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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Basketball

Allen Iverson is tired of Kobe Bryant being left out of the all-time greatest debate

Allen Iverson

Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson had a number of entertaining duels during their playing careers, but the mutual respect between the two is very real. For evidence of that, look no further than the recent remarks Iverson made about the never-ending “greatest of all time” discussion.

In an interview with UNGUARDED, Iverson seemed downright irritated that the GOAT discussion always revolves around Michael Jordan and LeBron James. The former Philadelphia 76ers star doesn’t understand why Kobe is always overlooked.

“What bothers me is, when they do talk about it — LeBron is great, first of all. When they talk about comparing him to (Jordan), I don’t understand how they don’t add a debate when it comes to Kobe,” Iverson said. “I don’t get it. What, they forgot or something? I really think they forgot the Mamba, man … certified serial killer, man.”

If you want to go by championships, Jordan has six, Bryant has five and James three. LeBron could certainly win another title or two before he retires, but is it fair that Kobe’s rings are viewed as less impressive because he played with Shaquille O’Neal? He did win two without Shaq, after all.

Kobe and Shaq infamously did not get along during their time with the Lakers, which is why the comments Shaq has made about Kobe vs. LeBron should hold even more weight. Iverson and Shaq obviously share the same thoughts on the subject.

H/T Philly Voice

Warriors reporter pulled from coverage after allegedly stealing jacket from team

Warriors logo

A longtime Bay Area sports anchor been removed from covering the Warriors during their playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs after he allegedly stole a jacket from a team staffer.

Steve Berman of The Athletic reports that a video appeared to show ABC7/KGO-TV sports anchor Mike Shumann taking a jacket that belonged to Ralph Walker, the Warriors director of team security, following a practice at the AT&T Center in San Antonio late last week. ESPN reviewed the footage and confirmed that Shumann is visible on the tape and shown walking out of the AT&T Center with the jacket.

Shumann, a former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver who has been with KGO since 1994, was sent home and later apologized to individual Warriors players. The Athletic reports that several players are furious about the incident and do not want it simply brushed aside. Some have said they will refuse to do interviews with Shumann going forward. Walker is a highly respected member of the organization, and Stephen Curry personally thanked him when accepting his NBA MVP award in 2016.

“We are taking these allegations very seriously and conducting a full investigation,” a spokesperson for KGO said in a statement. “As a matter of policy, we do not comment about personnel matters.”

As an ABC/ESPN affiliate, ABC7 has exclusive access to interviews with Warriors players after playoff games. Shumann usually conducts those interviews, so it’s unclear how the network’s coverage will be affected going forward.

While Shumann obviously has a closer relationship with the team, the incident can’t help but remind us of the surreal events that took place after the Super Bowl two years ago. Shumann declined to comment when The Athletic reached out via phone.

Donovan Mitchell sets Jazz rookie playoff record

Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell continues to make a name for himself this season, and now he has a nice record to add to his resume.

Mitchell set a Utah Jazz record for most points by a rookie in a playoff game with the 33 he scored while leading his team to a win in Game 4 against Oklahoma City on Monday night. The 33 points surpasses the 31 from Karl Malone in 1986, which was the previous team rookie record.

Mitchell has been a stud in the postseason for the Jazz. He’s averaging 27.5 points in four playoff games and has his team up 3-1 in the series. This is an increase from the 20.5 points per game he averaged in the regular season, which has him in contention for Rookie of the Year.

Jae Crowder ejected after late-game skirmish

Jae Crowder Steven Adams

Jae Crowder was ejected late in the Utah Jazz’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night for his role in a skirmish.

With under six minutes left in the game and the Jazz up by 20, Russell Westbrook whipped Crowder in the chest with his arm. That led Crowder to be upset and look for Westbrook. Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams came over to try and hold Crowder back. In the process, Crowder tried pushing Anthony away and caught Adams with an inadvertent arm to the face.

Westbrook was called for a foul on the play, while Crowder received a tech and was ejected.

The officials wanted to make sure that the situation didn’t get out of hand considering the bad blood that’s been brewing in the series.

Watch: Mitt Romney taunts Russell Westbrook during playoff game

Mitt Romney Westbrook

Russell Westbrook was most certainly public enemy No. 1 in Salt Lake City on Monday night, and even Mitt Romney got in on the act.

The former presidential candidate was in attendance for Game 4 of the Utah Jazz’s playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder. After Westbrook picked up his fourth foul late in the second quarter, Romney was among those to taunt the Thunder guard.

Romney, who previously served as governor of Massachusetts, has announced his candidacy for a senate seat in Utah. Taunting one of the Jazz’s postseason enemies will certainly help endear him to the voters. And Westbrook hasn’t exactly helped his popularity in the state with his comments on Ricky Rubio.

James Harden: ‘It’s pretty scary what we’re capable of’

James harden

James Harden shared the same sentiment of nearly all observers following the Houston Rockets’ Game 4 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.

The Rockets scored a ridiculous 50 points in the third quarter against Minnesota and won by a blowout 119-100. Keep in mind that it was a 1-point game at the half.

Harden, who had 36 points in the contest, said his Rockets hit a switch.

“We hit the switch — the switch that we’ve been trying to hit from the beginning of the playoffs. On both ends of the floor. It’s pretty scary what we’re capable of when defensively we’re locked in like that and offensively we’ve got it rolling,” Harden told TNT’s Kristen Ledlow.

That’s what everyone who was watching had in mind. Harden had 22 points in the first eight minutes of the third quarter, while he and Chris Paul combined for 37 in the quarter.

The Houston Rockets can be scary when they are on fire. They are Warriors-level scary.

Reggie Miller misspeaks, calls Ricky Rubio ‘Marco’

Reggie Miller

Reggie Miller had a pretty humorous blunder during Monday’s playoff game between Minnesota and Houston.

The TNT analyst accidentally called former Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio “Marco” while providing commentary during Game 4. He had to be corrected by play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan.

As if messing up Ricky Rubio by calling him “Marco” weren’t bad enough, Miller then couldn’t figure out whether Marco Rubio was a senator or governor in Florida. Yes, Reggie, Marco is a senator.

It’s OK, Reggie. It’s not like we haven’t seen this sort of thing several times before.

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