Nuggets fan reportedly calls referee ‘racist’ following Nikola Jokic ejection

Ben Rohrbach | Yahoo Sports

Following Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic’s ejection and his team’s subsequent loss to the Washington Wizards on Sunday, a fan at the Pepsi Center “berated” referee James Capers, who is black, and called him “racist,” per the Denver Post.

The incident reportedly occurred as the officiating crew departed the court after the buzzer sounded on Washington’s 95-90 victory. According to the Denver Post’s Mike Singer, the fan was “admonished” and “escorted from his seat” by arena staff.

A Nuggets spokesperson told BSN Denver’s Harrison Wind that the team conducted interviews with security and fans in the vicinity before determining that the fan in question did not spew a racial slur at Capers. According to Wind, the team referred the incident to the league office, which is investigating it further.

The incident follows news of fan suspensions related to alleged racist behavior toward players in Utah and Boston. Requests for comment from the Nuggets and the National Basketball Referees Association regarding pending disciplinary action — or lack thereof — were not immediately returned to Yahoo Sports on Monday.

The Jazz permanently banned two fans for “excessive and derogatory verbal abuse” of Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook. The former NBA MVP said a Jazz fan told him to “get on your knees like you used to” during a game in Utah last month, which Westbrook interpreted as “completely disrespectful” and “racial.” A second fan repeatedly called Westbrook “boy” during the 2018 playoffs.

Last week, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported news that the Celtics had suspended a spectator two years after Golden State Warriors star DeMarcus Cousins accused the fan of calling him a racial slur during a January game in Boston. Following an investigation into the incident, the Celtics found inconclusive evidence to support the allegations that the fan had mouthed the slur at Cousins, and the team issued a two-year suspension rather than a lifetime ban as a result.

If you need evidence regarding the lunacy of the fan’s suggestion that Sunday’s ejection was racially motivated, just listen to Jokic’s explanation following the loss.

“I said to James, ‘He slapped me with two hands on my head,’” Jokic relayed to reporters after the game, according to The Athletic’s Nick Kosmider. “I don’t know if I sweared or something, but he gave me a technical. Then he said, ‘Do you want another one?’ I said, ‘I don’t care.’ And he gave me another one.”

Jokic earned his ejection with 3:47 remaining and the game tied 88-88. It marked Jokic’s second ejection in 15 days, and this one led to Denver dropping a game behind Golden State for the Western Conference’s No. 1 overall seed.

“He can’t get tossed,” Nuggets coach Mike Malone added. “I don’t care what they do to him. I don’t care how bad the refereeing is, foul call or no foul call, doesn’t matter. He’s too valuable for our team. It’s the second time it’s happened.”

Steph Curry reveals his top five greatest NBA players of all time

Ali Thanawalla | NBC SPORTS

There are a few healthy, evergreen debates that rage among NBA fans.

One is LeBron vs. Jordan. The other? Who are the five best players of all time?

On Monday night, Steph Curry revealed the top five players in his eyes.

“I would say Jordan, Wilt, LeBron, Shaq, Magic,” Curry said in Oakland at event to promote his Facebook Watch Original Series “Stephen vs. The Game.”

Curry was also asked to name the toughest defender he’s ever had to face and he offered this funny response.

Maybe someday, someone will put Steph in their Top 5.

LeBron James, Stephen Curry among NBA players mourning loss of hip-hop visionary Nipsey Hussle

LeBron James, Stephen Curry among NBA players mourning Nipsey Hussle

Jason Owens | Yahoo Sports

On Sunday afternoon, rapper Nipsey Hussle was gunned down on a Los Angeles street outside a clothing store he owned before later dying in a hospital.

He was 33 years old.

The Grammy-nominated artist collaborated with hip-hop titans Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg and Drake among others and was a favorite in NBA circles.

Upon hearing the news, LeBron James expressed his sorrow on Twitter.

During Sunday’s game against the Charlotte HornetsKevin DurantDraymond Green and Shaun Livingston got up to dance when Nipsey was played over the Oracle Arena loudspeakers.

Stephen Curry knew Nipsey Hussle personally

Stephen Curry, who had a personal relationship with Nipsey, spoke about his death after the Warriors game.

