Posted on: January 2, 2012 6:11 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 10:20 pm

Cousins to rejoin Kings as trade offers pop up

By Matt Moore

Update (9:45 p.m.): Cousins issued a statement via his agent and SI.com has the details. "I want to address my missing the New Orleans game Sunday. I have not demanded or requested a trade. I don't agree with the actions taken but will give my sincere effort to put it behind me and compete the best I can for my team."

In other words, this isn't over. Not by a long shot. 


As the fallout from the Kings sending DeMarcus Cousins home following what Paul Westphal publicly described as a trade demand continues, teams are circling even as the Kings continue to say they are not trading the volatile young big man. 

SI.com reports that the Nets have expressed interest, and the Washinton Post says the Wizards have called to inquire about pairing Cousins with his Kentucky teammate John Wall in Washington. Both teams believe the Kings are following through on their refusal to trade him.  

In the same vein, Yahoo Sports reports that Cousins is going to joing the team on its road trip, effectively ending his suspension-that-isn't-a-suspension, or his grounding, or whatever.

If the Kings aren't going to trade him, and they were going to let him back on the team, then why announce to the world his situation? Westphal actually took a measured approach Sunday, saying that the reason was because one way or another the media would be asking about it. Still, it seems like throwing Cousins under the bus for very little gain. Expect the Kings to continue to receive offers, albeit low ones, to try and get the talented powder keg.
Posted on: June 8, 2011 4:14 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 4:54 pm

League fines Gilbert Arenas for Twitter comments

Posted by Royce Young

Gilbert Arenas' return to Twitter was pretty much a godsend for sportswriters and fans. Nobody is more candid, wacky, clever and borderline crazy than Arenas, so bottling him up into 140 characters or less is a sure thing for good results.

Kind of like Charlie Sheen with a shoe deal. Or something.

Except that sometimes he crosses a line. At least a line the league has set. It didn't take long, but according to the Orlando Sentinel, the NBA fined Arenas for comments he made on Twitter.

The league didn't specify for how much or what tweets he was fined for, but take your pick, I guess. In between uploading pictures of his fishing trips, Arenas has made a couple of potentially derogatory comments about women. That could've done the trick.

Arenas took to Twitter (of course) to vent about the fine.
"yesthe nba has fined me....for being to awesome..so i can give you the shoes for FREE but gotta charge you for the jokes... i cant believe i got fined..how do i explain this to the lady at the bank...this is gonna take another 40mins... or i could just write a check and if theres a lockout just cancel the check it and maybe they will forget.....i think that will work.."

Arenas, who's never been one to take himself seriously, continued to make light of the situation in his next Twitter messages: "its okay it all evens it self out..i get fined from the nba........im stealing cable from my neighbors..so bam bam jackpot...hahaha".
I find it a little strange, though, because other players have said similar things or worse on their accounts. Arenas was either singled out or caught. I'm sure that's why he's a bit frustrated.

The Magic didn't comment on it. But that's just Gilbert, I guess. It was only a matter of time before he got himself in trouble. Gilbert Arenas unfiltered and unedited is fun for us but bad for his bank account.

Posted on: May 23, 2011 5:35 pm
Edited on: May 24, 2011 5:33 am

Noah fined $50,000 by NBA for gay slur

Joakim Noah has been fined $50K for using a gay slur during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals. The comment was directed toward a fan while Noah was on the bench. Kobe Bryant was fined more in early April because Bryant's comment was directed at a league official, a spokesman tells CBSSports.com

Posted by Matt Moore

All the talk today, aside from wondering where in the red blazes Derrick Rose's offense has gone and if anyone that's GM of the Blazers can last more than a season, has been about Joakim Noah's homosexual slur used toward a fan Sunday night. The comment came in retaliation for repeated verbal abuse, and Noah's remark was caught on video. And, just as the reaction was swift and strong from both the public and the league in the case of Kobe Bryant's incident, so too the outcry was quick towards Noah's Heat-of-the-moment utterance. Now the league has followed suit.

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The NBA today fined Noah $50,000 for the use of the homosexual slur. Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 for his remark toward an official in early April. A league spokesman confirmed to CBSSports.com that the differential in the fines was: "Kobe's fine included discipline for verbal abuse of a game official." 

