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Nike Called Charles Barkley About his LeBron James Negativity

Somehow this NBA postseason has turned into a clash between Charles Barkley and the Miami Heat. Last week Chuck called the Miami Heat a whiny bunch which didn’t sit well with fans. They also didn’t like that he picked the Chicago Bulls to win the series, so they let him have it during TNT’s postgame show after Game 3. Chuck responded with a double bird to the fans.

Most of the problems between the sides date back to last summer when Barkley criticized LeBron James for leaving the Cavs to join the Heat, completely disregarding that he had actually sold out and joined the Rockets in search of a ring late in his career! Putting the hypocrisy aside, Barkley’s negativity towards LeBron was enough to get the suits from the swoosh on the phone.

Check out what Barkley told Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald as shared by Royce Young at CBS Sports:

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Video: Russell Westbrook Walks off Floor Without Shaking Hands

The more the playoffs go on, the less likable Russell Westbrook becomes. That’s coming from a UCLA fan who thought Russell was great for the Bruins and that he would find tremendous success in the NBA. He’s a hard worker, extremely talented, fast, and athletic. But his character is lacking.

In an interview after one of OKC’s playoff games this year, Kevin Durant credited his teammates for the win while Westbrook talked about his individual style of play. When he was removed from a game against Dallas, he yelled at his coach even though his team ends up winning. Sure he took more of a beating from the media than he deserved throughout the playoffs, but his lasting image of the postseason is not a positive one.

Immediately after the Thunder were eliminated, a frustrated and disheartened Westbrook walked off the floor without shaking hands or congratulating Dallas. Check out the video courtesy of Eye on Basketball:

Look, we understand how crappy it feels to lose. Even Kevin Durant couldn’t muster any positive words about Dirk Nowitzki after the game because he was upset his team lost. But Durant did the sportsmanlike thing and congratulated his opponents.

When you’ve been beaten, that’s all you have to do is congratulate the other team and shake their hand. You don’t have to be happy for them and there’s nothing wrong with being angry. Just shake your opponent’s hands. I know this won’t be as magnified as LeBron snubbing the Magic in ’09 because Westbrook isn’t the same caliber player, but this is just another sign of Russell’s immaturity. He’s a young man who has plenty of time to make a mends for the situation. He’s also extremely talented. I want to like him and so should most of the media. He just has to help us by displaying better character in the future.

Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks Ditch Doris Burke During Ceremony (Video)

After coming back to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5, the Dallas Mavericks were happy to have closed out the series. But staying true to their workmanlike character, they refused to celebrate too heavily knowing they still have their toughest task ahead — a meeting with the Heat or Bulls in the NBA Finals.

ESPN brought out reporter Doris Burke to interview owner Mark Cuban and head coach Rick Carlisle about reaching the Finals, but when she turned to speak with Dirk Nowitzki, she realized the team’s MVP had already exited the floor. Soon after that, the party ended as all the players dispersed. Check out the ditch party:

Even though this is the second time Burke was embarrassed this week, you can’t blame her too much. She probably should have interviewed Dirk before Cuban, but players generally stick around to conduct interviews. The question I have for you is why did they do it? One suspicion I had was that Dirk Nowitzki was upset at the way Mark Cuban was going all WWE in his interview and getting carried away. After all, Dirk said the team was doing better this year because Cuban was keeping quiet, so maybe he was upset that Cuban was opening his mouth. But the overwhelming feeling is that he walked off the floor because he didn’t feel it was time to celebrate.

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Kevin Durant Is Not Happy to See Dirk Nowitzki Succeed at His Expense

Throughout the NBA playoffs, we’ve seen a few constants: Dirk Nowitzki putting up points, the Thunder blowing leads, and reporters asking stupid questions at press conferences. One of those dumb questions came after Oklahoma City was eliminated from the playoffs Wednesday night. A reporter asked Kevin Durant, the franchise player for the Thunder, how he felt about seeing Dirk succeed at his expense. KD gave about as good of a response to the bad question as he possibly could have.

