Celtics

Sources: Talks resume in hopes to end NBA lockout

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Sources: Talks resume in hopes to end NBA lockout

Both sides in the NBA's labor stalemate - 146 days old, and counting - are in talks now to reach an agreement on the current litigation, which they hope will allow for the NBA to resume games being played as early as Christmas, two league sources confirmed Wednesday night.

Yahoo! Sports was the first to report that both sides had resumed talks on Wednesday, talks that reportedly do not include union president Derek Fisher.

One source described this being "a longshot" that enough progress will be made for players to be back on the court by Christmas.

But another source added, "getting them to talk is a start. You can't begin to talk about games played, if you don't resume having some type of dialogue and conversations with one another."

After turning down the NBA's last proposal, the NBA Players Association filed a "Disclaimer of Interest" last week, which officially dissolved the union and opened the door for anti-trust lawsuits.

That would explain to some degree why the presence of Fisher in these conversations, are not needed.

The players, whose counsel now includes David Boies, soon filed lawsuits against the NBA in Northern California and Minnesota.

The complaint filed in California has been withdrawn.

"The likelihood was we'd get a faster result in Minnesota than California," Boies told reporters. "I think the result would be the same."

The league's attorneys, as you might expect, have a different take on the change in venue.

"This is consistent with Mr. Boies' inappropriate shopping for a forum that he can only hope will be friendlier to his baseless legal claims," said Rick Buchanan, NBA executive vice-president and general counsel.

According to the New York Times, the league wants to do a 66-game season if a deal can be struck to save Christmas Day games. At least a month is needed for games to be played, once a deal is agreed upon. During that 30-day period, teams will go through a shortened free agency period, training camp and preseason schedule.

Isaiah Thomas likes video of Jalen Rose calling Paul Pierce 'petty'

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Isaiah Thomas likes video of Jalen Rose calling Paul Pierce 'petty'

Just when all the video tribute controversy between Isaiah Thomas and Paul Pierce seemed to be dying down, Jalen Rose heated it right back up.

Live on ESPN's "NBA Countdown," Rose called Pierce "petty" for his comments on the Celtics potentially holding a video tribute for Isaiah on Feb. 11 when Pierce gets his jersey retired.

Jalen Rose called Paul Pierce petty right to his face... 😳

A post shared by DIME on UPROXX (@dimemagazine) on

Thomas tweeted on Tuesday that he (again) declined the Celtics' offer to hold the tribute for him so it wouldn't interfere with Pierce's night. But if you look at the likes on the Instagram video above, posted by dimemagazine, you'll see Thomas appears to agree with Rose on the matter.

It doesn't look like the video tribute drama is going to end until the Feb. 11 matchup between the Celtics and Cavaliers is over with.

Horford: Fighting in NBA 'needs to stop'

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Horford: Fighting in NBA 'needs to stop'

WALTHAM, Mass. – Three Houston Rockets players entered the Los Angeles Clippers’ training room before being stopped by security but not before a profanity-laced exchange that’s sure to result in fines and possibly some suspensions.

Orlando’s Arron Afflalo threw a punch – and barely missed – hitting Minnesota’s Nemanja Bjelica which led to both players being ejected and for Afflalo will likely result in a suspension of some kind.

Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons got into it with Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, resulting in both players being tossed and apparently leading to Simmons signaling to Lowry that they could continue having their “discussion” in the hallway.

That hallway encounter never happened (Lowry said he was there, Simmons said he didn’t see Lowry so you believe who you want to), but the fact that it was even a possibility speaks to this being one of the more bizarre weeks in recent memory when it comes to potential fighting in the league. 

And remember … it’s only freakin’ Wednesday!

I asked Boston’s Al Horford about this.

“It’s very, very bizarre,” said Horford, now in his 11th NBA season. “I don’t think I remember any period of time, (with) all this chippiness going on. You want to compete, you want to play hard; that’s fine. But all the extra stuff, I think needs to stop. At the end of the day you need to focus on basketball. We’re here to play.”

Horford added, “I’m sure the NBA will address those things and fix them.”

No one was shocked that things got a little testy in the Houston-Los Angeles Clippers game which was played on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It was the first time Chris Paul, now with the Rockets, returned to Los Angeles to face his former team. 

The Clippers won 113-102, a game filled with trash talk from both sides. But apparently the chatter soon turned to chippy play with hard fouls delivered and taken in the latter stages of play with a total of five technical fouls called, two of which were on Blake Griffin which is an automatic ejection. 

Talking trash gone bad was a factor in the Simmons-Lowry bruhaha with the Sixers emerging with the victory. 

And on Tuesday, Afflalo and Bjelica had already been assessed a technical for an earlier run-in. Soon after, there was a collision between the two which pissed off Afflalo who swung with great force at Bjelica’s face. 

“We’re professionals,” Horford said. “We can’t get caught up in that stuff.”

Horford plays around the basket and is no stranger to banging around with the big, bad angry bodies. 

But as much as there will be times when he’ll want to snap, Horford has consistently resisted the urge. 

“It’s hard; it’s hard,” he said. “But we have to remember what we play the game for; I play to win. I’m playing for my teammates and sometimes you need to take a step back before you do something you regret. That’s the way I look at it.”

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