Rockets and Thunder reignite last season’s feud

There is a lot of bad blood between these two Western Conference powerhouses.

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James Harden Responds To Durant-Wade Feud: I Am ‘For Sure’ A Top 10 Player

James Harden was caught in the middle of a social media feud between Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade earlier this week that began when Durant said Harden should replace Wade in Sports Illustrated’s Top 10 list of players heading into the 2013-14 season.
KD’s comments didn’t sit well with D Wade, who responded with a hand-written message on Instagram that read, “Kevin Durant said James Harden should replace me in the Top 10. Note to self, make him respect your place in history…again.”
Wade’s teammate, Udonis Haslem, has already weighed in and now Harden is also shedding light on the feud, claiming that it is legit and that he is “for sure” a top 10 player in the NBA.

Q: How do you feel? Are you a top10 player?
Harden: “For sure. For sure. Last year, I had a chance to prove it. Kind of broke out of my shell a little bit.”
The post James Harden Responds To Durant-Wade Feud: I Am ‘For Sure’ A Top 10 Player appeared first on Beyond The Buzzer.

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Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade Feud Hopefully Coming to an End

It doesn’t get much more childish than two NBA players getting involved in a social media feud. 

It all started with something completely harmless: Sports Illustrated‘s Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney’s list of top 100 NBA players for the 2013-14 season.

On that list, LeBron James is No. 1, Kevin Durant is No. 2, Dwyane Wade is No. 8, Kobe Bryant, coming off a major Achilles injury, is No. 9 and James Harden is the first one outside the top 10 at No. 11. Some will agree, and some will uselessly scream at their computer monitors or type the hate of a thousand fires onto a message board. 

In the end, though, it’s two writers giving their opinion and backing it up with lots of really good information. Nothing out of the ordinary—something to read and then move on from. 

Well, not quite. 

In an interview with The Palm Beach PostDurant said that Harden—his former teammate—deserved to be in the top 10 instead of Wade, setting off an unnecessary chain reaction in the social media world.

First, Wade responded with this beautifully hand-written note on Instagram:

Durant quickly shot back via Twitter, basically telling the three-time NBA champ to shut his yapper:

Even Heat teammate Udonis Haslem got into the mix:

At the Thunder’s media day on Friday, however, Durant finally got a chance to address the feud via the normal channels and seriously downplayed the entire issue, via CBS Sports’ Royce Young:

“Dwyane Wade is a great, great player, man,” Durant said. “I’m not discrediting anything he’s done or nothing like that. I just voiced my opinion. He’s a great, great player. Finals MVP and champion. I didn’t mean to disrespect that or take that away or anything. I just voiced my opinion as of today. I love you D-Wade, man. It’s just competition.”

Pretty, pretty please tell me this means that the online “beef” between these two superstars is coming to an end.

Because it was all elementary and superfluous.  

Don’t get me wrong. Being able to see closer into the lives of athletes via social media is, most of the time, quite awesome. Especially because someone let JR Smith and Metta World Peace onto the Internet. And Durant was right—he was just voicing his opinion, and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s encouraged. 

But none of the useless bickering needed to happen.

Wade didn’t need to take Durant’s comment personally and act like he was just compared to Brian Scalabrine (sorry, Brian).

Forget the fact that Durant is still good friends with Harden, a fact that undoubtedly went into his original comment. If one player says you should be outside the top 10—which, in Wade’s case, probably means No. 11 or 12who gives a tiny rat’s behind? It’s a meaningless ranking and someone’s opinion.

Does Wade, one of the best shooting guards of his generation, really need that as motivation? Even if he wants to use it as motivation, which is fine, post Durant’s comments on the wall. Don’t needlessly tell everyone you’re using it as motivation. 

Similarly, Durant’s “show me don’t tweet me” tweet wasn’t necessary, either, and probably would have been a good opportunity for him to practice what he preaches. 