Noah apologized Monday morning for the remark saying he would "accept the consequences." Noah met with officials Monday to discuss the incident. Certainly the fact that Noah's comment occurred on national television during the second-most-watched NBA game in cable history had something to do with the attention it garnered, but it's good to see the league responding quickly and fairly to both incidents. Some will question why Noah's fine was less, and if abusing a fan is any less harmful than abusing an official, but in reality, the extra money fined Bryant was for a separate issue. It was in part for using the term, and in part for the abuse of an official. 

With Noah having apologized, and no doubt seeking the same reparations with public relations as Bryant did in a series of PSA ads against homophobic slurs, the incident should move behind the Bulls. Now they just have to worry about being in a 2-1 hole going into Tuesday's game in Miami.
Posted on: May 8, 2011 3:03 pm
Edited on: May 8, 2011 3:10 pm

Phil Jackson fined $35k for comments on refs

Phil Jackson fined $35k for comments on officials.
Posted by Matt Moore

Pretty bad week for the ol' Zen Master. The NBA Sunday fined Phil Jackson $35,000 for comments made Saturday regarding, yes, of course, the officials. Jackson's been complaining about the officials throughout the playoffs, mostly because the Lakers keep losing. Jackson has done this each year in the playoffs, prompting promises from the league to be aggressive with their fine structure to try and prevent intimidation of offiicals. 

The Lakers dominated the Mavericks in points in the paint in Game 3, but were doubled up in free throws. That's a pretty obvious element to complain about, but it ignores how the game was called. The officials were consistent on both sides of the floor, just inconsistent on where they called fouls. Most of the play under the rim was allowed, as both Pau Gasol and Dirk Nowitzki were shoved around like rag dolls on the boards. But a lot of perimeter penetration  moves drew fouls, which the Lakers weren't doing as much of, instead passing to the post or going for pull-up jumpers. 

But Jackson's issue is specifically with much-criticized Pau Gasol, and how he's being defended in the post. From the Dallas Morning News

"You know, I've resisted this the whole playoffs, but the NBA used to call a knee to the backside, Jackson said. "That's what they call it. You couldn't lift a knee off the floor to run a guy off the post. And they're doing it every time. They're taking him out of the post so we can't get a tight post play. 
"We didnt complain about it against New Orleans. But the Mavs are doing the same damn thing. And until the league goes back to the rules that they have about playing post play, Pau's got to move out and face the basket. So we're kind of resigned that they're not going to go back to what they used to have as a rule and hes going to have to go out and face the hoop."
via Lakers coach Phil Jackson fined 35K for officiating commentary | Dallas Mavericks Blog | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | The Dallas Morning News.

Of course, this ignores the fact that other players in the playoffs are doing just fine in the post and that at some point, it's Gasol's responsibility to get tough and establish himself regardless. But then, that kind of approach isn't really the Zen Master's style. 

It's a good thing Jackson's retiring this year, otherwise the league might have to face the fact that their fines are largely meaningless against a coach with a bankroll like Jackson's, especially compared to the payoff for getting into the heads of the officials to see things his way. 

Game 4 is Sunday at 3:30 EST. 
Posted on: February 14, 2011 4:28 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2011 5:06 pm

DeMarcus Cousins to re-join team in OKC

Posted by Matt Moore

Well that didn't take long. Just two days after being told to leave the team plane and being listed as inactive against Phoenix, DeMarcus Cousins is rejoining the Kings in Oklahoma City, via Sam Amick of NBA FanHouse who has been on top of this since the beginning, and confirmed later in a Kings press release:

Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins is headed for Oklahoma City to join the team, according to a source close to the situation.

So instead of missing the entire three-game roadie, he misses one game, then rejoins the team. The decision is likely to increase scrutiny over the Kings' handling of Cousins. Some will argue he should be punished more severely for fighting with a teammate in the locker room, while others will wonder if he really did do enough wrong, why no formal suspension was levied and why he only sat a game. It's pretty much a no-win for Sacramento. 

