Eric Freeman

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar slams Trump, represents Muslims in DNC speech

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 23 hrs ago

    The sports world has had relatively few representatives at this week’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, but those who have spoken on stage have largely come from basketball. Jason and Jarron Collins, friends of Chelsea Clinton from their time at Stanford, spoke on Monday in support of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for president and LGBTQ Americans. Yet that short speech will not get nearly the same attention as what basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said on Thursday night.

    The 69-year-old Hall of Famer, named a U.S. cultural ambassador by then-Secretary of State Clinton in 2012, opened his speech with a joke at Donald Trump’s expense and a reference to another all-time NBA great:

    OK, so Trump voters who think that people who speak out for black rights divide the country definitely aren’t going to like this joke. But it seems pretty clear that a good portion of the Wells Fargo Center crowd loved it.

    — ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD_) July 29, 2016

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  • Craig Sager will not cover Olympics due to leukemia treatment

    Eric Freeman at Fourth-Place Medal 1 day ago

    Turner Sports reporter Craig Sager has been a presence on more TV networks than usual this year as he continues to fight leukemia. In addition to his return to TNT for his usual NBA coverage, Sager covered his first-ever NBA Finals game on a one-day loan to ABC in June and appeared at the ESPYs this month to accept the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. He was also set to continue his relationship with NBC at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics next month, continuing a run as sideline reporter for men’s and women’s basketball that began at the Sydney games in 2000.

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    NBC announced Thursday that Sager will no longer serve that role due to a setback in his recovery. Here is the full text of their short news release:

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  • Here's Karl-Anthony Towns dunking on all the children

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    In 2005, my friends and I took great interest in a McSweeney’s article titled “A Realistic Assessment of How Many 12-Year-Olds I Could Beat Up Before They Overtook Me.” It is exactly what it sounds like — author Matt Schweiger investigates how he, a 21-year-old of fairly average size, would do in a fight against an ever-growing number of pre-teen boys. He defines what kind of 12-year-old he would face, how he would attack them, and where he would begin to falter. Schweiger settles on a total of seven 12-year-olds, and it’s hard to disagree with his logic once you see how he gets there.

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    Minnesota Timberwolves center and reigning Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns is apparently trying to test his own version of this game. Here is a video of him dribbling right through and dunking on several children at a basketball camp:

    A video posted by @legionhoops on Jul 28, 2016 at 10:55am PDT

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  • The NBPA is funding health insurance for most retired players

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Michele Roberts has attempted to reform many aspects of the NBPA since she became its executive director in July 2014, but one of her most aggressive pushes has been to connect with the league’s many retired players. She has gone beyond basic introductions and newsletters, working to extend many benefits to retirees who may need the help to keep themselves healthy. That has been clearest in the decision to fund heart screenings for retired players, but there have been other efforts, as well.

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    The players’ union unveiled one of its most comprehensive efforts to help former players on Wednesday. As announced via press release, the union has voted to fund health insurance for all retired players with at least three seasons of NBA service:

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  • One of Brazil's most popular basketball players will miss the Olympics

    Eric Freeman at Fourth-Place Medal 2 days ago

    The Brazilian men’s basketball team will be without one of its most recognizable and popular players when it hosts the Olympic tournament in Rio de Janeiro. As announced by the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, veteran big man Anderson Varejao will miss the Olympics due to a back injury:

    Warriors center Anderson Varejao was examined earlier this week by Dr. Robert Watkins at the Marina Spine Center in Marina Del Rey, CA, and was diagnosed with a small lower back disc herniation. He is expected to be ready for the start of training camp, but will be forced to miss the 2016 Summer Olympics due to the injury.

    Varejao recently experienced back pain while participating with the Brazilian National Team and returned to California to be examined by Dr. Watkins, a renowned spine specialist.

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  • Amar'e Stoudemire was so much more than his highlights

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    History will not view the newly retired Amar’e Stoudemire as one of the best players of his era, but he is sure to go down as one of the memorable. Few big men have ever dunked with such ferocity, commitment, and constancy. Every time he took the court provided the opportunity for a fantastic highlight, and more often than not he gave us one.

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    It’s to Stoudemire’s credit that all those incredible moments seem more like the punctuation to his fantastic NBA career than they do the substance. There’s a reason that many people took to social media to post their favorite Amar’e dunks in the aftermath of his retirement announcement, but it’s not as if anyone thought they would speak for his full career. The videos were just the most readily available evidence of his greatness.

    Still, even then, he could do this:

    Amar'e Stoudemire gets crossed up, recovers and swats the ball to JJ Redick for an NBA 3 pic.twitter.com/tUzTsMGDfo

  • Kevin Durant gets hero's welcome at Team USA exhibition in Oakland

    Eric Freeman at Fourth-Place Medal 2 days ago

    Tuesday night’s pre-Olympics basketball exhibition between the United States and China is unlikely to be remembered for its result, a 107-55 thumping that confirmed everything we already know about Team USA’s dominance. They led 52-24 at the half and never looked in serious danger of winning in anything less than a blowout. It wasn’t always a thrilling display, but they dominated every facet of the contest.

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    Durant was surrounded by an overwhelmingly positive atmosphere as soon as he took the court. He met with fans and signed autographs over an hour before tipoff, taking in the love that has not come his way in most cities since his decision to leave Oklahoma City:

    #DubNation with a warm welcome for @KDTrey5 ???????????? pic.twitter.com/MkyYTDYceV

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  • Kevin Durant's Oklahoma City restaurant is rebranding

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    We’ve written several times in this space about Oklahoma’s abrupt and intense breakup with Kevin Durant. When the best player in Oklahoma City Thunder history left for the Golden State Warriors several weeks ago, it brought on lots of heartache and more than a few price-cutting super sales. It’s been a reminder that cities forge real bonds with star athletes that cannot be ignored as soon as they change teams.

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    As one of the NBA’s best two or three players, Durant had stronger connections to OKC than most free agents. His departure has caused some headaches for colleagues and business associates, including those involved with KD’s, his restaurant. Now that the Durant name isn’t so strong in OKC, the eatery has closed to rebrand itself. From Brianna Bailey for The Oklahoman:

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  • Chris Bosh and the Heat are in another debate over his health

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    Chris Bosh saw a second straight season end early due to blood clots last February, but the story of his 2015-16 hardly ended there. While Bosh and the Miami Heat largely kept their disagreements out of the press, reports indicated that player and team were at odds over when he should return to the court. Bosh apparently wanted to play in the postseason (where the Heat took the Toronto Raptors to seven games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals), but the team did not want to risk his health. Concerns over Bosh’s long-term health did not seem likely to end this offseason, but the summer at least provided more hope for a resolution.

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    If Bosh comes off the medication this summer, there’s no reason why he couldn’t play.

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  • An OKC store sold Kevin Durant jerseys at a 99 percent discount

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 6 days ago

    Oklahoma City Thunder fans have understandably taken the departure of Kevin Durant quite hard. He is the greatest player in the eight-season history of the team and one of the league’s two or three best players, the sort of superstar who teams go to great lengths to keep or obtain. While the claims regarding his traitorous nature and/or lack of competitive fire are overblown, the anger is understandable. Fans feel a connection to their teams and the players on them, and when that bond is broken it hurts.

    [Follow Dunks Don’t Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    The aftermath of such a decision can include wide-ranging effects. For instance, local businesses will have to cut prices on player-specific merchandise. Yet few would expect this 99 percent price cut on Durant jerseys:

    Oklahoma City store discounts Thunder Durant jerseys to 99% off https://t.co/2hoflwYAms pic.twitter.com/rRBOq9gHKS

    — Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 22, 2016

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