“I still remember the number when I saw that check. It was incredible,” the three-time NBA champion recently told Maverick Carter of Uninterrupted. “You try to keep it simple and you try not to overspend on nice things.
“My first purchase was my pool table. I still have that to this day. Oh yeah, still got my billiards table.”
Over the years, we haven’t heard much about “Billiards Klay.” We know he likes to read the newspaper and play chess, but pool? That’s a new one.
The five-time All-Star then made everybody laugh with a great comment about his time in college.
“I just love life experience. I love to travel. I grew up in Oregon so I love being in the outdoors. It’s not like that money made me happier. It was great to see that check, but I lived such a great life in Pullman at the time on my $1,100 a month stipend.
“That went so far in Pullman, man. I could get as much Taco Del Mar as I wanted. I could go to Target and have a field day.”
Just perfect and very on-brand.
Now, we need to find out what his biggest order ever was at Taco Del Mar. He probably will eat there when Washington State retires his jersey on Jan. 18, right?
The game was turning contentious. It wouldn’t stay close for long.
“They’re just a great defensive team and just play really physical,” Antetokounmpo said. “They want to be physical, they want to be dirty. They want you to get out of your game, and whenever you come in Detroit, you expect that.”
Antetokounmpo scored 35 points to lift the Bucks to their 13th consecutive victory, 127-103 over the Pistons on Wednesday night. The last time the Bucks had a longer winning streak than this was when they won 16 in a row spanning the end of the 1972-73 season and the beginning of 1973-74. They also had a 13-game run shortly after that 16-game streak ended.
Milwaukee won all eight matchups with the Pistons last season — four in the regular season and four in the first round of the playoffs. The Bucks also beat Detroit last month in their first meeting of 2019-20.
There were six technical fouls in this game, and there were words exchanged during a couple of mild altercations. The first involved Antetokounmpo and Griffin after those two collided around midcourt in the second quarter.
“There’s going to be a lot of teams that are going to come out and try to be physical with me — try to hit me, knock me down to the floor,” Antetokounmpo said. “I just got to keep my composure.”
In the third quarter, Antetokounmpo fell to the floor after being fouled, and then Griffin stepped over him. Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton came over to confront Griffin. Three technicals were assessed after that.
“At first, I was trying to … talk back, let them know that this is more than basketball. We can stop playing basketball and we can fight,” Antetokounmpo said. “At the end of the day, my teammates want me in the game, my teammates want me to keep my head in the game and I was like whatever. At this point whatever.”
That emotions were running high was no surprise to Pistons coach Dwane Casey.
“That’s going to happen. In a competitive game, it’s going to happen,” Casey said. “If anything, that should get you more focused, more riled up, more ready to play, more ready to compete and more ready to be physical and finish at the rim. All those things you have to do in a competitive game like that, a physical game like that.”
The Bucks went on a 13-2 run late in the second quarter to lead 57-39, and although Detroit closed to within 11 at the half, the Pistons never made a major run during the final two quarters. Antetokounmpo scored 12 points in the third, and Milwaukee led 92-72 after three.
“I liked our fire in the second quarter. I liked our fire in general,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “I think the guys, they’re in a good place. They’re playing good basketball. So we’ll keep it going.”
Andre Drummond had 23 points and 14 rebounds for Detroit. Middleton had 17 points for the Bucks.
It didn’t take James Harden long to notch yet another historic performance on Saturday night.
In fact, it took him less than 31 minutes.
Harden dropped 60 points in the first three quarters of the Houston Rockets’ 158-111 win against the Atlanta Hawks at the Toyota Center on Saturday, marking his fourth career 60-point game.
Only Wilt Chamberlain and Kobe Bryant have more.
“That’s greatness right there. Those guys are something that I’m trying to get to,” Harden said. “Hopefully when it’s all said and done, I can be mentioned in that group forever. Still a work in progress, but we’re working to get there.”
Harden shot 16-of-24 from the field and 8-of-14 from the 3-point line in the dominant outing. His 24 field goal attempts mark the fewest ever in a 60-point game, surpassing Karl Malone.
Atlanta simply had no answer for him, either, and couldn’t keep up offensively whatsoever.
