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Stiff List: JaVale McGee continues to feud with Shaq, Amar’e apologizes for “gay” comment & more

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In case you missed some of the league drama the last couple weeks we’ve got your highlights here.

Shaquille O’Neal & JaVale McGee feud comes to a head.

JaVale McGee & Shaquille O’Neal

If you follow NBA on TNT’s Shaqtin’ a Fool you’ve probably seen the ongoing feud between Warriors’ center JaVale McGee & Shaq over the years. Well, this past week things came to a head and McGee decided he had had enough after Shaq took aim at McGee once again on Inside the NBA with the video below.

The video segment is really not that bad, and McGee is just drawing more attention from Shaq by continuing to whine about being picked on. (I won’t post the twitter feud between the two because while it’s hilarious, it’s not appropriate for all audiences. If you feel so inclined you can go look it up.) McGee’s mom even got involved referring to Shaq’s behavior as “cyber-bullying”. Look, I agree that Shaq should cool it, but McGee needs to quit crying and focus on getting to the playoffs with the number one basketball team in the world. The more attention McGee brings to the situation the more Shaq piles on—which only makes it funnier for everyone.

Amar’e Stoudemire

This week Amar’e Stoudemire made a comment that is totally unacceptable. In an interview with an Israeli website he commented on what he would do if he found out a teammate he plays with is gay.

“I’m going to shower across the street, make sure my clothes are around the corner, and I’m going to drive—take a different route to the gym.”

Stoudemire was later asked if he was joking, and he retorted that there is always some truth within a joke. This comment comes a few years after Stoudemire was fined $50,000 by the NBA for tweeting a gay slur in 2012. At the time, Stoudemire issued a public apology, and expressed his support for civil rights for all people. He went on to say he was disappointed in himself stating there was no excuse for his comment. However, it’s evident that his views haven’t really changed much in the last few years. Not cool, Amar’e.

NBA Officiating

The NBA employs the officiating program, and this year they’re taking action to further improve the officials’ overall performance. Byron Spruell, the president of league operations for the NBA stated, “...they do a good job but how do we continue to improve it? Evaluate it with a very comprehensive data system that allows us to look at accuracy of their calls, errors in a game. And while that can be sensitive to some extent for our officials, it's still just ultimately going to make the current pool of 64 officials better and better as we evaluate their talent day to day, game to game, play to play."

Commissioner Adam Silver has shifted his focus to improving the officiating program after getting the Collective Bargaining Agreement in place late last year. So, why does NBA officiating make the Stiff List you ask? I’ve long been a critic of the officials’ preferential treatment of superstars, and it only seems to be getting more blatant. The accepted standard that some players get treated differently than others is in direct contradiction to the need for the official in the first place. This has specifically impacted Denver’s emerging superstar, Nikola Jokic, and it’s very frustrating. Let the call be the call no matter who is involved. Perhaps all the data they collect will support this conclusion. Rant over.

Paul Pierce

Trash talk on the court is a regular part of any NBA player’s day to day at the office. Perhaps it’s a tactic that’s used to get into an opponent’s head, or perhaps it’s just competitors being competitors in the heat of battle. Whatever the reason, it needs to stay on the court. However, that’s exactly what didn’t happen this week between Paul Pierce and Draymond Green when game time trash talk moved from the court to the next most socially acceptable place to troll. You guessed it—Twitter.

So here’s how it went down: During a recent game between the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers, Pierce yelled from the bench to Green that Green couldn’t guard Blake Griffin. Later in the game, Pierce went on to say that Green wouldn’t be an All-Star if it wasn’t for the star studded Warriors he plays with.

At that point Green retaliated, where he was overheard yelling to Pierce, “Chasing that farewell tour. They don’t love you like that...you thought you was Kobe!” Green then went on his podcast to explain that Paul Pierce struggled in his career until Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen arrived to help. Keeping up with me so far? After that, Pierce fired one final shot via Twitter poking fun at the Warriors’ failure to win a title after recording 73 wins last season.

It seems the feud is over for now, but I can’t keep my eyes from rolling. Anytime a Twitter fight begins, all hopes of dignity come crashing to the ground. Keep it classy boys.