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What’s trending in the NBA: Ingraham tangle, Orlando oops and Warriors strategy

Cavs vs Warriors
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James defends Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant in the third quarter on Jan. 15. The Cavaliers lost to the Warriors 118-108.
(Leah Klafczynski / Akron Beacon Journal)

A look at what’s trending this week in the NBA:

No, you shut up

Rihanna had a hit with “Shut Up and Drive.”

Walk the Moon made the charts with “Shut Up and Dance.”

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Laura Ingraham did not do as well with “Shut up and dribble.”

LeBron James and Kevin Durant shared their opposition to President Trump on a video for Uninterrupted, a multimedia platform co-founded by the Cavaliers star. James said Trump “really don’t give a ... about the people” and Durant followed by saying, ‘The country is not run by a great coach.”

Ingraham, on her Fox News show “The Ingraham Angle,” responded, “This is what happens when you attempt to leave high school a year early to join the NBA.”

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She also said, “Must they run their mouths like that? Unfortunately, a lot of kids — and some adults — take these ignorant comments seriously.

“Oh, and LeBron and Kevin, you’re great players, but no one voted for you. Millions elected Trump to be their coach. So keep the political commentary to yourself or, as someone once said, shut up and dribble.”

Ingraham clarified later in a statement that she had a 2003 book titled, “Shut Up and Sing,” and that she has used variances of that over the years to criticize people.

On Friday night, James posted a photo titled “I am more than an athlete” in neon lights on his Instagram page with #wewillnotshutupanddribble attached.

James doubled down on Saturday.

“We will definitely not shut up and dribble,” James told reporters. “I will definitely not do that. I mean too much to society. I mean too much to the youth. I mean too much to so many kids that feel like they don’t have a way out and they need someone to help lead them out of the situation they’re in.”

Not-so-Magic moment

Tim Duncan, the Orlando great.

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It could have happened, possibly easier than any Magic fan realized. In 2000, Duncan was a three-year Spur coming off his first championship with San Antonio when he visited Orlando during his free agency.

Former Spurs guard Bruce Bowen spilled on a Clippers game broadcast that Duncan asked whether family could join the team’s charter flights and then-Magic coach Doc Rivers said no.

“I made my visit with Tim Duncan,” former Magic player Grant Hill said on ESPN’s “The Jump.” “I was at the dinner when someone in Tim’s entourage, I’ll just leave it that way, asked Doc, ‘Can significant others travel on the plane?’ And Doc said no…. And afterward, my wife [Tamia] said, ‘He should have just lied. He should have said yes.’ ”

Worry about your team

Golden State coach Steve Kerr would make an excellent debate coach for his takes on politics and moves like last week, when he let the Warriors players handle sideline huddles after recent lackluster performances.

That stirred up armchair experts and last-place players alike. Kerr chose a game against Phoenix to let players run the timeout sessions, plausibly because the Suns are a last-place team that could be beaten by the Warriors if the ballboy was coaching. Kerr’s move was offensive to Suns players like Jared Dudley.

“Stop crying. Play better,” Turner Sports analyst Chris Webber said. “I bet they cry for fouls all day in practice.”

A Bosh comeback?

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If buddy Dwyane Wade can return to Miami, maybe Chris Bosh figures he should be able to go back to Toronto.

Blood clots pushed the 11-time All-Star out of the game for two years but he told ESPN’s “First Take” that he has been in the gym working on a comeback.

“I’m not done yet. ... I’m trying to come back,” Bosh told ESPN. “I see all these guys shooting 3s and not playing defense, man, I gotta get some of it.”

Bosh last played in a game on Feb. 9, 2016.

Number crunching

— Stephen and Dell Curry are now the third-highest scoring father-son combination in NBA history with 26,900 points, passing Rick and Brent Barry (26,883). The Currys will soon catch Dolph and Danny Schayes (27,218) but are still well behind Kobe and Joe Bryant (38,895).

— Third-year center Nikola Jokic of Denver has 10 triple-doubles. The last players to have at least that many triple-doubles in their first three seasons were Grant Hill (24) and Jason Kidd (15) from 1994-95 to 1996-97, respectively.

— The NBA has never had two teams enter the All-Star break on winning streaks of 10 games or more until Utah (11) and Houston (10) did it this season.

— LaMarcus Aldridge gives the Spurs an All-Star representative for a 20th consecutive season.

— LeBron James is the All-Star Game’s all-time leading scorer with 314 points in 13 appearances (24.2 points a game).

LOOKING AHEAD

Washington at Cleveland

Thursday at 5 p.m. PST. TV: TNT.

With so much attention on the Cavaliers at this point, the Wizards are just as worthy of a look. Washington’s surge is fascinating because it is coming with John Wall out following left knee surgery. The Wizards are 7-2 without him because All-Star guard Bradley Beal is facilitating. He has averages of 21.8 points and 6.4 assists during that nine-game stretch. Also stepping up in the Wall void are Otto Porter Jr. and Markieff Morris, who have increased their scoring during these nine games by more than four points each.

sports@latimes.com


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