Kelly Dwyer

  • Kevin Durant swears that stars would love to play with Kobe Bryant

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 1 hr ago

    In the summer of 2013, Dwight Howard turned down a significant amount of guaranteed money and a chance to live in sunny Los Angeles for a gig with the Houston Rockets. In the summer of 2014, several prominent free agents chose to pass on the Lakers’ sizable salary cap space in order to play elsewhere. Pau Gasol turned down more money to work with the team he’d won two championships with in order to move to a cold climate and uncertain (if enticing) rotation in Chicago. Many wondered if the Lakers had to overpay just to keep incumbent big man Jordan Hill.

    The Lakers will have salary cap space again this summer, but all signs point to top level free agents heading elsewhere. The underlying rumor here lists that players want nothing to do with playing with Kobe Bryant, for whatever reason.

    Kevin Durant, a free agent to be in 2016, however, isn’t having any of that. From a talk with USA Today’s Sam Amick on Tuesday:

    […]

    Here’s where things get dicey.

    Take Kobe out of the equation, and all the Laker free agent losses seem sensible. Let’s make every excuse we can for the guy.

  • Isaiah Austin, retired from hoops due to Marfan syndrome, is added to the NBA 2K15 roster

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 3 hrs ago

    This time last year, Baylor center Isaiah Austin was in the midst of a terrific sophomore season, one that would eventually lead to his inclusion on the Big 12’s All-Defensive Team. The 7-foot-1 center was listed as a likely lottery pick in the 2014 NBA draft, impressive placement considering the depth of what was thought to be one of the better draft classes in league history.

    Just a week before the draft, however, Austin was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, an inherited disease that affects the connective tissue. Citing worries about his health, and the strain on one’s heart when working at basketball speed with the disease, Austin retired from basketball. The NBA still invited him to the draft as a guest, and symbolically chose him in the middle of the first round, a move that left more than a few of us drying our eyes.

    From Gamespot:

    More NBA coverage:

    - - - - - - -

  • Bucks rookie Jabari Parker tears ACL, is out for the season

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 16 hrs ago

    The Milwaukee Bucks have been a pleasant surprise this season, nearly matching the team’s 2013-14 win total of 15 within the first month and a half of the season, working up an entertaining brand of ball under first-year coach Jason Kidd. The good vibes behind that turnaround were diminished a bit on Tuesday evening, when word leaked out that rookie star-in-waiting Jabari Parker would miss the rest of the season with an ACL tear to his left knee:

    Jabari Parker has informed teammates he has suffered a torn ACL in his left knee and will miss the rest of the season, sources tell Yahoo.

    Conversations underway with Bucks and Parker's reps on surgery sked to repair ACL. Parker informed teammates via text message tonight.

    ESPN’s Marc Stein first reported the news.

    Parker first concerned onlookers after leaving his team’s win over Phoenix after twisting the knee. Watch:

    Still, this will be hard to get over. Just when things were starting to turn around for the long-beleaguered franchise, the crew will have to take a major step back.

    - - - - - - -

  • Evan Turner doesn't mind being booed; 'Jesus was hated too'

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    This is an odd one.

    Players have to answer to the media before and after every game, a responsibility they understandably sometimes dodge prior to a contest by ducking out of the locker room and into the trainer’s room to get “treatment.” This means these guys have to toss out quite a few words over the course of an 82-game season, often in the minutes following running up and down the court during a professional basketball game, while changing back into street clothes while strangers mill about with recorders and cameras.

    That is to say, we understand why players could get weird with things, following a game.

    Evan Turner, however, got super, super weird with things in the minutes following his return to Philadelphia on Monday night. Turner, who was a 76er from 2010 until last February, was booed upon checking into Monday night’s contest. The current Boston Celtic then made a strange comparison when Boston media asked him about his reaction to the Philly fans. From CSN New England:

    Jesus Christ, if one believes that he did once walk the earth and is not a composite character, was indeed hated by many.

  • The Sacramento Kings may have just done a really, really dumb thing

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    If you want to pile on, you can.

    This has all the hallmarks of an easy read. The Sacramento Kings surprised everyone this season by racing out to 9-5 record. The team then lost its out and out superstar, the ever-improving DeMarcus Cousins, to a debilitating bout of viral meningitis. The Kings lost their last game with DMC, and expectedly whiffed on seven of nine contests with Cousins recovering (mostly) away from the team. The Sacramento Kings also feature a new’ish owner that sometimes embarrasses the team’s fan base with his musings on how the sport should be played, and they boast a general manager and influential consultant that were hired after the team’s coach was hired – a rare NBA move.

    That coach was fired, late on Sunday, as first reported by Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski. Michael Malone was dumped after just 24 games this season, following the first year of a three-year deal with a team option for a fourth year. Clashes in basketball philosophy were cited as the reason for the dismissal.

