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#pounditSunday, October 25, 2020

Basketball

Did Kristaps Porzingis throw shade at former team Knicks in tweet?

Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis certainly ruffled some feathers with a post to social media this week.

The Dallas Mavericks big man tweeted a video of a putback dunk that he had against his former team, the New York Knicks, this past season. The video was in slow-motion and set to “Father Stretch My Hands” by Kanye West.

Regardless of whether or not Porzingis intended it as shade, many Knicks fans definitely took it that way. Several of them pointed out that the Knicks had actually defeated the Mavericks in that game and in fact swept the season series. Others got slightly more personal.

In any case, Porzingis left the Knicks on fairly bad terms. The 25-year-old former All-Star was hastily traded to Dallas in 2019 after prolonged drama with the organization. The history between the two sides is probably why many interpreted Porzingis’ tweet as shade.

Shaq roasts Dwight Howard, Lakers role players for celebrating

Shaquille O'Neal

Dwight Howard captured his first NBA championship when the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in the Finals two weeks ago, and the eight-time All Star was overcome with emotion while celebrating the feat. Shaquille O’Neal doesn’t think it was much of a feat, however.

In the latest edition of “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” O’Neal was critical of Lakers role players for the flamboyant manner in which they celebrated winning an NBA title. While he did not mention any players by name, he was clearly talking about Howard at one point. Shaq made a reference to players posting too much on social media and one player who told people to never give up on their dreams.

“There’s a lot of players bragging on their little Instagram like they were the reason they got the championship. I ain’t gonna say no names,” Shaq said. “Sit your a– down. You didn’t do nothing. Stop it, frontrunner, bandwagon-jumper — stop it. … Post one pic and sit your a– down. You ain’t do nada.”

You can hear the audio of Shaq’s comments and see Howard’s Instagram live video here.

While it was fairly obvious that Shaq was taunting Howard, he did say there were “a lot of players” bragging. He may have also been talking about JaVale McGee, as the two have had beef in the past.

Howard played just 11.8 minutes per game and averaged 2.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in the NBA Finals. He played only one minute in L.A.’s Game 6 win, which clinched the series. He had a slightly bigger role in the Western Conference Finals, though you could argue his only job was to try to aggravate Nikola Jokic.

McGee did not play at all in the Finals.

Shaq won four championships during his Hall of Fame career, and he was NBA Finals MVP three times. This isn’t the first time he’s tried to take credit away from a fellow player who won a ring.

Lakers fans, show everyone who runs LA with this great T-shirt. It makes a perfect gift for you or a friend. You can buy it here.

Zach Randolph’s wife files for divorce after ‘hacked’ tweet

Zach Randolph

Zach Randolph’s wife has filed for divorce a month after being the alleged subject of an offensive tweet from Randolph’s Twitter account.

According to Mike Walters of The Blast, Faune Drake filed for divorce from Randolph last week in Los Angeles County Courts. The couple had been married for six years, have known each other since childhood, and have five children.

The divorce filing comes over a month after a bizarre incident involving Randolph’s Twitter account.

On Sept. 2, Randolph’s account tweeted “I MARRIED A H-E” (censored by LBS).

That tweet was quickly deleted, followed by a new message where Randolph claimed his account was hacked. That tweet has also been since deleted. Other users discovered at least one other tweet from several months earlier hinting that Randolph was unhappy with the marriage.

It is not clear if the couple had a prenuptial agreement. Randolph has yet to respond to the filing.

Randolph played 17 seasons in the NBA — eight with the Memphis Grizzlies. The 39-year-old made two All-Star teams during his career and tallied career earnings of nearly $200 million. Randolph also made headlines a few years ago for a major marijuana arrest.

H/T Egotastic Sports

Pat Riley hints at Heat re-signing Goran Dragic this offseason

Goran Dragic

Goran Dragic’s season did not end how he would have hoped, but it sounds like he will get a chance to run it back with the Miami Heat again next year.

