Eric Freeman

  • Amir Johnson found it hard to find an available jersey number with the Celtics

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 18 hrs ago

    The Boston Celtics have retired 21 jersey numbers, a record for a North American sports franchise and a mark of the team's tremendous success in obtaining 17 NBA championships and 21 conference titles. It's something to be proud of for the franchise, its fans, and anyone who has ever been involved with the Celtics.

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    But there's a dark side to that rich history — new Celtics can have a really, really difficult time finding a suitable jersey number. With most of the standard basketball numbers taken by existing players or retired for all-time greats (in some cases because legends like Bill Russell popularized those digits in the first place), offseason additions such as veteran big man Amir Johnson must dig deep to find numbers that hold special meaning in their lives.

    And here's that photo of Johnson as a young Celtic:

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  • Roy Hibbert asked his agents to find him a coach who played in the NBA

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 21 hrs ago

    Once the province of ex-players and few others, the ranks of NBA head coaches have recently opened up to include a large number of coaching lifers, young upstarts who work their way from the video room to the top, and even one guy who went through that same process overseas. While many of the league's best coaches wore NBA uniforms for at least a few seasons each, it's far from a requisite. In some cases, that experience may even be a hindrance to getting a job.

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    If front offices have no qualms about hiring coaches without playing careers to their names, then it's less clear what active players think about the situation. But at least one specifically asked his agents to seek out a team with a player-turned-coach.

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  • Sacramento Kings part ways with analytics guru Dean Oliver

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    The Sacramento Kings' turbulent summer shows no signs of reaching stability. In an offseason that has already seen a confounding power struggle between head coach George Karl and star DeMarcus Cousins and curious moves in free agency to chase a very unlikely playoff berth, the franchise has now cut ties with a notable member of the front office. The latest decision falls in line with recent patterns while simultaneously raising new concerns about the future of the Kings.

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    Bill Herenda of CSN California and several others confirmed the report on Twitter.

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  • Here's Tony Parker evading a tiger on French game show 'Fort Boyard'

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    Pretty much every high-level professional sports contract has clauses regarding which activities athletes cannot engage in off the field of play. The idea makes sense — if franchises are going to pay guys millions of dollars, then they want some legal protection against an injury that did not occur on company time. You never know if someone might do something crazy during the offseason.

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    For instance, we're going to bet that the contract between the San Antonio Spurs and longtime point guard Tony Parker does not allow him to drive a rusted-over, potentially water-powered car in order to evade a tiger and solve a complicated alphabet-based puzzle game. Yet that's exactly what Parker will do on an upcoming French game show appearance. And he will have some help from fellow basketball-playing countrymen Boris Diaw, Nicolas Batum, and Ronny Turiaf. Take a look (via EOB):

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  • Watch President Mark Cuban, Rick Fox try to save the world in 'Sharknado 3'

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    SyFy's "Sharknado" series of original movies started with a very on-brand, low-budget yet CGI-heavy story about a storm picking up sharks from the ocean and unleashing them on California in a particularly inventive natural disaster. The film's surprisingly popular premiere turned it into a phenomenon, though, and two subsequent sequels have looked more like the network's version of a variety show, complete with progressively absurd sharknado scenarios and numerous celebrity cameos. "Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!," which aired for the first time on Wednesday night, featured such luminaries as the cast of "The Today Show," ex-NFL wide receiver Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson, and "Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin.

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    Unfortunately, another pesky sharknado broke up the party. Naturally, the renowned billionaire tech mogul and outspoken leader of the free world did not go down quietly:

    He did not succeed:

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  • Spurs look for a needed shooter, sign Jimmer Fredette to training camp deal

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    The San Antonio Spurs' summer has been an unqualified success. A bona fide championship contender has only become stronger with the acquisitions of LaMarcus Aldridge and David West, and only a fool would argue otherwise.

    However, assembling what looks like the NBA's best frontcourt required San Antonio to cut ties with several key backcourt reserves, including sharpshooter Marco Belinelli and improving backup guard Cory Joseph. While Tony Parker, Danny Green, Manu Ginobili, and Patty Mills provide a solid core, the Spurs are still in need of another shooter and further depth on the perimeter.

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    The Spurs' search has now brought them to a familiar face. Jimmer Fredette, most recently an end-of-bench guard for the New Orleans Pelicans, will join the club on a training camp deal with an opportunity to claim the 15th and final roster spot. ESPN's Marc Stein first reported the agreement, and Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed and added this bit of news:

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  • Do not pick Kevin Durant for your softball team

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 6 days ago

    Bored sports content producers often resort to a few battle-tested ideas in times of need, one of which is the ever-popular construction of a "what if athletes from this sport played this other sport instead" team. The idea is pretty simple — if humans were only allowed to play one sport, then we could probably construct a pretty good team of the best athletes in the world.

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    I mention this tradition because the average writer may well believe that Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant would fit pretty well on a baseball field, if only because he's so athletic and skilled at his chosen sport that he would presumably find some way to succeed. However, this video from Seattle Seahawks star Richard Sherman's annual charity softball game at Seattle's Safeco Field suggests otherwise. Clippers guard Jamal Crawford's high pop-up from the second inning of Sunday's game would seem to be a pretty easy play for center fielder Durant, but it did not go very well:

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  • James Harden, not Stephen Curry, wins MVP at NBPA's first Players' Awards

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 6 days ago

    When the NBPA announced the nominees for the first-ever incarnation of "The Players' Awards" nearly two weeks ago, the unique categories stood out the most. The NBA's official season-ending awards have no equivalents to accolades like "Hardest to Guard" and "Player You Secretly Wish Was on Your Team." Those are the sorts of player-voted honors that can help the union's ceremony stand out from the competition.

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    So let's celebrate Harden's latest achievement instead of using it as ammunition in an unnecessary feud. He and Curry (plus fellow nominees LeBron and Russell Westbrook) deserve whatever awards they get.

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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!

  • The Russell Westbrook impersonator is back with a killer Tim Duncan

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 6 days ago

    San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan has a reputation as a boring player, but he also has a verifiable style. The Big Fundamental's post moves, line-drive jumpers, and celebrations drained of affect are as readily identifiable as any other star's habits. No matter what you think of Duncan as a draw, you know how he plays.

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    The latest video from Brandon Armstrong, the basketball impressionist famous for his recent Russell Westbrook video, proves as much. While Westbrook offered Armstrong a bit more material to work with, his Duncan is just as good (via Vice Sports):

    See, Duncan really does show some emotion on the court. Next to Kawhi Leonard, he looks like a veritable hothead.

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  • Kyle Anderson throws amazing pass as Spurs nab Vegas Summer League title

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 7 days ago

    The San Antonio Spurs have had a tremendous July by any conceivable standard. The acquisitions of All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge and veteran David West will give Gregg Popovich new options both next season and in the future, while the return of virtually every key free agent ensures that they won't see much of an adjustment period despite such high-profile additions. After this spring's first-round loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Spurs look like one of the two or three best teams in the NBA.

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    To celebrate, he threw this spectacular no-look behind-the-back pass to guard Shannon Scott: