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The National Basketball Association is struggling mightily as fans have tuned out on a league that has fully embraced “woke” politics and if it is to survive the LeBron James era it will need to find appealing young players that it needs to promote its product domestically.
One thing that the NBA doesn’t need is more temperamental divas, a commodity that it already has an abundance of and a report that one of its budding young stars threw a temper tantrum and left the arena at midgame following a heated clash with an assistant coach is yet another hit on a brand what was once marketed as being Fantastic with an emphasis on fan during the league’s glory days.
In New Year’s Day action, Houston Rockets point guard Kevin Porter Jr. objected to being criticized during halftime of the team’s game against the Denver Nuggets and not only did not return to the court for the second half but reportedly stormed out of the building, his team would go on to lose the game 124-111 after the 21-year-old left the Toyota Center in his rearview mirror.
Tempers flared after the Nuggets dropped an eye-popping second quarter 47 points on the hapless cellar dwellers prompting assistant coach John Lucas, a former NBA player who suited up for the Rockets when the team lost 4-2 to Larry Bird’s Boston Celtics in the 1985-1986 finals to challenge players including Porter who rejected the old school style of coaching.
According to sources, Porter completely lost it, at one point becoming so irate that he “threw an object” before departing the venue.
Sports reporter Shams Charania of The Athletic had the scoop.
Sources: After Rockets assistant John Lucas called out multiple players including Kevin Porter Jr. and Christian Wood at halftime tonight vs. Nuggets, Porter had a heated exchange with Lucas, threw an object and promptly left the arena – and Wood refused to sub into second half.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 2, 2022
ESPN reported, “Porter became upset after assistant coach John Lucas challenged him, revisiting an issue that led to Porter losing his composure on the bench during the first half, sources said.”
Following the team’s latest loss, Rockets head coach Stephen Silas commented on the locker room fracas, “We were angry at halftime that we had just given up 47 points. We watched the film. We had a spirited debate,” he said according to a Houston Chronical report, “I have certain demands of this group as far as playing hard. Making mistakes is different than giving the effort and I wasn’t satisfied with the effort.”
Stephen Silas: “We were angry at halftime that we had just given up 47 points. We watched the film. We had a spirited debate. I have certain demands of this group as far as playing hard. Making mistakes is different than giving the effort and I wasn’t satisfied with the effort.”
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) January 2, 2022
Rockets forward Christian Wood also was a part of the halftime altercation, he didn’t walk off the job but was relegated to the bench for the second half, Silas said that it was a “coach’s decision,” it is unknown whether either player will be face disciplinary measures.
The blowup is the latest incident of erratic behavior by Porter, a former first round pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers who offloaded him last season following an ugly meltdown after his locker was moved, mixing it up with general manager Koby Altman and raving about about “modern day slavery,” a tirade that led to him being banned from the locker room.
Altman is one of the NBA’s few black executives and according to a report by BasketballNews.com, “Ultimately, I think Koby being unable to calm him was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.”
Porter also recently made headlines when he was fined for violating the NBA’s COVID safety rules for a trip to a Miami strip club with then-teammate Sterling Brown, who was injured in a fight outside of the establishment. Brown is now with the rival Dallas Mavericks.
Twitter users whistled Porter for a hard foul.
Kevin Porter Jr. is eligible to negotiate a big contract extension this offseason. There's more to learn about what happened but straight up leaving the arena at halftime? That's the kind of thing that could cost him millions.
— ClutchFans (@clutchfans) January 2, 2022
Christian Wood broke a team rule, got benched, played terribly, couldn't take the blame and refused to sub in?
Kevin Porter Jr got cooked by Facundo Campazzo the entire first H, pressuring him like he's Steph Curry, couldn't take the blame and left the arena?
— DGC (@Itamar_17_10) January 2, 2022
Only thing missing in this story is a locker.
— THE WRONG GUY (@HipsterTito) January 2, 2022
All I’ve seen of this Porter kid is bad news. He will be out of the league soon and I’m afraid he has some personal issues that are gonna get him in trouble outside of basketball
— Broke Man (@BrokeManSports) January 2, 2022
You mean John Lucas — 12 year NBA career
You mean John Lucas – 28 year NBA coach …40 years of combined NBA experience called out two young bucks — head scratcher but to me I’m thinking they ought to consider long and hard what he had to say.
— Donnie Gallitz (@CoachG2015) January 2, 2022
We’re gonna see alotta of this over the next several yrs…younger players have huge accountability issues
— ScrollaMite (@PrawdPoppa716) January 2, 2022
I think that bridge is completely burned now. Players getting into a shouting match with a coach can be forgiven. The fact he actually walked out on his tm in the middle of a game is what’ll likely get him out of the league
— Zach Whitlow (@Zach_Whitlow93) January 2, 2022
Porter had nothing but kind words for Lucas during the team’s media day prior to the season opener.
Kevin Porter Jr on media day:
"I love John Lucas."
Just listen to the way KPJ describes his relationship with Lucas pic.twitter.com/M9yEAsp1cJ
— arxan (@arxanii) January 2, 2022
The latest outburst by the talented young player likely served as confirmation to Cavaliers management that they did the right thing, and he may already be generating a serious case of buyer’s remorse in Houston.
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