After taking a brief three-point lead in the first quarter, the Hawks fell fast. They finished the opening period with just 21 points, and soon found themselves in a massive 58-point hole near the end of the third quarter.
By that point, the game was long over. Harden, who added 20 of his 60 points from the free throw line, sat out the entire fourth quarter while the Rockets finalized the 47-point win.
“He just didn’t feel us. He didn’t feel us with the doubles. He didn’t feel us with the blitz. He didn’t feel us with the extra defender running out at him,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said. “A lot of their guys have confidence … It’s kind of who James is, and it was amplified tonight.”
Harden, who added eight assists and three rebounds on the night, was just one point away from tying his career high, too.
Ben McLemore dropped 24 points and had a career-high 13 rebounds for Houston in the win. Russell Westbrook added 15 points, eight assists and eight rebounds.
Trae Young led the Hawks with an impressive offensive night of his own, finishing with 37 points and seven assists while shooting 10-of-16 from the field. De’Andre Hunter added 14 points, and Jabari Parker dropped 11.
Watch a compilation of the best buckets from each of Harden’s 60-PT performances of his entire career. Harden now passes Elgin Baylor (3 60-PT Games) with 4 60-PT games and ties Michael Jordan (4)...
SAN FRANCISCO — Golden State Warriors All-Star swingman Klay Thompson served as a guest analyst for NBC Sports Bay Area during the second quarter of the network’s telecast of Wednesday’s 104-90 win against the Chicago Bulls. Thompson, who has been out all season while he recovers from a torn ACL in his left knee, sat at a table just off the floor in the tunnel leading to the Warriors locker room as he provided commentary on the game.
Thompson frequently praised his younger teammates throughout the quarter, as play-by-play man Bob Fitzgerald and analyst, and former Warrior, Kelenna Azubuike, asked him questions.
“I enjoy playing that veteran role now,” Thompson said. “I can’t believe I’m at that stage of my career now.”
Thompson offered praise for Bulls swingman Zach LaVine as he hit shots all over the floor, but noted that he was happy LaVine didn’t break his record for most 3-pointers in a game last Saturday after LaVine hit 13 in a win over the Charlotte Hornets.
Thompson’s appearance on the telecast came in conjunction with the Warriors having a “Headband Klay” bobblehead giveaway to commemorate Thompson’s record-setting 14 3-pointers in a win last October against the Bulls.
“I know it’s going to be broken soon,” Thompson said of the 3-point record.
“Most importantly, congratulations to Mrs. Principessa,” Thompson said, interrupting his bobblehead breakdown as the happy couple was shown on the big screens inside Chase Center. “I love seeing those engagements here, it’s always special. I might have butchered your name. I’m sorry, but I tried.”
“Klay’s hilarious,” Spellman said after the game. “It was hard not to laugh because you don’t think of one of your teammates like a sideline reporter, but it was fun. It was cool. I’m happy I got to be a part of that with him.”
Longtime teammate Draymond Green couldn’t believe what he was seeing as Thompson interviewed Spellman after the game.
“A lot of s— has changed,” Green said. “Klay didn’t even like doing interviews, now he likes interviewing people. What the hell’s going on around here?
“It’s crazy. I guess he’s bored.”
Warriors staff members were having a good time with Thompson’s run at a television career. Coach Steve Kerr, who did television work for Turner Sports before coming to the Warriors, reminisced before the game about the challenges he had as a reporter during his one chance at an in-game interview.
“I do remember the first time I had to do, maybe the only time, I had to do a sideline interview when I was working at TNT,” Kerr said.
“Cheryl Miller couldn’t make the game, I think she was sick, and so they had me run over, we were in Portland, I think I was interviewing Vinny Del Negro, and I had to ask him whatever dull question is asked at the end of the quarter: ‘You’re getting beat on the glass, what do you do to fix that?’ One of those questions. And I’m holding the mic [close to me], but I’m so uncomfortable…
“I said, ‘What do you think you have to do?’ He starts answering, and he’s over here, and I’m nodding and the mic is still right here and the producer’s in my ear going, “Hold the mic in front of Vinny!’ And I was not asked to do that again. Not surprisingly.”
Kerr joked that he wanted Thompson to conduct an in-game interview with him on Wednesday. Alas, it didn’t happen as Thompson took off his headset in short order after the first half concluded.
