Jimmy Butler

Sharks' Evander Kane calls out coverage of TJ McConnell's money photo

evanderkaneyellingusatsi.jpg
USATSI

Sharks' Evander Kane calls out coverage of TJ McConnell's money photo

For years, Sharks forward Evander Kane has believed there is a double-standard when it comes to how players in the NHL are allowed to express themselves compared to the NBA and NFL.

That belief was confirmed Thursday when Kane saw new Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler post a photo of former Philadelphia 76ers teammate T.J. McConnell holding a stack of money up to his ear like a phone.

Why would that image set Kane off?

Back in 2012, when he was a 21-year-old on the then-Atlanta Thrashers, Kane posted a similar photo and was criticized for it.

Shortly after he was traded to the Sharks, and well before Butler ever posted the photo of new Indiana Pacer McConnell, Kane spoke about his photo while appearing on Hockey Night in Canada's "After Hours" show.

“Obviously that picture had a lot of mixed reviews,” Kane said via Sportsnet. “I understand the timing of it, but I was a young kid with some free time, having some fun and, like [HNIC host Scott Oake mentions], in the NBA, NFL that wouldn’t get a second look."

Kane is right. Have you heard anything about the photo of McConnell since it was posted Thursday?

Now a 10-year veteran of the NHL, Kane in March of 2018, cited the NHL's old-school mentality for the backlash to his photo.

“It’s happened before. You have Wes Welker at the Kentucky Derby throwing money after he won the race," Kane said. "I think in the NHL it’s a little bit of an older mindset and I think you have to try to stay within that, but I think it’s important to show that personality and show people – players, specifically – who are willing to show that personality because that’s what’s going to help grow the game and sell the game.”

[RELATED: Kane reveals tribute tattoo to child lost in pregnancy]

Kane's point is valid. Look at the NBA. The offseason has been just as entertaining as the regular season. NBA players express themselves through Twitter and Instagram, and fans eat it up. But the NHL is more reserved and frowns upon self-expression.

In light of the Butler-McConnell post, maybe Kane will lead the charge to break barriers when it comes to NHL players having fun and expressing themselves.

NBA rumors: Thunder open to trading Russell Westbrook; Heat interested

NBA rumors: Thunder open to trading Russell Westbrook; Heat interested

We've seen unprecedented movement of current and former All-Stars this offseason as NBA teams try to gear up to dethrone the Warriors. So, what's one more name added to the list?

According to a new report, Russell Westbrook could join a sizeable group of prominent players to change teams this summer, including the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis, Kemba Walker and D'Angelo Russell.

In the aftermath of the trade that sent George to the Clippers for a massive haul of draft picks, the Oklahoma City Thunder reportedly have begun considering the possibility of trading Westbrook as well, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.

Currently 30 years old, Westbrook has four years and $170 million remaining on his contract, which makes any trade for the former MVP a complex one. However, he's coming off three consecutive seasons in which he's averaged a triple-double, and that abundance of talent has at least one team reportedly interested.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, there is mutual interest between Westbrook and the Miami Heat.

Heat president Pat Riley has long been known as a big-game hunter throughout his tenure as a league executive, and he already added another pelt to his wall this offseason in orchestrating a sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler. If the Heat were able to acquire Westbrook as well, that would give them one of the top duos in all of the NBA.

Sending Westbrook to the Heat would also get another star out of the loaded Western Conference, which would help the Warriors' playoff hopes. While many teams are loading up in hopes of taking Golden State off its five-year perch at the top of the Western Conference, Oklahoma City would be one of the few teams in the West that would hit the reset button instead.

[RELATED: KD will feel love, appreciation of Warriors fans eventually]

Miami's cupboards aren't exactly overflowing with assets at the moment, however, so it's not immediately apparent what the Heat would send the other way in a potential trade for Westbrook. Still, given the extreme shift in trajectory and expectations in Oklahoma City, it seems unlikely that Westbrook will be reinvigorated to remain there anytime soon.

