“Right now I feel like it’s hard to leave this sinking boat, you know what I mean, just go to a different team and escape from everything.”
- Phoenix’s Marcin Gortat when asked if he wants to be traded.

It’s good to see someone in the organisation actually admit it.

“Believe it or not, I wanted to play for the Toronto Raptors, that was my favorite team… They were a new team when I was growing up, so I wanted to be a part of that.”
- OKC’s Kevin Durant.

Really?

“It’s like your girlfriend cheating on you. After she cheats, you don’t want her anymore. So I got rid of it.”
- Portland’s LeMarcus Aldridge who sold his new Ferrari after a smash, even though he got it fixed.

Dude earns $14 million per year; I’m sure he can afford another one.

“I’m just playing aggressive. I’m trying to turn over a new leaf. No more nonchalant Beas. I’m back to the Beast.”
- Phoenix’s Michael Beasley after his 27 point performance in their win over the Lakers.

Great, you know what that means? More long twos.

“If you’re playing four games in five nights and you need to rest somebody, I think that’s a call that I’ll make if I need to do that. I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again, I’m sure.”
- Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich.

Bet on it.

“Kevin Garnett called me ‘White boy’ for my first 3 years.”
- Philadelphia’s Spencer Hawes.

Flip that around and there would be outrage.

“KG apologize? Are you from here?”
- Indiana’s Tyler Hansbrough when asked by a reporter if Kevin Garnett apologized to him after the game (KG was ejected for busting him in the chops).

Agree, stupid question.

“(I was) just playing defense. Just playing sound defense, just contesting his shots. He’s a helluva competitor. He’s always on some bulls—. Always on some bulls—. Just trying to throw elbows. Cheap shots, just trying to get you off your game. But he’s a vet. He’s been doing this a long time, but it’s all right.”
- Chicago’s Joakim Noah on Kevin Garnett, after a heated game against Boston.

I am a Boston fan but I completely agree – he’s the biggest cheap shot artist in the NBA and it’s not close.

“Now that is a devastation.”
- Atlanta’s Josh Smith when asked how he feels about missing out on the All-Star team.

He doesn’t know the difference between a good shot and a bad shot, he’s turnover prone and he has a tendency to lose it under pressure. He’s not an All-Star, and he’s the reason why the Atlanta Hawks are still the Atlanta Hawks (i.e. flaky).

“I feel like I’m a max player…..There shouldn’t be any hesitation. I’m Josh Smith, I’m not anybody else. I ‘m not Michael Jordan, I’m not LeBron James, I’m not Brook Lopez. I’m Josh Smith. You can’t look at what might’ve happened with another person. Let’s say Joe. You can’t say, ‘I’m skeptical of giving another person that’ because of whatever they feel like happened.”
- Smith again.

Any team that pays Smith the max (and someone will) is nuts.

“I don’t mean this in a bad way, because I love it, and this is probably not the best language. But to be all the way real? He’s a [12-letter word]. He’s on it, every little detail, every little thing — ‘You’re not cutting hard.’ We’re five-on-oh [in practice], you’re not moving fast enough. Defense, you’re not help-side talking. Help, ball.’ — I love it because he hates to lose, and I hate to lose and we’re losing games.”
- Dallas’ O.J. Mayo on coach Rick Carlisle.

Yes, the best coaches usually have that ‘prickish’ quality to them.

”J.J. Barea’s a flopping guy, so I tried to give him a taste of his own medicine. I hope I don’t get fined, though.”
- Brooklyn’s C.J Watson admitting that he flopped on a J.J. Barea drive. It was his first offense so he was warned by the league.

You don’t often hear an admission like that.

“It feels good to finally beat a team that’s worth s***.”
- The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant after beating the Thunder.

Appreciate the bluntness.

“I’ve tried to go out of my way to get him the ball. Sometimes I end up looking like an idiot, because I get up in the air, I’ve got a shot, but I try to find him. But he thinks I’m going to shoot, so his back is turned. I’m trying to think about getting him the ball a lot – take care of him as much as I possibly can. It takes me out of rhythm a little bit, but I’m fine with that. If that’s going to help our team, I’m more than willing to do that.”
- Kobe on Dwight Howard.

“But he thinks I’m going to shoot, so his back is turned”? Well of course he bloody does!!

“We’ve got an All-Star team. Have you ever watched an All-Star Game? It’s God-awful because everybody gets the ball, they go one-on-one and then they play no defense. That’s our team.”
- Laker coach Mike D’Antoni.

True.

“Something stinks in that locker room. Something is rotten.”
- Laker legend James Worthy on the Lakers.

He’s not wrong.

“You can’t look at it as the alpha male. It’s basketball. We’re not a pack of wolves. I’ve been an alpha male my whole life, but I don’t go pissing everywhere to show people that I’m an alpha male. I just need to be who I am.”
- The Lakers’ Dwight Howard when asked if he had the same kind of alpha male personality as Shaq.

That’s actually pretty funny.

