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Kyrie Irving to Josh Gordon: Stay in your own sport and mind your business

Kyrie IrvingRumors have been circulating that Kyrie Irving wants out of Cleveland. The former Duke star has firmly denied them, but they’re out there. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, there are several people within the Cavaliers organization that Irving does not get along with. One of them is teammate Dion Waiters.

“The truth is [Kyrie’s] camp has been putting out there for years – years – that he doesn’t want to be in Cleveland,” Windhorst told Cavs: The Blog last week. “That they don’t want him in Cleveland. He doesn’t like Mike Brown. He didn’t like Chris Grant. He doesn’t like Dion Waiters. He’s already gotten a General Manager fired. He might get Mike Brown fired.”

Enter Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon, who is friends with Waiters. During an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” last week, Gordon shared his thoughts on the Irving situation.

“I talked about it with Dion,” Gordon said, via Cleveland.com’s Tom Reed. “He’s my neighbor in my building so we hang out all the time. I’m aware of the rift in the locker room. That’s just alpha males and supreme athletes trying to share the spotlight. Dion has some exposure right now depending on how Dan Gilbert wants to play free agency or trades. Hopefully they get along.”

Gordon added that it “might play out better” if Waiters and Irving were not teammates next season. The Akron Beacon Journal’s Jason Lloyd later asked Irving what he thought about Gordon’s insight.

“Guys like Josh Gordon need to stay in his sport and mind his own business,” Irving said. “Does he still play for the Browns? I’ll continue to root for the Browns, but in terms of this stuff here, what goes on in this locker room, he needs to stay out of it.”

Irving also said he has no problems with Waiters personally but that anyone can see their playing styles don’t mesh well on the court. Gordon fired back on Twitter over the weekend.

Waiters tried to distance himself from all of the reports:

If the Cavs really aren’t getting along, I’m sure another Cleveland superstar speaking about it publicly makes things more awkward. In this instance, I’m with Irving — Gordon is probably better off minding his own business.

H/T Eye on Football

Rip Hamilton and Nate Robinson trade funny insulting pictures

Rip Hamilton and Nate Robinson have plenty of time on their hands now that neither one is playing, so the two spent some time Sunday trading funny yet offensive and insulting pictures of each other over Instagram.

It all started when Robinson, who is recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL, posted this photo of his ex-teammate looking like ET:

Rip Hamilton ET

“I miss my big bro @ripcity3232 I wonder what he is doing on this beautiful Sunday ? Get at me rip city lol & #holdat lol classic pix” was his caption.

Rip responded with a picture of him putting Robinson in a headlock, but that was just mild. After that one is when things really got insulting.

[Read more...]

Roy Hibbert benched for second half; Frank Vogel says he was worn down

Roy Hibbert benchThe struggling Indiana Pacers were blasted at home by the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night for their eighth loss in their last 11 games. As possibly an even worse sign, Roy Hibbert was benched for the entire second half to supposedly rest.

Hibbert went 0-for-5 in 9 minutes and did not see the court again after committing a turnover in the second quarter. He was replaced by Ian Mahinmi, who played 17 minutes. Even Lavoy Allen saw 10 minutes.

Though Hibbert’s benching may come off as a bad thing, coach Frank Vogel was protective of his big man after the game. Vogel said Hibbert looked worn out prior to the game and that he was even considering giving him a night off anyhow.

“I considered resting Roy before tonight’s game because he looks worn down, he’s a 7-2 player that’s played every game this year, which is very rare,” Vogel said after the game via the Indianapolis Star. “He looks to me to be worn down. He’s giving good effort, but he looks to me to be worn down.”

Hibbert has played every single game for the Pacers and averaged 30 minutes per game, so maybe it was about time for Vogel to give his 7-footer the Popovich treatment. But you don’t want to do it by pulling a guy and embarrassing him; you want to do it before a game.

Maybe the Pacers will snap out of it before the playoffs begin, but they are heading in the wrong direction. Maybe their additions of Evan Turner and Andrew Bynum weren’t the best things for the team. Or maybe they just were playing their best ball at the wrong time.

Between this and some of the stuff going on in the locker room, things haven’t been great in Pacer land.

Bill Simmons trolls J.R. Smith with NBA Green Week comment (Video)

The New York Knicks fell to the Miami Heat 102-91 on Sunday, but J.R. Smith set a couple of records during the process. Smith hoisted an NBA-record 22 three-pointers, making a Knicks-record ten of them on the way to 32 points.