“Klay will definitely be better than me,” Kerr said pregame. “More entertaining for sure. Mine was unintentional comedy.”
Anthony Davis is unquestionably one of the best big men in the league. His size and skills are almost unmatched in his position, and many regard him as a top 5 player in the NBA.
There are very few players in history who possess the size and skill set that AD has. He grew up as a guard and just kept growing to the size of an NBA center. Luckily, his guard skills never left him and he is still a fantastic overall player. Davis can shoot from the perimeter, handle the ball, and pass really well.
He also possesses the skills of a traditional big including inside scoring, rebounding, and especially defense. He is a shot-blocking machine who has improved his post defense tremendously over his career. In a nutshell, he might be the ultimate power forward talent in NBA history.
As soon as the Lakers made the trade for Davis, they immediately are in top contention for the NBA title. Yet, many people fail to realize how AD can be a major problem for the Lakers’ title chances – albeit indirectly.
There is one major factor that NBA fans have overlooked, and it only takes a brief look at AD’s time in New Orleans. While many will point to the fact that he never achieved anything there, there is a bigger issue at hand that must be acknowledged.
As good as Davis is, he might be a liability and here is the main reason why.
Anthony Davis Is Injury-Prone
Anthony Davis, for whatever, has seemed to have gotten a pass for being in and out of lineups throughout his career. While not his fault, per se, Davis has simply been one of the more fragile superstar players in the league for some time now. Don’t believe me?
Here is a list of ALL the body parts Davis has injured over the course of his relatively young career.
(No superstar in the league has suffered more minor injuries. Across his short seven-year career, Davis has already suffered more than 40!)
Clearly, Davis has an issue with keeping his body free from any sort of pain or damage. It may even be the reason why he prefers to play the power forward position over the center position. He simply cannot take the beating and keep healthy every night and always seems to have a problem with something, and he has missed significant time in the past.
He consistently fails to complete an 82 game season, and this is not a good sign.
He was very young when he experienced these injuries, and this will likely not improve as he gets older. In fact, there is a chance that it might worsen. Even this season, Davis seems to have a lingering shoulder issue that is deeply troubling even if most don’t realize it yet.
According to Davis, “There’s really never a play I don’t feel it. “I try not to let it affect my game. I just play through it and then worry about taking care of it after the game.” Clearly a troubling claim, we can see Davis with heating pads on his shoulders when he is on the bench. Even if it is a minor injury now, it could potentially develop into something worse.
He is probably the most important player for the Lakers this season. With LeBron James hitting 35, AD needs to take over most of the regular season while James has his rest as much as possible. Davis simply must keep healthy.
If he suffers from injuries again this year, the Lakers are in deep trouble, to say the least. Davis cannot be banged up as the Lakers approach the playoffs, or they risk another failure of a season. At the same time, AD needs to be healthy for most of the regular season so he can lead the Lakers to a top seed in the West.
The West is simply too difficult for both Davis and James to miss games. Davis was brought in to take charge, play the majority of the season, and completely dominate the league. This is supposed to be his moment, and he must take advantage.
James has earned the right to miss games, after a long history of remaining injury-free with a lot of mileage on his body. As much as Davis has had to carry in his career so far, LeBron has had to carry more. This means that James needs to miss a few games this season to keep his body fresh and prevent burnout as he approached his late 30’s. If Davis cannot lead the charge while LeBron is out, then he will be the biggest problem for the Lakers this season.
The Lakers will go as far as AD and LeBron take them, and the latter simply cannot handle the physical load much longer. If AD keeps up his injury-prone history, LeBron will be forced to end his career with 3 rings while the Lakers will have to move forward having sacrificed their entire core of young players that were shipped off last season. Lakers fans all over the world waited patiently for Davis to be a part of their team, and they expect great things from the team this year.
Lakers fans better hope Davis remains injury-free, or it’s bad news for Lakers Nation.
SAN FRANCISCO – Willie Cauley-Stein is used to being judged by his appearance. He has ink all over his 7-foot body, including tattoos under his eyes. He wears a headband over his braids. And he sports expensive jewelry and, occasionally, ice grillz.
But the Golden State Warriors newcomer hopes his fans will discover he is more than meets the eye.