Speaking with the media on Friday, Heat president Pat Riley hinted at the team re-signing Dragic, an unrestricted free agent, this offseason. Riley made a point of mentioning Dragic as a player that the Heat would like to take care of, per Five Reasons Sports Network.

Dragic, now 34 years old, was Miami’s top scorer and primary ballhandler for much of their NBA Finals run. However, he tore the plantar fascia in his left foot and played a total of just 34 minutes in the championship series. With the Heat winning two games against the Los Angeles Lakers without Dragic and being within striking distance in a couple of others, a healthy Dragic likely would have made a big difference.

In any case, Dragic has been with the Heat since 2015. Over that years, he has constantly sacrificed for the team, accepting reducing roles and stepping aside at times for Miami to focus on developing their young players. Dragic even said before that he was open to take a discount to return. It seems only right though for the Heat to reward him for his loyalty and selflessness.

George Karl takes shot at DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins

George Karl vs. DeMarcus Cousins is the beef that just will not die.

Karl, the former Sacramento Kings coach, tweeted a shot at his old player on Friday. Karl responded to a HoopsHype tweet prompting people to answer with “the player you disliked the most ten years ago” and “the player you dislike most now.” Karl’s reply simply read, “DeMarcus Cousins” along with the infamous snake emoji.

Karl coached Cousins on the Kings for two seasons from 2014 to 2016. It was a forgettable tenure where the team went 44-68 (.393) and got plagued by the hostilities between Karl and Cousins. If you are wondering why Karl included a snake emoji, this should explain it.

Cousins was also the subject of another seemingly derisive posting by Karl earlier this year. Their partnership ended over four years ago, but they still appear to be very much on each other’s minds.

Michael Jordan does not think he could have survived Twitter era

Michael Jordan

Today’s athletes play in a very different media environment than their predecessors did. The proliferation of social media means that star athletes are under the microscope at all times in a way that even the most famous athletes of previous eras weren’t.

Michael Jordan, for one, has taken notice. And he thinks that things would have been a lot harder for him had he played in the social media era.

“Tiger [Woods] played at his peak somewhere toward the end of my career. Then, what changed from that time-frame to now is social media — Twitter and all those types of things. And that has invaded the personalities and personal time of individuals,” Jordan told Cigar Aficionado, via Alex Kennedy of Basketball News. “It’s to the point where some people have been able to utilize it to their financial gain and things of that nature.

“But for someone like myself — and this is what Tiger deals with — I don’t know if I could’ve survived in this Twitter [era], where you don’t have the privacy that you’d want and what seems to be very innocent can always be misinterpreted.”

Jordan is a notoriously private figure. In ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary, he discussed how his immense fame deprived him of privacy, and part of the reason for his retirement was to get out of the spotlight. Late in his career, he could hardly go anywhere, and was essentially holed up in his room all the time. That all happened despite living in a world without social media.

Jordan’s position is understandable. If something like this happened in today’s world, it would be all over the internet.

Amar’e Stoudemire joining Steve Nash’s staff with Nets

Amare Stoudemire

Steve Nash is embarking on his first NBA coaching journey with the Brooklyn Nets this year, and one of his most well-known former teammates will be joining him.

Nash has hired fellow former Phoenix Suns star Amar’e Stoudemire as an assistant coach, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. Like Nash, Stoudemire has no prior coaching experience in the NBA.

Stoudemire and Nash played together for the Suns from 2004-2010 during the primes of their respective careers. Both were named NBA All-Stars six times in the time they played alongside one another.

Stoudemire last played professionally in China and Israel. He also spent some time in the Big3 league. His last stint as a player in the NBA came in 2015-16 with the Miami Heat, though Stoudemire expressed interest as recently as last year in making an NBA playing comeback.

There has been talk of Nash making a much bigger splash with his coaching staff, but it’s unclear if that is still in play now that Stoudemire is joining him in Brooklyn.

