Eric Freeman

  • Larry Sanders accuses Bucks of concussion negligence after 2014 injury

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 hr 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.

    – – – – – – –

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

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day 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.”

    – – – – – – –

    Follow @FreemanEric

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

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 4 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.

    – – – – – – –

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

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

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 4 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

    – – – – – – –

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

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 4 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:

    – – – – – – –

    Follow @FreemanEric

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

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 5 days 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.”

    – – – – – – –

    Follow @FreemanEric

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

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 6 days 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

    – – – – – – –

  • David Robinson cautions that Durant and Warriors have short title window

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 6 days ago

    Despite the recent break provided by the Olympics, the bulk of this NBA offseason has been occupied by discussion and emotion regarding Kevin Durant’s move to the Golden State Warriors. Like LeBron James before him, Durant has helped create a new overwhelming title favorite. It just happens to be the same overwhelming title favorite we had last season.

    However, the most sober analysts have argued that the acquisiton of Durant guarantees nothing for Golden State. After all, LeBron and the Miami Heat only one two titles in their four seasons together. There’s no telling how star players will age, which role players will step up to help, and how other teams will reload and grow to become serious challengers.

    In fact, one two-time champion thinks that the Warriors actually have a short window to win their championships. Here’s what San Antonio Spurs legend David Robinson told Zach Frydenlund of

    – – – – – – –

    Follow @FreemanEric

  • John Wall and Bradley Beal are trying to learn to like each other

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 7 days ago

    NBA teams’ rebuilding plans often do not go according to plan, although not always because the young players involved prove to be busts. Building a successful squad is often about fit more than talent and development, to the point where the team can disappoint even if the individual players can be said to have done nothing especially wrong. It’s an inexact science.

    The Washington Wizards have been an excellent example of that difficulty. General manager Ernie Grunfeld opened this decade by selecting two very promising guards in John Wall (the first-overall pick in 2010) and Bradley Beal (third in 2012), and both have impressed enough to earn max-level contracts as the future leaders of the franchise. At the same time, the duo has not exactly dominated the East. Whether due to injuries, lackluster coaching, or other variables, Wall and Beal have not led the Wizards to steady improvement and a hoped-for position as the clearest challengers to the Cleveland Cavaliers for conference supremacy.

    – – – – – – –

    Follow @FreemanEric

  • Could Wilson Chandler's 350-lb grouper start for the Denver Nuggets?

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 8 days ago

    Most NBA fans’ eyes were on Team USA’s gold-medal winning performance in Rio de Janeiro, but for me the most fascinating story of the weekend involved veteran Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler. The 29-year-old decided to do a little deep-sea fishing, a day of fun enjoyed by many Americans every year.

    But Chandler didn’t make the news because he had a few beers and caught a few moderately sized fish on the open water. It’s because he caught a 350-pound grouper that looks like something out of a science fiction movie.

    Huge Goliath grouper caught by Wilson Chandler from the @nuggets #blacktiph #fishing #goliathgrouper

    — BlacktipH (@BlacktipH) August 21, 2016

    @blacktiph 350 lbs

    A video posted by Wilson Chandler (@illwil21) on Aug 19, 2016 at 12:47pm PDT

    – – – – – – –