Charles Barkley Flips Off Heat Fans in Response to Profanity-Laced Heckling

Charles Barkley has made very few friends in Miami after criticizing the Heat this season. Last week he called them a whiny bunch. Before the season began, he ripped LeBron for leaving Cleveland to join Dwyane Wade, resulting in a response from Pat Riley. Miami Heat fans, whom we’ve criticized for showing up so late to games and not being too boisterous, remembered the criticism and let Barkley hear it prior to Game 3 Sunday.

Heat fans taunted Barkley with “F*** you Chuck” chants and got a reaction. Here’s the video courtesy of Miami radio host Jorge Sedano who shared it on his Miami Herald blog (language is offensive and NSFW):

I’d say I was surprised by Barkley’s reaction, but if he’s not afraid to flip someone off on national TV, why would this come as a shock? The only surprise is that TNT is moving its pregame show inside as a response. I figured they would just let Chuck end up fighting the fans.

Thunder Veteran: Russell Westbrook Thinks He’s Better than Kevin Durant

Oklahoma City is in the Western Conference Finals and one of only four teams left in the NBA playoffs. Because of their success in the postseason they’ve received a great deal of media attention, and most of it has been focused on the perceived selfish play of Russell Westbrook. Westbrook has been criticized for taking too many shots, taking low-percentage shots, and not deferring to superstar Kevin Durant frequently enough.

Durant has defended Westbrook repeatedly throughout the postseason, as has coach Scott Brooks. They both have said this is the way Westbrook has played all season and it’s led to success. But an issue developed following Game 2 when Brooks left Westbrook on the bench the entire fourth quarter in Dallas while Eric Maynor led the team to victory. Though Westbrook said after the game he was fine being on the bench since they won, he seemed to be bothered by it. Westbrook could be seen yelling at his coach from the sideline immediately after getting pulled.

One Thunder veteran reportedly told the NY Daily News via Ben Maller that Westbrook “thinks he’s better than Kevin Durant,” and that’s part of the reason he’d be upset to be out of the game.

Oklahoma City is a young team, so it’s pretty easy to narrow down the list of players who could have said that. Only Royal Ivey, Nick Collison, Kendrick Perkins, and Nazr Mohammed have more than five years of NBA experience amongst Thunder players. My money is on Perkins just because he’s a new guy who isn’t as attached to the situation, though I could be wrong. That really is immaterial; what matters is if it’s true.

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Dwyane Wade: Carlos Boozer Pre-Series Comment Motivated Chris Bosh

Before the Bulls-Heat Eastern Conference Finals series began, Chicago forward Carlos Boozer reportedly said the Miami Heat only had two great players. Most people perceived the comment as a slight against Chris Bosh who is the third wheel of Miami’s “Big Three.” Boozer didn’t admit to the comment when pressed later on in the series, but the damage had already been done; Chris Bosh was pissed off and used it as motivation. At least that’s what Dwyane Wade says.

When asked if Boozer’s comment motivated Bosh at all, Wade said after Game 3 “He hasn’t brought it up to us but we understand when something is said public about you that way, any great player is going to respond in a way. I was glad he said that about Chris because he came in with a different focus every day,” Wade said. “From practice, shootaround to the games, Chris had that same focus. We saw that [Sunday] morning at shootaround, everything he did tonight he was doing today. We’re glad he got that challenge, he’s responding to it.”

“We’ll see, hopefully at the end of the series maybe they’ll say something different about him. We understand what he means to us and that’s all that matters,” Wade continued.

We always say that players should play their best no matter the situation, but sometimes disparaging comments can serve as motivation. It sure seems like that’s been the case for Chris Bosh, because he’s been playing lights out for Miami. Maybe Boozer has learned his lesson to keep his mouth shut next time, or back up his mouth on the court.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Chris Bosh Learned He had Big Ego he Needed to Put Aside in Miami

Chris Bosh played one of his best games as a member of the Miami Heat, scoring 34 points in a Game 3 win over Chicago Sunday night. For the second time this series he led the Heat in scoring, making 13-of-18 field goals while going 8-for-10 at the line. Game 3 also marked just his fifth 30-point game of the season, two of which have come in the series. He’s played with passion, played with aggression, and he’s been knocking down his outside jumpers. He has been a difference-maker for the Heat and a big reason they’re ahead 2-1 in the series.

But this season has not gone smoothly for Bosh. He was dunked on by Ray Allen last series, admitted he was nervous in Boston, and he was almost in tears following a regular season loss. He’s become a target for mockery and appeared to have a difficult time learning his identity on a team that has two stars in LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. That’s been a difficult adjustment for Bosh to make given his status as the franchise player in Toronto the past several seasons. He even admitted that Sunday night.

Asked after Game 3 about accepting a new role where he wasn’t the focal point of his team’s offense, Bosh said “It was extremely difficult. It was to the point where I didn’t know how I was going to be able to be effective. But I still have to have that aggressiveness that I had then. Of course I’m not going to get as many play calls, I know that, with two other great players and a great team. I just have to be aggressive and have a better swagger about myself and just believe in myself and my teammates and go out there and play basketball.”

Bosh was then asked if he’s had to put aside his ego since joining the Heat.

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Joakim Noah Gay Slur Video – Says F*** You, F****t to Fan by Bulls Bench

Joakim Noah either didn’t learn from Kobe Bryant’s gay slur or he was so heated up he didn’t use discretion with his words during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. After getting whistled for his second foul early in the first quarter, Noah headed to the Bulls bench and appeared to yell a few cuss words to a fan. Here’s the video courtesy of Ben Golliver:

Kobe Bryant was fined by the NBA and flogged by the media and many fans for what he said. Former NBA player John Amaechi compared the slur to the use of the n-word. We’ve been here before and established that the use of the word “f****t” is unacceptable, even if it is said in the heat of the moment on the court. If the media makes a big enough deal of this, expect Noah to get fined like Kobe. It would be hard for him not to — this series has been one of the most-watched programs on cable TV.

UPDATE: Joakim Noah apologized after the game saying “I got caught up — a fan said something and I said something back, I apologize. I got caught up, I don’t mean disrespect to anybody, I just got caught up.”

Derrick Rose Steroids Problem Comment Results in Difficult-to-Believe P.R. Spin

Derrick Rose has backtracked on comments he made in the May 16th edition of ESPN the Magazine regarding the prevalence of performance-enhancing drugs in basketball. Rose was asked by a reporter “If 1 equals ‘What are PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs)’? and 10 equals ‘Everybody’s Juicing’ … How big of an issue is illegal enhancing in your sport?”

In response, Rose said, “Seven. It’s huge, and I think we need a level playing field, where nobody has that advantage over the next person.”

Though the comment was published in the Magazine over a week ago, it did not become an issue until Sunday when IamaGM.com wrote about it, according to Ken Berger. In response, Rose denied the comment.

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Oklahoma City Thunder’s Chances Plagued By Youth, Immaturity

It is the Oklahoma City Thunder’s youth that continues to plague them in the Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks — not their talents. After falling in Game 3 at home 93-87 and going down 2-1 in the series, the Thunder now face a treacherous challenge to overcome the hot Mavericks and their late-game closer Dirk Nowitzki.

The Thunder arguably have the best roster remaining in the postseason based on skill level and talent. They feature two All-NBA talents in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, one of the best post defenders in Kendrick Perkins and a great cast on the bench. Unlike the three superstars in Miami, this is a complete team. Yet, thanks to their immaturity and youth, they’ve failed to figure things out late in games to come out on top.

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