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Mark Cuban Slaps Doc Rivers on the Ass Following Ejection

Good ole Mark Cuban. Are there no limits to his enthusiasm? Sometimes he gets carried away — just like he did late in the 3rd quarter of Thursday night’s game when Celtics coach Doc Rivers was ejected following a stream of fouls called on Kevin Garnett. Cubes, who is no stranger to on-court confrontations, expressed his condolences in the only way he knew how:

Reminds me a lot of the Percy Harvin/Urban Meyer ass slap, though this was amongst opponents. Luckily for Doc, his team got the last laugh. At least Cubes got a nice handful in. And the picture doesn’t actually do justice to how hard the slap was — it was a total “attaboy” slap!

Clipper Fans Counter Sue Elgin Baylor for Drafting Michael Olowokandi

Sorry, I would have added more but then the title would have been longer than the actual post. The real list would have also included taking the likes of Shaun Livingston, Darius Miles, Danny Ferry, Danny Manning, and Reggie Williams with top five picks in the NBA draft over the years. Come to think of it, most people’s lists would have ended at Ferry, because after screwing up that many drafts in a row, they would no longer have been employed. The Clippers have always been a joke of a franchise, known primarily for being the second team in LA that nobody cared about because they had one of the cheapest owners in all of sports. It’s common knowledge that Donald Sterling never thought twice about winning otherwise he would have bought more free agents and actually fired a GM that proved to be as bad as Elgin Baylor was a long time ago.

16 teams make the playoffs each season. That’s like half the league, more than half, actually. Elgin’s teams made it three times in 22 years. They had one winning season in Elgin’s last 16 years and only two under his watch. Baylor’s effing lucky he had a job for 22 years and even luckier if anyone around the office listened to his decision. Screw it, he should have been paying them to rent an office at Staples Center — getting paid six figures was highway robbery. Sure, I’ll listen to arguments that Sterling may have some racial tendencies, but to say he was anything other than generous to Elgin for employing him for 22 years and paying him several hundred thousand dollars a season would be maddening. For Baylor to be suing Sterling under charges of racial and age discrimination is even more maddening. And if things were so bad around the environment and Sterling were a racist, then why would Baylor stick around for so long? Why would he continue to be employed by Sterling for 22 years? That doesn’t sit well with me. As they said at Fark, Baylor better be praying he can find 12 jurors that can’t compute winning percentages otherwise he’s toast. What a joke.

Is There No Such Thing as a Moral Win? Knicks Taking Too Much Heat

I guess I’ve missed a mini-issue brewing in NYC regarding the Knicks. Last week the Knicks notoriously got slaughtered by Kobe Bryant and LeBron James in two of their three losses that work week. The Knicks did give the Cavs a run for their money, falling by just five points. For that effort, David Lee wasn’t as somber as some people apparently thought he should have been:

Lee called it “the best 0-3 week I think I’ve ever had.” [Al] Harrington referred to the Cleveland game as “a feel-good loss.” Jeff Van Gundy, a former Knicks coach and now a television analyst, chastised Lee during a national broadcast.

Lee said he was merely trying to stay positive.

“I didn’t say, ‘Man, that was a fun week.’ It was an awful week,” Lee said. “It’s terrible we were 0-3, but at that point, it’s not about looking back on the week, it’s about looking forward.”

Mike D’Antoni backed his player up with some reasonable comments, saying about losses “you also don’t have to go home and slit your wrists. You don’t have to dramatize it.” I agree. If you do that, how do you bounce back to win your next game? And seriously, anyone who says Lee and/or Harrington aren’t playing or just giving up needs to get their head examined. Would they prefer if the Knicks laid over and lost by 30 instead? Watch a game why don’t you? As far as “moral wins,” people used to say there’s no such thing as one. I beg to differ. I believe one of the greatest moral victories of all time occurred in week 17 of the 2007 NFL season. New Yorkers should be able to figure that one out pretty well.

Mutiny in San Antonio with the Spurs!

If you saw any of the Spurs/Nuggets game Tuesday night, you may have noticed that San Antonio’s Big Three were nowhere to be found on the court. Manu Ginobili did not dress because of a hip contusion sustained in the overtime win against Golden State. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker dressed for the game and were healthy but did not see any action. The reason according to Gregg Popovich:

“Parker makes the All-Star team and becomes hard to deal with, so we’re going to sit him and teach him a lesson. Duncan says he wants to renegotiate his contract, so I said, ‘Sit, I’m not talking to you.’”