Report: NBA could play MLB-style series to limit travel

Adam Silver

The NBA is fully focused on ironing out a plan and schedule for next season now that the 2019-20 season has finally come to a close. While another season in a bubble does not seem like a possibility, there could be some significant changes with the way the schedule is structured.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe report that the NBA is having discussions about beginning the 2020-21 season as early as Christmas Day. The plan could be to play fewer than 72 games and possibly not wait until fans are permitted to attend. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA could also move to an MLB-style schedule where teams play mini-series against one another to limit travel.

While the bubble in Walt Disney World was ultimately a success, there are numerous reasons the NBA would prefer to avoid doing it again. Money is the most obvious reason.

There was originally some talk that the NBA could wait until fans are cleared to attend games, but no one knows when that will be. As Wojnarowski notes, approximately two thirds of the league’s teams would not be permitted to have fans at the moment due to local regulations. If the NBA waits until those restrictions are lifted, revenue would suffer.

The NBA previously informed teams that the season will not start before Christmas Day. That may be a realistic target date.

Anonymous agent trashes Rich Paul, LeBron James for costing clients money

LeBron James

Rich Paul has become one of the most powerful agents in sports thanks to his relationship with LeBron James, and there are others in the industry who do not approve of the empire the duo has built.

Ben Standig and Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic anonymously surveyed NBA agents to get some of their thoughts on LeBron, and one took the opportunity to unload on James, Paul and Klutch Sports. The agent criticized the arrangement LeBron and Paul have and essentially said LeBron is illegally recruiting clients for Klutch Sports.

“The worst thing that LeBron is doing is forcing this power with Rich Paul and what that is, in terms of, he’s a player, but he has prowess in the media space,” the agent said. “His company Spring Hill, that’s awesome. Doing the movies and all of the projects. That’s so commendable. I love that. But now that they’ve jumped into the agent game, which the reality is, it’s illegal for a player, particularly if you’re in the state of California, to be licensed to represent talent.

“Now I know it’s this façade that it’s Rich Paul, but it’s really LeBron who recruits for Rich Paul. So it’s almost like they’re trying to control AAU at the NBA level.”

The agent went on to say that he understands why clients who idolize James would sign with Klutch Sports, and he compared the situation to when players wanted Michael Jordan’s agent David Falk to represent them. However, the agent said there have been some “massive casualties” for players who have been mismanaged by the agency. Two players who were mentioned were Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Nerlens Noel.

“I’m starting to hear some rumblings that they might be overloaded. Because you can’t have this level of expectation for a client and service all of these guys. Ben Simmons. Garland. I know this as an agent, you can’t service them all at this level,” the agent said. “You can seduce them, but you can’t service them all, at that level with what they say they’re doing. Nerlens Noel. Norris Cole. Shabazz Muhammed. They lost $80 million in Detroit. This is real talk.”

Noel, if you remember, turned down bigger offers to sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder two years ago. He has played 16.1 minutes per game and averaged just 6.2 points in two seasons with the team.

Klutch Sports has certainly grown at a rapid pace, even expanding to other sports outside of basketball. LeBron has obviously made that possible, and bitterness from other agents and agencies is to be expected. Whether or not those agents are right about the ethical issues is a matter of opinion.

Ayesha Curry changes hair after drawing attention for blond look

Ayesha Curry

Ayesha Curry changed her hairstyle after going viral for her new look.

On Sunday, Ayesha posted a video on Instagram that showed her hair with a blond color. Her skin color also seemed lighter than usual in the video.

View this post on Instagram

Mom goes blonde (temporarily).

A post shared by Ayesha Curry (@ayeshacurry) on

Ayesha’s husband Steph Curry was enjoying himself next to her in the video. Ayesha also wrote in the caption that her blond look was temporary.

Ayesha also went on Twitter to clarify things for people wondering about her altered appearance. She said her hair color was different due to a “fun wig.” She also said she used a filter, likely to create the light-colored look.

On Thursday, Curry said that being blond was fun but she was changing back her hair.

Ayesha is 31 and has been married to Steph since 2011. The two have three children together. Earlier this year it was Steph drawing attention for his hairstyle. Now it’s Ayesha’s turn.