Eric Freeman

  • Kris Dunn shows off Gucci shoes and JC Penney suit at NBA draft

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

     

    The NBA Draft is an event known for its fashion, though not necessarily in a positive way. The most memorable outfits are the worst ones — Drew Gooden in the latest suit by Dr. Evil, Samaki Walker in a lab coat, and Jalen Rose as a mobster in hell.

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    Sadly, most draftees now employ stylists to keep them on trend. For every Brandon Ingram in a snakeskin-effect jacket, there are seven guys in the same family of tuxedo jacket and bowtie combo.

    However, the rare player can still make news. That's what new Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Kris Dunn, the No. 5 pick, did when he mixed a J.C. Penney suit with bedazzled Gucci shoes. He grabbed plenty of attention when he shouted out both companies in his post-pick interview with ESPN's Lisa Salters:

  • New Laker Brandon Ingram goes bold at draft with wild jacket

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    The general consensus heading into the 2016 NBA Draft was that two players held star potential — LSU's Ben Simmons and Duke's Brandon Ingram. The former went to the Philadelphia 76ers with the first overall pick, which left the Los Angeles Lakers to pick Ingram at No. 2. The franchise's millions of fans seem pretty happy about it, with Ingram set to join a young team looking to rebuild around high-potential options and new head coach Luke Walton in the wake of Kobe Bryant's retirement.

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    We will have to wait several seasons to see if Simmons or Ingram ends up as the better player. For now, though, it's clear the Ingram has the more aggressive style in clothes. While Simmons opted for a pretty standard three-piece navy suit, Ingram went for the boldest look of the whole draft:

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  • Jimmy Butler pays tribute to Derrick Rose in Instagram post

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    Wednesday's trade of Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks ends an era for the Chicago Bulls, who drafted the hometown star with the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2008 and saw him develop into the NBA MVP just three years later. Rose became the face of the franchise, a status that became increasingly precarious and unproductive as his knee injuries diminished his abilities. The Bulls arguably suffered for planning to depend on Rose as much as they did over the past few seasons, but the decision to move him is an emotional one nonetheless.

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    [ STACK: J.R. Smith's hilarious shirtless celebration extended to a Cleveland golf course ]

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  • What did the New York Knicks gain in the Derrick Rose trade?

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    The Wednesday trade that sent Derrick Rose from his hometown Chicago Bulls to the New York Knicks is not a blockbuster deal by most metrics, but it does feel like one. While all those knee injuries have robbed Rose of the explosiveness that made him the 2011 MVP, he remains a prominent figure in the league and served as the most visible member of the 2015-16 Bulls, though not the best player on the team. He now heads to another of the league's marquee franchise, a squad that can't help but capture the public interest even if it rarely sees success. This trade is a big one if only for the media stature of the involved parties.

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    [ STACK: J.R. Smith's hilarious shirtless celebration extended to a Cleveland golf course ]

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  • Steve Francis didn't quit the idea of an NBA return until February

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    It can sometimes be difficult for ex-NBA players to adjust to retired life. For everyone who seamlessly transitions into a job as a coach or executive, there are several who struggle to adapt to life without high-level basketball. The passion and competitiveness that carried them to the heights of the sport have no real outlet, and the end of the extravagant lifestyle can be rough.

    Steve Francis has appeared to be one of those players. The three-time All-Star last played in the NBA in 2010 and has been in the public eye mostly as a curiosity or for negatives. An over-the-top rap video in 2012 wasn't exactly a career highlight for Francis, and his being the victim of a chain-snatching at a Houston rap show in 2015 was flat-out depressing.

    For instance, he apparently didn't give up on the idea of returning to the NBA until February (expletive elisions our own):

    OK then.

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  • Kevin Durant confirms he will lead Team USA at the Olympics in Rio

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    It is going to be a busy summer for Kevin Durant. The Oklahoma City Thunder superstar is the best player to hit unrestricted free agency since LeBron James and figures to entertain several suitors, one of which figures to be the Golden State Warriors. Whether Durant joins the team that eliminated OKC this spring or not, he has a lot of thinking to do. Add in the requisite workouts to improve, and he's going to have little time for a vacation.

    Given those important tasks, it seemed likely that Durant would not represent the United States at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this August. Durant confirmed his inclusion at his KD9 shoe release on Monday, and a report from Marc Stein of ESPN.com adds several stars as locks to join him:

    Of course, the same would be true if every single one of these players decided not to play. The roster pool is that deep.

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  • LeBron James has an Instagram message for all the doubters

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    The Cleveland Cavaliers' first-ever NBA championship silenced considerable questions over the construction of the team, LeBron James's decision to return to his first franchise, and many other issues regarding a squad that didn't appear to find itself until the postseason. It was a strong statement, the first comeback from 3-1 down in the NBA Finals and a stunning turnaround against a Golden State Warriors group looking to join the ranks of the best teams in league history.

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    The title also stands as the defining moment of LeBron's career. After returning to Cleveland to a hero's welcome on Monday, James put out a message to anyone who doubted him or the Cavaliers on Instagram:

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  • How Kyrie, Love, and the Cavs' others helped LeBron win the title

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 6 days ago

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The story of the 2016 NBA Finals will forever revolve around LeBron James, a legend of the sport who put forth one of the greatest championship performances anyone has ever seen. He brought Cleveland that elusive title, ended at least some of the talk about his ability to come through in big moments, and offered a number of plays that should stay on official NBA highlight reels for decades to come.

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    Kyrie's excellence culminated in the series' winning shot, a three-pointer over the outstretched arm of Stephen Curry that broke an 89-89 tie with 53 seconds remaining. Any title-deciding shot counts as clutch, but Irving's jumper was more incredible given its context — the score had been 89-89 since the 4:39 mark, and it was the only make of the final 17 field-goal attempts between both teams.

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  • Stephen Curry on Game 7: 'I need to play my best game of the year'

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 7 days ago

    It goes without saying that the importance of Sunday's NBA Finals Game 7 between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers eclipses that of any other game on the league calendar. For the players involved, that means the external pressure ramps up to extremely high levels. Different players feel that impact differently, but it's hard to deny that it does not exist in some form. That's especially true of the stars, who must contend with talk of legacies as soon as the final buzzer sounds.

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    Those stakes are particularly high for Stephen Curry, the NBA's first unanimous MVP and someone widely acknowledged as the league's new best player right up until LeBron James started dominating this series. While injuries have diminished Curry's form, he has not played up to anyone's expectations, including his own, vs. the Cavaliers.

    That's not necessarily fair to Curry. As he knows, though, Game 7 carries plenty of weight.

  • Andre Iguodala to (not) relax for Game 7 with 'Sopranos' finale

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 7 days ago

    Golden State Warriors wing Andre Iguodala enters Sunday's NBA Finals Game 7 with perhaps the single most important task of anyone on the team — guarding the red-hot LeBron James. Iguodala's job will be even more difficult than usual thanks to the back issues that clearly hobbled him throughout Golden State's Game 6 loss. Nevertheless, Iguodala is preparing for one of the biggest games of his life with the focus and determination that have served him well throughout his long career.

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    Like many players, Iguodala is going to try to relax by watching a TV show before his big moment. Unlike most of his colleagues, he has chosen one of the most ambiguous (and, for many, most frustrating) episodes in the history of the medium.

    Andre Iguodala said before Game 7 he's going to watch the finale of The Sopranos for the first time.

    And here's video for confirmation:

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