Magic Johnson: Is Stern racist? 'Ridiculous'


Magic Johnson: Is Stern racist? 'Ridiculous'

From Comcast SportsNet
NEW YORK (AP) -- Magic Johnson said it's "ridiculous" to suggest that David Stern is racist, saying it's OK to disagree with the NBA commissioner but that you "can't attack the man and what he stands for." Johnson was responding to comments made by attorney Jeffrey Kessler, representing the NBA players' association, who told the Washington Post that owners are treating players like "plantation workers" during the ongoing lockout. That was similar to the comments Bryant Gumbel made last month on his HBO show, when he said Stern "always seemed eager to be viewed as some kind of modern plantation overseer treating NBA men as if they were his boys." But Johnson said Stern has always done right by players, noting the number of blacks such himself, Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas who have followed their Hall of Fame playing careers by going into management or ownership positions. "This league is more diverse than any other league and has more minorities in powerful positions than any other league," Johnson said during a phone interview. "That's all about David Stern and his vision and what he wanted to do. He make sure minorities had high-ranking positions from the league office all the way down to coaches and front office people." Stern did not comment, though told the Washington Post that Kessler's conduct "is routinely despicable." However, players such as Johnson and Bill Russell called the league office to support Stern, who is leading owners in a bitter dispute with the players but who has not lost their support, according to Johnson. "It was David Stern who took this league worldwide. And so those guys know it was because of David Stern and what he was able to do," Johnson said. Johnson recalled it was Stern who offered him a place in the 1992 NBA All-Star game, even over some players' wishes after he had retired the previous November because of HIV. And it was Stern who included Johnson that summer on the Dream Team that won the Olympic gold medal. And it was Stern, he said, who called him after Johnson's comments about Thomas in his book ignited a public feud between the longtime friends, urging Johnson to work it out. "He has always done what's right for both the players and owners. I'm going to have to say this personally, David, he didn't have to do that. That's the type of commissioner he is. "He always is looking out for the players and what's best for the league and I disagree with anybody who says he's trying to be a plantation owner. It's ridiculous we're even talking about it." Stern, 69, is likely nearing his final years on the job after becoming commissioner on Feb. 1, 1984, just as Johnson and Larry Bird were renewing the longtime rivalry between the Lakers and Boston Celtics. Johnson said he's "tired of people taking shots" at Stern, especially because so many of them have jobs connected to the NBA that Stern created. So Johnson urged those criticizing Stern during the lockout to "not go to the gutter." "We should be saluting him, he shouldn't be torn down, especially something that he's not," Johnson said. "He's a tough business man and a smart business man. That's what he's supposed to be."

NBA Gameday: Draymond must slow down Pelicans star Davis

NBA Gameday: Draymond must slow down Pelicans star Davis

NEW ORLEANS – Coach Steve Kerr joked with his team on Thursday, reminding the Warriors they are in last place in the Pacific Division.

Well, they are, sharing the cellar with the Phoenix Suns. Losing the season opener at home to the Spurs forced the Warriors to lug a 0-1 record on a three-game road trip.

They can dig their way out of the bottom Friday night, when they face Anthony Davis and the Pelicans, who also lost their season opener, at Smoothie King Center.


Warriors by 11


Draymond Green vs. Davis. Davis dominated in the season opener, totaling 50 points, 16 rebounds, seven steals, five assists and four blocks in a loss to Denver. Davis is healthy and realizes he may have to carry the Pelicans. Green has gotten as far as he has because he lives for such challenges.


Warriors: C Damian Jones (R pectoral surgery) is listed as out.

Pelicans: G Tyreke Evans (R knee recovery), G Jrue Holiday (family leave) and F Quincy Pondexter (L knee recovery) are listed as out.


The Warriors have won 13 of the last 14 meetings between the teams, including a 3-0 sweep last season.


1. The Warriors won’t say it, but all signs point to them frequently double-teaming Davis. This would seem like a wise strategy considering his fellow frontcourt starters (center Omer Asik and small forward Solomon Hill) combined for four points in the Pelicans’ season-opening loss.

2. In his first two seasons on the job, Kerr took the approach of one of his mentors, Phil Jackson, rarely calling timeouts to slow an opponent. All indications are the team’s dramatic roster turnover likely will force him to use them more often, simply to ensure everyone is on message.

3. The most explosive collegiate scorer last season was Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield, now a New Orleans rookie. Coach Alvin Gentry has been experimenting with Hield as a Sixth Man, providing instant offense off the bench. The Pelicans need scoring beyond Davis, and the Warriors are keenly aware of the streaky shooter.

Injury report: Raiders rule DT Stacy McGee out vs Buccaneers

Injury report: Raiders rule DT Stacy McGee out vs Buccaneers

BRADENTON, Fla. – Defensive tackle Stacy McGee has been the best Raiders interior pass rusher this season. He has 2.5 sacks, just below Khalil Mack’s team-leading trio.

The Raiders haven’t gotten great pressure up the middle and must generate some without McGee on Sunday in Tampa Bay.

McGee was formally ruled out following Friday’s practice at IMG Academy, on the team’s official injury report.

He was the only player ruled out of Sunday’s game. Everyone else listed on the injury report was considered questionable. That list includes offensive tackles Menelik Watson and Vadal Alexander, special teams players Brynden Trawick (shoulder) and Taiwan Jones (knee) and receiver Andre Holmes.

The Raiders are fairly healthy for this stage in the season, though McGee will be missed.

“Stacy has been playing really good football for us,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He’s banged up this week. I think more likely next week for us with him. But yeah, next guy up. That’s what we do. So Darius Latham will play more, Denico (Autry) will play more, Big Dan (Williams) will play more. Those guys have to do their thing. We expect to play good defense and we know we got ourselves a challenge ahead.”

The interior defensive line has reinforcements on the way. Mario Edwards Jr. is inching closer to a return. The team brought him out to Florida this week, and while he hasn’t been seen during the open portions of practice, he is doing rehab work with trainers.

“He’s just on the side,” Del Rio said. “Until we get the clearance for him to join us in practice, he’ll continue with the trainers. .. They haven’t given him the green light, so he’ll continue to work with them until then.”

Raiders Status Report

DL Stacy McGee (knee)
RB Taiwan Jones (knee), OT Menelik Watson (calf), S Brynden Trawick (shoulder), WR Andre Holmes (hip), RT Vadal Alexander (ankle)

Buccaneers Status Report

RB Doug Martin (hamstring), DT Clinton McDonald (hamstring)
DE Robert Ayres (ankle), C Joe Hawley (ankle), DT Gerald McCoy (calf)