clippers on his back and carry them to the playoffs in what will be a loaded Western Conference. Griffin might not even be healthy to start next season (though he has said he expects to be ready for training camp), which wouldn’t be the most promising of starts to the post-Paul era in Los Angeles.

Nevertheless, if we’re operating under the assumption that Griffin can stay healthy, there’s no reason why the Clippers can’t continue to be one of the top offensive teams in the NBA with him at the helm. Griffin has shown he is capable of being both a scorer and a facilitator in the past, and the Clippers are built to play to his strengths.

At the very least, they owe it to themselves to see how far Griffin can take them as the No. 1 option as he enters his prime.

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LeBron James joins chorus decrying President Trump for Charlottesville response

LeBron James took to Twitter to voice his condemnation of the white supremacist demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va., that turned violent and the manner in which President Donald Trump responded to the situation.

As white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klansmen clashed with counter-protesters, a car drove into a crowd of people, killing one and injuring 19 others. A few hours later, two Virginia state police officers died when their helicopter crashed in an accident linked to the rally.

We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!, Trump tweeted.

But what comes after that for James? We checked in with executives around the league for insights on what to expect for James next summer.

Stay home As goofy as things have gotten with the Cavs, all is not lost with James and his team. He has left Cleveland once, of course, and the sting of the backlash he got after that still lingers. But there is a sense that James accomplished what he went back to Cleveland to accomplish win a championship and that his next move will center on giving him one more run at a title, combined with his personal comfort.

Head to LA James has a home in Los Angeles, and it is an open secret around the league that the Lakers are planning a major push, with new honcho Magic Johnson as the salesman, to woo James next summer.

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NBA referees condemn LaVar Ball for his sexist rant towards a female official

The NBA Referees Association is not happy with LaVar Ball’s sexist rant about a female referee after an AAU game on Friday in Las Vegas.

She’s a woman who’s trying to act get that she’s trying to break into the referee thing, Ball said. But just giving techs and calling fouls, that’s no way to do it. I know what she trying to say: I gave LaVar, I gave him a tech, I’m strong.’ That ain’t got nothing to do with it. Just call the game.

If you’re going to be qualified, you better be in shape, and you better know the game. And she’s bad on both of them. She’s not in shape, she’s not calling the game right, and she don’t understand, so now she’s trying to make a name for herself. So she’s walking around like, I’m the only woman in here.’ Yeah, we get it, I don’t care if you a woman or a man or whatever, just be good at what you do.

The NBA Referees Association posted a series of tweets on Sunday, sharing their disappointment in Ball’s behavior and how Adidas, who had the female replaced, handled the situation.

This appalling story about the female referee removed during an AAU game warrants serious discussion, read a tweet from the NBA Referees Association Twitter account. First, the misogynistic comments and intimidation by the coach have no place in basketball – or anywhere. The actions by Adidas show what happens when an organization does not support those tasked with protecting the integrity of the game. We support the referee community. This offensive behavior cannot stand, & hurts all those involved in basketball.

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Kings’ Zach Randolph arrested amid confrontation with police in Los Angeles

Kings forward Zach Randolph was arrested Wednesday night in Los Angeles amid a disturbance that saw a crowd throw rocks and bottles at police.

There are conflicting reports about the way the incident at the Nickerson Gardens housing project in Watts unfolded.

Iguodala’s words, not ours.

He’s up there with the smartest basketball players and the game comes so easy to him so you would think he’s athletic, Iguodala said while helping out with TNT’s coverage of the PGA Championship on Saturday afternoon (via TheScore.com). But like if you watch him throw a football it’s like, he played tight end but he can’t throw a football. And he can’t hit a baseball, he whacks at a baseball like … any other sport, it just doesn’t transfer for him.

Good thing Green’s skill set is more than enough to make him millions upon millions of dollars playing basketball. He averaged 10.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists for the Warriors this past season, helping the team to its second NBA title in three years, so it doesn’t matter if he can’t hit a 9 iron. He’s pretty set for life.

