With the NBA All-Star Game a few hours away, we look at what went down away from the games – and though out the three days in Brooklyn and New York City – there was activity and gossip galore.
LEBRON GETS INTERVIEWED BY D-WADE
Injured All-Star Dwyane Wade was still in the Big Apple over the weekend and he got the chance to sit down and interview his close friend LeBron James.
Wade would have been playing if it were not for a hamstring problem that ruled him out.
CP3 GETS THE D-WADE TREATMENT TOO
DURANT TIRED OF THE MEDIA
The often quietly spoken Kevin Durant looks to have broken out of his normal shell.
The Oklahoma City Thunder superstar was upfront on Saturday in his final interview before the game itself.
Via The Oklahoman:
On Friday morning, Durant made national headlines when he expressed his opinion about the media having too much power in selecting postseason NBA awards.
On Saturday, he took things a step further when asked about rampant speculation surrounding Thunder coach Scott Brooks’ job security.
“You guys really don’t know (expletive),” Durant told reporters in his final interview session before Sunday’s All-Star Game.
Durant was later asked what stories he would like the media to focus on more.
“To be honest, man, I’m only here talking to y’all because I have to,” Durant said. “So I really don’t care. Y’all not my friends. You’re going to write what you want to write. You’re going to love us one day and hate us the next. That’s a part of it. So I just learn how to deal with y’all.”
Durant’s comments are the latest in a growing list of strongly-worded statements that more and more are revealing a small part of the Thunder star’s personality.
Gone, by Durant’s admission, is the nice guy who straddled the fence and played everything correct politically. That guy has been replaced by a maturing player who now speaks out and voices his opinion, however callous, on more subjects.
COUSINS DOESN’T LIKE BARKLEY, BARKLEY DOESN’T LIKE COUSINS
DeMarcus Cousins responded to Charles Barkley’s criticism of him. Clear to say, that they both don’t like each other.
DeMarcus Cousins responded to Charles Barkley’s criticism of him by saying he simply doesn’t care about anything that comes out of the Hall of Famer’s mouth.
“It ain’t personal,” Cousins said when asked about the TNT analyst. “I mean, I don’t really respect the guy, but at the same time, I don’t really care what he thinks either.
“I don’t respect him and I don’t care what he thinks.”
Barkley recently was critical of the Sacramento Kings’ All-Star center and even used an expletive to describe how disgusted he was when discussing reports that Cousins was consulted by the Kings before they agreed to hire head coach George Karl last week.
“Why are they discussing it with him,” Barkley said during a TNT telecast. “Yeah, I am totally disgusted with that. … He hasn’t done enough to deserve that type of power. [The Kings] stink. Why would you give a guy that young that type of power?
“If you’re a Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon or somebody like that, yeah, you deserved that type of power after you have earned it. Let me just say this either way, that’s just total [garbage]. That’s ridiculous.”
SILVER WANTS TO REDUCE SCHEDULE
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver used his annual All-Star weekend address to lay out a series of peacetime tweaks he’s hoping to make over the next year.
Silver wants to make adjustments to the schedule to allow players more rest, reduce preseason games and readdress reform to the lottery system. He also said he is looking at potential changes to the playoff system that would blur the conferences but clearly stopped short of any promises on that front.
In the big picture, the league and players are spending their time haggling over the coming increase in television money and how they will manage a tripling of that revenue starting in 2016.
With that complex fight over money slowly waging, there has been little talk of any issues that would have a direct impact on the game, such as the installation of long-promised human growth hormone testing or a re-examination of the 19-year-old age limit. Despite the age limit being contractually open for renegotiation since 2011, Silver essentially admitted Saturday that it won’t likely be dealt with until 2017, when the next labor talks likely will begin.
What Silver discussed that is germane to how players and fans will see next season is a move to alter the league’s scheduling practices to greatly reduce the number of situations where teams must play four games in five nights. There was a surge in those situations this season, mostly because Silver responded to players’ requests to extend the All-Star break to a full week.
“We’ll come as close as we can to eliminating the four-in-five formula. We think we can make a dramatic reduction,” Silver said. “We hear everyone loud and clearly. It’s a function of number of days in the schedule.”
To make it possible, Silver hinted at a possible reduction in the number of preseason games and a possible extension to the regular season. He said the league had been in talks with television partners TNT and ESPN about allowing more games to take place on Thursdays and Sundays, when the schedule is pared back for national television purposes.