Brian Scalabrine (Jonathan Daniel/ Getty)Two weeks ago, before the trickle of the end of free agency turned into a full-on drought, we ran a story about free agent forward Brian Scalabrine's attempts to find a job with a new team and his opinion that anyone who mocks him is an idiot. Yet, while Scalabrine is rightly respected by ex-teammates and coaches for his understanding of the game, his reputation as an on-court (er, maybe, "on-bench") mascot exists in part because he himself cultivated that image over the course of several years with the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls. He could profess frustration at not being re-signed by Chicago or getting other offers, but in reality his 11-season career probably went on longer than most people would have expected. Officially, Scalabrine is still looking for a roster spot and hasn't retired. However, according to a report from Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com (via PBT), Scal could soon hang up his sneakers to become an NBA assistant coach:Read More »from Brian Scalabrine is the frontrunner to become a Chicago Bulls assistant coach, report says
- Eric Freeman | Ball Don't Lie – Tue, Aug 28, 2012 9:00 AM EDT
- Eric Freeman | Ball Don't Lie – Mon, Aug 27, 2012 8:15 PM EDT
Once the marquee event of All-Star Weekend, the NBA's Slam Dunk Contest has seen its popularity dip in recent seasons as superstars opt against participating and competitors increasingly rely on gimmicks instead of aerial artistry. Nevertheless, the contest is not without its charms. In the midst of a rather dull 2012 entry in Orlando, Utah Jazz big man Jeremy Evans wowed the crowd at least once on his way to the title.
Evans is a great dunker, clearly, and it'd take a lot to beat him in any competition. Surprisingly, though, he was bested by Kristaps Dargais during a recent dunk contest appearance in Riga, Latvia. Watch the video above, and wonder how this upset ever happened. Then, after the jump, check out more dunks from Dargais and Evans (via TeamFlightBrothers on YouTube).Read More »from Slam Dunk champ Jeremy Evans loses a contest in Latvia (VIDEO)
- Eric Freeman | Ball Don't Lie – Mon, Aug 27, 2012 7:35 PM EDT
At this point, most of the NBA is on Twitter. It's a wild world of training updates, questions as to which movies they should go see, and explanations of their Call of Duty prowess. Every so often, though, you also get a picture into the more interesting aspects of NBA life. This feature is your window into that world.
DeJuan Blair: That awkward moment when your toys make 3 movies behind your back... Haha bored thinkin
You can also follow Eric Freeman on Twitter at @freemaneric.Read More »from Days of NBA Lives: Wherein JaVale McGee talks geometry
- Eric Freeman | Ball Don't Lie – Fri, Aug 24, 2012 5:35 PM EDT
Many moons ago, when YouTube was but a gleam in the eye of various software engineers and businessmen, ABC aired a show called "America's Funniest Home Videos." In retrospect, it was essentially a forerunner of Internet viral videos. Families and individuals would bring in tape of animals doing weird things, babies acting like adults, and grown men getting hit in the crotch with various objects. Then the studio audience would vote on their favorite video, and the winner would get $10,000, which in 2012 U.S. currency roughly translates to 10 million views on YouTube.
Now what does any of this have to do with the NBA? This week, various NBA rookies convened in New York for the annual rookie photoshoot. At one point, Boston Celtics first-round pick Fab Melo and a few of his rookie colleagues sat in rickety folding chairs. Melo's broke, and he fell, and everyone laughed. Because it is pretty funny.
Twenty years ago, the NBA would have submitted this clip to AFHV, and David Stern and AdamRead More »from Fab Melo breaks a folding chair, wins $10,000 grand prize (VIDEO)
- Eric Freeman | Ball Don't Lie – Fri, Aug 24, 2012 10:55 AM EDT
Last season, the Charlotte Bobcats made history in their futility, winning only seven of 66 games for a winning percentage of .109, the worst mark in the NBA's long history. On top of that, they weren't even an especially exciting team — they didn't score much, didn't defend with any particular high-risk strategy, and saw irregular flashes from their best young players. While the Bobcats figure to be better in 2012-13 — how could they not be? — that woeful season could haunt them for a while.
Unfortunately, sometimes the NBA forces nostalgia. Every offseason, our friends at NBA.com and Turner Sports put together a highlight reel for every NBA team of the 10 best plays from the season that was. On Wednesday, the NBA's official YouTube page premiered their installment for the Bobcats. It's not the best set of highlights you'll ever see, to put it lightly, and there are few reasons for celebration. At Deadspin, Barry Petchesky provides some helpful context for the plays: only three came from Bobcats wins, and the top play — a game-saving block by rookie Bismack Biyombo — came against the lottery-winning New Orleans Hornets, which means this particular win might have hurt Charlotte in the long term.