“I think for a lot of bigs, when we’re fed and we eat a little bit, we’re happy. Just like men. Give us some food, we’re good. We don’t eat, we’re grumpy.”
- Dwight Howard.

I don’t begrudge him for this. Remember, big men can’t pass themselves the ball.

“I go through same thing each year, they signed too many players for the same position again this year. As a result coach tried everyone in the rotation. Now I started to get more time and I’m playing better. At the beginning of the season I didn’t get the minutes I was expecting and I was feeling down. I think it’s better now.”
- Milwaukee’s Ersan Ilyasova.

They do do a lousy job of constructing a coherent roster year after year.

“We like our team, we really like Brandon and Monta. We like them playing together, we think they are a dynamic backcourt. And our hope is we can keep that back court together.”
- Milwaukee Bucks’ GM John Hammond.

If he truly believes that, then you’ve got to question his basketball chops. And the Bucks just gave him an extension, so expect more of the same (i.e. mediocrity) in Milwaukee.

“I wasn’t allowed to coach Andrea (Bargnani) the same way I was allowed to coach Jose (Calderon). I was a hard ass on Jose; I was hard on him, but look at the type of player he turned out to be. I was not allowed to be that tough on Andrea because within the organization we felt he couldn’t take it. And my whole thing was if he can’t take it then we can’t build around him. And no one thought Jose could take it, and Jose did.”
- Former Raptor coach Sam Mitchell, who was let go in 2008.

More muck that sticks to Bryan Colangelo.

“Just like any other stretch 4 in the league…probably a better rebounder but pretty much like every other stretch 4.”
- Utah’s Derrick Favors on Kevin Love.

C’mon dude.

“Hell, yeah, of course. I’ve been a Hall of Famer like four years ago. And I say that very serious, though. I’ve talked about it before with my friends.”
- Miami’s Chris Bosh.

Yes Chris, I’m sure your friends agreed.

“He’s pretty forward, man. He just kind of tells you like it is. If you ain’t playing worth a —-, he’ll tell you, you ain’t playing worth a —-. As players, some of us may respond a little different to it, but for me, I can appreciate it.”
- Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson on interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.

This won’t end well; Carlesimo will eventually wear on the players as he has done in every stop where he was calling the shots.

“I just think stats get a little crazy sometimes. There’s a lot of crazy stats out here.”
- Miami’s LeBron James when he was told by a reporter that he leads the league in corner threes.

I agree.

“I’ve been tuning Spike Lee out for years. That’s just common noise now.”
- Boston’s Paul Pierce, who was heckled by Spike Lee during their clash at MSG (that Boston won).

Pierce does always kill it in MSG.

“I don’t know exactly what that treatment [is], and that’s something we have to find out. Where are we going with this? What is the procedure here? What is the rehab here? And a lot of what is going to happen with him is what kind of pain does he have in that knee? I think we have to figure out where we’re going with this. Is it a day-to-day thing, waiting to see if he can go, if he feels good enough? I don’t know exactly what he’s doing. I don’t know how much pain he has in his knee. That’s not something I know about; he’ll have to tell us.”
- Minnesota coach Rick Adelman on Brandon Roy.

Weird.

“When your two big dogs come back in, you just go back to your third-man role. I accepted it. This is probably the happiest I’ve been in my career since my Sacramento days.”
- OKC’s Kevin Martin on playing with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

This will be put to the test in the offseason; as an unrestricted free agent he will have to accept A LOT less than he is currently making ($13m per year) to stay with the Thunder.

“Well, first of all, I was looking for my car keys under the basket. I was trying to find my car keys because I lost them over there, so I was just looking for it. And Michael Beasley is going to get Krispy Kremes for the rest of the season, for sure, for me. It happens. The funny thing is that when [Kendrick] Perkins was standing under the basket he looked at me and I looked at him, and he said, ‘I know how it feels.’ He said, ‘Guards left you on the island, huh?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ Listen, it happens. I am not going to deny that was probably the top three dunks of the year, right? I mean, at least, I am going to be out there. I mean, I am just going to try to be silly about it. I am not going to cry. It is just part of the game. When he took off of one foot, I didn’t even lift my hands up, I already knew what was going to happen. I just tried to get out of the picture, or at least smile. It was bad defense, and then bad rotation, bad help. You can’t do anything.”
- Marcin Gortat after Kevin Durant crushed one on his head.

Love the honesty of this guy.

“I’m here to give them everything I’ve got… you know, the usual that a Birdman does and what Birdman brings.”
- Chris ‘Birdman’ Anderson upon signing a 10 day contract with Miami.

Funny.

“I would have traded me for Andrew Bynum.”
- Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic on the trade that sent him from Philly to Orlando.

Considering that Bynum’s knees are shot, in hindsight they probably wouldn’t have.

“I’m here right now because of who I am, not because I’ve succumbed or had to settle. I’ve changed my roles. I understand the importance of having to change roles. I look at a guy like Allen Iverson. There’s no way, from a talent level or what he’s done for the game of basketball, he shouldn’t be on somebody’s team right now. But we know why. We know why.”
- Brooklyn’s Jerry Stackhouse.