The Kings did release a statement on Cousins featuring the following quotes from General Manager Geoff Petrie and Cousins: 
“There is no place in the NBA for violence, either on or off the court,” said Kings President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. “Upon investigating the events of Saturday night, we feel it is necessary to impose an appropriate fine related to DeMarcus’ behavior. We will now move forward together. We do not intend to give up on DeMarcus’ talent or potential. We look forward to watching his continued improvement and development, which has been significant since the beginning of the season.” “I wish to apologize to my teammates, the Kings organization and Kings’ fans for my role in an unfortunate altercation between teammates,” Cousins said. 
“I accept full responsibility for my actions and know that I must keep raising my standard of professionalism to be my best and a great player in the NBA.”

The fine's not out yet, but we're sure it'll get leaked soon enough. The Kings have to kind of hope to put this behind them as soon as possible and that they can essentially stay on top of Cousins long enough for him to work through his immaturity. It's a gamble, but with his talent, its' really the only option they have.
Posted on: January 6, 2011 1:31 am
Edited on: January 6, 2011 11:23 am

Bourré alternatives for players to avoid trouble

After O.J. Mayo and Tony Allen scuffle on a team flight, we wonder what other games might best replace Bourré on chartered flights to prevent future incidents. 
Posted by Matt Moore with contributions from Ben Golliver and Royce Young

Ken Berger lays out the case for the NBA to abolish gambling on NBA charter flights, an age old tradition. Berger's right to point out that as long as gambling is allowed on planes, these kinds of disputes are going to continue. But in our efforts to take a pragmatic step towards eliminating conflicts over these games, perhaps we should move the gambling to an alternative contest. And so, we present a series of games that may best replace Bourré as the game of choice for NBA rounders. Our scale will be on one-to-five Tony Allen punches, with one being very unlikely to lead to suspensions, and five being very likely to lead to suspensions.

The Culprit: Bourré

The object of Bourré is to take a majority of the tricks in each hand and thereby claim the money in the pot. If a player cannot take a majority of tricks, their secondary goal is to keep from bourréing, or taking no tricks at all. A bourré usually comes at a high penalty, such as matching the amount of money in the pot.
via Bourré - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia .

So you've got a trick game, which is problematic in and of itself, combined with a "must play to win" element and the possibility of significant loss of money with the bourré. See, that's just not a game you want involved with guys amped up on testosterone and dealing with competitive natures on a plane with significant money involved. You're asking for trouble. This game is not well suited for NBA players. It's got the ability to have exponential pots.  It's got to go.

Rating: Five Tony Allen punches

The Team-Builder: Go Fish!

Go Fish is competitive and can lead to taunting, sure. "So, do you  have any threes, Gilbert? Oh, I guess only in practice!" But it also lets you learn about one another's mindset "Who always asks for face cards?" and teaches giving. And it reinforces the idea that you should have nothing left at the end of the game. Throw in the fact that it relies on the honor system, and you've got a terrific option for NBA players or  their seven-year-old children.

Rating: One Tony Allen punch

The Mind Game: Bluff

Also known by another less kid-friendly name involving a male cow, Bluff is a wonderful game for learning about your teammates. Being able to determine when your teammate is lying, what his tells are, will help you understand his body language in game. With limited capacities for gambling fit in, the game can look ideal. But it also encourages lying to your teammates, deception, and challenging one another on the premise that you feel they are dishonest. Not exactly encouraging of a friendly environment.

Rating: Three Tony Allen punches

The Life-Skill Teacher: Monopoly

NBA players too often have their own ideas about spending their money and are too often misguided. The classic game with the creepy Mike D'Antoni character as the mascot would do wonders for learning how to manage your assets. It reinforces that the priciest assets aren't always the most valuable, that efficiency is valued over excess, and that energy is important. Unfortunately, it also reinforces the idea that if you have the right piece of paper, you can get out of prison, and that money is the end of everything. There are some ups and downs here.

Rating: Three Tony Allen punches

The Allegory: Hungry Hungry Hippos

Buys into the competitiveness while combining it with a sense of whimsy.  Reinforces the idea of always being active and consistently finishing through the end of the game. Exceedingly difficult to gamble on. Game not well suited for players' hands. Also difficult to steady on charter flight in turbulence. Also teaches that he who consumes the most is best, not great for sharing instincts. 

