Eric Freeman

  • BDL 25: Kevin Durant sets about winning back our love

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 20 days ago

    The NBA offseason has brought many changes to rosters, coaching staffs, and the list of championship contenders. As we draw closer to opening night, it’s time to move our focus from the potential impact of each offseason event and onto the broader issues that figure to define this season. The BDL 25 takes stock of, uh, 25 key storylines to get you up to speed on where the most fascinating teams, players, and people stand on the brink of 2016-17.

    No matter the logic of Durant’s move, it’s hard to escape the thought that the identity of the 2016-17 champion feels preordained. The Warriors were overwhelming favorites last year and added one of the two or three best players in the league. The last three games of the NBA Finals proved that the inevitable can sometimes be nothing of the sort, but that was a historic comeback for a reason. Does it really make sense to bet against Golden State this season? And who else but Durant is to blame for the prospect of more than six months of awaiting a result we already seem to know?

    I’m here to tell you not to worry — this season is going to be fun, like all of them are, and maybe especially because of Durant.

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  • Lawsuit alleges that Warriors' app illegally listens in on users

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 23 days ago

    The Golden State Warriors have been at the forefront of bringing innovations of the tech world to the NBA. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise — their primary owner, Joe Lacob, is a partner at a major Silicon Valley venture capital firm and much of the team’s Bay Area fan base works in tech. For instance, they were one of the first NBA franchises to develop its own mobile app, and plenty of others have followed suit.

    It appears that the team’s groundbreaking app may have done more than usher in a new era of NBA team-to-fan interaction. A class action suit filed in San Francisco alleges that the Warriors’ app records users with phones’ microphone and tracks their location even when not using the program. From Marisa Kendall of Silicon Beat:

    “Even more disconcerting,” the lawyers wrote, “the app turns on the microphone (listening and recording) any time the app is running. No mater if a consumer is actively using the app or if it is merely running in the background: the app is listening.” […]

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  • An NBA journeyman wants to take you inside his life via virtual reality

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 24 days ago

    A lot of NBA-focused media is about access. Reporters aim to give fans an insider’s take on what’s going on around the sport, league-run outlets like NBA.com and NBA TV offer interviews and features, and players themselves now reach out directly through social media. However, each of these efforts is really just a proxy for being part of an NBA team. Fans could never hope to live that — it’s an experience available to only a select few coaches and players.

    A longtime NBA big man is attempting to change all that. Thirty-three-year-old Lou Amundson, a current free agent who has played for 10 teams (and the Bulls twice) since 2007, has plans to make a virtual reality game about the life of a professional basketball player. From Jared Zwerling for NBPA.com, the official website of the players’ union:

    At this point, Amundson is still learning more about the hardware technology that would be needed to pull off his project ideas. “Stuff in VR takes time to write code,” he said. “But we’re definitely on that path right now.”

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  • Larry Sanders accuses Bucks of concussion negligence after 2014 injury

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 25 days ago

    Former Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders is one of the more complicated players in recent NBA history. The No. 15 pick in the 2010 draft impressed in his first few seasons as an elite interior defender and seemed primed to become a perennial All-Defensive Team contender when he signed a four-year, $44-million contract extension in the summer of 2013.

    A new feature by Mike Piellucci of Vice Sports brings some insight into Sanders’ post-NBA life and the reasons he left the league. As Sanders puts it, he began to become disenchanted with life in professional basketball when it began to take over too much of his life. He also began not to trust the people meant to take care of him, especially during what he characterizes as an act of severe negligence by the Bucks:

    This is a pretty serious accusation. The NBA instituted its first concussion policy during the 2011-12 season, so Sanders’s injury certainly should have required further testing by the rules. If this did in fact happen, the Bucks would be subject to punishment from the league at minimum.

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  • Ex-Nuggets coach recalls NBA's anthem controversy with iffy hindsight

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 26 days ago

    The NFL and sports world in general are currently in the midst of a controversy surrounding San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has decided not to stand during the national anthem in protest of a country that “oppresses black people and people of color.” Kaepernick’s political stand has proven divisive, receiving criticism from various corners of the sport and exposing many of the retrograde racial views and practices that the protest is intended to reveal. It’s a complicated issue that is unlikely to go away until Kaepernick chooses (or is made) to stop sitting.

    “Number one, completely blind. Had no idea that was about to transpire. […]

    “When he got home, we got a call and he said ‘I think I want to be on the trip.’ And that’s our understanding, if you’re on the trip, then you’re standing.”