Ironically enough, it was Dwight Howard—yes, that Dwight Howard—who was actually making the most sense about all of this, via CSN Houston’s Steve Bunin:

Howard’s response: “I think it’s real. What I told James is, stay away from it. We do our talking on the floor. We’ll play both those teams, and when we do, show them who’s the best shooting guard in the world.”

I never really thought I’d ever say this, but…thank you, Dwight. 

Social media is great for many things, but settling useless spats is not one on them. That’s best reserved for the hardwood.

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Udonis Haslem Weighs In On Kevin Durant-Dwyane Wade Social Media Feud

Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade got into a social media feud Tuesday night after Durant recently said James Harden should replace Wade in Sports Illustrated’s Top 10 list of players heading into the 2031-14 season. Well, D Wade responded with an Instagram photo that read, “Kevin Durant said James Harden should replace me in the Top 10. Note to self, make him respect your place in history…again,” and now his longtime Heat teammate, Udonis Haslem, has come to his defense with an Instgram photo of his own.

The post Udonis Haslem Weighs In On Kevin Durant-Dwyane Wade Social Media Feud appeared first on Beyond The Buzzer.

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Paul Pierce Fires Latest Diss at JR Smith in Knicks/Nets Feud

Paul Pierce took his turn in the ongoing back-and-forth between himself and J.R. Smith, responding to questions about the New York Knicks sixth man by pretending he’d never heard of him.

Al Iannazzone of Newsday relayed Pierce’s latest salvo via Twitter:

For anyone unfamiliar with the ongoing pseudo-feud, Pierce’s comments stemmed from Smith’s recent assertion that Pierce was “bitter” in early September.

Considering there’s no legitimate reason for the two to be bickering in the first place, this situation is already confusing. So let’s backtrack with a brief history of the story that just won’t go away.

In an August interview with ESPN NewYork 98.7 FM’s “The Michael Kay Show,” Pierce said: “I think it’s time for the Nets to start running this city.”

Apparently, the comment was all part of a curious media blitz in which Pierce was trying to drum up as much rivalry talk as possible.

Mission accomplished.

He also told Angel Diaz of Complex Magazine of his hatred for the Knicks: “Let’s start it up right now. Let’s start the beef. It’s no secret that me and New York got history. It’s no secret. This is no secret. It’s already known.”

Pierce was then asked if he thought the Nets could start to “steal the city.”

He replied: “Oh yeah. Right now it might be like 70-30 but we’re gonna push that the other way.”

Shockingly, the always unfiltered Smith felt the need to respond to Pierce’s prodding. He told Marc Berman of the New York Post:

They have a great chance to compete for a title. But we’re still the marquee team in New York. A lot of people are counting us out just like last year. We have a lot to prove. We’ll come out with a lot of edge and hopefully put it to positive use on the court.

Not content to stop there, Smith made a championship guarantee and claimed the Nets weren’t good, according to Marc Raimondi of the New York Post.

Then came the “bitter” bomb:

And now we’re back where we started, with Pierce acting as if he were unfamiliar with the guy he’s been sparring with for over a month.

It’d be nice to believe that Smith won’t offer up another sound bite, but there’s no way the New York media will let him get away with that.

At this rate, Pierce and Smith aren’t going to have any trash-talk material left over for when the two actually meet on the court.

I guess they’ll have to let their play do the talking for a change.

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Technical on Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen Gets Pacers-Heat Feud off to Quick Start

Chris Andersen didn’t wait long to christen the Eastern Conference finals series between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers with its first technical foul. Late in the first quarter of Game 1, the Birdman got tangled up with Tyler Hansbrough on the baseline, prompting a quick whistle and the series’ first tech.

The contact came as Andersen swooped to the hoop (because swooping is his main mode of travel) to try to tip a ball in as Shane Battier and Hansbrough wrestled underneath. Most of the contact on the play was actually between Andersen and Battier, but Hansbrough took exception.

After a slight extension of Andersen’s left arm toward Hansbrough, the whistle sounded, signaling that the officials weren’t going to permit much in terms of extracurricular activity.

Andersen had already scored two points and had a major impact on defense, so perhaps Hansbrough was trying to get him to lose his cool in an effort to get him out of the game.

