Eric Freeman

  • Kings honor Peja Stojakovic with jersey retirement ceremony

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 17 hrs ago

    It has been a controversial week for the Sacramento Kings, but Tuesday night served as an opportunity for celebration. At halftime of the team's home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the franchise honored three-time All-Star Peja Stojakovic, the team's small forward from 1998 to 2006, by retiring his No. 16 jersey. The short ceremony afforded the 37-year-old Stojakovic an opportunity to thank the fans, the coach and general manager who gave him his chance to excel, and the ownership group that invited him to accept this honor.

    You can watch that speech here. Keep an eye out for attending former teammates Vlade Divac, Doug Christie, Bobby Jackson, Scot Pollard, and Brad Miller:

    Stojakovic joined the Kings for the 1998-99 season, two years after the Kings made him the 14th-overall pick in a loaded 1996 draft. Like many rookies, the 6-10 Serb struggled in that lockout season but improved as a key bench player in his sophomore campaign. But Stojakovic really broke out when he entered the starting lineup in 2000-01, averaging 20.1 points on 40 percent shooting from beyond the arc and finishing second to Tracy McGrady in Most Improved Player voting.

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  • Heat-Nets delayed 31 minutes due to Barclays Center's leaky roof

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 20 hrs ago

    Basketball games are supposed to be largely unaffected by the elements, but the truth is that nature often intrudes on the NBA's plans. Apart from the fact that serious storms can block various modes of transportation, we sometimes see the power go out, or air-conditioners malfunction, or even small animals get onto or around the court. We are only safe until we discover otherwise.

    The Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat found that out under unfortunate circumstances during Tuesday night's game at Barclays Center. After a Luol Deng three-pointer with 1:47 left in the first quarter, referees stopped the game due to a leak in the roof. As water dropped onto the court, various arena staff attempted to protect the court and get to the bottom of the problem:

    The game was delayed for a lengthy 31 minutes before the leak was stopped. Arena officials eventually explained the problem:

    Tonight's delay was caused by a water leak due to the installation of our new green roof. We've taken all necessary steps to rectify.

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  • Andre Miller's follow dunk attempt didn't go so well

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 23 hrs ago

    Washington Wizards point guard Andre Miller has a sterling reputation as a floor leader, a crafty veteran who knows how to manipulate defenses and make the right passes to the right guys at the right times. What the 38-year-old Miller definitely doesn't have is above-average athleticism. He survives via the old-man game and its various tricks. Nothing about Miller is overwhelming — he just finds a way to make things work.

    That profile means that it's usually a bad idea when Miller does anything that requires little more than athleticism — like, say, following a missed shot with a dunk attempt on the rebound. But that's exactly what he did in the second quarter of Tuesday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The results were predictably hilarious:

    I'd wish Miller better luck next time, but there might not be a next time. Nor should there be.

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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!

  • Khris Middleton's bouncing buzzer-beater 3 lifts Bucks over Suns

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    The Milwaukee Bucks have been impressive enough this season to have graduated from an early surprise team to genuine challengers for a postseason berth with the ability to surprise a favorite in the opening round. Yet if the basketball world has agreed to take the Bucks seriously, then it's also true that we're just starting to understand what makes them exciting and watchable. This young team isn't just getting better — they're also a lot of fun.

    Monday night's road contest against the Phoenix Suns served as another case for the Bucks' case as a League Pass must-watch. After falling behind 26-14 in the first quarter, Milwaukee battled back over the next three periods. Down 94-93 with 3.5 seconds left following a go-ahead jumper from Suns forward Markieff Morris, the Bucks didn't get their ideal shot out of a timeout. It didn't matter, though, because Khris Middleton got a fortuitous bounce at the buzzer:

    The Suns might have doubled over in agony after the shot because they just can't seem to catch a break. They've now lost six games in a row, five of which have come by six points or less, and have fallen into ninth in the West at 12-14.

  • Official Lakers Twitter tries to put positive spin on worst half ever

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    The 2014-15 Los Angeles Lakers are not very good, but for the first two months of the season the franchise and its fans could at least look forward to the iconic Kobe Bryant's pursuit of several major milestones and records. However, after Sunday's passing of Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list, Kobe doesn't have any more marks in his imminent future. In other words, the Lakers are going to have to find other sources of positivity as the team slouches its way towards the lottery.

