Posted on: February 4, 2010 3:03 pm
I'm a little late to the party on this one. And being that I'm heading to Dallas a week from Thursday for All-Star weekend, I need to step up my game -- because folks in Dallas evidently like to show up at the party early and drink often.
You probably have heard by now about the two women who somehow gained access to the Trail Blazers' huddle in Dallas Saturday, and how one of them gained, um, access to Rudy Fernandez. One of the women -- whom Jerryd Bayless described to the Oregonian as "drunk" -- grabbed Fernandez during the incident and gave him a hug. The ladies were allowed to return to their seats. The NBA has said it's investigating the incident.
I don't attend many games in Dallas, but I sit courtside at my fair share in Madison Square Garden. And I assure you, if such an incident had occurred at MSG, those women would've been led out of the building in handcuffs. If they were lucky. At two separate games this season, I witnessed a particularly beefy MSG security guard charged with protecting the visiting team's bench virtually challenge an unruly fan to a fight. One of the fans, who was accosting members of the Toronto Raptors' bench, clearly had his beer muscles in full effect and decided to go nose-to-nose with the aforementioned beefy security guard. Bad idea. The bouncer -- for lack of a better term -- walked Joe Six Pack all the way up the aisle, down a flight of stairs, and into a hallway. Lord only only knows what happened next.
The Garden security staff is notoriously aggressive, which I suppose in a case like this would've been a good thing. Mavs owner Mark Cuban was right; this sort of thing happens all the time in NBA arenas. A couple of years ago, a fan made his way onto the court and tried to high-five LeBron James during a timeout. I don't remember what happened to that fan. I'm sure the fan doesn't, either.
Posted on: February 10, 2009 10:14 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2009 12:58 pm
The Portland Trail Blazers have made a strong play for Amare Stoudemire, discussing a package that includes LaMarcus Aldridge, Jerryd Bayless, and Raef LaFrentz's $12.7 million expiring contract, a person with direct knowledge of the talks told CBSSports.com Tuesday.
The Blazers, among the most active teams in the league as the Feb. 19 trade deadline draws near, have joined Chicago, Miami, Detroit, Toronto, Golden State, and New Jersey among a growing list of teams that have discussed acquiring Stoudemire from the Suns.
Several team executives told CBSSports.com that no clear front-runner has emerged as Suns president Steve Kerr tries to extract the best possible offer for Stoudemire, whose stock has fallen as Phoenix continues to struggle in its adjustment to a new style under coach Terry Porter. The Raptors are "pushing hard," one exec said, but at this point want to pair Stoudemire with Chris Bosh and continue to rebuff any trade proposals that include parting with the team's cornerstone. Bosh has a player option after next season and can become one of the headliners in the 2010 free-agent class.
The Blazers lost any chance of being a major player in free agency this summer when Darius Miles came out of medical retirement and joined the Memphis Grizzlies. Losing $9 million of cap space they thought they'd have, the Blazers are looking to make their splash now via the trade route. The Blazers have four extra second-round picks in the next two drafts to offer, plus the rights to British big man Joel Freeland, taken by Portland with the 30th pick in the 2006 draft. Freeland, playing for Gran Canaria of the Spanish League, is part of the discussion between the Blazers and Suns, the person with knowledge of the talks said.
UPDATE: One factor complicating matters, according to a team executive who has spoken with the Suns, is an apparent difference of opinion between Kerr and managing partner Robert Sarver as far as what Phoenix hopes to get back in a Stoudemire trade. Steve Nash, Grant Hill, and Leandro Barbosa are viewed as untouchable in any trade talks with the Suns. It is not known if any of those players is the source of disagreement between Kerr and Sarver.