Rating: Two Tony Allen punches

The Greater Game: Chess

Teaches total team effort. Encourages critical thinking. Reinforces team concept. Difficult to gamble on in a group setting unless you get into a prop bet situation. Can breed competitive nature and trash talk, though. Chess is a high-minded game and the kind of thing coaches like Phil Jackson would want his players to play. It's also boring as all get out to watch and difficult to play.

Rating: Two Tony Allen punches

The Tough Guys: Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots

Reinforces competitive spirit without endangering anyone, allows for release of tension and embraces violent tendencies without any long-term harm. Difficult to bet on due to arbitrary nature of robots. Focuses on possibility of injury and why punching each other can be dangerous. Kevin Garnett would have to figure out a way to have the robots retreat after the first punch, but all in all, a great option.

Rating: One Tony Allen punch

Leave your best ideas in the comments or hit us up on Twitter at @cbssportsnba and we'll post the results tomorrow.
Posted on: December 27, 2010 3:05 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2010 6:04 pm

Shaq fined for comments following Christmas loss

Shaq fined for comments following Celtics' Christmas loss. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Following the Celtics' loss to the Magic on Saturday, Shaquille O'Neal decided that it wasn't the inability of Paul Pierce to score in the fourth, nor the collapse of the Celtics' defense, that led to the Magic victory. No, instead he told reporters that it was, naturally, the officials who sealed the deal for the Mickey Mouse Gang. Here's what Shaq said Saturday from our post Sunday:
Needless to say, O'Neal had some choice words for the officiating. "I guess they came out to see number 26 today," O'Neal said.
The only No. 26 on the floor Saturday was official Bob Delaney. "He (No. 26) was a great player out there today," O'Neal said.

O'Neal added, "They (fans) paid all that money to watch No. 26 play. If I was a fan, I would be pissed. You pay all that money for good seats, you have two of the best guys in the (NBA) sitting on the bench, out of the game. That is what happens when you have control freaks out there."
Then here's what the league said via press release Monday:
Shaquille O’Neal of the Boston Celtics has been fined $35,000 for public comments about the officiating, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Which is a pretty strong response to the debate, all things considered. 

Thing is, if you watched that game? Shaq looked slow. And old. Mostly because he's slow. And old. And if you're slow and old facing a team with young, fast players? You're probably going to pick up a fair number of fouls. It's fine for O'Neal to keep running his mouth off about this stuff, he's Shaq, that's who he is. But we should all try and keep a level head and realize that this is mostly about a player being uncomfortable with the fact that his abilities simply aren't where they used to be. He has nights where he's a dominant force inside. And he has days like Saturday, where he's less than that.

Now, O'Neal's comments regarded both he and Dwight Howard, so it's not an outright complaint about unfair calls against the Celtics. But ask yourself if you think the Big Shamrock would have had complaints should the Celtics have won that game? Seems unlikely. 

And now, he's $35,000 lighter in the wallet. Maybe that will quicken him up. 
Posted on: November 24, 2010 12:04 am

Elton Brand may be gone for a bit

Sixers big loses his cool against JaVale freaking McGee, likely faces fine and/or suspension.Posted by Matt Moore

Elton Brand's been having a pretty decent year so far. Sure, the Sixers are a miserable collection of uninspired players with limited talent trying to find their way with a coach who isn't connecting with them. But he's playing allright. Not worth his contract, but pretty well. So it's high time he did something phenomenally stupid, right? That's how this works?

What's on the menu?

Let's see. "Develop addiction to Cheetos." No, that's Baron Davis' thing. Hmm, "Try and use steroids to help comeback." Nope, Rashard already did that. Ah, here we go. "Let JaVale freaking McGee get into your head and mess with you." Honestly. Brilliant.

During a tense back and forth game between the Sixers and Wizards tonight, Brand lost his cool in the midst of McGee's best night of the season (24 points, 18 rebounds) and committed a flagrant two which led to an automatic ejection. Brand faces a likely fine and possible suspension for the two-handed shove on McGee. Check it out.

Hope Elton didn't invite anyone to come see his next game. He may not be there. Whoops.

The Wizards won in overtime .
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com