Sunday’s performance comes on the heels of a 32-point outing against the Washington Wizards on Friday that saw Smith drain eight three-pointers.

J.R. Smith’s recent barrage of long distance buckets has coincided with NBA Green Week (April 3-10), when the league aims to raise awareness and funds to help protect the environment.

Of course, “green” and J.R. Smith have become joined at the hip for another reason since the guard tested positive for marijuana and was suspended for the first five games of this season. And ESPN’s Bill Simmons took the opportunity to capitalize on the moment that presented itself.

Here are all ten of J.R. Smith’s threes from Sunday’s game.

Lamar Odom reportedly had sit-down meeting with Phil Jackson

Lamar-Odom-Phil-JacksonPhil Jackson is looking to recreate his triangle offense with the New York Knicks by bringing in the right personnel next year. Lamar Odom, who played for Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers for five seasons, is very familiar with that scheme. Is that why Jackson and Odom reportedly had a sit-down meeting last week?

According to the NY Post, Jackson met with Odom during halftime of last Wednesday’s Knicks-Nets game. There has already been speculation that Metta World Peace could return to New York next season now that Jackson is in charge. Both he and Odom are familiar with Jackson’s offense and could provide veteran leadership.

Odom will turn 35 next season. He was unable to find work in the NBA last season after an absolute mess of an offseason and had his stint in Spain cut short by injury. It’s tough to imagine Odom making any type of serious contribution on the court next season.

It’s also possible that Odom and Jackson were meeting as friends. Back when Jackson retired, various reports indicated that the downfall of Odom’s career was a result of Jackson stepping down. Odom has reportedly looked up to Jackson as a father figure, so it would not be a surprise if Jackson was simply meeting with him for more personal reasons. I’m sure the Zen Master has better advice than Bruce Jenner.

Kevin Durant on Rockets: ‘Those dudes can’t check me one-on-one’

Kevin DurantKevin Durant is averaging a career-high 32.1 points per game this season and is likely going to win the NBA MVP award. Not many teams have been able to slow him down, but the Houston Rockets were able to hold him to a modest 7-for-19 shooting night on Friday. Durant still scored 28 points, but his 36.8% shooting was one of the Oklahoma City Thunder star’s worst games of the year.

After the game, Durant was asked if the Rockets frustrated him by playing so physically. The normally soft-spoken star briefly broke character.

“They wasn’t playing one-on-one, it was one-on-three,” Durant said, via Clutch Fans. “They were funneling on me with two or three guys. Before I got the ball they had two guys on me. Those dudes can’t check me one-on-one. They know that. I ain’t afraid to say it either. I was playing with double-teams, triple-teams, but you still gotta find a way to do it. They’re physical like everybody else.”

The Rockets probably don’t care if they can check Durant one-on-one. They won the game, which is more important than being able to brag about shutting one of the best players in the game down with one-on-one defense.

The Thunder and Rockets are two of the better teams in the Western Conference. They could very well meet again in the playoffs, so perhaps Durant is trying to get Houston’s head a bit by challenging them. We wouldn’t doubt it.

H/T Bleacher Report

LeBron James not interested in playing with Kyrie Irving?

Kyrie IrvingNot that it would have ever happened, but there was a lot of chatter — mostly on Cleveland’s end — that LeBron James might return to the Cavaliers at some point.

The thinking was that the Cavs could have an attractive core to offer James since they already have a young, emerging point guard in Kyrie Irving. If they could add another strong player, they felt it might be enticing enough for James.

But it sounds like Kyrie would actually be a deterrent for LeBron.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst did an interview with Cavs the Blog and dished about Irving. He said Kyrie definitely does not want to be in Cleveland in the future, which is the same story we’ve been hearing. He also said James would not want to play with Kyrie.

And the other thing is: if the Cavs ever dream of having LeBron, it’s not going to be with Kyrie there. LeBron and Kyrie have drifted apart in the last few years, even to the point that if the Cavs wanted to get LeBron they would maybe trade Kyrie for someone who would fit better with LeBron. And I’m not making that up. That line of thinking was not originated by me. That’s just the truth.

Windhorst also shared his personal feelings about Irving, saying the young point guard has disappointed him with his immaturity.

This certainly is very interesting. It seemed for a long time that Irving was going to be a building block for the Cavs turning things around, but that story is changing. He needs a better coach, execs and players surrounding him on that team. Or maybe he just should leave like he may be planning.

H/T Waiting for Next Year