Eric Freeman

  • Stephen Curry tapes daughter Riley's ankles in preparation for the new season

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 11 hrs ago

    One member of the Golden State Warriors eclipsed all others during last spring's NBA championship run — Riley Curry, the adorable daughter of NBA MVP Stephen Curry. Whether next to her father at a post-game press conference or the victory parade, Riley grabbed the spotlight and didn't give it up until well into the offseason. We can expect to see much more from her in 2015-16 and beyond.

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    But staying relevant in the NBA takes preparation. So it's a good thin that Steph is preparing Riley for this year with some standard ankle tape:

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  • Mario Hezonja lights up EuroBasket tune-up, daps opposing coach

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    Croatian scorer Mario Hezonja stood out among this June's crop of top draft prospects for his extreme cockiness. The 20-year-old, who most recently suited up for Barcelona in Spain's ACB League, plays with determined flair of any number of promising young wings, but his approach to the sport involves such daring acts as calling himself as watchable than Leo Messi and generally not shying away from being brash. The Orlando Magic thought highly enough of his skills to select him with the fifth pick in the draft, and watching Hezonja develop (and try to stay confident in the face of expected growing pains) figures to be one of the more interesting parts of the team's season.

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  • Dunk History: Blake Griffin defines 'Mozgov,' picks up Stoudemire's mantle

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History .

    Today, Eric Freeman revisits Blake Griffin's legendary full-body ruination of Timofey Mozgov from early in the 2010-11 season.

    Blake Griffin became the NBA's most fearsome in-game dunker almost as soon as he officially started his career. After missing all of 2009-10 with a broken left kneecap, Griffin suited up for the Los Angeles Clippers in late October 2010 not just healthy, but possessed of elite athleticism and an attacking instinct that seemed to outstrip any projections and expectations that followed him out of the University of Oklahoma.

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    That wide-eyed stare says so much.

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  • Brandon Jennings is cool with coming off the Pistons bench

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    The Detroit Pistons' decision to extend guard Reggie Jackson for five years at $80 million struck many as one of the most controversial moves of the NBA offseason. That's partially because it wasn't clear that Jackson stood as a substantial upgrade over the man he replaced in the starting lineup. Though he is no one's idea of a top-level point guard, veteran Brandon Jennings thrived in Stan Van Gundy's four-out offense once the team cut ties with Josh Smith, putting up excellent numbers prior to suffering a torn Achilles tendon in late January. The Pistons could not count on Jennings to return at the same level after such a serious injury and can be forgiven for seeking an upgrade regardless, but it's not clear that bringing back Jackson for a half-decade represented a quality value proposition.

  • Report: Kyrie Irving's broken knee cap could keep him out until January

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    The Cleveland Cavaliers' NBA Finals defeat at the hands of the Golden State Warriors was inseparable from the stars missing from the starting lineup. With Kevin Love out since the end of the first round, Game 1's late injury to an already hobbled Kyrie Irving gave the Cavs few options and required they receive a superhuman performance from LeBron James to stay competitive. While it's likely that the Warriors would have won the series anyway, the Cavs were forced into compromise as soon as Irving suffered the fractured left knee cap that ended his season.

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  • NBA says owner Michael Jordan can't pick Jordan Brand endorsers

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    The $250,000 fine imposed upon the Los Angeles Clippers Tuesday for presenting then-free agent DeAndre Jordan with an impermissible third-party endorsement with Lexus has brought greater attention to the various ways in which NBA franchises may choose to circumvent the salary cap. With every collective bargaining negotiation featuring talk of competitive balance and the necessity for a lower cap, preserving the sanctity of those rules matters to the league's ability to claim an even playing field for all 30 franchises. Teams must pay their players via league-approved salaries and nothing else.

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    The answer is apparently to keep Jordan from making any decisions involving a conflict of interest. According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, the NBA will bar Jordan from picking endorsers for Jordan Brand:

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  • Stephen Curry isn't thinking about leaving the Warriors in 2017, for now

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    Life is good for Stephen Curry, reigning NBA MVP and champion as point guard of the Golden State Warriors. He is widely identified as one of the best players in the league, has popularity that perhaps only three players can match, and at 27 years old looks set to occupy that space for some time. Stalking aside, it's hard to see many downsides.

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    It should therefore not come as much of a surprise that Curry sees little reason to leave the Warriors when he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2017. From Jimmy Spencer for The Sporting News:

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  • Check out 19 glorious minutes of the 100 best dunks of the NBA season

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 6 days ago

    Conventional internet wisdom says that a video will not go viral if it is more than a few minutes long. The idea is that millions of viewers will not gravitate towards a clip that requires so much time, no matter the level of its quality. In an era with so many publications and aggregators competing for attention, anything longer than a pop song asks too much of its audience.

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    Whoever first developed this idea probably did not consider that a collection of 100 terrific in-game dunks can hold anyone's interest for a prolonged period of time. As proof, the NBA put out a 19-minute video of the 100 best dunks of the 2014-15 season. It is worth carving out the time to watch it all:

    It should be noted that this is not a countdown but a compilation of the 100 best dunks ordered chronologically. It's almost more like a greatest hits album, because the audience gets to journey through the dunk narrative of 2014-15 and reflect on how we went from October to June.

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  • Wesley Matthews plans on being ready for opening night

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 6 days ago

    When the Dallas Mavericks signed shooting guard Wesley Matthews to a lucrative four-year, $70-million contract this summer, they did so with full knowledge that he probably would not be ready for opening night of the 2015-16 season. The torn Achilles tendon that Matthews suffered on March 5 typically requires a lengthy recovery, one that the franchise would presumably be willing to endure given their long-term investment in a player who turns 29 before the start of the upcoming campaign. To that end, head coach Rick Carlisle has already said that the team plans to be careful with its new addition.

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    Matthews has different plans. In a new interview with Tim Cato of Mavs Moneyball, the ex-Portland Trail Blazers guard says that he has every intention of returning for opening night, October 28, when the Mavericks visit the Phoenix Suns:

  • Kevin Durant says not to trust any free agent rumors this season

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 9 days ago

    When Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant becomes a free agent next summer, he will do so with anywhere from five to a dozen franchises (if not more) convinced that they must make every possible move and pitch to get him to join them. Historically exceptional players do not hit the open market very often, and it makes sense that they would inspire excitement from fans and basketball professionals alike.

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    That level of interest also means we're likely to hear a bevy of Durant rumors throughout the 2015-16 season, most of which will be anonymously sourced and likely contradict each other. Durant has anticipated this future and wants us all to ignore the rumors as best we can. From Ken Berger for CBSSports.com (via PBT):

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