Dirk Nowitzki has officially wrapped up his 21-year NBA career, and he accomplished the rare feat of spending the entire time with one team. It goes without saying that he built a strong relationship with the fans during that span, and that was reflected in the way he thanked them over the weekend.
Nowitzki took out a full-page ad in the Dallas Morning News on Sunday thanking Mavericks fans “from the bottom of my heart.”
— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) April 21, 2019
Nowitzki received some outstanding ovations from opposing fans during his farewell tour this season, and he is one of the most respected players in league history. He was one of the main reasons the Mavericks won their first championship in franchise history back in 2011, and fans in Dallas will never forget it.
- Dirk Nowitzki
DeMar DeRozan had to know he’d face some discipline for his actions during Saturday night’s Game 4 after throwing a basketball at a referee, and the league has come down quickly.
DeRozan was fined $25,000 for his actions, but will face no further consequences for his ill-advised basketball toss at referee Scott Foster in his team’s Game 4 loss.
Spurs' DeMar DeRozan has been fined $25,000 by NBA for throwing ball toward official on Saturday night.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 21, 2019
The discipline seems about right. DeRozan was ejected for his actions and he’ll be lighter in the pocketbook for it, but that’s about it. The Spurs will hope for a better performance in Game 5, and DeRozan will aim to keep his composure a bit better.
The Indiana Pacers were trying to stave off elimination in Game 4 against the Boston Celtics on Sunday, and Myles Turner did everything he could to inject energy into his team in the first half. That turned out to be very bad news for Gordon Hayward.
With the Pacers trailing 42-37 late in the second quarter, Turner abused Hayward with a massive dunk. Hayward never stood a chance of stopping it, but you have to give him credit for getting in the way.
MYLES TURNER MY GOD..RIP GORDON HAYWARD pic.twitter.com/DssuRF7Xh1
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) April 21, 2019
The Pacers probably don’t have a chance of winning the series against Boston, but at least Turner left their fans with that highlight.
The Brooklyn Nets were furious with the officiating in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal against the Philadelphia 76ers, and now we know why.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Nets are “livid” that Joel Embiid’s flagrant 1 fouls in Games 2 and 4 were not classified as flagrant 2s. This was apparently what led to Nets GM Sean Marks entering the referee locker room after Game 4, an act which earned him a fine and suspension.
In addition, Marks was attempting to back his team and the way they’re playing in the series.
Sources: Nets and GM Sean Marks were livid over belief Embiid’s flagrant 1 fouls in Games 2/4 should’ve been deemed a 2. More than message to league with ref challenge, Marks intended to message his team on how franchise is determined to support way they're competing in series.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 21, 2019
Marks and the Nets have a point on Embiid’s Game 2 flagrant, considering he himself felt he should have been ejected for it. Despite this, the league opted against retroactively upgrading it. The Nets’ case on Embiid’s Game 4 flagrant is a lot weaker, however.
The series has been a very combative one, and apparently Marks and the Nets are fine with that. They just want it officiated more tightly, especially in Embiid’s case.
Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal between the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers was heated on the court, and it seems that spilled over after the game in a certain way.
The NBA announced Sunday that Nets general manager Sean Marks had been fined and suspended for a game for entering the referee locker room after his team’s 112-108 loss in Game 4.
Nets GM Sean Marks suspended, fined for entering referees locker room pic.twitter.com/sI9ypW0q7c
— Chris Mannix (@SIChrisMannix) April 21, 2019
It’s not clear what, specifically, had Marks angry enough to try to access the referee locker room. His team saw a lead slip away late as they fell behind 3-1 in the series, and that came after things got heated between the two teams on the floor. The stage is set for a very intense Game 5 as the Nets try to fend off elimination.
The cast of ESPN’s “NBA Countdown” has a segment throughout the season where they place friendly wagers on things that might happen during games, and Jalen Rose was crowned the “Friendly Wagers” champion for the 2018-19 season. However, he may have to deal with a bit of delay with receiving his trophy.
On Saturday night, Paul Pierce dropped Rose’s hardware on the floor while presenting it to him. The trophy broke, and it looked like Pierce may have intentionally fumbled it.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 21, 2019
Pierce apologized and said he felt terrible, but you could hear Rose jokingly saying he did it on purpose. The emojis the Boston Celtics legend included in his tweet about it were also suspect.
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) April 21, 2019
Hey, we know Pierce is a competitive guy who hates the idea of someone else being better than him at something, so perhaps he just couldn’t bring himself to hand over that trophy.
Is Rick Pitino eyeing a job in the NBA now that many of the college basketball coaching vacancies have been filled? That could be the case.
Veteran NBA reporter Peter Vecsey reported on his Patreon page Saturday night that Pitino and the Cleveland Cavaliers have spoken. He says there is mutual interest between owner Dan Gilbert and Pitino, though it’s unclear for what kind of position. You can read the full report at Vecsey’s Patreon.
Pitino, 66, has been coaching in Greece since December. He led Panathinaikos to a Greek Cup victory and is coaching them in the EuroLeague playoffs.
Pitino was fired by Louisville in Oct. 2017 after being involved in a scandal involving the payment to a recruit who ended up at the school. He previously got into trouble with the NCAA and has a championship and Final Four appearance vacated over a sex scandal.
One of the best college coaches ever, Pitino has won two national championships — one in 1996 and Kentucky and another in 2013 with Louisville, which was vacated. He had two separate coaching stints in the NBA. He coached the Knicks for two seasons from 1987-1989. He coached the Celtics from 1997-2001 before resigning in the middle of his fourth season.
After being tied to some coaching vacancies, Pitino said earlier this month that he was not interested in leaving Europe for a college job. In October, he did express interest in returning to the NBA.
The Cavaliers are looking for a new head coach after parting ways with Larry Drew, who replaced Ty Lue, who was fired after an 0-6 start to the season.