“I’m not happy at all. I’m a competitor,” Durant explained. “I really didn’t care about what he went through the last three or four years. I know it’s been tough for him, I’m sure he’s happy now he’s going back to the Finals, but I’m not happy for him at all because I wanted to be there. But [sometimes] it happens like that.”

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J.J. Redick Discusses Heckling Fans

During his collegiate days with the Duke Blue Devils, J.J. Redick was constantly pestered by fans of opposing programs. Since being drafted by the Magic, he’s endured less heckling because he’s no longer the superstar he was in college.

When asked about heckling fans on the Dan Patrick Show Tuesday, Redick brought up a particularly creative comment he once heard from a fan.  We all know fans can be brutal when they harass opposing players, but the former Duke star said that a fan telling him he “drinks his own pee” was the most creative verbal jab ever directed toward him.  You can hear the audio of the interview here.

Redick laughed that particular comment off and emphatically stated that he was most bothered by fans’ antics when they involved family members. “When you start talking about people’s mothers and people’s sisters, that’s where you can get a little angry,” Redick explained.

As fans we’ll do almost anything to help our team gain an advantage. Thanks to Redick — a man who has been targeted by fans for years — we finally have the recipe for getting in an opposing athlete’s mind: talk about their momma.  Beware if you do because that’s at your own risk.

Tom Thibodeau Calls Out Refs for Not Giving Derrick Rose More Calls

Even after the final buzzer sounds to end a game, another game begins: the one that happens in the postgame news conference. Phil Jackson used to be a master in that setting, finding ways to tweak the officials so he’d get calls in his team’s favor. In last year’s postseason, Phil primed the refs before the Thunder series by suggesting Kevin Durant gets calls he shouldn’t. Then he said refs need to watch out for Steve Nash’s carries. The result may be a minimal fine from David Stern, but you can’t put a price tag on extra calls from intimidated referees.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau must have kept that in mind, because he made a point to call out the refs following his team’s Game 4 loss in Miami.

Speaking about Derrick Rose after the game, Thibodeau said “He hasn’t been able to get to the line like we thought he would. There’s a lot of contact, and he hasn’t gotten calls.”

The numbers would back up Thibodeau’s assertion — Rose only attempted seven free throws compared to 13 for LeBron James and 11 for Chris Bosh. The Heat got to the line 38 times compared to 22 for Chicago, but they also were more aggressive with their drives to the hoop, and you can’t say LeBron got the calls — he was whistled for an offensive foul at the end of regulation.

Whether Thibodeau was right or wrong with his assessment is debatable. What is a certainty is that it’s usually a good idea to complain that your team isn’t getting enough calls. Believe me, the referees hear the criticism — they listen. And more often than not, they try to make up for it in the next game.

Mike Brown Reportedly Will be Next Lakers Head Coach on Four-Year $18 Million Deal

Less than three weeks after getting swept out of the playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers appear to have decided on their next head coach. According to Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area, former Cavaliers coach Mike Brown will be the team’s next head coach.

If Brown does sign on to become the new head coach of the Lakers, he will have beaten out names such as Rick Adelman, Jeff Van Gundy, Mike Dunleavy and Lakers assistant Brian Shaw for the job.  Here are the details from Steinmetz’s report:

Mike Brown will not be the next head coach of the Golden State Warriors.

Brown, the former coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, is expected to be named the new coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, according to two league sources.

Brown was considered a frontrunner for the Warriors’ job, but is expected to sign a four-year contract worth approximately $18 million with the Lakers — succeeding Phil Jackson as coach.

Nothing has been confirmed by the Lakers’ front office, but all the rumors Tuesday seemed to indicate this would happen.

Here’s the problem with the Lakers hiring Mike Brown: he can’t run an offense if his life depended on it, unless you consider Kobe isolation plays an offense. The one thing Mike Brown is good at is coaching defense, and this hire may be a reaction to the Lakers’ poor defensive showing against the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs.

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