Watch: James Harden pinched Draymond Green so Green punched Harden’s sore wrist

While Draymond Green did nothing Friday night to soften his reputation as a dirty player, at least he had an excuse for his chippiness.

After the Warriors’ 107-98 win over the Rockets, Green admitted he punched James Harden’s sore left wrist in the third quarter because the Houston guard kept pinching him in the stomach. In fact, Green said he’s used to that treatment from Harden.

“I hope he does it. I always thought he was a great basketball player,” Robertson said Friday of Westbrook, via ESPN.com. “I was talking to some basketball people the other night, and I said, ‘I don’t think any of these guards can beat him on a one-on-one game.’ I think he’s been tremendous for the team, his fans and also for television.”

Even though the Thunder are long shots to emerge as title contenders during the postseason, Robertson thinks Westbrook should win MVP this season.

“I think it’s Westbrook. That’s what I really think,” Robertson said. “Because years ago it was tough to win an MVP because it was based on winning championships — and [Bill] Russell with the Celtics. They dominated. But one year, Wilt [Chamberlain] averaged 50 points a game and 29 rebounds and me a triple-double, but Bill won because his team advanced and we did not.

“It’s changed now. A lot of people understand what an Cheap Liverpool Jerseys MVP means. They understand basketball better than they did years ago.”

Westbrook is averaging 31.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 10.4 assists Cheap Michael Jordan Jerseys For Kids per game this season. He is on track to join Robertson as the only players in NBA history to have averaged a triple-double for a season.

Vlade Divac promises to step down if Kings do not improve

Vlade Divac has vowed to resign as general manager of the Kings if the team is not better in two years than it is now.

In an interview with the Sacramento Bee centered around his decision to trade star forward DeMarcus Cousins, Divac said, “I totally understand why some fans would be upset. They supported DeMarcus, and I like DeMarcus a lot. But I believe we are going to be in a better position in two years. I want to hear again from these same people in two years. If I’m right, great. If I’m wrong, I’ll step down. But if I go down, I’m going down my way.”

Divac also said back-channeling by Cousins’ agents forced him to accept a deal from the Pelicans that wasn’t as favorable for Sacramento as one previously on the table.

The near-kick came after Green mocked 39-year-old Paul Pierce, who is in his final NBA season. Pierce announced last September that the 2016-17 season would be his last. Pierce has played in only 13 games this season and did not play in the first half of Thursday’s game. That didn’t stop Green from heckling Pierce.

While Griffin was at the free throw line less than a minute into the game, Green shouted at Pierce, who was sitting on the Clippers bench.

“You’re chasing that farewell tour,” Green said loud enough to Pittsburgh Penguins Cheap Jerseys be heard on the TNT broadcast. “You can’t get no farewell tour, they don’t love you like that…You thought you was Kobe?”

It’s hard for someone to get the love from the crowd when he’s not Nike NFL Jerseys Wholesale playing, but damn dude, respect your elders. The man was a 10-time All-Star and led the Celtics to an NBA title in 2008.

Green kept it up in the third quarter, getting a technical foul early in the third quarter after running over Griffin. He then started to yell at Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who had pulled him from the game.

NBA trade rumors: Nuggets reportedly in talks with Cavs, Pacers in possible Paul George trade

The 2017 NBA Draft is over and Paul George is still a member of the Pacers for now.

There has been some speculation that it could take a third team for George to be traded to the Cavaliers, one of the teams that expressed interest in the Pacers All-Star. The Nuggets could be the missing link to make such a trade possible, according to ESPN.

The Cavaliers, Pacers and Nuggets have reportedly discussed a trade that would send George to Cleveland and Kevin Love to Denver. One version of the three-way deal includes Kenneth Faried being traded to the Cavaliers, as reported by ESPN’s Chris Haynes.

George has one year left on his contract with the Pacers, followed by a player option. But he has informed Indiana that he will opt out of his contract next summer and enter free agency.

Me going undrafted, Jones said, that was honestly the best thing for my basketball career. Everybody wants to be drafted on draft night. That’s everybody’s goal, but it really don’t matter when it comes down to it.

The number that’s beside your name when you get drafted, that don’t mean nothing. That number’s not going to help you on the court. You could get drafted No. 1 and get killed by the 60th overall draft pick, I mean, it doesn’t matter. That number is nothing. It matters on the work ethic that you have and how much work you put in the gym and how much you give on the floor.

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Jets’ Christian Hackenberg deflects criticism: I will get better and continue to grow

Christian Hackenberg isn’t paying attention to the negative media hype he received during the Jets’ minicamp.