Of course, the Pacers’ hyperactive forward isn’t really known for doing a whole lot of thinking on the floor. He’s usually too busy creating contact, drawing fouls and generally looking like he’s on the verge of snapping himself. So any sort of altercation between the two would have been entertaining, but probably a little scary as well.

At least we have more wombat fights to look forward to over the next few games.

Tensions were running high even before the technical foul, though, as Shane Battier went all “Karl Malone” on Roy Hibbert, delivering a solid knee to the center’s man region as he drove the lane.

Shortly after the initial tie-up between Andersen and Hansbrough, David West connected with Andersen’s nose on a totally inadvertent elbow. The pair were battling on the boards and the Birdman’s beak was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

That led to some first-aid that included a couple of cotton plugs jammed up Andersen’s nose. What he did next may be difficult to erase from your mind.

This is a series that’ll certainly feature plenty of physicality. Indiana has a gritty reputation and something of a chip on its shoulder after losing in six games to the Heat in last year’s conference semifinals.

At the same time, the Heat are probably a little on edge themselves. After keeping their cool (for the most part) in a testy series with the Chicago Bulls, they’re probably playing with a few frayed nerves.

We know the referees are keeping things under control so far, as LeBron James actually picked up a pair of first-quarter fouls, a true rarity for the King.

Bodies are flying and a larger altercation seems inevitable at some point. Stay tuned for updates.

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Kobe Bryant, mom feud over N.J. auction

Lakers star trying to block planned June sale of memorabilia initiated by Pamela Bryant.

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Brandon Jennings’ Feud with Coach Jim Boylan Threatening to Derail Bucks

Milwaukee Bucks coach Jim Boylan benched Brandon Jennings in the third quarter of Milwaukee’s disappointing 100-92 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on March 27, and when the point guard lashed out after the game, his dissatisfaction joined a growing list of problems threatening to derail the East’s No. 8 seed.

According to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jennings’ postgame comments indicated that he took the early hook personally:

This is the third time I’ve been benched in the second half and it hasn’t been under (former coach Scott) Skiles…I don’t see any all-stars in this locker room so I think everybody should be held accountable, like anybody else. There’s no maxed-out (contract) players in this locker room; there’s no all-stars. So don’t try to put me on a pedestal and just give everybody else the freedom to do whatever they want.

Apparently, Jennings failed to notice that not everyone else in the the locker room to which he referred had been 0-of-3 from the field in 17 listless and ineffective minutes. For that reason, it’s hard to fault Boylan‘s decision.

But given Jennings’ track record, the post-benching fallout can’t be viewed as much of a shock, either.

Already stamped with a somewhat self-absorbed label, Jennings’ recent comments about his future as a free agent certainly didn’t do anything to change that.

Per Marc J. Spears of Yahoo!, Jennings said:

If I take the qualifying offer and become an [unrestricted] free agent there is no way I am coming back. There is no way….I’m not saying the Bucks aren’t about winning. But I think [a title caliber situation] will help me, motivate my game and then you have to perform.

Jennings is entitled to play wherever he wants to, but it’s hard to get past the way he seems to simultaneously fancy himself as a superstar while lamenting the failure of his team to properly motivate him.

Quotes like that belie overconfidence at best, and delusions of grandeur at worst.

The fact is that on balance, Jennings hasn’t been a winning player this season. According to NBA.com, the Bucks’ offense is almost exactly as productive with him on the floor as it is without him. But on D, Milwaukee turns into a stopping machine with Jennings on the bench, posting an excellent defensive rating of 96.3 points allowed per 100 possessions.

When Jennings plays, Milwaukee permits 102.9 points per 100 possessions.

All told, those figures add up to show that the Bucks are markedly better when Jennings isn’t in the lineup.

Milwaukee’s streaky point guard seemed to shrug off his unhappiness in the Bucks’ next contest against the L.A. Lakers on March 28, scoring 20 points in 32 minutes and generally appearing much more mentally engaged.