“With the face tats and all the jewelry and swagger, it just intimidates people,” Cauley-Stein told The Undefeated. “I’m a shy dude, believe it or not. I’m not going to go be the first one to talk to you, even if I wanted to. … Most of the time I got this look on my face like I really want to talk to you, but I don’t know how to talk to you. It’s mutual.
“They don’t know how to come up to you either. They say, ‘Man, you got tattoos on your face.’ The first thing that they see. They’re not even looking in your eyes. They’re looking at the tattoos on your face. I made that perception on me because I felt like that’s part of my movement. I want to look like the ’hood but … I want to get past the perception of what people put on people. The stigma that they put on, on people that look like me.”
Cauley-Stein, who changed his middle name a few years ago to “Trill,” which means true and real, is a native of small-town Spearville, Kansas. Fans can catch him riding the streets of San Francisco on an electric bicycle and bringing a silver briefcase to work at the Chase Center. And, in his free time, he enjoys painting street art.
The fifth-year NBA veteran recently sat down with The Undefeated to talk about his personal movement, his struggles with the Sacramento Kings, and his fresh opportunity with the Warriors.
What do you see in your own tattoos?
It’s a timeline of what’s going on in my life. Sometimes I got to look in the mirror and remember, like, ‘Damn, I went through some s—.’ I see it on me. I’m looking at it every day, like, ‘Oh, this is why I’m here. This is what I got to do.’ It became like a constant daily affirmation. …
I had some tattoos [at Kentucky], but I hadn’t really gone crazy. And my mom was like, ‘You don’t go crazy.’ She knew all the things that come with having tattoos. She’s more tattooed than me, so she gets the stigma on it. And, to me, I want that. I want people to look at me, think I’m some thug and then talk to me and realize this dude is intelligent. Just completely different than what we thought. And that’s my whole movement. You can’t look at me and already put some tag on me and then not even have a conversation and confirm your tag.
Why did you sign with the Warriors last offseason?
In Sacramento, they put a tag on me that I wasn’t invested or I didn’t care about hoops like that. A lot of stuff that this platform exited out. You can’t go to one coach or one trainer in that facility and say I don’t work hard. But that’s one thing that they used to say. ‘Oh, he don’t work hard enough, blah, blah, blah.’ Dude, you don’t know how hard I’m working. So, that was like the biggest thing for me was the clout that this team has. The championship. Got wins. But most importantly, they get it. They get it from a perspective that some teams can’t even get close to touching. …
If I wasn’t invested in hoops, I would not come to the Warriors. The stage is too hard. Everybody’s looking at this. If I didn’t really like hoops, I’m going to go get a bag somewhere else. A little pretty bag.
Why did you take the Warriors’ bag?
I wanted to prove that I’m invested in this game. Yeah, I’m here for the money. But I’m also here to try to win something. I ain’t never won nothing. This is a perfect place for me to try to win something, given all this stuff that’s happening. There’s still next season. There is still years after that. I feel like I walked into a door into the league. Like I finally get a real introduction into the league by being a Warrior.
What is it like being on a team with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green?
When you are on the same page … and you got these three guys carrying this and you see how they move, you see how they work. Like, damn, I ain’t doing nothing compared to them. So, what’s the difference? The stage. The chemistry. The coaching staff. The upper management. It’s all got to go together or you are not on the same page.
What do you think of the Warriors’ mass injuries?
We still got our personnel. It sucks because I thought it was going to be different when I signed. But also, I wasn’t signing to come play with Steph, Draymond and Klay because of what they did. I wanted to be part of a winning program, regardless if them dudes were here or not. This is still a winning program, and they run it like a winning program whether we lose every game or not. The fans and the coaches are still going to be on some winning s—. That matters, man. I will run through a wall for coach [Steve] Kerr just based off of the last month of me conversing with him every day. You can’t say that about a lot of other teams, that you would run through a wall.
You have a player option for next season, but it appears you love it with the Warriors.
I love the guys. I love the environment. I love the city. And I haven’t been in a city like this. It’s all new and energizing in a way. And there is a lot of opportunity to grow in life, period, not just hoops. And that all comes from just being around these group of guys and the group of coaches, the atmosphere around the city.