Just don’t expect him to pull a Michael Jordan and attempt a second career with the Lancaster Jethawks because the man is not a multi-sport athlete.

They (were) doing that because they said James just be going in there spending like … you know what I mean, Mal said (about 21 minutes into the episode). So they gave him his own jersey hanging from the rafters of the strip club.

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Warriors bringing PSLs to NBA at new $1B arena, report says

The champion Warriors confirmed to ESPN.com Wednesday that they will be the first team in the NBA to require personal seat licenses for fans wanting to buy season tickets at their new $1 billion arena.

Many NFL teams charge fees for the right to buy season tickets, but the revenue-driver has never been used in the NBA.

According to the report, the Suns and Cavs have agreed to include Eric Bledsoe and a first-round pick in 2018 in the deal, but the Suns are unwilling to include Jackson and already have told Devin Booker he wouldn’t be traded.

If that [Bledsoe, a first-round pick and Jackson] deal for Irving was there, it’d be done by now, an unidentified league source with knowledge of the Cavs’ thinking told Cleveland.com.

CBSSports.com puts a finer point on the potential trade’s context: Phoenix isn’t on Irving’s list of preferred destinations, and since he holds a player option for the 2019-20 season, the Suns don’t want to face dealing Jackson, a key piece in their rebuild, only to see Irving gone after two seasons.

Stay tuned. Under league rules, Jackson can’t be traded for 30 days after signing his rookie contract, which he did July 3. That means the Suns couldn’t deal him until later this week.

So what is this accident Kanter speaks of? No one knows, but apparently he has already punished himself for buzzing off his trademark facial hair.

There is always the caveat, after more than two weeks of Summer League basketball in the NBA, that what you just witnessed does not count for much. The stars of Summer League so often are swept into the league’s dustbin — one of the great all-time Summer-Leaguers, after all, was Anthony Randolph, who is sometimes known by his nickname, Anthony Who?

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Kyrie Irving’s trade request influenced by Justin Bieber’s pastor, report says

Once again, there is a plot twist in the Kyrie Irving-Cavaliers saga.

Irving decided to ask the Cavaliers for a trade after talking to his pastor, Carl Lentz of Hillsong Church, according to TMZ Sports.

Irving went to Lentz recently and talked to him about his desire not always be overshadowed by LeBron James. While Lentz didn’t tell Irving to leave the team, according to the report, he said Irving needed to do what was in his best interests.

Pop star Justin Bieber reportedly consulted with Lentz before pulling out of a recent tour, with rumors swirling that Lentz was influential in helping Bieber realize he wanted to focus on his Christian life. Bieber recently shot down those reports, saying he was exhausted after touring for two years.

TMZ also posted a video showing Irving, Bieber and Lentz hanging out at an arcade last week.

I could’ve easily gone crazy, Mason Jr. said.

Death and disappointment are no stranger to him. His grandmother, Mason Sr.’s mother, died just two weeks ago. Before his father passed away, he’d already lost a brother on his mom’s side of the family. Injuries derailed a once promising basketball career and a chance to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Mason Jr. is 6-7 just like Sr. However, he’s much leaner at 215 pounds, whereas Mason Sr. was listed at 250 pounds during his playing days, one of the most menacing physical forces in 1990s basketball. Mason Jr. averaged 14 points per game as a junior for the Red Storm but only played 19 games as a redshirt senior due to injury.

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Cavs’ Richard Jefferson is sympathetic to Kyrie Irving’s trade mindset

When news broke Friday that Kyrie Irving wanted to be traded away from the Cavaliers so he wouldn’t be under LeBron James’s shadow, it took the sports world by storm.

Now that some of the hot fuzz has died down, fellow Cavalier Richard Jefferson said he understands why Irving wants to move on, and that it’s not an insult to James nor the Cavaliers.

I think Kyrie is a hyper-intelligent kid, Jefferson said on his Road Trippin’ podcast on Monday. Really, really smart. Doesn’t get enough credit for how smart he is, and I think seeing that the franchise is in flux. I think seeing [David Griffin] leave and the amount of coaches … I think Kyrie has had a much tougher time in this stretch of the organization than anyone ever wants to ever really fully [recognize].