Though it’s worth noting that Jennings wasn’t on the floor during the fourth-quarter surge in which the Bucks wrested control of the game away from the Lakers.

But one solid night doesn’t outweigh the mounting issues—one of which continues to be Jennings’ attitude—that the Bucks are facing.

For one thing, the eighth-seeded Bucks are on something of a collision course with the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs, which is probably better than missing the postseason altogether—but not by much.

There’s also plenty of uncertainty surrounding the team’s future roster. With J.J. Redick primed to hit unrestricted free agency, Monta Ellis likely to opt out of the final year of his deal and Jennings nearly certain to take his talents elsewhere, there’s not much of a sense that the team’s key players are personally invested in the club.

Milwaukee ended its four-game skid by knocking off the exhausted and equally dysfunctional Lakers, but the larger issues within the team aren’t going to disappear.

With a grab bag of hangups, an unhappy would-be star and a death sentence of a playoff seed in hand, the Bucks are barely clinging to stability. Things seem somewhat safe right now, but another outburst from Jennings could blow the whole thing up.

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Retired NFL Star and LeBron James Feud over Win Streaks, “Crazy” Talk

Perhaps you’ve heard: LeBron James and the Miami Heat are in the midst of the second longest winning streak in NBA history. Retired NFL running back and ubiquitous winning streak commentator Mercury Morris sure has heard, and as usual, he’s chiming in on the Heat’s impressive run.

The outspoken member of the 1972 Miami Dolphins always manages to surface when NFL teams threaten perfection, but it seems he has now also found a way to get involved with another sport’s winning streak conversations.

According to Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports, it may actually have been James who started the war of words. He quoted LBJ as saying:

A guy like Mercury Morris and guys like that and stuff, that’s crazy. (Morris) was talking about the Patriots when they went undefeated (in the 2007 regular season). He was saying, ‘Don’t step on my lawn’ and all that crazy stuff.

It seems Morris has some kind of buzzer that goes off anytime streaks and his name are mentioned (either that or a Google alert), so naturally, the former running back shot back at James in an interview with Fox Sports Florida.

Again, according to Tomassan, Morris said: “As far as LeBron bringing me up, hey, you tell him, ‘Don’t call me when you’re in my town. Call me when you’re on my freaking block.’”

Goofy metaphors aside, it’s a little annoying that Morris finds a way to inject himself into the conversation when NFL teams come close to threatening his beloved Dolphins’ achievement. But it’s completely ridiculous that he is now somehow relevant in other sports as well.

Morris’ only defense in this instance is that he didn’t butt in unprovoked.

And to his credit, at least he’s not actively rooting against the Heat in the same way he hopes for near-perfect NFL teams to slip up.

In 2009, Morris made himself a topic of conversation when the Indianapolis Colts started the season 13-0. And as soon as they lost, everyone immediately invoked his name, albeit in a tongue-in-cheek fashion.

This time, he’s being a little more diplomatic:

“I hope they break the record,’’ said Morris, a Miami resident. “And I hope they go on to achieve greater things. I hope they go on to win the championship.’’

It’s good to see that Morris isn’t actively rooting against the Heat, but it goes without saying that he’s pretty psyched to be part of the biggest sports conversation of the moment. It seems that personal relevance—not a winning streak—is what he’s really interested in maintaining.

Weighed against the manner in which Yao Ming—a member of the Houston Rockets club that won 22 straight in 2008—has handled things, Morris still doesn’t look great, though.

If there’s a bright side to any of this it’s that the Heat aren’t currently undefeated. If they were, we might never hear the end of it from Morris.

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Rumors of Kobe/Dwight feud may be overblown

There have been numerous reports flying around the Internet regarding Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard not getting along, and even having to be physically separated from each other. Well, it seems like Kobe had enough of the rumors and took to Twitter to silence the critics. The Black Mamba Tweeted a picture of him facing off in a fighting stance with Dwight Howard and Coach D’Antoni in between trying to hold them each back. Article found on: Cosby Sweaters

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