Warriors’ Green talks his way to center stage of playoffs

UNTV News   •   May 12, 2017   •   2864

May 8, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) controls the ball against Utah Jazz guard Dante Exum (11) during the fourth quarter in game four of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit:…

From trash talk, to tough talk, to straight talk, Golden State’s vociferous forward Draymond Green is jawing his way through the NBA playoffs as the headliner of an otherwise bland postseason.

The Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers have beaten the suspense out of basketball as they march toward a third straight NBA Finals meeting.

That leaves just one unpredictability remaining in these playoffs and that would be the 27-year-old Green, a one-man band of commentary and sound bites.

While Golden State has smashed the competition through their first eight games in sweeping to the Western Conference Finals, Green has manhandled the press room.

In the opening round against Portland, Green jawed at the Trail Blazers guard combo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, then explained his art.

“That’s how I grew up playing. You come to the park where we grew up that’s all you hear is people yapping. It does something different to you as a competitor,” he said.

Green’s next target was former NBA player and current TV commentator Charles Barkley, another politically incorrect figure to whom Green has been compared.

“I wasn’t a Charles Barkley fan growing up,” Green said. “No disrespect to Chuck.

“(Chuck) told y’all … that he wasn’t your kid’s role model anyway. So there you have it, he wasn’t my role model.” For Green, no topic or player is beyond his crosshairs.

On Boston Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk, Green offered: “Kelly Olynyk is a dirty player, man. I don’t respect guys like that. This dude be out there trying to hurt people man, I don’t rock with bruh like that.”

On the controversial new signature shoe of NBA prospect Lonzo Ball: “This kid has never scored a layup in the NBA. He thinks he’s going to sell a shoe for $500? That’s just absurd.”

Green’s latest take stems from his own comments.

After he said the Cavaliers were the only team playing “good basketball” in the Eastern Conference, the Warriors enforcer blasted ESPN on Wednesday for its reporting of his statements, calling the network “a controversial reality TV show.”

Green’s running narration is actually overshadowing his special run on the court.

If one were to watch the two-time NBA All Star with the volume turned down this postseason, they would be struck by the noise he is making on the floor with his 14.9 points per game, 9.1 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 2.6 blocks and 2 steals.

Some would prefer Green focus his efforts on play rather than say.

Team mate Kevin Durant summed up the notion this week when he said, sarcastically: “You’re not allowed to have an opinion, Draymond, you’re just supposed to play basketball.”

Green will never just play basketball. He will bark his way to technical fouls and headlines, and maybe, ultimately, to the Warriors’ second NBA title in three years. — By Jahmal Corner

(Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Larry Fine)

NBA roundup: Curry, Warriors win 3-pointer battle with Kings

UNTV News   •   January 7, 2019

Stephen Curry connected on 10 3-pointers as part of a 42-point performance Saturday night, helping the Golden State Warriors outlast the host Sacramento Kings 127-123 in a game that featured the most combined 3-pointers in NBA history.

The Warriors went 21-for-47 from beyond the arc while the Kings made a franchise-record 20 in 36 attempts. The 41 3-pointers were one more than the previous record of 40 set in a game last season between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Curry, who finished 14-for-26 from the field and 10-for-20 on 3-pointers, scored 20 of his 42 points in the fourth quarter, none bigger than a three-point play off a Draymond Green assist that put Golden State ahead for good at 123-121 with 2:03 to go.

Kevin Durant backed Curry with 29 points and nine assists, while Klay Thompson added 20 points. Buddy Hield buried a career-high eight 3-pointers in 13 attempts to account for most of his scoring on a 32-point night for the Kings.

Raptors 123, Bucks 116

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 43 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for the Bucks, who had won five in a row and six straight at home.

Trail Blazers 110, Rockets 101

Jusuf Nurkic scored 25 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as host Portland ended both Houston’s six-game winning streak and James Harden’s five-game run of scoring at least 40 points.

CJ McCollum scored 24 points, and Damian Lillard contributed 17 points and 12 assists for the Trail Blazers. Harden finished with 38 points after missing a layup in the closing seconds.

Austin Rivers scored 21 points, and Clint Capela added 13 points and 21 rebounds for the Rockets, who lost for only the third time in the last 11 meetings with the Blazers.

Nuggets 123, Hornets 110

Nikola Jokic had 39 points and 12 rebounds, Paul Millsap scored 18 points and host Denver topped Charlotte.

Gary Harris added 17 off the bench for Denver, which has won five straight and nine of its last 11.

Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 20 points, while Marvin Williams, Bismack Biyombo and Malik Monk scored 16 apiece.

