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VOL. 131 | NO. 248 | Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Say It’s So, Mo! Speights Calls out Clippers Teammates for Complaining to Officials

By Don Wade

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Remember our old friend Mo Speights? Big fella, but liked to stay away from the scrums under the basket and instead drop in feathery jump shots?

Former Memphis Grizzlies player Marreese “Mo” Speights called out his Los Angeles Clippers teammates for losing focus through their frequent complaining to NBA referees.

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

He played with the Grizzlies in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, averaging 7.9 points. 

Life’s been good to Speights since, as he won an NBA title with the Golden State Warriors. Now he’s a Los Angeles Clipper. And after his former team (the Warriors) beat the Clippers last week, Speights told the Orange County Register that his current team needs to make some adjustments. 

“First we need to just really start leaving the refs alone,” Speights said.

Yes, he actually went there. He didn’t say Blake Griffin and Chris Paul need to stop flopping or that Paul needs to take the metaphorical pacifier out of his mouth, but it wasn’t a big leap from A to B, was it?

No doubt, this wasn’t received well but as both a former Grizzly and former Warrior Speights is qualified to speak on the negative impact the Clippers’ whining can have on their collective game and on how other teams view them.

The scouting report, he said, was always clear: “You play against the Clippers, you hit them a couple of times and their spirit is going to be down.”

The Clippers don’t return to FedExForum until March 9. Assuming Mo is still with them, show him a little love for speaking that righteous truth.

Carmelo Anthony apparently applied some advice he received from Kobe Bryant on how to deal with criticisms from Phil Jackson through the media.

Bryant, of course, played for Jackson with the Lakers. Now, Jackson is running the New York Knicks and recently he told CBS in an interview that his current star, Anthony, can be a “ball-stopper.” Which, you know, isn’t exactly new information but coming from Jackson in a public setting, did not go over well.

Anthony initially tried to play it off, but then said the team didn’t need negative comments hanging over them. Finally, he met one-on-one with Jackson. According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Anthony’s approach was informed by “countless conversations” with Bryant on the methods behind the Zen Master’s real or perceived methods of madness.

“(Jackson’s) going to talk,” Anthony said. “Nobody can stop that. So try not to read into it too much.”

The New York Daily News reported the meeting between the two this past weekend was exceedingly brief. And Anthony, sounding like a Kobe echo, said: “I’m pretty sure I’ll be in his (next) book. I’ll be in a couple of books.”

When the Grizzlies survived for an 88-86 victory last week here against Portland, the game turned on Damian Lillard’s foul of Toney Douglas with less than a second left on the clock. 

Lillard said they got “tangled up” and added, “I knew he had to raise up to shoot the ball. On the way up, there was a little bit of contact, but it wasn’t caused by me. Us getting tangled up is what caused the contact and I blocked the shot. With 0.5 seconds left, that can’t decide a game. We had plenty of opportunities to not let it come down to that. 

“We didn’t play our greatest offensively, (but) you got to let us decide the game.”

Spoken like the guy who did the fouling.

Pau Gasol and Tim Duncan recently played some one-on-one at a San Antonio Spurs practice. Duncan retired after last season and Pau essentially is his replacement. 

Duncan earned a point for every stop, and Gasol for every basket, according to mysanantonio.com.

“He’s a great defender, always has been,” Pau said. “He understands what works, what hurts him and what doesn’t. I’ve just got to go a little quicker on my moves, be the aggressor, not just pound it pound it.”

Gasol hedged when asked who won, saying, “We tied.”


John Legend, 10-time Grammy Award-winning artist, will headline the halftime show at the NBA All-Star Game, the league announced on Tuesday, Dec. 12.

Four-person and five-person officiating crews will be tried in a handful of NBA Development League games, beginning Dec. 26.

Thursday, Dec. 15, is when either the NBA or the players’ union can declare its intention to opt out of the last four years of a collective bargaining agreement agreed to after the lockout in 2011. In effect, Thursday is just a “procedural” deadline with the true deadline for making a new deal July 1, 2017, if one or both sides state the intent to opt out.

Or, both sides could just let things ride and then the 10-year agreement would take everyone to 2021. However, multiple media reports have suggested that the league’s licensing agreement – think jerseys, logos and likenesses of players on video games – is a potential roadblock.

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