Minnesota and San Antonio’s game in Mexico City postponed due to generator malfunction, smoke in the arena (Photos)Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie13 hrs ago
Everyone seems to be fine, and the incident happened well before fans were allowed into the Mexico City Arena, but the scheduled pairing between the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves in Mexico City was canceled after an electrical short to a generator powering one of the arena’s escalators.
As soon as smoke started billowing throughout the arena and its corridors away from the court, arena and NBA personnel immediately asked the players, team employees and scores of media to evacuate the building. By all accounts nobody appeared to be in danger, but the combination of the massive amounts of smoke and the high Mexico City altitude made this a dangerous “home” game for the Timberwolves and their San Antonio counterparts to play.
Via CJZero and NBA TV, here’s a shot of the arena around 9 p.m. ET, a half-hour before tip-off:
Here are some various pertinent tweets from Spurs and Wolves beat writers and broadcasters, detailing the (thankfully) orderly evacuation:
Wolves CEO chris wright says earliest arena could be readied is 1015 pm. Other option tomorrow nite, neither seems likely
The Portland Trail Blazers Twitter account wonders if the team can join the awful Eastern ConferenceKelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie18 hrs ago
There are seven teams currently slated to head toward the lottery in the Western Conference, per usual, and five of those teams have records good enough to make the Eastern playoff bracket. The 12th-best record in the Western Conference – currently held by both the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers at 9-9 – is tied with the winning percentage of the team with the third-best record in the East. That would be your Washington Wizards. Tied. For third in the East.
The East is terrible this season, and though teams like the Knicks, Bulls, Nets, Hawks and Pistons may eventually get their acts together, the drop-off between standout Indiana and Miami clubs and the rest of the dreck is significant. Worse, the eventual winner of the piss-poor Atlantic Division (the Boston Celtics hold that honor right now, at 8-12) will be rewarded with the ostensible fourth seed in the East this spring due to NBA bylaws.
That’s pretty awful. And it’s especially awful if you’re battling amongst the trees in Pacific Time out West, wondering how this is even fair in the slightest. The Portland Trail Blazers Twitter account struck out first, indirectly looking to inspire a move:
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie21 hrs ago
Everyone here is well aware of the Chicago Bulls medical and training staff, right? The ones that cleared former center Omer Asik to play with a broken fibula during the 2011 playoffs? The one that listed Luol Deng as “day to day” after a spinal tap, before then selling him out to the media and fans before reportedly ignoring him during the summer months that followed? The ones that thought it was just fine to push Joakim Noah’s feet for 40 minutes a game last season in spite of his history with plantar fasciitis? Before he had to sit for most of the second half of the season after developing, you guessed it, plantar fasciitis? The team that put both Noah and guard Jimmy Butler back into games with what should have been obvious, debilitating injuries?
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie22 hrs ago
Kenyon Martin and Metta World Peace are two pretty bad dudes. Despite the perpetual smirk the two tend to walk around with, the New York Knick veterans dole out hard fouls and tough love on the court, while barely concealing their hard guy status on the defensive end.
The Knicks, meanwhile, have lost nine straight. This is part of the reason why it seemed quite believable that both World Peace and Martin would engage in some combination of a shouting match, fight, or heated back and forth at practice, as ESPN reported last weekend. Combining the typical reaction to a losing streak, an embattled coach in Mike Woodson who has been on the hot seat for weeks, and both Metta and Kenyon’s irascible (to say the least) past, and you have a tussle straight out of central casting.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie23 hrs ago
The San Antonio Spurs probably don’t like having to travel out of the NBA loop for a regular season game down in Mexico City. The Minnesota Timberwolves, one can be assured, definitely don’t like having to travel thousands of miles between countries to play a “home” game, which they will against the Spurs on Wednesday. The contest is still a cool exercise, though, with the NBA deciding to play an actual game that counts in basketball-mad Mexico City, as opposed to an exhibition game featuring heavy minutes for players that may not even make the final roster cuts.
Ever-mindful of scouting for youngsters looking to make the leap to the NBA, the Spurs decided to meet with a local youth team following their practice on Tuesday. And, following a photoshoot and team huddle, the defending Western Conference champs kicked off their shoes and set up for a scrimmage with the youngsters.
It didn’t go well for San Antonio. Watch:
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
Before being released, Royce White played in two exhibition games with the Philadelphia 76ers in October. His stats weren’t good – Royce missed eight of 12 shots, he racked up eight fouls in nearly 33 minutes of action, alongside five turnovers and nine rebounds. He was also, clearly, out of shape, and even thrown out of one of those games.
Following Kobe Bryant’s contract extension, Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki uneasily discuss their own futuresKelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
Kobe Bryant’s massive contract extension came as a massive surprise, because though it was apparent that both Bryant and the Lakers wanted to continue their relationship until the end of Kobe’s career, most assumed Los Angeles would at least wait to see how the recovering Bryant performed in 2013-14 before deciding to hand him more and more money. It turned out that the Buss family apparently had no issue jumping the gun and making Bryant the league’s highest paid player in both 2014-15 and 2015-16, even if it meant hamstringing the team’s attempts at rebuilding with Bryant at the helm. Because though the Lakers will have cap room to sign a high end free agent this summer, salary cap space will be hard to come by after that, and Bryant plus a star plus minimum-salaried filler is no championship contender at this point.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie2 days ago
Rapper/actor/activist LL Cool J can often be spotted at both New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers games; as the man is clearly a big fan of NBA basketball. In a recent interview with SLAM Magazine, LL discusses his interactions with several NBA stars both past and present, including Kobe Bryant ("he was talking real tough"), Michael Jordan ("a huge inspiration"), and Magic Johnson ("one of my good friends").
As is usually the case with the mid-1990s New York Knicks, though, LL saved his finest anecdote in talking about Anthony Mason's role in the Queens native's backyard barbecue. From Adam Figman's session with the star:
SLAM: You grew up in New York City. Always been a Knicks fan?
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie2 days ago
The Indiana Pacers are rolling these days, working with a 16-1 record and leading both the Eastern Conference and the NBA in winning percentage, mainly because of a fantastic mixture of internal development and added depth procured during the offseason.
The Miami Heat? It’s fair to say they’re rolling as well, despite a mild three-quarter scare against the Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday. The Heat did not hire a celebrated heady type over the 2013 offseason to add to their depth, in the vein of 2011 acquisition Shane Battier or 2012 acquisition Ray Allen. The team, mindful of its luxury tax issues, even waived playoff hero Mike Miller over the offseason, and probably won’t be adding a player midseason as they did last year with Chris “Birdman” Andersen.
Following a tiff with Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony concludes his reeling Knicks are ‘playing to lose’Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie2 days ago
The difference between “playing to lose” and “playing not to lose” is a pretty significant one, and it’s just fine for professional athletes to misspeak after running up and down the court for 40 minutes, but Carmelo Anthony’s insistence that his New York Knicks are “playing to lose” right now is pretty out there. The Knicks probably aren’t intentionally trying to throw games, we’ll give Anthony’s misspeak the benefit of the doubt right there, but Carmelo’s assertion that the Knicks are “pretty tense” is absolutely spot on.
Anthony and Knick guard Iman Shumpert got into it a bit on the sideline during Sunday’s loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, a one-sided shouting match that saw Shumpert rankled at the Knicks superstar for poorly communicating during a Pelican screen and roll. A combination of this and rookie Tim Hardaway Jr.’s 21-point night led to Shumpert sitting out the entire fourth quarter as the Pelicans handed New York its ninth-straight loss.