Yet, despite, the overall lack of excitement, only a true cynic couldn't derive any pleasure from this video. Yes, there are much better top 10 clips around the Internet, and a truly great NBA game could feature more than half of these plays in its 48 minutes. But the fact that any of these plays happened at all, let alone from literally the worst team in league history, is still something worth cheering.Read More »from The 10 best plays of the 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats, the worst NBA team ever (VIDEO)
- Eric Freeman | Ball Don't Lie – Fri, Aug 24, 2012 10:00 AM EDT
On Aug. 14, we noted that prospective Memphis Grizzlies owner and Silicon Valley businessman Robert Pera had seen his bid to join the NBA look less likely after questions concerning his cash flow and business in Iran. While the circumstances of the latter issue were unclear and perhaps an honest mistake, the problems of the former were more substantial. In less than 12 months, Pera had fallen from the ranks of American billionaires and had his company's stock plummet. Given those developments, it seemed unlikely that he'd ever be approved as an NBA owner.
Pera realized those issues, because he's added some important new members to his investment group. Pera hasn't only improved the financial outlook — he's done so in a way that will ensure the Grizzlies will stay in Memphis for the foreseeable future. From Geoff Calkins and Kyle Veazey for The Memphis Commercial Appeal:Read More »from Prospective Memphis Grizzlies owner adds local investors to bidding group
- Eric Freeman | Ball Don't Lie – Wed, Aug 22, 2012 8:25 PM EDT
A year ago at this time, when the NBA was still in the midst of a lockout, owners and players haggled over splitting basketball-related income in a way that would allow franchises to turn a profit. Despite not opening up its books or proving losses in any other way, the league eventually got enough of what it wanted that owners could anticipate a much healthier financial future. Never mind that all owners involved were probably going to turn a sizable profit anyway whenever they decided to sell their franchises for hundreds of millions of dollars.
Nevertheless, the lockout ended up being a net positive for the owners. However, they're not done, and will likely try to extract more concessions from the players' union the next time they renegotiate the collective bargaining agreement. If you don't believe that, just listen to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who came up with a helpful analogy to demonstrate the problem. From a radio interview with Mark Cuban on "The Ben and Skin Show"Read More »from Mark Cuban compares NBA ownership to drowning in shallow water, makes poor analogy
- Eric Freeman | Ball Don't Lie – Wed, Aug 22, 2012 6:34 PM EDT
Eduardo Najera (LatinContent/ Getty Images)With all the focus media and fans place on stars, it's sometimes hard to remember that a player can have a long, well-paying NBA career based on more workmanlike skills like rebounding, playing defense, and generally acting as the connective tissue between the guys who get a lot more publicity. Over 12 seasons with six teams (plus a second stint with the Dallas Mavericks), forward Eduardo Najera played that role very well and marked himself out as a dependable member of any team, whether as a tough reserve or a valued member of the locker room.
Najera retired on Wednesday, but he did so with a new job already lined up. As announced by Donnie Nelson, owner of the D-League's Texas Legends and Mavericks general manager, Najera will become the head coach and a minority owner of the Legends, as well as hold a front-office position with the Mavs. In doing so, he'll also make NBA history. From HOOPSWORLD:Read More »from Eduardo Najera becomes the first Mexican head coach under the NBA umbrella
- Eric Freeman | Ball Don't Lie – Tue, Aug 21, 2012 6:30 PM EDT
Jason Kidd and Mark Cuban, in bro-ier times (Nathaniel S. Butler/ Getty).Over two separate stints spanning six full seasons and parts of two more, Jason Kidd played point guard very well for the Dallas Mavericks. While those seasons didn't overlap with his prime — those seasons were spent in Phoenix and New Jersey — Kidd did share Rookie of the Year honors with Grant Hill in 1995 and played a key role in the Mavs' championship two seasons ago. Put simply, he meant a lot to the franchise.
Kidd is gone now, of course, after signing a three-year deal with the New York Knicks. The Mavericks had offered a similar contract, so Kidd effectively chose to play for the team in the city where he resides rather than for the one that's treated him pretty well since he was traded in 2008.
This development did not make Mavericks owner Mark Cuban particularly happy. So much that he now claims that the franchise will not retire Kidd's jersey (either the mid-90s No. 5 or more recent No. 2) due to this perceived backstabbing. From Jon Machota for The Dallas Morning News (via TBJ):Read More »from Mark Cuban won’t retire Jason Kidd’s jersey because he went to the Knicks
Andray Blatche (Ned Dishman/ Getty)Since the advent of the NBA's amnesty clause, many highly paid players have been waived only to find new teams shortly thereafter. For players like Chauncey Billups (Knicks to Clippers) and Elton Brand (76ers to Mavericks), the problem wasn't that they lacked all use on the basketball court — it was simply that they made too much money given their contributions. Precious few of the amnestied players have failed to find new work at all, because it's not as if their large contracts were handed out with no on-court basis at all.
However, some players present different problems altogether. Consider, for instance, former Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche, whose remaining three years and $23 million were wiped from the franchise's salary cap figures in mid-July. Over his seven years in DC, Blatche cultivated a reputation as a troublemaker and malcontent. So, despite his considerable abilities and the near-constant need for talented big men around the NBA, Blatche has earned very little interest on the open market.Read More »from Andray Blatche is willing to play in the D-League