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Michael Beasley on Fan Incident: If We’re in the Hood, Let’s be Hood

Michael Beasley got into an altercation with a fan at Dyckman Park in New York while playing an exhibition basketball game in August. The incident turned somewhat physical when Beasley pushed the fan in the face. His run-in with the fan made national headlines, and the incident seemed to fit in with the reputation Beasley has earned for being a head case.

Beasley recently spoke about the incident in an interview with I am a GM, and he seemed to indicate he felt his actions were appropriate.

“We don’t have no problems,” Beasley said of playing basketball in New York. “It’s the atmosphere, if we gonna be in the hood, let’s be in the hood.

“Let me talk, you talk and let’s go on about our business, which is what happened,” Beasley said. “You know I love New York; I love everything about New York, Manhattan, and Brooklyn to the Bronx, to everything. They can get mouthy but that’s what the game is for, you know, that’s what it’s about.”

So according to Beasley, his actions were completely justified, and possibly appropriate, given the environment. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Does he mean that if you’re in a crack house, you should do crack? If you’re witnessing a beating, you should join in too? Beasley needs to understand that as a professional athlete, he’s held to a higher standard than the average fan at Dyckman Park. If he doesn’t care about his reputation, then it’s fine to continue behaving as he has. One would figure that an NBA player like him would be above being physically responding to a heckling fan. Unfortunately, he’s not.

Dirk Nowitzki Tells Tony Romo to Ignore His Critics and Keep Working

As I sat and watched the Cowboys dismantle the Lions on Sunday, a few different thoughts ran through my head.  Among them were “last week’s win has given the Cowboys their swagger back,” and, “Detroit could be in the process of proving it is a pretender.”  By the time the clock ran down to 0:00 in the fourth quarter, order had been restored in the football world.

The Lions proved they are still a playoff contender; Calvin Johnson further solidifed his standing as the best wide receiver in the NFL; Matthew Stafford showed he can lead a team back from a huge deficit; the Lions defense proved it can get stops when needed; and Tony Romo reminded us that there is no quarterback in the NFL who is better at throwing away a game.

Romo may have thrown three interceptions and two pick-sixes in the second half to personally secure a Lions victory, but at least he has Dirk Nowitzki to pick him up if he’s feeling down. The reigning NBA Finals MVP sent this comforting message to Romo Monday:

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Gilbert Arenas Dresses as a Naughty Police Officer (Picture)

There are few things in life that are more puzzling than seeing Bill Belichick dress up as a pirate and enjoy Halloween.  Shaq dressing up as a woman and looking frighteningly feminine is one of them.  However, both instances have one important thing in common: Halloween.  Why Gilbert Arenas decided to dress up as a naughty female police officer in early October is quite the mystery.

We all know Agent Zero loves guns, so maybe he wanted to know what it would feel like to wear a police officer’s uniform.  Actually, that wouldn’t explain the skimpy aspect of it.  Along with the above picture which she posted on Twitter, Arenas’ wife wrote that he was “singing ‘Mrs. Officer, Mrs’ Officer!”  Unfortunately that’s all the information we have at this time.

Chest bump to The Big Lead for passing the picture along.

Kevin Durant Addresses His Tattoos, Bulls Hat, and Rooting Against Oklahoma

Kevin Durant has been the focus of several semi-controversies recently. In a video put together by his representatives, he addressed all three of them.

Two of the items have been brought up here at LBS over the past few months. One was Kevin Durant’s tattoos that caught the sports world by surprise. In the video, Durant explains that he has always enjoyed tattoos and that he always planned to get them. He says all of them have significant personal meaning, and that one day he will get his arms tattooed, against his mother’s wishes. Durant is saving the space on his arms for his family and children when he gets married.

Secondly, Durant talked about wearing a Chicago Bulls hat recently. Durant explained why he wore the hat in a matter-of-fact manner. “People don’t wear hats because of the team they like; they wear the hats because they look good,” Durant stated. “That’s the only hat that I had that day.”

