Trevor Ariza said nothing happened. The NBA strongly disagreed.
Ariza and Gerald Green will both be suspended for Houston’s next two games, with the NBA coming down hard on both players Wednesday for what the league said was their “hostile, verbal altercation” in the Los Angeles Clippers’ locker room earlier this week.
No other players were disciplined, including Rockets guards James Harden and Chris Paul – both of whom left the Houston locker room with hopes of defusing the situation, the league said.
“You guys had a lot of different stories about what happened, none of them which were true,” Ariza said Wednesday in Houston, before the league announced the suspensions. “Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. The people that were there know exactly what happened and know exactly what did not happen.
Ariza and Green will miss games against two of the best teams in the Western Conference – Minnesota on Thursday and Golden State on Saturday. Ariza has started all 40 of his appearances with Houston this season, and Green has played in 10 games with the team as a reserve.
The league said the investigation included more than 20 interviews with executives, staff, coaches and players from both teams, as well as arena personnel.
Report: Warriors ‘hopeful’ of Kevin Durant Return in NBA Finals, DeMarcus Cousins Expected to Return
Warriors forward Kevin Durant (strained right calf) and center DeMarcus Cousins (torn left quadriceps muscle) were evaluated by the team’s medical staff earlier today.
Durant, who has not yet been cleared to begin on-court activities, continues to make good progress with his rehabilitation. At this point, it is unlikely that he will play at the beginning of the 2019 NBA Finals, but it’s hopeful that he could return at some point during the series.
Cousins also continues to make good progress with his rehabilitation and practiced with the team today for the first time since suffering the injury on April 16. It’s anticipated that he will play at some point during the 2019 NBA Finals, but the exact date is to be determined and depends on his progress.
The status for both players will be updated next Wednesday.
Source: Golden State Warriors
Sources: Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard Expected to Agree to Four-Year Supermax Extension
Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers are expected to come to terms over the summer on a four-year, $191 million supermax contract extension, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Lillard would officially qualify for the supermax if he’s voted to one of the three All-NBA Teams, which is virtually a lock for the four-time All-Star.
Lillard has two years and approximately $62 million remaining on his current deal. The extension would put him under contract for the next six years, and he’d be 34 years old by the time the deal expires, perhaps solidifying his status as arguably the greatest Trail Blazer of all time.
According to rival executives, a new pact for Lillard would almost certainly include a player option, something the guard bypassed on his previous deal.
Source: Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports
Sources: Clippers ‘equally dangerous threat to Knicks’ to Sign Kevin Durant in Free Agency
As for the bigger-picture matter of Durant’s future: I am unafraid to announce, with no trace of hot-takery, that firm predictions about what Durant will do when free agency starts in 40 days are ill-advised.
Within the last month, very smart and plugged-in people I have consulted say that the Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as an equally dangerous threat to the Knicks to sign Durant away from Golden State. And I believe it.
Problem is, at various points during the season, I have heard trusted insiders state with conviction that Durant is already planning to join the Knicks … and then that he is likely to consider the Nets as well … and now that he is eyeing the Clippers just as intently as New York.
It leads one to conclude that maybe the best forecast, at least for the moment, is that nobody but Durant and his business manager Rich Kleiman know.
Source: Marc Stein of The New York Times