The young quarterback has reportedly been missing his targets in OTAs, which was documented thoroughly. The indication was that journeyman quarterback Josh McCown was the shoo-in for the starting position.

Hechavarria, who is due $4.35 million this season but has not played since May 9, is batting .277 this season with one home run and six RBIs. Known more as a defensive stopper, Hechavarria likely will not play every day in Tampa with Tim Beckham currently having a breakout season at the same position.

Hechavarria remains on the 10-day DL (lt oblique strain), retro to 5/10. To make room, RH Diego Moreno was transferred to the 60-day DL.

Miami will continue to start rookie JT Riddle at shortstop. The 25-year-old got off to a nice start with his big-league club this season, but has not recorded a hit in his last six starts.

The Marlins have been linked with trade rumors for a couple seasons now. Word spread earlier this season that outfielders Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich were for sale.

As the Marlins fall further down the ladder in the NL East currently 10 1/2 games behind the Nationals more players could get dealt before the July 31 trade deadline.

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NBA free agency rumors: Kyle Lowry too smart not to realize he needs Raptors

Kyle Lowry is no dummy.

This is a guy who has been in the NBA for 11 years, who was the 24th pick in the 2006, just behind Josh Boone and well behind his Villanova teammate, sixth pick Randy Foye. Lowry had to battle Mike Conley for playing time in his early days in Memphis, and he did not come upon his first major NBA contract until he re-signed with the Raptors in the summer of 2014, inking a four-year deal worth $48 million.

During its history, First Take has often gone on the road during big sporting events like the NBA Finals and the Super Bowl.

Since I started working on this program, I’ve been amazed and impressed by the fact that when we take this show on the road, there are several hundred people waiting as early as three or four hours before the program even starts in line just to get in and get a seat in the studio, most recently during the NFL Draft in Philadelphia. We expect that will be the case in Oakland, Cleveland or, in the case of Boston, if the Celtics pull of what people consider would be a major upset of the Cavs, Roberts said. It gives talent an opportunity to interact with fans.

If you’ve ever experienced it in person, it’s just like one big party going on. There’s several hundred to a thousand people sitting in the audience just enjoying themselves. The talent really enjoys it as well.

If Portland keeps all three picks, another $4 million would be added to the cap, which means $10 million more in tax payments. That could be deferred by choosing overseas players who remain out of the NBA next season.

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Magic Johnson on trading D’Angelo Russell: ‘What I needed was a leader’ in L.A.

Magic Johnson threw some shade at D’Angelo Russell Friday, explaining the Lakers traded the guard to the Nets this week because he needed a leader and somebody that players want to play with.

The Lakers surprised many observers when they traded Russell, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Los Angeles also sent center Timofey Mozgov to Brooklyn in exchange for Nets center Brook Lopez and the No. 27 overall pick in the NBA Draft.

Johnson picked an unusual spot to explain his reasoning. As the Lakers introduced Lonzo Ball to the media Friday at the team’s practice facility, the Lakers president of basketball operations explained why the team traded Russell to the Nets.

Nick Horvath is hit by a pitch, walking in Jonathan India. it’s 3-1 Gators.

Christian Hicks intentionally walked. Now Andrew Baker is in to pinch run for the Gators at first. Bases loaded, no outs for Florida. Anything outside the infield could result in a run.

Mike Rivera gets the sac bunt, advancing Jonathan India and Austin Langworthy to second and third, respectively. One out for the Gators with Christian Hicks up to bat as a pinch hitter in place of Ryan Larson.

Zack Hess walks Austin Langworthy with the full count. Gators now have two runners on base with no outs.

Jonathan India gets his second hit of the night, a double, to start the eighth inning. Extra runs for the Gators would be a killer for LSU here.

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NBA trade rumors: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving wooing Jimmy Butler to force deal to Cavs

LeBron James and the Cavs lost the arms race.

After upsetting the Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals, the Cavs watched Golden State acquire four-time scoring champion and former MVP Kevin Durant last offseason. Last week, the Warriors took care of Cleveland in five to capture their second title in three seasons. Adding Durant to a roster that included Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green made the Warriors simply too much for the King and all his men to seriously challenge.

So, now, they’re calling for reinforcements. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Cleveland players, including James and Irving, have been reaching out to Bulls forward Jimmy Butler, and the three-time All-Star is willing to push Chicago’s management to make the deal happen.

Pregame.com also notes the wise guys in Vegas are heavy on the Warriors, while the betting public is heavy on the Cavs — natural given the payout gap combined with a perception of relative equality between the two teams.