    The NBA cognoscenti, as you’d expect, was gobsmacked.

    Toss this in …

    - - - - - - -

  • Kobe Bryant seems unimpressed with the little party the Lakers threw him

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    Kobe Bryant and his teammates have an odd relationship. That makes sense: Kobe Bryant is an odd guy, and the Los Angeles Lakers are an odd team.

    They’re also, for the first time this season, the proud owners of a three-game winning streak. On top of that, you may have heard, Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan on Sunday evening to move into third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. The Kobester struggled from the field in that contest against the Minnesota Timberwolves, missing 13 of 20 shots, but he routinely earned trips to the free throw line and finished with a stellar 26 points.

    In celebration, the Lakers decided to outfit the team plane with accessories one might buy for, say, Sheila the bank teller’s 47th birthday. Watch:

    Kobe’s reaction is … um, Kobe-ish.

    In terms of celebrations, only Kirk Cameron’s seems sadder.

    What might impress the Kobester is this:

    - - - - - - -

  • Kobe Bryant passes Michael Jordan for third on NBA's scoring list (Video)

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    Raw pro basketball statistics, for good reason, aren’t held in the same regard as the numbers many grew up memorizing as baseball fans. NBA fans have a good idea as to how many points Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored (30,000 … something), how many rebounds Wilt Chamberlain pulled in (a lot), or the number of assists John Stockton dished (plenty?), but the actual totals involved aren’t as memorable as any of the record numbers Henry Aaron, Lou Gehrig or Lou Brock once set.

    That doesn’t take away from the accomplishment that Kobe Bryant just earned. On Sunday night the Los Angeles Lakers superstar hit two free throws at the 5:24 mark of the contest to put him at 32,293 points (and counting) for his career, passing Michael Jordan to move into third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. The Minnesota Timberwolves swingman that fouled him, rookie Zach LaVine, was born 13 months before Bryant announced he would forego college to jump directly to the NBA.

    Jordan released a statement to the Associated Press about Bryant passing him:

    And he’s not done yet.

    - - - - - - -

  • Kobe Bryant falls short of MJ's scoring mark, but helps Lakers beat Spurs

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    In a young season rife with rightful criticism, Kobe Bryant went completely against type on Friday night in playing the sort of team ball necessary to down the defending champs on their home court by a 112-110 overtime score.

    He also acted, for long stretches, as stereotype late-career Kobe Bryant. It was fascinating.

    The kicker is the fact that had Kobe Bryant played the sort of shot-happy, inefficient ball that has marked his 2014-15 season, he could have passed his model Michael Jordan and moved into third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Instead, Bryant held back and made the correct plays that he usually anticipates before any other mere mortals, plays he often disregards prior to tossing up another jumper.

    His absence, for whatever reason, also saw the Lakers building that lead. This team is so strange.

    [ Related: Revisiting Kobe Bryant's matchups with Michael Jordan ]

    This is peak Kobe Bryant. And it’s so much fun.

    - - - - - - -

  • Revisiting Kobe Bryant's battles with Michael Jordan

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    For two similarly-styled combatants, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant could really never get on track when it came to an on-court rivalry.

    Bryant, who is set to likely overtake Jordan for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list on either Friday or Sunday evening, missed out on Jordan’s prime years while working his way to that high school diploma. When Jordan retired for the second time in early 1999, Bryant wasn’t even a starter yet on his Los Angeles Lakers. When Jordan returned to the NBA nearly three years later, Bryant was in his absolute prime, while Jordan was working through various injuries from ages 38-40 before retiring again.

    While we never really got a chance to see them go at it at their absolute best, this doesn’t mean when their respective teams met that we didn’t get some good shows. Let’s look back at all eight of them.

    The Classic

    That doesn’t mean this wasn’t a fantastic contest.

    Chicago won by a 129-123 score.

    The Wait

    Los Angeles won, 106-90.

    The Awakening

    The Last One, We Thought

    The Return

    The Sad One

  • Sixers coach Brett Brown laments the trading away of yet another contributor

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown knew what he was in for when he took this terrible, terrible gig.

    Brown knew that this terrible gig could turn into a fantastic gig after a spell, but that he’d have to endure several terrible rebuilding years in order for the Sixers to accrue the assets needed to make a proper championship run. In the meantime, the losses were going to mount as Brown led an extended training camp of sorts while the youngsters figured it out.

    One of those youngsters, forward Brandon Davies, was traded away from the Sixers this week in exchange for the soon-to-be waived Andrei Kirilenko, the rights to Brooklyn’s second round pick five seasons from now , and the right to swap second round picks with Brooklyn in 2018. Not exactly a haul. Meanwhile, even if the Sixers do eventually turn it around in Brett’s lifetime and start peeling off 60-win seasons, it’s going to take years for his individual coaching winning percentage just to climb back to the ranks of the ordinary.

    - - - - - - -