NBA free agency rumors: Latest news, reports after crazy opening day

NBA free agency rumors: Latest news, reports after crazy opening day

The first day of NBA free agency was a wild ride. 

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving signed with the Brooklyn Nets. Al Horford agreed to a contract with the Phildalpehia76ers, as did Tobias Harris. 

Klay Thompson's max contract with the Warriors reportedly is all set to be signed on July 6. 

Then, late Sunday night, the Warriors agreed to a sign-and-trade with the Nets that sent Durant to Brooklyn and allowed the Warriors to acquire All-Star guard D'Angelo Russell. Before the move could be made, the Dubs had to ship Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies to clear cap space.

The NBA changed overnight Sunday, but with Kawhi Leonard still on the market, and Jimmy Butler's reported sign-and-trade to the Miami Heat falling apart, there still are a lot of dominoes that could fall on Day 2.

Monday

9:52 p.m. PT: The veteran's minimum options for the Warriors keep falling off the board. Former Golden State forward Anthony Tolliver reportedly is headed to Portland.

Tolliver shot 37.7 percent from deep last season, and gives the Trail Blazers a reliable shooter off the bench. 

8:49 p.m. PT: Clippers guad Patrick Beverley told the Los Angeles Times he turned down more money from the Kings to stay in Los Angeles.

Kings fans surely won't have any problems with these comments.

7:36 p.m. PT: Isaiah Thomas will play for his fourth team in three seasons, according to multiple reports.

IT in DC? The Wizards' hope is that he can help fill the void left by the injured John Wall.

7:17 p.m. PT: Kyle O'Quinn is headed to Philadelphia, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Noah Levick. 

O'Quinn and Horford joining Joel Embiid on Philly's front line. Who says there aren't any big men left?

6:41 p.m. PT: A pair of ex-NBA players are getting in on the scoop game: Ricky Davis and Kendrick Perkins.

Meanwhile, plugged-in folks seem to be hearing ... something?

This is your hourly reminder that it is only July 1.

5:00 p.m. PT: Kevon Looney reportedly is returning to the Warriors on a three-year, $15 million contract, according to multiple reports.

Given the other developments on the Dubs' roster, that's a big coup for the Warriors. Looney could start, and likely will be a member of Golden State's closing lineup.

3:51 p.m. PT: Pau Gasol isn't ruling out a return next season.

Gasol will turn 39 this week, but the Warriors' depth chart up front is looking a little thin ...

3:11 p.m. PT: Will the Warriors match the T'Wolves' offer for Bell?

2:29 p.m. PT: So much for the Shabazz Napier era in the Bay.

2:18 p.m. PT: Jimmy was set on Miami.

2:08 p.m. PT: The Jimmy Butler deal finally is done. 

1:45 p.m. PT: Frank the Tank is headed to the desert.

1:31 p.m. PT:  The Bucks bench just got another capable shooter.

12:25 p.m. PT:  KANGS!

11:21 a.m. PT: Boston reportedly has found its Al Horford replacement.

10:40 a.m. PT: The Lakers have made a move.

10:21 a.m. PT: Will Beal be teaming up with Jimmy Buckets

10:03 a.m. PT: The Rockets reportedly were able to keep a member of their bench in Houston. 

9:57 a.m. PT: KD reportedly helping make the deal go through.

9:36 a.m. PT: The Hassan Whiteside era in Miami reportedly is no more.

9:34 a.m. PT:  The Mavs reportedly are looking to lock down another shooter. 

9:23 a.m. PT:  Seth Curry is off the board.

8:46 a.m. PT: IT4 to the DMV?

8:18 a.m. PT: The Magic are just ... a really weird team.

7:39 a.m. PT: Wayne Ellington, come on down!

5:20 a.m. PT: The Bulls reportedly added another piece to their current rebuild.