- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie16 hrs ago
The Miami Heat will definitely miss LeBron James, the superstar who led the team in virtually every way possible from the 2010-11 through 2013-14 seasons. The Heat know they can't replace James, because he did so much that you can only patch the gaps in hopes of approximating his value. No like-for-like substitute exists.
Yet rookie forward James Ennis gave Heat fans reason to think they'll see some LeBron-ish highlights this season during Wednesday night's opener against the Washington Wizards in Miami. Ennis, the 2013 Big West Player of the Year at Long Beach State who spent last season in Australia and Puerto Rico, took the ball on the break from Mario Chalmers and unloaded on Rasual Butler with 8:51 remaining in regulation. Take a look:
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie18 hrs ago
Charlotte Hornets forward Jeff Taylor has plead guilty to misdemeanor charges of domestic assault and malicious destruction of property. The charges stem from a late September incident in East Lansing, Michigan that led to an arrest for the third-year pro. The Hornets barred Taylor from all team activities before the start of training camp to allow the legal process and NBA investigation to play out.
Cleve R. Wootson Jr. of the Charlotte Observer has more details on the plea and potential aftermath:
Kobe Bryant has not gotten along terribly well with a number of teammates during his 19 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, but few have earned as much media attention as his spat with current Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard. When the Lakers traded for Howard in the summer of 2012, they appeared to have acquired their superstar of the future. Yet Howard and Bryant did not mesh well, with various reports (most of them anonymously sourced) stating that Dwight felt Kobe demanded too much of him. It eventually came as little surprise when Howard left for Houston as a free agent in 2013, and reports since have indicated that the difficulties of playing with Kobe were the primary reason for his decision.
The run-up to the 2014-15 NBA season featured several steady storylines, including the return of LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kobe Bryant's attempt to play at an elite level at 36 years old, and the Philadelphia 76ers' grand experiment of rebuilding without putting their promising young players on the the floor. One of the most common stories of this group has been the ascent of 21-year-old New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis, who made his first All-Star team last season and starred for Team USA at the FIBA World Cup this summer. Most analysts have predicted that Davis will challenge for All-NBA First Team honors this year and could even drag the Pelicans to the playoffs all by himself. He seems to have no real ceiling.Thu, Oct 305:00 PM PDTNew York at ClevelandPreview Game
The San Antonio Spurs' run through the 2014 NBA postseason was a remarkable one, with a team of veterans following several season of playoff disappointments to capture the fifth championship in franchise history and first since 2007. The 2013-14 Spurs were a special group with one of the most balanced and precise offenses in recent memory. They may soon become a model for any team looking to succeed without one of the two or three biggest stars in the sport. Good luck emulating it, though.
The Spurs received their 2014 championship rings on Tuesday night before the 2014-15 opener against the Dallas Mavericks, allowing fans at the AT&T Center another chance to look back on the accomplishments of last June and celebrate the team that made it all possible. You can watch the ceremony below:
Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo is forever an enigma. The four-time All-Star has peerless court vision but often appears to seek out the toughest plays possible, can get any shot he wants but can't shoot, has all the prerequisites of a leader but doesn't seem to relish the role, etc. ad infinitum. His future in Boston appears in doubt, especially following his iffy 30-game return from an ACL tear last season. It certainly didn't help when Rondo broke his hand in late September, apparently during one of the many showers he takes every day.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie2 days ago
LeBron James is set to have a busy Thursday when he begins his second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers in a matchup with the New York Knicks. Yet it turns out that the four-time MVP and two-time NBA champion already underwent an even bigger personal milestone last week.
LeBron's wife Savannah Brinson gave birth to the couple's third child on October 22 in Ohio, according to a report from E! Online. The new baby, their first girl, joins brothers LeBron Jr. (10 years old) and Bryce (seven years old), who you may know from their father's Samsung ads and the eldest's burgeoning hoops career. James and Brinson have been together since high school but married a little more than a year ago in San Diego.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie2 days ago
The Philadelphia 76ers have been busy one day before the start of the 2014-15 NBA season, adding veteran forward Travis Outlaw from the New York Knicks in a deal for big man Arnett Moultrie on Monday. While analysis of the deal would figure to center on Outlaw's fit as a bench scorer, Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie is not one to assemble his team with an eye toward what occurs on the court. According to ESPN.com's Marc Stein, the tanking-minded Hinkie plans to waive Outlaw and appears to have orchestrated the deal to add a future second-round pick. As usual, the Sixers are looking toward the future.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie3 days ago
The NBA world was struck last week by the news that Los Angeles Lakers point guard and future Hall of Famer Steve Nash will miss the entire 2014-15 season with nerve damage in his back, an injury that figures to end his career. It now looks like another respected veteran could be forced into retirement before he's ready to hang up his sneakers.
Fourteen-year veteran shooting guard Jason Richardson has not played a game for the Philadelphia 76ers since undergoing surgery on his left knee in January 2013. Richardson had hoped to suit up for the Sixers this season — the final year of his contract — but it now looks like his season is at risk due to another injury suffered during his knee rehab process. Dei Lynam of CSNPhiladelphia.com has more details (via PBT):
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie6 days ago
The NBA, like many employers, likes to stay up to date on its employees' habits and interests. The most obvious examples involve things like drug tests and, increasingly, sleep schedules. But the league sometimes likes to get a bit more personal instead of just private — figuring out what players like to do, not only what they ingest. For that, we have the NBA's annual Player Questionnaire.
Robin Lopez of the Portland Trail Blazers received this year's questionnaire and apparently considered it a little silly. Because he decided to answer every question as if the year were 1928, not 2014. From his Instagram (via Blazersedge):Fri, Oct 317:00 PM PDTPortland at SacramentoPreview Game