What was the best and most challenging part of your time in Sacramento?
My best part about Sac was the city in itself and the relationships I made. And the most challenging part was definitely trying to play up to their standards of hoops.
You are big into art and painting. What advice would you give a kid who is an aspiring painter?
Keep creating. At all costs, create something. I don’t care if you’re good at it or if you think you’re good at it, because it’s perception. Somebody ain’t never drawn before goes and draws a picture of something. There’s a billionaire over here that’s going to buy it for a million dollars just because of how abstract it is, and you ain’t never painted before. That’s how powerful art is.
What does the game of basketball mean to you?
All this that we’re doing is fueling from a ball bouncing on the ground. It’s incredible to me. Financially free to move how we want. We can post what we want, we can make what we want, we can create anything that we want because now this ball bouncing gives us the opportunity to do that. And that became a lifestyle. And everybody in my campaign knows that hoops is what’s driving this.
BOSTON — No time was wasted. As the lights dimmed and the player introduction video began to roll on the giant screen in TD Garden, the heckling began. The chants were loud, the booing was relentless, and signs denouncing the Boston Celtics‘ former star were abundant.
“Where is Kyrie?” Celtics fans chanted.
“Kyrie sucks!” they screeched nearly every time Jarrett Allen went to the free throw line.
The target of the taunting, Kyrie Irving, was hundreds of miles away. Irving has missed the past seven games because of a right shoulder impingement and did not make the trip with his Brooklyn Nets teammates to face his former team. He did, however, respond after the game in a lengthy social media post.
“It happens all the time and Tonight just shows how Sports/Entertainment will always be ignorant and obtrusive,” Irving said at the start of a lengthy post via an Instagram story. “It’s one big SHOW that means Very VERY little in the real world that most people live in because there are Actually things that matter going on within it.”
While Irving didn’t receive the jeering in person, the remaining Nets players served as his proxies.
“It was better than I thought,” Allen said. “They could’ve booed us every time we touched the ball. If Kyrie was here, it probably would’ve been 10 times worse.”
Added Nets coach Kenny Atkinson: “I didn’t give a second thought” to the chants.
In the fall of 2018, Irving told an arena full of Celtics fans that he intended to re-sign with Boston during his 2019 free agency. Instead, he chose the Nets alongside Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan. On media day in Brooklyn, New York, Irving said he meant it when he told fans he would re-sign. But then his grandfather died, basketball became less important to him, and over time, the Celtics’ locker room grew fractured and chilly.
“I failed those guys,” Irving said in September. “In terms of me being a leader in that environment and bringing everyone together, I failed.”
It seems that the Celtics organization has largely forgiven Irving. The franchise has stuck to diplomatic talking points when speaking about his tumultuous Celtics tenure. If the team had retained Irving, Boston would not have signed Kemba Walker, who has quickly become a fan favorite and has presided over the Celtics’ 13-4 start to the season, including Wednesday’s 121-110 victory over the Nets. Walker scored a season-high 39 points on 13-of-24 shooting, including 6-of-10 on 3-pointers.
“I’ve said many times that I really enjoy Kyrie and wish him nothing but the best,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said before the game.
That nuance was unimportant on Wednesday. Outside the arena, fliers with the word “coward” stamped across Irving’s face were plastered on telephone poles. Another leaflet depicted Irving as the cowardly lion from “The Wizard of Oz.”
In the arena, fans held up signs that said “Kemba > Kyrie.” Another poster had Irving’s face superimposed over a photo of Waldo from “Where’s Waldo?” Other fans had “Kanter” painted over where Irving’s name had been on a No. 11 jersey.
By the fourth quarter, “Kyrie sucks” chants were not reserved for the Nets. It became a rally cry when the Celtics shot free throws and during dead balls as well.
“I had no preconceived notions,” Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie said about the crowd reception in Boston. “Whatever they had to say, he heard it through the TV I am sure, but … he’s not even here.”
The boos rained, heavily and consistently Wednesday as the Los Angeles Lakers star returned to New Orleans to face his former team. They started as soon as he hit the court and reached a peak as he was introduced in the Smoothie King Center for the first time as an opponent.
Perhaps wisely, the Pelicans reportedly held off from airing any sort of tribute video for Davis.