    Their first effort did not go very well. Monday's road game against the Indiana Pacers went very poorly, with the Lakers shooting a paltry 16.3 percent from the field on their way to a 60-27 halftime deficit, the franchise's worst first half since moving to Los Angeles in 1960. It would seem very difficult to find any silver lining to such a mess, but the team's official Twitter account did its best:

    Young outhustles the defense for a fast-break layup, but the Lakers still trail big, 35-17.

    Nick Young has a team-high seven points, but not much else is going well, as the Lakers trail, 56-17, with 5:58 left in the half.

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  • DeMarcus Cousins found out about Michael Malone firing via Twitter

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    The Sacramento Kings' decision to fire head coach Michael Malone after a 11-13 start has confused the NBA world to startling degrees. While the Kings are no one's idea of a fantastic team, they had improved under Malone and looked like potential challengers for a playoff spot before star center DeMarcus Cousins went down for the last nine games (during which the team went 2-7) with a viral meningitis infection. As reported and written by Yahoo's own Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday, there are serious questions regarding the long-term vision of owner Vivek Ranadive and general manager Pete D'Alessandro, as well as their ability to assess the roster they currently control.

    Synopsis from DeMarcus Cousins at Kings practice: It's a business. Yes, he was surprised. No, he wasn't consulted. Yes, he trusts them.

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  • Doug McDermott to undergo knee surgery, continuing a rough season

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    One of the most high-profile rookies in the class of 2014 is headed for an extended stay on the sidelines. Given the way his season has gone, though, it might be for the best.

    The Chicago Bulls announced Friday that rookie forward Doug McDermott will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Saturday. A timetable for his recovery will be determined after the completion of the surgery, but standard rehabilitation would seem to suggest four-to-six weeks on the shelf. McDermott had missed the team's four games prior to Friday's home game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

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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!

    Follow @FreemanEric

  • LeBron James out for Cavs' Thursday clash with Thunder, Durant

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 6 days ago

    Any contest between the two top players in a sport demands attention. While the various matchups between LeBron James and Kevin Durant haven't been quite as epic as desired, Thursday night's game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder — nationally televised on TNT — stood out as one of the most anticipated fixtures on the league schedule when it was released this summer. With Durant recently returned from an injury that kept him out of the regular season's first six weeks, it looked like a nice early test for each superstar and team.

    Unfortunately, we are not going to get our wish, because LeBron has been ruled out of the game at Chesapeake Energy Arena due to a sore knee:

    David Blatt says LeBron will not play vs OKC. Soreness in the back of his knee. Is day to day. No decision on Friday vs NOP

    The Thunder and Cavs have one more game this regular season, scheduled for January 25 in Cleveland. Here's hoping everyone is in good health for that one.

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  • New Warriors arena designs no longer look like a toilet

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 7 days ago

    The Golden State Warriors are the hottest team in the NBA, winners of their last 13 games (a franchise record) and holders of the best record in the league at 18-2. It's an exciting time for the franchise, and not just because of the product on the court. With an improving squad and strong local support, owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber can envision a future in which they oversee one of the premier organizations in basketball. When they move to a new arena San Francisco by the end of the decade, they can plan on bringing in even more profits.

    The one problem with the plan is that the designs for the new SF arena made it look like a classic porcelain toilet. The resemblance was uncanny, so much so that you wondered if it was done on purpose. Sure, it was very unlikely that the finished product would look quite so off-white and toilet-ish (look, there are not a lot of adjectives I can use here), but it was at least good for a fun joke at the time.

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  • Nearly all Lakers wear 'I Can't Breathe' shirts for warmups vs. Kings

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 7 days ago

    The Los Angeles Lakers have joined the growing number of athletes protesting the deaths of unarmed black people at the hands of law enforcement. According to the Associated Press, all players on the team except center Robert Sacre (an American citizen raised in Canada) wore black shirts with the phrase "I Can't Breathe" during warmups prior to Tuesday night's home game against the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center. The Lakers followed Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose and members of the Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers, including LeBron James, in wearing the shirts before NBA games.

    You can watch video of Kobe Bryant and other Lakers in the shirts here:

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