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Does Jerry Buss Believe Kobe Bryant Is Worth $70 Million a Year to the Lakers?

The NBA owners have locked out the players and the sides are working on negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement. There is currently a soft salary cap and a maximum placed on the amount of money players can earn. Kobe Bryant is the top earner in the NBA in terms of annual salary, making just over $25 million per season. Few people would argue that he’s not worth more to the Lakers organization. According to a report, team owner Jerry Buss agrees.

In a column on NBA player salaries not matching the value of true stars, Adrian Wojnarowski drops in the following nugget.

“Privately, Jerry Buss has told people that Bryant – who will make a league-high $25 million this season under his current contract terms – is worth perhaps $70 million a year to the Los Angeles Lakers.”

Players like Kobe capitalize on endorsement deals so it’s not as if they’re not making major money. Still, few people would say the game’s superstars are not worth more than they make from their teams. On the other hand, most of the bench players and mid-level guys are worth far less than what they make.

The information above may serve as an argument to remove the salary cap and make the NBA a free market system. I disagree. The most competitive leagues have hard salary caps because that puts teams on equal footing. Look at the NFL and NHL — teams have hope that they can succeed from year-to-year whereas MLB and NBA teams pretty much already know where they stand before seasons begin. Now if you want to remove maximum contracts, that is reasonable. However, it would likely come at the cost of the NBA’s mid-level players, for whom owners might have less money.

Thank you, I am a GM

Jeff Van Gundy: ‘Very Few People Care About the NBA Lockout’

Whether you are a Jeff Van Gundy fan or not, you have to admire him for not being afraid to tell it like it is.  Van Gundy is one of the most opinionated figures in basketball and has never been afraid to trash the league that has allowed him to make a living.  Jeff has even been willing to take shots at his brother, Stan, when he feels he deserves it.  At times he can get creepily carried away, but people usually listen when Van Gundy sounds off.

During an appearance on KILT in Houston Thursday morning, Van Gundy laid out a few hard truths about the current labor situation in the NBA.  Here’s what Jeff said about the NBA lockout, as passed along by Sports Radio Interviews via Deadspin.

“You know what I was thinking about today, and even yesterday, is how very few people care about the NBA lockout,” Van Gundy said. “You just don’t hear people talk. If it wasn’t on sports talk or ESPN… would anybody even know? You have to be careful if you’re both ownership and players—that you realize with the economy and so many other options with your disposable income—don’t think it will always stay like it has. It can go the other way.

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Kobe Reportedly Says He Didn’t Like Shaq’s Poor Practice Habits

The tension between Kobe and Shaq has been evident for years. The two won three championships as teammates on the Lakers, but their strong personalities constantly clashed, eventually forcing the franchise to choose between the stars. The Lakers chose the younger Bryant and traded the older O’Neal. It worked; while Shaq immediately won a title with the Heat and dissed Kobe in a rap song, Bryant got the last laugh by surpassing him in titles.

One of the big reasons why the superstars clashed, and why the Lakers chose to keep Bryant, is because of Shaq’s poor work ethic.

Kobe is currently on a promotional tour in Europe, and during an interview with an Italian radio station, he reportedly discussed the friction between himself and Shaq. According to Sportando.net, via I am a GM, Kobe dished on Shaq’s poor practice habits.

“I like players who workout. I use to do that 6/7 hours per day. I cannot stand players who practice for 30 minutes,” Bryant reportedly said of Shaq. “I need to say something to them.”

While we’ve gotten on Kobe’s case for practicing hard to show everyone how hard he practices, nobody questions his work ethic. If Shaq had Kobe’s drive and desire, he would have had an even better career. But Shaq was never motivated by being recognized as the greatest player ever. He was content being one of the best players of all-time, while also enjoying himself. That divergence is the heart of a lot of conflict between the men. Few will argue that Kobe has the wrong approach to practice.

Chest bump to I am a GM