Of course Pop was just joking around, knowing full well that his players need to refuel the tanks for their upcoming “Rodeo Road Trip.” The Spurs will now have four days off to prepare for a prime-time matchup on Sunday in Boston, not to mention back-to-backs in New Jersey and Toronto two days later. And with Chris Paul getting hurt for the Hornets Monday night, Pop knew exactly what he was doing. Plus, give the guy some credit — he seems to have developed quite the sense of humor this year.

Shaqovich Impressive Again at the Line

I think I was really just eager to work “Shaqovich” into a post more than anything else. For all of those who haven’t yet heard, Shaq gave himself another nickname, the most recent being Shaqovich. The name started when The Big Cactus began draining his free throws at an impressive rate, riding a 12/12 streak earlier in the month. The background for the name:

“If you go around the league, anybody with the last name ‘vich’ is a great shooter,” O’Neal explained. “Radmanovic, Vujacic … all those ‘iches.’”

“Rather than sticking with what I know, listening to people and changing my form, I was trying just a little bit too hard,” O’Neal said. “Now I’m just shooting it the way I was taught to shoot a long, long time ago.”

O’Neal said that part of the motivation for the change was his pursuit of history. The man who always went by the credo that he makes them “when they count” has realized that every “easy bucket” counts when you’re trying to become one of the NBA’s all-time leading scorers.

Shaq was 9/10 at the line against the Wizards, scoring 29 points Monday night. You have to figure the old Shaq would have cost himself four points going 5/10 at the line for only 25 points; he’s really starting to learn how important those extra points are. Crazy what some motivation can do for you. He’s at 62% for the year, his best in like eight seasons. And he’s doing this while expressing unusual compassion for his opponents!

(photo via Love Soft Rims)

Phil Jackson Done With Lakers After Next Season

I’m guessing this isn’t necessarily at the forefront of Laker fans’ minds considering the team went to the finals last year and appear poised for another run this year. Still, despite the strong start and the focus on the matter at hand, what Phil Jackson supposedly dropped in an interview with Magic Johnson will certainly change discussions. From Rotoworld:

Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Friday he plans on retiring after coaching the Lakers next season. “One more year after this one with the Lakers,” Jackson told Magic Johnson during an interview that will air during Sunday’s game. Jackson had hip replacement surgery two years in a row and needed a walking cane to get around for much of last season.

I’m not sure where that cut came from — maybe it was teased during Friday’s Mavericks/Pistons game that was such a blowout I didn’t bother watching. The Lakers host the Spurs Sunday on ABC, so I’m guessing that’s when all the talk will commence. The big question after that point is pretty clear: who will replace him? The job is appealing for obvious reasons — Kobe and Pau being the most visible ones. It will be hard to imagine Phil walking away without having won a championship since returning to the team and I’m guessing he’d be done for good if he does retire after next season. You think this will spark some “let’s win one for the Gipper” behavior amongst the players? Is that why he’s dropping this now? Or is he trying to get the ball rolling on a new multi-million dollar contract?

Guess We Know How Monta Ellis Spent His Time Off

UPDATE: Many more Monta Ellis tattoo pics below

I was pretty excited to watch the Cavs/Warriors game Friday night for several reasons. For one, the back end of the ESPN Friday night double-header was the Winter X Games. Secondly, the Clippers/Thunder were the only opposite game on the West Coast. Third, any game in which LeBron is playing is interesting. And lastly, the game marked the return of Monta Ellis. Monta really impressed me last year as he emerged to average over 20ppg in only his third year in the league. Most of all, it’s the youngster’s quickness that separates him from the competition. As a restricted free agent, the Warriors signed him to a big deal, and he went out and celebrated by hurting his ankle in a moped incident. In addition to rehabbing the past several months, it seems pretty clear what else was taking up Ellis’ time — the tattoo chair:

Pre-2008 and 2008 Tattoos

2009 MONTA ELLIS TATTOOS

Monta Ellis tattoos Monta Ellis tattoos Monta Ellis tattoos Monta Ellis tattoos

It was hard to tell all the ink he added from that picture, but that’s the best I could find. He has em all up and down both arms, on his chest, and his legs. Not to predict the future or anything, but wasn’t it when Josh Hamilton was hurt that he got all tatted out? As for the actual game Ellis did handle the ball going up the court on most possessions, but the Warriors really ran their offense through Stephen Jackson all night. Jax was great down the stretch knocking down a pair of jumpers over LeBron to give the Warriors the lead both times, but LeBron hit the game-winner over Turiaf as time expired. It will be interesting to see the Golden State offense operate when Jamal Crawford joins Ellis in the back court (Crawford was a late scratch). Still shouldn’t change the outcome of many of their games but they have a weird combination going on.