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NBA Rumors for Friday, January 20
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Isaiah Thomas is in the midst of one of the best individual offensive seasons in Boston Celtics history, but that torrid pace was not enough to earn him a backcourt starting spot for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game. The 5-foot-9 point guard lost a tiebreaker to Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan in the revamped All-Star starter selection process, which combines voting from fans, media and players into a formula that determines the starting lineup for both conferences. DeRozan joins Kyrie Irving in the East’s starting backcourt, while LeBron James, Jimmy Butler, and Giannis Antetokounmpo were voted in as frontcourt starters. Boston.com
Thomas actually tied DeRozan for the second guard position in the calculation, but the latter won a tiebreaker based on fan ballots, netting 796,112 votes to Thomas’ 755,102. Irving was first among fans, with Chicago’s Dwyane Wade second. Wade was sixth, however, in player and media voting. Irving was first in lighter than expected player voting, but Thomas edged out DeRozan for second, 92-91. Boston Herald
Rudy Gay attempted to drive the baseline late in the third quarter Wednesday night, to finish strong at the basket in a game the Kings had to win. He didn’t make it. The veteran forward went down in a heap, his left Achilles’ tendon ruptured, and the emotions of his teammates went down with him. Gay was carried off the court by second-year center Willie Cauley-Stein and members of the Kings’ training staff, his leg unable to bear weight. Sacramento Bee
An MRI on Thursday morning confirmed the injury. He will have surgery and miss the remainder of the season. It generally takes six to 10 months to recover from an Achilles’ tear, and studies have shown the tendon never heals completely. Sacramento Bee
Gay had planned to opt out of the last year of a contract that would pay him $14.7 million for the 2017-18 season. That now seems unlikely. Gay also had been mentioned across the league as a trade asset. Sacramento Bee
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was ejected from Thursday night’s victory over Denver in the second quarter, earning his first heave-ho since December 2015. Officially, it was referee Zach Zarba who did the honors, issuing Popovich his second technical foul after Bennie Adams had slapped him with his first. Unofficially, the referees had a bit of help from Denver guard Emmanuel Mudiay. San Antonio Express-News
In a video captured on NBA.com and elsewhere, Mudiay can be seen mimicking the “technical and ejection” signal a few moments before Zarba does. Mudiay laughed about the gesture after the game in an interview with the Denver Post. “It was no disrespect to Pop, a great coach,” Mudiay told the paper. “I just wanted him out of there, too. I didn’t think he wanted to coach today. So that’s what it was.” San Antonio Express-News
Paul Pierce is an NBA champion, a 10-time All-Star and likely a future Hall of Famer, but he’s still just like any other dad when it comes to using Twitter. The Los Angeles Clippers forward, who spent 15 of his 19 NBA seasons with the Boston Celtics, was ridiculed on Twitter back in 2015 when he was tweeting photos of emojis instead of sending actual emojis during the infamous DeAndre Jordan saga between the Clips and Dallas Mavericks. And the Truth was back at it again Thursday when he sent out — or tried to send out, rather — a photo of himself and President Barack Obama. NESN
A promotional event at the American Airlines Arena during Thursday night’s Miami Heat-Dallas Mavericks game took a dangerous turn. Palm Beach Post
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