“It’s a sad and tragic event,” Curry said. “Obviously send prayers to his family, community. … Senseless crimes don’t need to happen, especially with a guy who was doing what he was doing.”

Clippers pay tribute

The Los Angeles Clippers mourned Nipsey with a jersey dedicated to him.

Outpouring of sorrow from NBA players

Several other NBA players expressed their sadness via social media.


LeBron, Curry mourn loss of rapper Hussle


NBA players are mourning the death of Grammy-nominated West Coast rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was killed outside his Los Angeles clothing store on Sunday, according to Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti.

Police confirmed that three men were shot Sunday, and one of them was killed outside Marathon Clothing, the store owned by Hussle.

Hussle, a noted NBA fan, was a regular at Staples Center, often seen sitting courtside at Lakers and Clippers games. He was also seen attending Texas Tech’s NCAA tournament victory over Gonzaga on Saturday in Anaheim.

LeBron James was among several athletes — including Chris PaulDamian LillardIsaiah Thomas and Tobias Harris — to express their shock and sorrow at the news on social media.

Stephen Curry, who interviewed Hussle, 33, last year as part of his “5 Minutes from Home” series on YouTube, said he had developed a friendship with the rapper and expressed his sympathies to Hussle’s family after the Golden State Warriors‘ home victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday.

“I got to know him last year and had a great conversation about who he was as a person, what he stood for, what his message was, how he tried to inspire people, considering where he grew up. And how he turned that into something extremely powerful and represented an entire city,” Curry said. “It’s tough, senseless crimes that don’t need to happen. Especially with a guy that was doing what he was doing, definitely tough. It’s one of those [moments] before the game, you try to just pay your respects the best you can. Send the love down there to his family.”

The Warriors played Hussle’s music before the game, and a number of players danced to it.

The LA Clippers honored Hussle with a video tribute before their game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, and guard Lou Williams wore a pair of shoes with a message honoring Hussle for a portion of the game.

Afterward, Williams said he hadn’t been able to let the tragedy sink in yet.

“Honestly, I’m not even prepared to say anything publicly yet,” Williams said. “It’s just rough. I haven’t even been able to [process] it all.”

Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell asked the team to make a jersey with his No. 5 on it and Hussle’s name on the back as a tribute to the rapper.

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Rest in peace, Nipsey Hussle.

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“I wish I was able to know him a little bit more personally than everybody else in the world,” Harrell said. “… When you have a person like that, who is giving to the community and worked his tail off in his own way to be able to establish that type of love and the support he had from the community, for his life to be taken where he was born and raised, it’s a sad day. … I’ve seen him around L.A., the things he did for the city of Los Angeles, the uplifting that he brings to the community with all the different drives that he did. It’s tough that he doesn’t get to go home to his family tonight.”

The Lakers also paid their respects to the L.A. native on social media on Sunday.

In a tweet, the Los Angeles Police Department said it has no information about a suspect in the shooting.


Stephen A. says his “money is on” Kawhi signing with the Clippers & thinks Lebron needs to stop KD from doing the same

Stephen A. Smith can envision Kawhi Leonard exercising his option and staying put with the Toronto Raptors for 2019-20 NBA season, but he also bets on a “confident” Jerry West to eventually land Leonard with the LA Clippers in free agency.

Stephen A. Smith says LeBron James should focus on recruiting Kevin Durant to the Los Angeles Lakers over Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson and Kemba Walker because adding Durant would help the Lakers vie for a championship and prevent him from joining the LA Clippers.

The 6 best moments from Manu Ginobili’s emotional jersey retirement ceremony


The San Antonio Spurs beat the Cleveland Cavaliers at home on Thursday and then the franchise and its fans did something special: they celebrated Manu Ginobili’s career in an emotional ceremony that saw his jersey get raised to the rafters.

Ginobili spent all 16 years of his career with the Spurs, winning four NBA titles with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Gregg Popovich and countless others.

He was absolutely beloved by fans during his playing days and they showed their love throughout this ceremony.

Let’s take a look at the six best moments from the night:

6. Tim Duncan’s funny story about when the Spurs drafted Manu:

5. Tony Parker talking about Manu’s once flowing locks:

4. Manu calling Gregg Popovich a “mad man”:

3. Popovich’s fun story about how different and important Manu was:

2. The fans showing their love

1. Manu looks at his family as his number gets retired:


Fan in Boston banned for calling DeMarcus Cousins the n-word

Ali Thanawalla | NBC SPORTS

Sometime during the last week, Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins revealed to Yahoo’s Chris Haynes that he had been the target of the n-word while playing in certain road cities.