He’s the No. 1 pick right after LeBron [left for the Heat in 2010], then he has three different coaches, then LeBron comes back, now there’s trade rumors, now it’s ‘LeBron’s leaving.’ It’s like at some point in time, anybody would want some sort of stability.

Tyronn Lue is actually the fourth coach who Irving has been under since 2010. Before Lue, Byron Scott, Mike Brown and David Blatt all coached the team in relative short succession.

In just the past month, the Cavaliers lost the NBA title and Griffin parted ways with the team. Now Cleveland has promoted Koby Altman, who was an assistant under Griffin, to general manager.

I think Kyrie knows how important he is to our team, Jefferson said. LeBron knows how important he is. He has been on this podcast. They have been on this podcast together multiple times together where ‘Bron was like, ‘Dude, this is my guy, I need him. He is so important to me, my kids love him.’

And again, just like any family there are ups and downs, there are moments that you hate them, moments that you love them, and then you just kind of keep it moving.

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As Dan Gilbert goes back to being Dan Gilbert, LeBron James learns consequences of forgiveness

LeBron James forgave Dan Gilbert. The last three years of Cleveland history not just Cavaliers history, and not just Cleveland sports history don’t happen if LeBron doesn’t forgive Gilbert. That includes Cleveland forgiving LeBron.

But football finance expert Dr. Rob Wilson has a solution for PSG if they really want Neymar.

After the Cavs signed Derrick Rose to a one-year deal Monday, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com reported Rose was looking at a spot in the starting lineup in light of Irving’s trade request, and James was eager to see (Irving) off. James responded Tuesday morning on Twitter using the hashtag #NotFacts.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith also reported if Irving happened to be standing in front of James the four-time NBA MVP would be tempted to beat (Irving’s) ass. James is apparently too busy enjoying his vacation to think about fighting a teammate.

It’s interesting to see James respond to these specific aspects of what has become an ugly situation. He denied these reports in the strongest terms with the #NotFacts hashtag, but he also didn’t come out and say he wants Irving to stay in Cleveland. Good luck to all you psychology majors out there trying to figure out what LeBron is thinking.

Things are always complicated when it comes to the Cavs. Always.

Would I rank LeBron over Kobe? In terms of best of all time? No, Jordan said at his Flight School camp in Santa Barbara, Calif. There’s something about five that beats three… Kobe won five championships. LeBron won three. Although he’s been to seven [consecutive] Finals.

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LeBron James, Kevin Love don’t seem concerned about Kyrie Irving trade rumors

The NBA world was hit with a Windbomb late Friday when ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported Cavs star guard Kyrie Irving asked Cleveland’s front office to trade him. It was a move that blindsided LeBron James but the four-time MVP doesn’t seem too worried now that the news is out in the open.

Less than two hours after Windhorst’s initial report made basketball fans sprint toward the NBA Trade Machine, James hopped on Twitter to give a shoutout to former Heat teammate Ray Allen. He referred to Allen as his He Got Game character, Jesus Shuttlesworth.

LeBron and I have always been about finding companies that we truly believe in and putting real money into them, James’ business partner Maverick Carter said, via ESPN. We’re not talking putting in $15,000 or $20,000. It’s real money plus the expertise, understanding and knowledge that we bring, as well as bringing LeBron’s name and likeness to the product.

James and Carter turned another investment into nearly $30 million when Beats by Dre sold to Apple for $3 billion in 2014. Surprisingly, James might be able to double his Beats by Dre profit as Blaze Pizza has a goal of opening 1,000 stores and $1 billion in sales by 2022.

We don’t typically advocate for our clients to invest in food businesses, James’ financial adviser Paul Wachter said. The risk-reward equation is not generally that great, and there’s a lot of grinding and blocking and tackling and it takes a while for a concept to go global.

With just over 200 stores created in four years, Blaze Pizza was recently valued at $250 million.

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