Jay Pharoah is still adding new impressions to his résumé.
The Cleveland Cavaliers seem to be one wrong move away from a full implosion. They've been through multiple losing skids this season, Kyrie Irving's replacement Isaiah Thomas isn't gelling with the team yet, and for some reason, nobody will leave Kevin Love alone—especially Thomas. Well despite all of the recent turmoil largely centered around the Cavs' new point guard, at least someone within the Cavs organization is fairly fond of I.T.: owner Dan Gilbert.
Following a very publicized team meeting that included Thomas allegedly at the center of an attack on Love, rumors are already swirling that Thomas is on the trading block just a month into his stint on the court for Cleveland. However, that seems unlikely after this latest news. According to Bleacher Report, Thomas has already developed a very good relationship with the owner.
“Thomas has become a favorite of Gilbert, and they often exchange calls and text messages,” says the report. “This isn't necessarily unusual on a team with an owner who is as involved in the basketball side of things as Gilbert is. It also isn't great for locker room chemistry, because the rest of the players know it.”
Thomas has not been taking the criticism against him sitting down. He apparently even believes the team can turn this all around.
This past Saturday, things got pretty uncomfortable when he was asked about his shot selection when he's on the floor affecting the team.
Clearly, these rifts are not just being fabricated by the media. There is a very real problem in the Cavs locker room right now, and if they don't fix it, they'll likely be sitting out the Finals this year.
At least all the recent issues led to this epic rant by Shannon Sharpe.
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The NBA is taking #PettyWarz to a whole new level in 2018.
First, a little in-game wrassling between the Rockets and Clippers spilled into a locker room confrontation that had Twitter aflame with things like secret tunnels, diversions, Austin Rivers being arrogant, and LAPD takeovers. The following night, Orlando guard Arron Afflalo threw a reckless haymaker at Minnesota's Nemanja Bjelica. Then, after Michael Carter-Williams and Tim Frazier became the NBA's eighth and ninth ejections over the past three days, Wizards coach Scott Brooks dialed it up yet another notch by inviting Dwight Howard back onto the court to shoot the technical free throws, only to see Howard make both, do the Sam Cassell big balls dance, and blow a kiss to the Washington coach.
This is absolutely amazing.
MCW unable to attempt free throws in blowout, so Scott Brooks chooses Dwight Howard and makes him come back onto court to shoot
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) January 18, 2018
But perhaps the juiciest story of all revolves around Paul Pierce and Isaiah Thomas. Most of you know the details by now: Celtics announce celebration for Thomas during Feb. 11 Cleveland-Boston matchup; Pierce gets angry, wants own night for his jersey retirement; former Celtics sit down beside campfire, gush about how amazing they were; media/Twitter (ahem, Shannon Sharpe) remind Pierce he's no Kobe; Thomas posts veiled “hating hours” Instagram message. It could be the plot for season 2 of Big Little Lies.
Yesterday on ESPN's NBA Countdown, Jalen Rose summed up the whole thing when he called Pierce “petty” to his face, and the resulting back and forth had Pierce looking like he was ready to risk his job. (Thomas, for his part, liked the clip on social media.)
Jalen Rose WENT AT Paul Pierce during NBA Countdown. He called him “petty” for not wanting an Isaiah Thomas tribute video to play during his evening of honor. He also called out the fact that Pierce is being honored postgame, unlike Kobe Bryant's all-game tribute. Video via ESPN: pic.twitter.com/qLoPGKvuST
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) January 18, 2018
I mean, is Jalen Rose not correct? The Celtics honoring Isaiah during the game does not take away from Pierce's moment afterward. The Celtics honoring Isaiah for not just his play on the court but for what he inspired in their fans and the Boston community does not take away from Pierce's moment afterward.
Of course, being that petty is the theme of the month, Pierce wouldn't let it go, coming back at Rose with yet another “81” joke. The former Toronto Raptors guard will probably never live these down, but at least he can take it and keep it moving.
Pierce: Jalen, you were right. I am petty, and I'm gonna be petty 81 more times too… 👀 pic.twitter.com/YUbidHR9Sv
— Dime on UPROXX (@DimeUPROXX) January 18, 2018
And the critics say the NBA isn't entertaining anymore because the Cavs and Warriors always win.
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