[See related story here …]

Cousins didn’t name cities, but now, Haynes is reporting that an incident happened on Jan. 26 in Boston.

“I was told by league sources that the incident occurred while the Warriors were in Boston,” Haynes said on The Spin. “During that game, there was a fan that muttered the n-word at DeMarcus Cousins. And I was told DeMarcus informed one of the team security guys, and they got a hold of the security team at TD Garden, they took care of the fan. And I was told, ultimately, that that fan was banned for the rest of this season and next year. So, he received a two-year ban.”

Cousins’ revelation came in the wake of Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook getting into a heated argument with a fan in Utah. Westbrook was fined by the NBA, and the fan in question was given a lifetime ban from Jazz games.

The incident led to a broader discussion on how fans treat visiting players in arenas, which is how the topic came up during the interview between Cousins and Haynes.

The incident in Boston happened over two months ago, but according to Haynes, Cousins and the Warriors were just made aware of the punishment for the fan in Boston.

“I was told that DeMarcus and the Warriors were just informed about that recently,” Haynes said.

No word yet on how Cousins and the Warriors are reacting to this news.

Celtics didn’t go far enough in banning fan who made racist remark to DeMarcus Cousins


This week Yahoo’s Chris Haynes reported that the Boston Celtics had banned a fan for two seasons after the fan called DeMarcus Cousins the n-word during the Warriors’ sole visit to Boston this season.

The incident happened on January 26 when the Warriors played the Celtics, a game the Warriors ended up winning, 115-111. It was during this matchup that a Celtics fan in attendance reportedly said the slur to Cousins. According to Hayes, Cousins immediately reported the incident to an arena security person, who removed the fan.

It’s unclear when the two-year ban by the Celtics was enacted – if the decision was just made this week, or if this is just the first time it is being reported – but whenever it was, it wasn’t enough.

The fan should have been banned for life.

The NBA always has an uneasy relationship with its customers and their behavior toward the league’s players. The fact that Cousins was able to hear this person and report him to security suggests that the fan was pretty close to courtside.

In no other sport can fans get this close to players, and with that comes a responsibility of the league and its teams to protect them from harassment and physical harm.

After an incident with Russell Westbrook and a Jazz fan earlier this season, Jazz ownership drew a line in the sand, banning the fan for life and sending a clear message to its supporters that this type of behavior would not be tolerated. They made the decision loudly and publicly, then went as far as having their owner step onto the court during a game to speak with fans, making it clear that this would no longer be a part of the organization or its fan culture.

That decision was tough, but the Jazz realized it was worth it for their fanbase to be painted badly for a few days to try and root the problem out and confront it head on.

The Celtics … did not do this. They didn’t ban the fan for life. They banned him for two years, and they did so quietly.

This isn’t the action of an organization that wants to address a problem in its fan culture. (And sorry, Boston, I say this as someone who grew up in New England, but it is a problem in your fan culture. It may be overstated at time, but it’s a problem.) It’s the action of an organization who wants to quietly make something go away. Paint the fan as a bad egg, give him a suspension that seems harsh but not too harsh, then hope no one talks about it.

This isn’t how things change. Utah had to deal with a few bad days of press, but they understood a part of their fanbase, however small, was making their games a terrible experience for visiting players. They confronted it head on, banned the fan for life, and did their best to make a change. The Celtics, on the other hand, did not.


Charles Barkley on Jussie Smollett charges being dropped: ‘I think that we all lose’

Charles Curtis | USA TODAY SPORTS

Hall of Famer Charles Barkley had already weighed in on the Jussie Smollett case back in February after the Empire actor was accused of staging an attack on himself.

On Inside the NBA, he declared — with his co-hosts on TNT laughing after he said it — “Do not commit crimes with checks. If you’re going to break the law, do not write a check … get cash, man!”

But while appearing on The Late Show Wednesday night, Barkley was a lot more serious when Stephen Colbert asked him about his feelings on Smollett’s charges being dropped.

Here’s what Barkley had to say to Colbert:

“I think that we all lose. I think my black friends, my gay black friends, I think they lose, because there’s all repercussions when you’re a minority.  there’s always a double standard. You have to understand that and accept that. For every black, gay person out there, we lost. And it’s unfortunate. I don’t know that kid, I wish him nothing but the best.

“But you have to understand, you have to always look at the big picture. Like, you know, there’s a lot of gay kids out there who are struggling. They’re getting beat up, they’re getting bullied, and things like that. And that’s not good. And then you see there’s this tenuous relationship between the black community and the cops, and we made the cops look really bad in this scenario. And there’s probably going to be some resentment. So the bottom line is everybody lost in this scenario. It’s not good.”

Barkley also made a bet with Colbert over North Carolina and Barkley’s Auburn, who are playing each other in the Sweet 16.


After the most efficient game of his career, Steven A. Smith says KD is now the best player in the NBA… Agree or nah?

Stephen A. Smith proclaims Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant as the best player in the NBA, and says 2018-19 MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks isn’t even in the same class offensively as KD.

(AP) MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant turned in the most efficient offensive performance of his career on Wednesday night, going 12-for-13 from the field in a 118-103 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. “The game’s easy for Kevin,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “It just is. I don’t think there’s ever been anybody as skilled at his size in the history of the league, so he just does whatever he wants.”

Durant repeatedly did whatever he wanted against the Grizzlies, hitting from all over the floor, while adding nine rebounds, five assists and two steals in 35 minutes of play. He finished with a game-high +30 and is now 17-for-19 from the field over his past two games.

Durant acknowledged that Wednesday was the best shooting performance of his career while noting that efficiency became his focus during the second year of his career as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Durant’s efficiency left both his teammates and coaches in awe Wednesday. “It’s unbelievable,” Warriors guard Stephen Curry said. “He made all the right decisions. I know we had a couple turnovers as a team but just reading the situation, letting the game come to him. We obviously know he can put the ball in the basket from anywhere on the court, but just picking and choosing his spots, knocking down shots, it’s what he does.”

After taking just six shots in Sunday’s win over the Detroit Pistons, Durant picked his spots throughout Wednesday’s game and found a rhythm early, going 7-for-7 in the first half and helping the Warriors close out the game late. “He does whatever he wants each game,” Kerr said. “I felt like he could have been 24-for-25 if he wanted, but he was distributing the ball and trying to get everybody involved. He was brilliant. … Kevin is who he is. He’s one of the most efficient players ever. He can get any shot he wants against any defense. So regardless of how somebody is playing us he can go get a shot and it’s a good shot.”

Durant’s only miss came in the fourth quarter on a play during which he thought he was fouled. He voiced his displeasure to the officials for a few moments, but after the game conceded that he could have been a better look. “I talked to [official] Kenny [Mauer] about that,” Durant said. “He said the guy was just standing there. He probably was, but I should have shot a better shot.”

Durant’s performance offers another reminder of just how dominant the Warriors can be when the offense is clicking. “When you’re a scorer like that, an all-time great scorer, it opens up a lot of things,” Curry said. “Because there’s a lot of attention on you on the floor. With the weapons we have on this team, him being able to just never be in a rush, finding the open guy and trust that we’re going to get an open shot, and on the back end we can try to create for him as well. That chemistry when we’re all the way dialed in, it’s hard to stop. Over the last couple weeks his game has changed from night to night just on what he sees and how he feels, and it’s been impactful.”

Everything about Chris Bosh’s Heat jersey retirement ceremony was perfect

Miami pulled out all the stops the celebrate Chris Bosh’s career. This is why Pat Riley is the best.

Kristian Winfield | SB NATION

The Miami Heat officially retired the jersey of 11-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion Chris Bosh on Tuesday. It was a heartfelt, emotional, and exciting ceremony that honored one of the three stars who led the Heat to back-to-back NBA championships in 2012 and 2013.

Heat president Pat Riley pulled out every single stop to celebrate Bosh’s career, which came to a screeching halt after blood clots in his calf traveled to his lung, causing pulmonary embolism that could have killed him had he not sought medical attention and immediately ended his basketball career.

The ceremony, which highlighted almost every moment of Bosh’s Heat tenure, was the icing on the cake for one of the most likable All-Stars to step foot onto an NBA court.

The Heat changed their logo on social media

Look familiar?

Yeah, everything checks out.

They strung together a highlight reel pre-game

This was just a teaser.

Of course they had a blooper reel

Because as good as Bosh was on the court, he was so much better off of it.

They pronounced Tuesday, March 26, 2019 as Chris Bosh Day

The man now has his own day in the history of Miami. Unbelievable.

THEN, they showed the official tribute to his Heat career

The introduction — chills

Here’s how they welcomed Bosh to the crowd.

Pat Riley uttered some nice words

Of course Bosh was gushing with emotion.

“It was one of the most fun times, best times that this franchise has ever had,” Riley said. “We are honoring tonight, up there with Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway, and with Shaquille O’Neal, one of those Big 3. I am honored, blessed and just so fortunate that in my career, I have been around people like Chris Bosh.”

Bosh’s jersey was officially retired


Bosh spoke for 10 minutes

And he got some jokes off along the way.

“A lot of people don’t know this, but Pat first met me when I was a scrawny 19-year-old kid fresh out of Hutchins, Texas.,” he said. “And unfortunately for him, he had the fifth pick, and I went fourth, so he had to settle for this kid named D-Wade.

And D, I’ve gotta tell you, man. Sorry for beating you to this jersey retirement thing. I had to beat you at something, dude, I’m just gonna keep it serious.”

And he got the fans riled up one last time

Lebron James weighed in — not once, but twice

James, Bosh’s former teammate, would have flown into Miami to celebrate had his Lakers not had a game against the Wizards Tuesday night. Instead, he checked in once before the game:

“Congratulations to my man C-Bosh, CB,” James said. “Listen, I don’t win my championships in Miami without him — without you. He meant enough to that team in Miami, when I was down there my four years, even the couple years after when I was gone. He’s just the true definition of what being a professional is all about. It was never about him, it was always about the team. I wish I could be there, man, to see that No. 1 go into the rafters.”

And again after the game:

“Man Chris Bosh is a brother to me. I love everything about him,” James said. “Obviously we all in this league have seen the player out of Georgia Tech, what he turned into. But more importantly, the man that he is. His family, what he stands for, what he preaches. It’s just an honor to be with him for four years. It’s an honor for me to come in the league in ‘03 with him. And it’s an honor to still be a brother of his and to be able to send a text to him before we played tonight. I let him know how proud I am of him, and how well-deserved it is to see his jersey go up in the rafters in South Beach.”

James also joked that he thought about skipping the Lakers game to go to Miami, but didn’t because “the NBA has been on my ass” about missing games.

Dwyane Wade also weighed in after the game

It was his day,” he said.”It was his moment, so whatever he said, we were going to roll with it.”

And of course, Bosh checked out at the end of the night

Once it was all said and done, the man of the hour had his final words.

“Incredible night, man,” he said, unable to find the words to describe his emotions. “Yo, it’s crazy. I’d rather feel it more than say it, so thank you to everybody. I just want to say thank you to everyone who supported me and helped me make it, and gave me the perseverance I needed to keep doing what I needed to do to get up there. So thank you.”

This is how you celebrate your legends

The Miami Heat did this beautifully. THEY LEGALLY GAVE CHRIS BOSH HIS OWN DAY. They pulled out every stop to immortalize an All-Star who helped lead that franchise to repeat championships. Bosh will always be welcome in South Beach. He’s royalty everywhere in Florida.

This is one of the reasons why the Heat are and will always be a premier destination for marquee free agents. The city of Miami helps, but the franchise also knows how to take care of their own. You can’t say that about every franchise. You can about Pat Riley.

Everything the Heat did for Bosh was thought-out, planned and executed perfectly. There wasn’t a single misstep.

And it was the perfect end to Chris Bosh’s career, one everyone can agree ended way too early.


📺NEW • Woj interviews Giannis Antetokounmpo on money, motivation, the MVP and more🏀

Milwaukee Bucks star and 2018-19 NBA MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo sits down with Adrian Wojnarowski for a lengthy interview about about his family, his work ethic, being both Greek and Nigerian, not spending too much money, the MVP race, not being close to fellow competitors (the way Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Michael Jordan weren’t), coach Mike Budenholzer’s strategy, and more.