Yep, cause he still thinks he’s ‘Allen Iverson’.

“It doesn’t prove nothing, that was a lockout season.”
- Brooklyn’s Reggie Evans prior to their game against Miami in Brooklyn, regarding the Heat’s championship last year. Miami pasted them by 20 points.

Sure Reg.

“Just having a defensive coach for the first time in my career is going to help. I’ve never been taught defense in my whole career. To now have a coach that actually teaches defense and teaches strategies and knows positioning and posture and how to guard different plays is going to be helpful. I’m going to take it as a challenge, accept the challenge and try to improve as a player.”
- New York’s Amar’e Stoudemire.

Look in the mirror, man.

“It’s mind-boggling. I mean, come on. He threw Frank Johnson, myself, Alvin Gentry and actually Mike Woodson… was he saving the good stuff? Because he coached him eight months and he was the defensive coach. It doesn’t make any sense.”
- Mike D’Antoni responds.

Fair call.

“I have no feeling at all for it. It’s another game. It’s a regular game for me. No emotional ties or nothing. I’m just going to go out and play.”
- Brooklyn’s Andray Blatche before he faced his old team, the Washington Wizards.

Liar. In the offseason the Wizards paid Blatche $23 million to go away via the amnesty clause. And he was mercifully booed by the Washington fans during last season.

“I have no intention of ever coaching again.”
- Phil Jackson.

Until the next ‘superteam’ comes calling.

“He’s one of the best we’ve ever seen.”
- Kobe Bryant on LeBron James.

Surprising, from Kobe.

Q: You versus LeBron (one-one-one game)? Who wins?
“Me. No question. As far as one-on-one, I’m the best to ever do it.”

Q: Who could get you?
“Kevin Durant is the guy that would give me the most trouble. With his length and ability to use the dribble, he’d be tough.”

Q: I always wanted to see you play Tracy McGrady.
“I played T-Mac. I cooked him. Roasted him. Wasn’t even close. Ask him, he’ll tell you. When I was about 20, we were in Germany doing some promotional stuff for that other sneaker company and we played basketball every day. We were in the gym all the time. We played three games of one-on-one to 11. I won all three games. One game I won 11-2. After the third game he said he had back spasms and couldn’t play anymore.”
- Kobe Bryant.

That’s classic Kobe right there.

“You’re not going to find another duo like that ever. There are other duos that are better than us. [Scottie] Pippen and [Michael] Jordan. But you’ll never find a duo with two dominant personalities. Myself and Shaquille, that was kind of once in a lifetime. Why couldn’t it last a lifetime? Why did it end amid discord and chaos after the Lakers lost to Detroit in five games in the 2004 NBA Finals? I’m amazed it went as long as it did. That just wasn’t going to last. We’re both alpha males. It just wasn’t going to happen. What do you think would happen if you put Jordan with Wilt [Chamberlain]? Not going to happen. The big thing for me was when he did an interview in ESPN magazine and he said that he felt like I couldn’t win without him. I was fine up until that point. I’d be damned if I retired and you [reporters] said I couldn’t win without this guy. After that, the line was drawn in the sand.”
- Kobe Bryant referencing his time with Shaquille O’Neal and their subsequent break-up after the 2003-04 season.

Again, classic Kobe.

“We’re letting everybody know that the Bank of Cuban is open.”
- Dallas owner Mark Cuban announcing that the Mavericks are now ready to make trades to bolster their roster.

If Dwight doesn’t flee LA, who exactly is out there that could make a real difference? I think they missed the boat. Perhaps it is time to start over.

“I told Dirk we’re not going to trade him. He was happy. I think. I wanted to make it clear to him. I said, `We’re in this through thick and thin,’ and so there’s no way I would trade him no matter what.”
- Mark Cuban.

Admirable, but a little foolhardy.

“It’s going to be tough now. I always liked to think you don’t want to build your franchise on hope. We hoped for Deron last year. We hoped for Dwight. Why would he leave the Lakers? To me, it makes no sense. He’s in a great situation. Why would CP3 leave? (The Los Angeles Clippers are) the best team in the league probably right now. They’re probably the deepest team. So are you going to hope that we get something? Maybe Cuban has something up his sleeve. Maybe you have to take a chance on a bad contract to get him in here and make something happen. I mean, I don’t know. That’s something we’ll have to see this summer. We’re going to play out this season. I’m going to get better and better, hopefully from game to game, so I can actually close out some of these games. And then we’ll see what happens. We knew that coming in, that eight or nine new guys on one-year deals is not really an ideal situation, but what else is there to do? So either you break the whole thing up and trade me or you get a bunch of one-year deals and try to be a player next summer. That’s the decision we made, so now we’ve got to fight through it. The only reason I would leave — or would have left — is if we wouldn’t have won the championship and I would have been like a Karl Malone and (Gary) Payton going to join Kobe and Shaq in L.A. like they did at the end. But now I’ve got a ring and obviously want to finish my career here. But I also want to be competitive.”
- Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki.

I am not sure that this will end well.


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