J.R. Smith calls Tracy McGrady’s Hall of Fame take dumb as hell

Speaking at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame over the weekend, newly elected member Tracy McGrady addressed critics who point out the lack of an NBA championship on his resume.

You have to have a great team and some luck to get a ring, right? Unfortunately, I wasn’t blessed with that, he said (via MassLive.com). But I go back at them with this: Anybody can win a championship. Everybody can’t get in the Hall of Fame.

Irving might fancy himself as the next Kobe (Bryant) or (Russell) Westbrook alpha dogs who became MVPs after their co-star left the picture but you can’t just ignore Irving’s losing track record as the No. 1 guy. The more realistic expectation is that he’s another Lillard, Haberstroh wrote.

Lillard does have a point. Aside from a tough rookie year in 2012-13, the Trail Blazers have had a winning record each season since. They have also frequented the playoffs during Lillard’s tenure.

From an individual standpoint, Lillard is one of just three players (Oscar Robertson and LeBron James) who has recorded more than 1,500 points and 400 assists in their first five years in the league.

Isn’t that exactly why Irving wants out of Cleveland? From Irving’s point of view, he will never be the bus driver as long as James is standing next to him. Wouldn’t joining one of those other teams add some competitive balance to the league? Inserting Irving into the starting five for the Spurs or Timberwolves likely wouldn’t allow either of those teams to eclipse the Warriors, but it would make the Western Conference race more interesting.

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NHL trades: Coyotes GM fills three major holes with pair of deals

Standing on the draft floor at the United Center, wearing a smile while speaking with reporters, Coyotes general manager John Chayka reflected on his busy Friday, one that did not yet include making a selection in the first round of the NHL Draft later that evening.

You add a No. 1 center, top-pairing D, and a starting goalie, that’s quite a bit in 24 hours, he said.

Chayka started in the morning, acquiring defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson from the Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Connor Murphy and forward Laurent Dauphin. A few hours later, he swung his second major deal of the day, picking up center Derek Stepan and goaltender Antti Raanta from the Rangers in exchange for defenseman Anthony DeAngelo and the seventh overall selection in this year’s draft.

The trades fill three of the Coyotes’ biggest holes with respected veterans who have proven track records and winning pedigrees. Arizona is seeking to reach the postseason for the first time in six years in 2017-18.

Crosby returned March 15 healthy and symptom-free, scoring 33 points in the Penguins’ final 20 games in the regular season and playoffs.

Crosby’s agent, Pat Brisson, revealed Crosby had been treated for two fractured vertebrae in his neck during his absence. It wasn’t known if he suffered the injury on the hit from Krejci or whether it traced back to the back-to-back headshots in early 2011.

Injury scares behind him, Crosby piled up 160 points in 116 games between the lockout-shortended season of 2012-13 and a second Hart Trophy-winning campaign of 2013-14. He has since added a second Stanley Cup, an Olympic gold medal and his first Conn Smythe honors while playing some of the best hockey of his career.

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Oscar Robertson hopes Russell Westbrook breaks triple-double record

Russell Westbrook is fast approaching some impressive history, and the person he’s ready to pass is on his side.

Oscar Robertson’s record of 41 triple-doubles in one NBA regular season is hopelessly looking on as Westbrook’s total continues to climb. Heading into Friday’s game against the Spurs, Westbrook needed just four triple-doubles, with eight games left, to surpass Robertson.

Some might think Robertson would be quietly hoping Westbrook catches a case of poor shooting down the stretch to preserve his record set during the 1961-62 season. That, however, is not the case.

“He pinched me,” Green said, per the San Jose Mercury News. “So I punched his wrist. That’s pretty much it. … He does it often actually. Which is kind of adolescent.”

So Green retaliated by going after the wrist that’s been bothering Harden, and he was called for the offensive foul.

But Green’s reputation precedes him. As one on a long list of examples, ESPN.com notes that during Golden State’s 132-127 double-overtime win over Houston Cheap Islanders Jerseys on Dec. 1, Green was assessed a flagrant 1 for kicking Harden in the face while attempting a putback.

Friday night, it wasn’t just Green who got physical with Harden. ESPN reported Harden was “beaten up most of the night by the Warriors,” including being put on the floor earlier in the third quarter by a Matt Barnes screen.

Harden finished with 17 points on 4-of-18 shooting, as well as 12 rebounds, eight Cheap Jerseys Baseball assists and six turnovers.