Those who are gutsy enough to bet on a Cleveland sweep will earn a massive payout if the Cavs pull it off. A Cleveland sweep pays 50/1, while a Golden State sweep pays 8/1.

The 2016 NBA Finals went the full seven games. This year’s edition of Cavs vs. Warriors, their third consecutive finals meeting, is not expected to last as long. Pregame.com gives the series a 30 percent chance to go seven games. The 2016 NBA Finals, for what it’s worth, lasted six games.

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NBA Draft rumors: Potential Sixers-Celtics trade will reveal Danny Ainge’s plan

How long a game is Danny Ainge playing, anyway?

That’s the question coming out of the reported deal between the Sixers, who hold the third overall pick in this year’s draft, and the Celtics, who have the top pick. Dealing away the top pick likely means Boston will pass on the draft’s consensus best player, Washington guard Markelle Fultz. But it will set up the Celtics to choose Kansas small forward Josh Jackson, should they wind up with the No. 3 pick.

All they had to do was… hit 13 3-pointers in the first half and 24 for the game, both finals bests. Cleveland shot 53.3 percent from behind the arc for the game.

All they had to do was… tie the franchise-record for most points scored by a trio in a playoff game with Kyrie Irving (40), LeBron James (31) and Kevin Love (23) combining for 94.

All they had to do was… limit Stephen Curry, a two-time MVP who’d been averaging 28.6 points per game in three finals contests prior to Game 4 to 13 points. It was Curry’s worst scoring output in these playoffs. He went 4 of 13 from the field (30.8 percent), and 2 of 9 from 3-point range (22.9 percent), also lows for this postseason.

The three-year rule is especially pertinent under the current CBA. With rookies locked into four-year contracts, teams have the 2017 season to decide whether their 2014 draft picks are worth keeping around. They also need to make a decision on their first-round picks, who are eligible for a fifth-year option in 2018 but could also see a massive extension if they’re good enough.

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When is NBA Draft 2017? Date, time, draft order, how to watch

The 2017 NBA Draft has already been shaken up by a blockbuster trade between the Celtics and 76ers, which gave Philadelphia the No. 1 pick and, presumably, Markelle Fultz.

That, of course, shook up our latest NBA mock draft, which now projects the Celtics to draft SF Josh Jackson at No. 3. That assumes the Lakers still take UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball at No. 2, but Ball to the hometown Lakers may not even be a lock.

Green trolled James at the Warriors’ championship parade Thursday with a Quickie shirt (using the same Q as seen on the outside of Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena) after James sported an Ultimate Warrior look at the Cavs’ parade in 2016.

James responded with a that’s what she said joke on Instagram. It didn’t take long for Green to fire back with a comment on James’ newly shaved head, saying Them Dubs finally made him go bald!

From Romania, he was able to fly to London and with the help of Homeland Security, the State Department and others, he was able to fly back to the United States.

While that headache is over, Kanter’s struggles still continue. He’s still receiving death threats and says he hasn’t spoken to his parents in a little over a year. He wants to be a voice for others who may not have the same stage he does as a professional basketball player.

I’m getting death threats almost every day, still, Kanter told CBS. I believe when I leave this set, when I leave this room, I’m going to keep getting death threats, but you know what? I stand by what I believe.

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NBA Finals 2017: Cavaliers must make long list of fixes ahead of Game 2

After taking a 113-91 beatdown by the Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the Cavaliers believe they have a recipe to turn things around in Game 2. There are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, though, and cooking it all up won’t be easy.

Among those ingredients: Turn the ball over less, play better transition defense, be more physical, get better production from role players and get in a better frame of mind.

That’s a pretty long list. Let’s look at each point.

Turnovers. In Game 1, The Cavaliers committed 20 turnovers that led to 21 Warriors points; Golden State turned the ball over just four times. The 16-turnover difference is the largest in an NBA Finals since at least 1970-71, when Elias Sports Bureau starting keeping track, per cleveland.com.

Before the series even started, Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue knew turnovers would spell disaster for his squad. If we’re turning the ball over, we’re dead, Lue said.

Mentally, you must be strong to come back from an injury like this, Parker told French website RMC Sport, translated via NBC Sports. I do not want people to think it was my last game, that I was not going to come back, because in my head, I will come back.

I hope that the Spurs will offer me a final contract. I will be entering my final contract year, it will be the first time in my career that I will be free agent. I’ve already said it several times, I want to play three more seasons, do the 20 seasons with the Spurs, and I think it’s two decades. I want to continue to perform well on the floor.

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