Pat Riley Calls Out Charles Barkley

Miami Heat President Pat Riley is sick and tired of people already bad-mouthing his dream team — especially Charles Barkley.  While Riley has remained quiet to this point and allowed fans, coaches, and analysts to call out the Heat and their new Big Three, it appears he may have reached the boiling point.  In an interview with the Sun-Sentinel on Friday, Riley called out Charles Barkley for saying LeBron James’ one-hour ESPN special was a “punk move.”

Charles Barkley, to me, went way over the top,” Riley said. “I think Charles is probably the only guy in the league that can get away with what he gets away with.

“Calling these guys a bunch of punks is a personal attack. LeBron isn’t that. Dwyane is not, and neither is Chris.”

Considering Barkley can say whatever he wants and flip off cameras and somehow keep his job, Riley has a point.  But that’s just Charles being Charles, and someone like Riley should be used to that by now.  He didn’t stop at Barkley, however.  The former Heat coach went on to call out another former Heat coach, Stan Van Gundy for saying he didn’t know why players want to become a “lap dog” to Dwyane Wade.

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The Reason Kobe Ignored Chris Rock

People were making a big deal of Kobe Bryant stonewalling comedian Chris Rock during the NBA Finals this year. In case you don’t recall what happened, Rock was sitting courtside next to the Lakers bench and was making jokes, trying to get Kobe’s attention. Bryant did not flinch, leading people to praise Kobe’s concentration. Sure, Kobe was focused on the task at hand, but I have another theory as to why Kobe so forcefully ignored Rock — he doesn’t like him.

I was watching some of Chris Rock’s 2004 stand up act Never Scared last night on TV. Rock spends a good part of his act talking current events and making fun of people in the news. Well, back in 2004 Kobe Bryant was in the news — for all the wrong reasons — and Rock took some jabs at 24. Check out this video:

After watching that bit, it’s easy to see why Kobe ignored Rock — he does not like him. Kobe’s not an idiot and I’m sure he’s been up late at night and came across Never Scared. I’m sure he took some mental notes — that’s the way Kobe is — and that’s why Kobe stonewalled Chris Rock. You don’t want to get on Kobe’s bad side especially if you’re famous like Rock. That stand up bit sure explains a lot.

Celtics Bench Could Propel Them Back to the Finals in 2011

The Boston Celtics are close to bringing back former Celtic Delonte West on a non-guaranteed contract that will invite the guard to training camp with a good shot at making the team.  After re-signing Paul Pierce to a deal that will probably keep him in green for the rest of his career, the Celtics have been aggressive in bolstering their already sturdy bench over the past few months.  Doc Rivers made a sales pitch that convinced Shaquille O’Neal to join the team and Boston signed center Jermaine O’Neal at the beginning of the off-season to stand in for Kendrick Perkins while he recovers from major knee surgery.

Danny Ainge, the Celtics director of basketball operations, has taken the perfect approach with his aging roster this off-season.  When Pierce opted out of the final year of his deal, there were two choices facing Ainge: let the captain walk and start a youth-infused rebuilding project, or put some new pieces around the Big Three of Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen and give it another shot.  He settled on the latter, and on paper it would appear he’s done a good job of tackling the task.

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Austin Rivers Tools on John Wall

If you can make a No. 1 NBA draft pick look clueless on the court, you probably have a pretty bright future in basketball ahead of you.  We aren’t telling anyone anything they don’t already know, but Austin Rivers — Doc Rivers’ son — must be as good as they say.  Just ask John Wall, whose insane hops were of no use during Boost Mobile’s Elite 24 camp in California.  Check out the video of Austin Rivers crossing up and stripping John Wall, courtesy of The Big Lead:

It’s no wonder Rivers is considered the best player in the Class of 2011.  If you can make a player like Wall look silly on both sides of the court on consecutive plays, you’re headed for a big pay day.

Austin Rivers Crossed Up John Wall, Then, He Stripped Him at the Defensive End [The Big Lead]
Video Credit: The Rookie Wall

Dominique Jones Better Hope He Sticks in the NBA

Dominique Jones was drafted by the Grizzlies and traded to the Mavericks this year after spending three seasons at South Florida. The 6’4″ guard was one of the best scorers in college basketball you never heard of. He threw in 46 against Providence, 37 on Pitt, and he averaged just over 21ppg this past season. His scoring ability would lead one to believe Jones will have a future in the NBA but you never know who will make it and who won’t.

That’s probably why it was somewhat ballsy of Jones to get a tattoo of the NBA logo on his leg as passed along by Jimmy Traina’s Hot Clicks and The Sporting Rave. Here is a picture of Dominique Jones’ NBA logo tattoo:

Hey, good news is he has the other leg available for the NBDL logo in case he gets cut!

Dominique Jones is a Big Fan of the NBA Logo [The Sporting Rave]
More Ridiculous Tattoos [SI Hot Clicks]

Cavs Continue to Move on From LeBron

Maybe the Cleveland Cavaliers planned on coming out with new jerseys whether LeBron James stayed or not.  Maybe they didn’t.  If Dan Gilbert’s letter to the fans is any indication, the Cavs are looking to get past the King James era any way they can.  The Cavs new jerseys are probably a good idea anyway, since the old jerseys could all be burned by now.

The new design could also be a way to generate more revenue now that LeBron has left.  The Cavs still have to find a way to sell jerseys without their star, and there’s no better way to do that than making last year’s uniforms old news.  Whatever the case, I like the look of them.  A lot of teams are going back to a more retro design and I think these are an improvement over the old Cleveland jerseys.

Have a look at the new Cleveland Cavaliers uniforms [Ball Don't Lie]

Rajon Rondo Teaches France What We’ve Already Learned

As fans of the NBA and basketball in the United States, we already know Rajon Rondo is capable of some incredible things when he has a basketball in his hands.  After all, we saw him do this to Jason Williams and somehow tip this ball in in during the 2010 NBA Playoffs.  While playing for Team USA, Rondo’s been up to his old tricks.  The problem for Team France is that the tricks are new to them, as evidenced by the way Rondo was able to split a French double team and pull of his trademark fake behind-the-back pass into a layup move on Sunday (Note: I can barely describe a play that he can make look easy).  Check out the video of Rajon Rondo’s sick play for Team USA against Team France, courtesy of Red’s Army:

Rondo Goes All “Houdini” on Team France [Red's Army]
Video Credit: YouTube user mrtripledouble10