Powe, Billups listed as plaintiffs vs. NBA

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Powe, Billups listed as plaintiffs vs. NBA

There are a couple of players with Boston Celtics connections named in one of the two (and possibly more) anti-trust lawsuits filed by NBA players against the NBA.

Former Celtics Chauncey Billups and Leon Powe were among the players listed as plaintiffs in the complaint filed in the Northern District of California against the NBA and all 30 of its owners. According to NBA.com, the case has been assigned to U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu in Oakland, Calif.

Joining Billups and Powe among the list of plaintiffs in the California filing -- there was another filing made in Minnesota with a different cast of players -- are New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, rookie draft pick Kawhi Leonard and Powe.

If it seems like a rather eclectic group of players, well that's the point.

The plaintiffs have been chosen in part because they range from the perennial superstar (Anthony and Durant), to rookies-to-be like Leonard (with the San Antonio Spurs).

The lawsuits came just days after the NBA Players Association turned down the league's latest Collective Bargaining proposal, and immediately dissolved itself with a disclaimer of interest.

That transformed the NBAPA into a trade organization, which now allows the players to sue the NBA under anti-trust laws.

"Looking at this from a players standpoint, collective bargaining has totally failed," said Jeffrey Kessler, one of the attorneys who will be representing the players in their anti-trust lawsuits. "So rather than exercise their labor law rights to futility, they've decided to free up all players to assert their anti-trust rights to treble damages. We think that's the best -- not we, the players -- think that's the best protection for all NBA players going forward."

For a copy of the 27-page filing in Minnesota, one whose plaintiffs include a couple of former UConn Huskies (Caron Butler and Ben Gordon who played for Dallas and Detroit last season, respectively), here it is courtesy of Courthouse News.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Should Paul George or Gordon Hayward be Celtics' priority?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Should Paul George or Gordon Hayward be Celtics' priority?

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0:41 - Should Paul George be the priority over Gordon Hayward? Is trading for one year of George better than signing Gordon Hayward long-term? Curran, Holley, Giles, Smith discuss.

4:45 - Could a Tom Brady extension be in the works? Phil Perry joins BST to discuss Dan Graziano’s article about QB contracts in the NFL. 

9:13 - Evan Drellich and Lou Merloni join from Fenway Park to talk about the message John Farrell sent to Hanley, how the bullpen was used after Chris Sale was taken out, and the rumor that the Red Sox are interested in Sonny Gray. 

15:09 - Tom Giles and Tom Curran discuss how the Suns GM Ryan McDonough might have “tampered” with Josh Jackson to prevent him from going to the Celtics. 

Russell Westbrook wins NBA MVP; Rockets, Bucks take two awards

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Russell Westbrook wins NBA MVP; Rockets, Bucks take two awards

NEW YORK - Russell Westbrook was voted NBA MVP on Monday night after setting a record with 42 triple-doubles last season.

Westbrook's victory ended the first NBA Awards show, which included two wins apiece for the Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks.

Westbrook joined Oscar Robertson as the only players to average a triple-double for the season, and he broke Robertson's single-season record set when he had 41 triple-doubles in 1961-62.

The point guard beat out Houston's James Harden and San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard to succeed Stephen Curry, who had won the past two MVP awards.

Earlier, Milwaukee's Malcolm Brogdon became the first player not picked in the first round to win NBA Rookie of the Year in the common draft era.

Brogdon was the No. 36 overall selection out of Virginia. The common draft era began in 1966.

"I think it's an example for guys that are told they are too short, they are not athletic enough, they are not real point guards, they are not real shooting guards," Brogdon said. "I just think it's an important message for people to see, and it can be done. It just takes a lot."

Teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo won the Most Improved Player award.

Houston coach Mike D'Antoni won his second Coach of the Year award, and the Rockets' Eric Gordon was Sixth Man of the Year after setting a record for most 3-pointers off the bench in his first season as a reserve.

The NBA formerly gave out its individual awards at various points throughout the postseason before switching to the awards show this season and presenting them all at once in front of the league's top players and stars from the entertainment world.

Two of the best moments came during segments that didn't include the NBA's six individual awards.

Bill Russell was presented the first Lifetime Achievement award, welcomed on stage by fellow Hall of Fame centers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David Robinson, Shaquille O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo. The 11-time champion as a player and the league's first black coach first pointed at them and joked that he would have kicked their butts, then told them: "You have no idea how much respect I have for you guys."

Former Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams was given the SagerStrong Award for the strength he showed after his wife was killed in a car crash in Oklahoma City. He was given a colorful jacket like the ones worn by Craig Sager, the longtime Turner Sports reporter who died of cancer this past season.