Jazz 110, Pistons 105

Donovan Mitchell racked up 26 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals, and visiting Utah defeated Detroit.

Ricky Rubio contributed 18 points, Joe Ingles had 16 and Derrick Favors added 13 for Utah. The Jazz erased an early 18-point deficit.

Blake Griffin led Detroit with 34 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Reggie Bullock supplied 19 points and Andre Drummond, playing in his 500th career game, had 15 points and 18 rebounds.

76ers 106, Mavericks 100

Furkan Korkmaz buried a key 3-pointer with 1:34 remaining to stall a Dallas rally, helping host Philadelphia hold on for the win.

Ben Simmons recorded a triple-double with 20 points, a game-high 14 rebounds and a game-high 11 assists while Joel Embiid provided a double-double with a game-high 25 points and 12 rebounds, leading the 76ers to a third consecutive win despite the absence of Jimmy Butler, who missed the game with an illness.

Wesley Matthews connected on four 3-pointers to account for a majority of his team-high 18 points for the Mavericks.

Pelicans 133, Cavaliers 98

Jrue Holiday and Julius Randle scored 22 points each as visiting New Orleans handed reeling Cleveland its ninth consecutive loss.

Seven Pelicans scored in double figures. Anthony Davis had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Elfrid Payton scored 13 points and E’Twaun Moore added 10. Randle also had 12 rebounds and eight assists.

Jordan Clarkson led the Cavaliers with 23 points, Jalen Jones and Collin Sexton had 15 each, Cedi Osman scored 13 and Tristan Thompson had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Spurs 108, Grizzlies 88

Derrick White scored 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the floor, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points as San Antonio bested visiting Memphis to earn its fourth straight victory.

San Antonio led by 20 points at the half and by 88-66 after three quarters and survived a 14-0 run by Memphis early in the final quarter before cruising to its 12th win in the past 15 games. Patty Mills added 15 points for the Spurs, with DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl scoring 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Mike Conley led Memphis with 21 points while Jaren Jackson Jr. and Dillon Brooks added 15 each for the Grizzlies. Marc Gasol grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds while JaMychal Green pulled down 10 boards.

—Field Level Media

Jefferson retires from NBA, pays tribute to father

UNTV News   •   October 15, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Jan 10, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson (24) dunks against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images

 

Richard Jefferson, who played 17 years in the NBA, has officially retired. Planning to pursue a career in broadcast journalism, the small forward announced Saturday on Instagram that he has made the decision to “move on from basketball.” He also offered a tribute to his late father.

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Richard Jefferson Sr., 65, was killed in a drive-by shooting on Sept. 19 in Compton, Calif. He was known as “Big Rich.”

The 38-year-old Jefferson, a member of the world champion Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, played 20 games with the Denver Nuggets last season, averaging just 1.5 points in 8.2 points per game. He previously played for the then-New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks. He averaged 12.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 1,181 career games, 809 of them as a starter.

On the Instagram post, he wrote: “In the last month I’ve dealt with two life changing events back to back. My decision to move on from basketball and the tragic passing of Big Rich. The support of my family and friends have been huge.”

The post included a video clip showing Big Rich at a barbecue he hosted for about 20 people, and Jefferson added, “He really was a true OG. I’m going to miss all his one-liners, his cooking and his ability to make a whole room laugh.”

Jefferson played at the University of Arizona from 1998-2001, and was the 13th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets.

—Field Level Media

James takes another shot at Trump during Washington visit

UNTV News   •   December 19, 2017

Dec 17, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates with forward Kevin Love (0) against the Washington Wizards during the second half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) – LeBron James used a visit to Washington on Sunday to express his continued displeasure at Donald Trump, without once mentioning the United States president by name.

James took the court wearing one white and one black shoe for the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Washington Wizards in an NBA game in the national capital.

Both shoes had the word “EQUALITY” stitched in capital letters on the back, and they got the attention he apparently was seeking.

“Obviously, we know where we are right now and we know who’s at the helm here,” the four-times NBA most valuable player told reporters after the game, played barely a mile from the White House.

“Equality is all about understanding our rights, understanding what we stand for and how powerful we are as men, and as women, black or white or Hispanic.”

James, a frequent and outspoken critic of Trump, backed losing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

He has continued his attacks on Trump in the 13 months since the election, saying that the president does not understand that many children look to their leader for guidance and encouragement.

James spoke on Sunday after compiling his third straight triple-double — 20 points, 12 rebounds and 15 assists — as the Cavaliers beat the Wizards 106-99.

“No matter your race, this is a beautiful country and we’re never going to let one person dictate how beautiful and how powerful we are,” he said.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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