SH Blog: Klay Thompson calls out Blake Griffin’s style of play, Gary Payton says Curry and Westbrook are shooting guards

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KlayThompsonSH1It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors have a strong dislike for each other. It has been that way since last season when the Warriors became a relevant team in the Western Conference, and it continued into this season when Blake Griffin called the Warriors cowards. The two teams won’t even share a chapel together.

That’s true hate.

What no one could have seen coming, though, is Klay Thompson joining in on the fun, so to speak. During a radio interview, the sharp-shooter called out Griffin for his “out of control” style of play, transcribed by Arash Markazi of ESPN LA:

On Wednesday, Warriors guard Klay Thompson called Clippers forward Blake Griffin out for flopping and playing “kind of out of control sometimes.”

“He is a good guy off the court but he probably just … I mean … plays pretty physical and flops a little bit,” Thompson told The Wheelhouse on 95.7 The Game radio in San Francisco.

“He flairs his arm around so you know you might catch a random elbow or something that doesn’t you know rub off too well on guys,” Thompson said. “He’s kind of like a bull in a china shop, kind of out of control sometimes. And then you do just see him flop sometimes like how can a guy that big and strong flop that much.

“I can see how that gets under people’s skin and be frustrating to play against.”

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Schayes: Why Athletes Retire Badly

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200px-David_Robinson_(Team_USA)David Robinson played 14 years for the San Antonio Spurs, won a championship in his final season and rode off into the sunset as a basketball hero.

Julius Erving played all 11 of his NBA years in Philadelphia and was honored in every arena where the 76ers played as he headed into retirement.

While that may seem like the norm for star athletes, the truth is very different.

This season, one MVP announced his retirement, while several surefire Hall of Famers are nearing the end. How will their careers end? With a bang? Or a whimper?

The reality is that most professional sports careers end badly.

SH Blog: Williams says Nets “want to run New York”; Lakers sign X. Henry

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Tracy McGrady and Vince CarterYesterday’s blog included an interview with Tracy McGrady, which got me thinking about the first basketball game I ever went to.

SH Blog: Heat come to terms with Beasley, Jim Buss explains why Lakers really passed on Phil Jackson

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Michael BeasleyYou can be an incredibly gifted scorer in the NBA, but these days, that skill alone won’t necessarily cut it for most teams. You have to understand the concept of team play on both ends of the court. Without it, you might not be good enough to stick around in the league, and that is especially true if you come with baggage.

At this point in his career, Michael Beasley is that guy – a pretty good scorer that doesn’t defend and causes off-court issues. For his inability to generate positive results both on and off the court, the forward was released by the Phoenix Suns earlier in the summer. How did he get to this point from what was supposed to be such a promising career? Mark Deeks of SBNation shared his opinion on the matter:

Michael Beasley has taken extremely little care in cultivating his image of a wasted talent. The oft-documented off-court distractions that started from before he even took the court in his rookie season need no further documenting. It is known. Indeed, his career seppuku is close to being all that is known about him.

This is the path he chose. It is now the default Beasley story. “Off-court issues.” “Distraction.” “Immature.” “Bust.” And other pejoratives of the sort. This is the default story because he himself has rather made it be so. There have been no on-court positives to offset it all, so there’s nothing else for the storytellers to tell.

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SH Blog: Rodman says Kim Jong Un is a very good guy, contract talks stall between Deng and Bulls

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Important NBA news and player movement has mostly been dwindling over the past few weeks as the offseason begins to wind down.

No matter.

Rodman Kim Jong-unThere are still plenty of interesting stuff going on around the league, starting with the continued ridiculousness of Dennis Rodman and his bizarre friendship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. The former rebounding machine visited Kim back in February and did so again, this time providing plenty of specifics, from Brian Mahoney of The A.P.:

Dennis Rodman is going back to North Korea, and plans to bring a team of former NBA players with him.

Days after returning from his second trip to visit Kim Jong Un — in which he said he became the first foreigner to hold the leader’s newborn daughter — Rodman announced plans Monday to stage two exhibition games in North Korea in January.

The first will be Jan. 8 — Kim’s birthday — with another to follow two days later.

[...]

Touting his friendship with Kim and taunting President Barack Obama for not talking to him, Rodman said he will go back to North Korea for a week in December to help select local players for the game. He hopes to have stars such as former Chicago teammate Scottie Pippen and Karl Malone.

“Michael Jordan, he won’t do it, because he’s Michael Jordan,” Rodman said.

Rodman, holding a cigar and wearing the shirt of a vodka company and a hat of a betting company that is funding the event, said Kim has asked him to train his players to compete in the 2016 Olympics and offered to allow the Hall of Famer to write a book about him.

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