Wizards rip McGee over 'disrespectful' late shot; Warriors respond

Wizards rip McGee over 'disrespectful' late shot; Warriors respond

OAKLAND -- Though coach Steve Kerr acknowledged discomfort with JaVale McGee launching a 3-pointer in the final seconds of a game in which the Warriors led the Wizards by 22 points, his players generally defended the backup center.

“What’s JaVale supposed to do? Let the clock run out and get a turnover?” wondered Klay Thompson after a 139-115 victory Sunday night. “It’s basketball.”

The Wizards, notably John Wall and Brandon Jennings -- who purposely fouled McGee on the play -- lit into McGee and the Warriors for taking a shot they considered disrespectful.

“Whenever a team’s up like that, you’re supposed to just hold and ball and take a shot clock violation,” Wall said. “What Brandon did, I don’t think it was dirty. I think it was the right play. You don’t let nobody try to embarrass you. I think that’s what they were trying to do.”

The Warriors were up 137-115 when McGee, with about eight seconds left in the game and six seconds left on the shot clock, fired a 3-pointer from the right corner. Jennings shoved the airborne center in the midsection, with McGee sprawling out of bounds afterward.

“I shot it because we’d rather have a missed shot than a turnover,” McGee said.

“It’s just a rule; I learned it when I first came into the league not to do that,” Jennings said. “You’re already up 20 almost (actually 22), and then for him to do it, it was like, ‘All right, come on. Chill out. Now you’re trying to embarrass us.’ ”

The officiating crew reviewed the play, determining the Jennings committed a flagrant-1 foul (unnecessary contact). McGee went to the line and made two of three free throws.

“Thank God he didn’t go to the rack,” said Jennings, who after fouling McGee walked away with an expression of disgust. “It probably would have been worse for him. At a time like that I think you should just let the clock run out.”

Though Kerr doesn’t believe in letting the shot clock run out, he also thought a 3-pointer under those conditions was superfluous.

“When you have a lead like that, you shouldn’t be shooting a 3-pointer,” he said. “I told (McGee) that. I think he understands that. I don’t have a problem taking a shot when there is a shot-clock differential. I never understood why a team would be offended if there is a shot-clock differential. Why dribble out the clock and take a turnover? I don’t think you should shoot a 3 either.”

Though Kerr said he apologized to Wizards coach Scott Brooks, his players had a different interpretation of the rules of basketball etiquette.

“We had to shoot a shot or take a turnover,” Draymond Green said. “We always shoot the ball in that situation. We don’t really take turnovers. Whether you shoot a 2 or a 3, it’s a shot.

“I think because it was JaVale, people may say it’s disrespectful,” Green added. “But JaVale actually works on it. I’m not in favor of him working on it, but he works on that every day.”

Though McGee said he was unbothered by the postgame fuss put up by the Wizards, Jennings was annoyed prior to McGee’s 3-point attempt.

“I think it was already disrespectful that they were trying to get Draymond Green his triple-double and Steph was out there with 40,” Jennings said. “I just felt it was disrespectful.

“I’m old school. Like I said, he better be glad he shot that 3 and didn’t go to the rack.”

Given the Warriors’ position atop the Western Conference and Washington’s status as a solid top-four team in the East, it’s conceivable, if not probable, these teams could meet in the NBA Finals.

In which case things could get very interesting.

 

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

OAKLAND -- Even though Draymond Green still would like to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, winning a championship with the Warriors has quenched much of thirst for the honor.

“I don’t really care that much anymore,” Green said after participating in the JaVale McGee Celebrity softball game Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum benefitting the Jug Life Foundation, promoting a healthy lifestyle around water consumption.

“I cared before,” Green added. “But we won the NBA championship now. I don’t care about what happened in the regular season any more at this point. I think I would have cared if I found out in Round 1 or Round 2 (of the playoffs).

“But at this point . . . I don’t even care any more.”

This is in marked contrast to what Green expressed early in the regular season, when he acknowledged the DPOY award is the only individual award he actively cared to win.

As recently as two months ago, in discussing his defensive performance in a season during which he made numerous memorable plays, including some game-saving defensive stands, Green let his words speak on his behalf.

“It is the best defensive season I’ve had, because I’ve continued to grow,” he said at the end of the regular season. “When I look at the last couple years, I think each year I got better defensively. And I think this year I’ve gotten better. So I do think it’s my best season, defensively -- but just not numbers-wise. The numbers are up a little bit more. But I actually feel better about what I’ve done on the defensive end than I have in any other year.”

Winning a championship apparently has an impact on the significance of individual awards.

A finalist for the award for which he finished second in each of the past two seasons, Green said Saturday that his plan is to leave for New York on Sunday and be in attendance when the awards are presented Monday night.

The other finalists for the award are Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who won it the last two seasons.

All three players will be among those at Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York for the inaugural telecast of the NBA Awards on TNT.

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Kevin Durant didn't forget about the taunts.

In February, when Durant returned to Oklahoma City for the first time as a member of the Warriors, Thunder fans heckled him with t-shirts featuring cupcakes, a reference to Durant being soft for joining the 73-win Warriors.

On Saturday, the cupcake graphic made a return with one slight change.

Durant, playing in JaVale McGee's JugLife Celebrity Softball game at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday, showed up to the stadium wearing a cupcake hat. But instead of a cheery on top, a championship ring was superimposed on top of the cupcake.

So Durant, an NBA champion, got the last laugh.