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Stiff List: Social Media Wars, Suspensions and other Preseason Bloopers

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It was certainly an entertaining preseason...

NBA: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Dirk Nowitzki's charge (?)

During a preseason game against the Orlando Magic, Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki appeared to flop a charge. It's usually pretty obvious when a player is flopping, but in this case, it's downright blatant. Check out the clip below:

It seems likely that perhaps he just lost his footing and tripped, or at least that's what I choose to believe. What makes this clip so hilarious is how long it goes on before he actually hits the ground. At least Nowitzki is able to laugh at himself.

Jarrett Jack's full-court heave

At the end of halftime against a preseason game between the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets, a player did what a player often does right before the buzzer...take a heave. I'm not sure many have seen a full court shot like this before, however. Maybe Jack was just trying out for a career as a quarterback after his basketball playing days are over?

C.J. McCollum

During a preseason game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns, Alex Len and Caleb Swanigan got into a bit of a scuffle. This prompted McCollum to leave the bench, resulting in a one-game suspension for the first game of the regular season. Ouch, that has to hurt for Blazers fans. After watching the video, it's clear that McCollum wasn't trying to escalate the situation, which is why this rule was put in place, but still...rules are rules. One of the assistant coaches was obviously aware of the potential repercussions, because you can see that he immediately tries to lead McCollum back to the bench. In a statement to ESPN, McCollum apologized for his actions and wrote "I take full responsibility for those eight expensive and costly steps."

Kyrie Irving's defense in this clip

Kyrie Irving's attempt at playing defense against Kemba Walker in this clip is pretty funny. First he lets Walker blow past him, which causes him to trail him all the way to the basket. The sight of Irving with his arms slightly extended, giving off the appearance of a defensive stance despite the fact that he's trailing Walker by a good distance and not even remotely committed, is pretty funny. Then, Irving jumps into the air to try to contend the shot even though it already left Walker's hands. It's safe to say Irving is just a step slow in this sequence.

Joel Embiid and Hassan Whiteside

A preseason game between the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers spurred a trash-talk battle on Twitter afterwards between Joel Embiid and Hassan Whiteside. After Whiteside picked up his third foul in the game after less than four minutes into the first quarter, Embiid suggested that he be subbed out. Whiteside obviously was not too happy with Embiid following the game, and joined a fan on Twitter that pointed out the irony in Embiid talking trash after finishing 1-7 from the field. This started the heated (pardon the pun) exchange, which resulted in Embiid calling out Whiteside for being soft and his poor +/- and Whiteside calling out Embiid for playing 31 games in 3 years.

While I'm all for a little trash-talk, as it certainly makes the game more entertaining, the fact that these two are so engaged in it after a preseason game in which neither of them had good performances is pretty funny. Embiid finished with 5 points on 1 of 7 shooting and Whiteside finished with 7 points on 2 of 5 shooting. Still, these two will most certainly have more productive games during the regular season, and I hope the rivalry between the two continues.

Don’t forget: Stiff’s Night Out is this week!