There’s nothing like some quality trash talk between big men.
Ahead of the Miami Heat’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, Heat center Hassan Whiteside was asked if he thought he shared any similarities in his game with Clippers center DeAndre Jordan.
“No,” Whiteside said matter-of-factly, per Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post. “He catches lobs. I shoot jumpers, catch lobs, block shots. I do a lot. He just catches lobs.
“It don’t really matter to me who I’m guarding,” Whiteside added about the matchup. “I just come out here and just play. He catches lobs. He has CP3 (Chris Paul) as a point guard.”
In reality though, Whiteside is probably selling his Clippers counterpart way short. Jordan is a strong pick-and-roll defender, has actually added some spicy post moves to his armory this season, and isn’t too far off from the Heat center in the categories of rebounding (12.6 per game this season to Whiteside’s 14.7) and blocked shots (1.8 a contest to Whiteside’s 2.3). Jordan is also a two-time All-NBA selection and a two-time All-Defensive First Teamer, distinctions that Whiteside still has yet to achieve.
But even if they’re mostly inaccurate, Whiteside firing these kinds of shots may be a sign of that competitive spirit his head coach has been looking for in him and should make Friday’s showdown that much more entertaining.
Make big man rivalries great again also.
DeAndre Jordan and Evan Turner were ejected from Monday’s Trail Blazers-Clippers game after getting into a scrap in the final minute.
Jordan blocked a Damian Lillard layup attempt and stood over him afterwards, which ruffled the feathers of Portland’s players. Turner pushed Jordan, then Jordan started putting his finger in Turner’s face. Turner swatted away Jordan’s fingers and then the two were separated.
Turner and Jordan were hit with double technicals, resulting in their ejection from the game.
The Los Angeles Clippers have lost their third straight game after a 14-2 start, and DeAndre Jordan had some blunt words for his team in light of that.
Jordan believes the Clippers began thinking they were better than they actually are, and that has been a factor behind their recent swoon.
“I think we are smelling ourselves a little bit,” Jordan said after the latest loss to Brooklyn, via Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. “We haven’t done s—. Nothing. We were No. 1 in the West for a couple of weeks? That don’t mean nothing. At all.
“I feel like we took that for granted. We thought we were a lot better than we really are. We got to continue to get better and have respect for the game.”
Tuesday night was clearly a frustrating one for everyone. That includes coach Doc Rivers, who really lost his temper. The Clippers were a big story through their first 16 games, but now we get to see how they handle a little bit of early adversity.
Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan was one of the standouts for Team USA at the Olympics this summer, and coach Doc Rivers thinks he’s just figuring out how good he is.
Rivers hopes and expects Jordan to bring the swagger and confidence he found in Rio back to the Clippers for the NBA season.
“He sees himself now as a star,” Rivers said, via Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. “As good as he is, I don’t think he’s ever seen himself as one. He’s always been the third guy so he’s looked at himself as a role player in some ways. Now he knows how good he is and I think any time you’re around winning, it’s important, and I think DJ now knows what winning looks like.
“Of all our guys, I think he’s the most important guy this summer for us.”
Jordan’s drive and confidence has always been questioned. These quotes from the Olympics brought that to light again. Plus, Jordan isn’t an elite offensive presence and likely never will be – his game is more about creating space for other players. That’s perfectly fine, of course, and Ben Wallace was a star without having an elite offensive game as well. If Jordan does have renewed confidence, particularly on the defensive end, he could take the next step and really help the Clippers, who would certainly appreciate the boost.
DeAndre Jordan has never won an NBA title, but he has a very good shot at taking home a gold medal with Team USA in Rio. He says he’d rather have the latter.
“I think they’re above NBA rings,” Jordan told ESPN’s Marc Stein and Mark Schwartz of the notion of winning gold. “I may get in trouble for saying that, but I believe that. I feel like this is more special. You’re not just playing teams in the U.S. You’re playing teams from all over the world. And this is even more special because there’s an NBA champion crowned every year, but this is every four years.
“You’ve got to really think about that, man, because it’s extremely special.”
They’re similar comments to those made by one of Jordan’s fellow ringless U.S. teammates. Detractors will no doubt look at this as a losing mentality, and no matter what Jordan says, the fact is, he’ll be judged ultimately on his NBA success. Charles Barkley won two Olympic gold medals, but all anyone remembers is that he never won a ring.
The Olympic Games always bring together athletes from all different walks of life. And sometimes when that happens, you wind up getting a two-and-a-half foot height difference.
USA Basketball center DeAndre Jordan (who stands 6-foot-11) posed on Friday for a funny photo with 4-foot-6 American gymnast Ragan Smith.
For Jordan, who also holds a 12-year age advantage over the teenage Smith, we can probably expect him to similarly dwarf many an opposing player over the course of Olympic competition these next couple of weeks.
As for Smith, who is an alternate on the women’s gymnastics team this year, perhaps next time she should trying posing for a photo with somebody like Kyle Lowry instead.
H/T For The Win
Kevin Durant had reportedly narrowed his decision down to five or six teams before choosing the Golden State Warriors. One of his potential suitors at the time was the Los Angeles Clippers, and DeAndre Jordan wants to know why they didn’t win the K.D. sweepstakes.
While Durant was speaking to reporters at Team USA practice on Wednesday, Jordan put him on the spot.
“How come I couldn’t get you to come to the Clippers?” he asked.
Durant, who was clearly caught off-guard, said he’d “talk about that another time.”
Jordan was joking, of course, but he might want to be careful with that. If the Clippers big man wants to get into uncomfortable free agency talk, there’s nothing more awkward than what happened with him and the Dallas Mavericks last offseason. Jordan is lucky Durant didn’t bring that up in response.
H/T Pro Basketball Talk
The Dallas Mavericks and restricted free agent Harrison Barnes came to a verbal agreement earlier this week on a four-year, $94 million deal. When it came time to officially sign Barnes, the team took a hilarious shot at DeAndre Jordan.
Barnes put pen to paper as soon as league rules allowed for restricted free agents to sign their deals, which was at midnight on July 7. Apparently the Mavs held him hostage until then.
As many of you know, Jordan verbally agreed to a deal with Dallas last offseason before having a change of heart and returning to the Los Angeles Clippers. It was one of the most bizarre situations we have ever seen during free agency. You can read a refresher of all the shenanigans that went down here.
This time, the Mavs weren’t about to let their guy get away. Fortunately for them, the Golden State Warriors landed Kevin Durant and had zero intention of matching the offer sheet for Barnes. Still, you can never be too sure just one year after getting burned.
DeAndre Jordan is one of the worst free throw shooters in the NBA, and the Los Angeles Clippers big man put his shortcomings on full display during Monday night’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
And the Blazers let him hear it via their official Twitter account:
Jordan is a career 42 percent free throw shooter, so you know that was not his first air-ball. That doesn’t make it any less embarrassing, especially during a playoff game.
Fortunately for DeAndre, that was not the worst free throw attempt in basketball history. That honor still belongs to this gentleman.
Chris Kaman only played eight minutes during Portland’s Game 1 playoffs loss to the Clippers on Sunday night, but it didn’t take him long to get into it with one of his former teammates.
At one point in the fourth quarter of the Clippers’ win over the Trail Blazers, Kaman pushed Jordan. Jordan then sort of slapped at Kaman on an inbounds play.
Kaman didn’t really seem to care; he’s only a bench guy and has nothing to lose, so frustrating an opponent is probably a good thing.
Maybe he and Jordan have some tension from their three years as teammates on the Clippers. And what is it with Kaman getting into it with Clippers players?