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  • Phil Jackson names his biggest mistake so far as Knicks president

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 29 days ago

    Phil Jackson has been the center of much media discussion since he took over as president of the New York Knicks in 2014. Every decision he makes regarding the team’s personnel is analyzed endlessly both for its impact on the Knicks’ future and his outlook on the sport as a whole. As one of the NBA’s best-ever coaches and a regular commentator on the state of the sport, Jackson’s moves carry an extra level of intrigue that others do not.

    However, all that analysis has largely overlooked what Jackson says has been his worst move during his 18 months with the Knicks. He revealed that regret during a discussion with his old friend Charley Rosen, now of Today’s Fastbreak:

    “Anyway, for all of us, making mistakes are part of the learning process.

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    Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

  • Dwyane Wade's cousin, a mother of four, shot dead in Chicago

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 29 days ago

    Nykea Aldridge, a mother of four and cousin of NBA superstar Dwyane Wade, was shot dead as an innocent bystander on Friday afternoon in the Chicago area. Investigators indicated that Aldridge was pushing a baby stroller when a gunfight began in the Parkway Gardens neighborhood.

    The city’s ABC 7 News has more details of the tragic shooting:

    Nykea Aldridge, mother of four and cousin of Chicago Bulls star Dwyane Wade, was shot and killed by crossfire Friday afternoon in Chicago’s Parkway Gardens neighborhood. […]

    Police said Aldridge was walking from the Dulles School of Excellence around 3:30 p.m. in the 6300-block of Calumet when two men approached another man in the vicinity and opened fire.

    Aldridge, 32, was struck in the head and arm by crossfire. She was taken to Stroger Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

    Family members, including Wade’s mother, Pastor Jolinda Wade, to speak about Aldridge. Pastor Wade held her sobbing sister close the entire time.

    — DWade (@DwyaneWade) August 27, 2016

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  • Area dads praise Stephen Curry's all-white sneakers in video

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 29 days ago

    Basketball fans got a nice little diversion from the intensity of the NBA Finals this June when Under Armour released Stephen Curry’s signature Curry 2 Low “Chef Curry” sneakers, an all-white look seemingly built for nurses and dads. The internet mocked them without reservation or end, and you’ll still see a joke now if you hang around Twitter for an hour or two.

    Under Armour says the shoes are selling well, which isn’t terribly surprising given that style-averse people make up a large portion of the nation’s consumer base. If you need more proof of their popularity, take a look at this video from GQ. They sought out dad-looking guys on the streets of New York City with a pair of the Chef Currys in tow and got some rave reviews:

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  • One of James Harden's teammates promises he'll play defense this season

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 mth ago

    The world knows a few things about James Harden above all others — he has a beard, he gets to the foul line, he scores a lot, and he displays some of the most embarrassing defense in the NBA. That last bit has proven to be especially damning to Houston Rockets star’s reputation. Despite making four straight All-Star teams and scoring at an elite level for a team that made the Western Conference Finals just 15 months ago, Harden is known as a player with effort issues and the sort of temperament that might not be suited to leading a contender. A massively disappointing, often infuriating 2015-16 season for the Rockets certainly didn’t help matters.

    Luckily, this upcoming season offers a fresh opportunity for Harden and the Rockets to win over the hearts and minds of basketball fans. Dwight Howard is gone, free agents Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon are around to provide help, and Mike D’Antoni is in as head coach.

    “I think this year he’s going to play better defense, We’re going to let the past be in the past. It’s the future of the Rockets, man. James is going to play defense this year.”

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  • Rating the items in Riley Curry's giant playhouse on a scale of 1 to Fun

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 mth ago

    NBA MVP Stephen Curry, his wife Ayesha, and their daughters Riley and Ryan have quickly become basketball’s most visible family. While the attention hasn’t always been positive, the Currys have welcomed their status as celebrities. In addition to Steph’s prowess as a basketball star and pitchman, Ayesha has a television show and growing lifestyle brand. Riley is not exactly a child star, but she’s the most popular NBA child by some distance and a subject of plenty of internet and news stories. (Ryan is a little more than a year old and at this point in life mostly seems focused on running around.)

    Being that famous has its perks. For instance, when the TLC’s “Playhouse Masters” needed a participant to drum up publicity for the new series, they turned to Riley and her family for some help. The upshot is that Riley Curry has a new pony-themed playhouse that is bigger than many houses. Watch the clip of the big reveal here, and take a look at this beautiful exterior:

    A photo posted by Charmed Playhouses (@charmedplayhouses) on Aug 24, 2016 at 6:25am PDT

    A Couch: 3

    A ladder: FUN

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