AD gets the last laugh vs. Pelicans
The boos continued into the game, with the the crowd jeering Davis whenever he touched the ball and cheered his misses and turnovers. The Lakers responded by feeding Davis the ball in the first quarter, with him posting 11 of the team’s 22 field goal attempts for 14 points.
Davis eventually got the last laugh, posting a season-high 41 points on 15-of-30 shooting and killing the Pelicans’ shot at a last-second game-winner by stealing an in-bounds pass in the final seconds of a 114-110 Lakers win.
That point total also meant a bit of history for The Brow, becoming the first player in NBA history to score more than 40 points in his first game against a former team, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Davis also appeared to escape injury after sitting for part of the fourth quarter with an apparent right arm injury. Lakers coach Frank Vogel said Davis was fine after the game.
Pelicans fans’ reaction was expected
None of the reactions in the Smoothie King Center were a surprise for Davis, who told ESPN he expected almost exactly that treatment:
“I’m pretty sure every time I catch the ball, it’s probably going to be boos and stuff like that,” Davis said. “Obviously they’re fans of the Pelicans. And I understand why they feel that way, but it’s all love on my end.”
Davis ended up getting his wish, and now he’s on the Lakers and a major part of their NBA-best 16-2 record. He never got the kind of support in New Orleans that he now has in Los Angeles, but that doesn’t mean the majority of Pelicans fans will forgive him anytime soon.
Lakers’ LeBron James Becomes 4th Player Ever to Score 33,000 Points
Add another accomplishment to LeBron James‘ illustrious resume.
James became the fourth player in NBA history to score 33,000 career points during Wednesday’s 114-110 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. There is a Los Angeles Lakers flavor to the top four scorers, as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant are the only other players to reach the milestone:
James reached the 33,000-point club with a contested three-pointer in crunch time during the fourth quarter:
As if there was any doubting James’ status in league history, he is ahead of Michael Jordan (fifth) and chasing three of the greatest to ever lace them up in the NBA. Bryant is well within his sights, which will set up an interesting dynamic with Lakers fans who idolized Kobe and now find themselves cheering for the King.
James is already a three-time champion, three-time NBA Finals MVP, four-time league MVP, 15-time All-NBA selection, six-time All-Defensive selection and 15-time All-Star who has little left to accomplish at this point of his career.
Rather than winding down entering the twilight of a legendary career, he is focused on getting better.
Luka Doncic’s breakout sophomore season is the story of the NBA.
But the Los Angeles Clippers might the league’s best team. They looked like it on Tuesday in a smothering performance in Dallas that saw them control the game from the opening tip of a 114-99 win over the Mavericks.
Doncic still filled up the stat sheet. But the Clippers made him work for it as their trademark defense zoned in on the 20-year-old superstar.
Paul George sets the pace
Meanwhile Paul George continued to thrive in his seventh game since joining the Clippers lineup after offseason shoulder surgery, pacing the team with 17 points in the fourth quarter as Los Angeles opened a 34-27 lead. He hammered home a transition tomahawk dunk late in the quarter as if to announce that his shoulder is just fine.
George finished with 26 points, four rebounds and six steals, but was far from the only Clippers player to thrive. Kawhi Leonard and Lou Williams also posted big numbers as the Clippers three-headed monster on offense continues to look like one of the league’s most formidable.
Leonard tallied 28 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while Williams was his normal productive self off the bench with 21 points, six rebounds and six assists.
Rough sledding for Doncic, Mavericks
But as will likely be the case throughout the season, it was the Clippers defense that made the biggest imprint on Tuesday.
After scoring 137, 143 and 142 points in each of their last the games, the Mavericks managed just 99 against Los Angeles while shooting 38 percent from the field. It was the first time all season they failed to score 100 points.
Doncic tallied 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists, but hit on just 4-of-14 field goal attempts. The Mavericks threatened to close the gap the second half when backup point guard J.J. Barea got hot en route to 15 points. But there was little else to like about Dallas’ offense against a stifling Clippers defense.
There’s nothing to be worried about in Dallas, which snapped a five-game winning streak with the loss and is well ahead of schedule with an 11-6 start.
But it’s evident the Mavericks ran into the better team on Tuesday.