- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie17 mins ago
Gifted cupcakes are an excellent apology vessel. Even those with the smallest of sweet-teeth or most diligent of diets can’t help but sample one; and because of the confection’s size and ability to hold toppings, both amateur and professional bakers can’t help but get creative with the tasty little things.
This is probably the line of thinking that influenced LeBron James’ family to call up Baker Boulevard Decadent Desserts on Tuesday and ask them to deliver a box of cupcakes to James’ neighbors in Bath Township, Ohio. The neighborhood has been besieged by media of late as James worked on making his career-altering free agent decision, and LBJ and family wanted to thank his neighbors for their patience in dealing with the media and rabid fans that came out to take pictures of houses that didn’t have LeBron James in them.
Here is a picture of the note that James and Baker Boulevard Decadent Desserts sent along:
David Falk claims Evan Turner could 'have made in excess of $10 million a year' had he stayed in Philly
Earlier this summer, we detailed the phenomenon that was the NBA’s 1996 offseason, one that saw an ungodly amount of All-Stars and future Hall of Famers either change teams, enter the league, or re-sign with their incumbent squads. That summer was David Falk’s crowning moment as a player agent, as he had a hand in encouraging massive free agent deals for Michael Jordan, Alonzo Mourning, Kenny Anderson, Dikembe Mutombo, Juwan Howard (twice!), John Stockton, and Buck Williams, while helping initiate trades featuring clients Jalen Rose and Charles Barkley, while acting as the first pro agent for draftees Stephon Marbury, Kerry Kittles, Vitaly Potapenko, Antoine Walker, and Allen Iverson.
Those were heady times. Now? Falk is attempting to find a restricted free agent deal for Greg Monroe, and he recently came to an agreement with the Boston Celtics regarding onetime lottery pick Evan Turner, who signed for just a part of Boston’s mid-level exception.
The 2013-14 Indiana Pacers should go down as one of the more infamous flameouts in NBA history. The squad didn’t have the indignity of being tossed out of the postseason in the first round as the 1994 Seattle SuperSonics, 1999 Miami Heat or 2007 Dallas Mavericks did, but needing 13 games to dispatch the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards after a 56-win season runs nearly along those upset lines.
Indiana eventually fell to a Miami Heat team in the sixth game of the Eastern Conference finals, a game they more or less expected to lose. It was an embarrassing effort, as the Pacers lost 117-92, and one in line with a months-long swoon that saw the team run up a 33-28 record (postseason included) after a 33-7 start.
It was an ungodly meltdown. The Pacers lost home-court advantage in each of their three playoff series. The team’s defense dipped from the realm of the dominant into the ranks of the mediocre, and both the scout- and stat-test documented an offense that was embarrassing to behold at times. The Pacers were absolutely rudderless, a shocking turn after such a fantastic start to the season.
The Sports Illustrated headline to its post about the Vine that Andre Drummond took of himself at a bowling alley reads “Andre Drummond is having some trouble bowling,” and though we respect the work and tone of the good folks and fine minds over at SI, we could not disagree more.
Andre Drummond is fantastic at bowling. Watch:
Hopefully Sports Illustrated will run a correction to its error in a future publication.
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It was recently revealed that a change is due to the uniforms of the 17 NBA teams that have won an NBA championship in the league’s history. Well, 16 of the 17 teams, but we’ll get to that in a second.
The back of the uniforms will project a gold band signifying the franchise’s championship past and number of titles on the collar of each jersey, with the NBA also tossing its own logo to the back in order to make way for advertisements on the front of the jersey because the NBA values money over aesthetics and don’t ever forget that.
Natalie Nakase ends her first Summer League as an assistant coach, makes a little history along the way
Every summer, the NBA’s Summer Leagues allow for various untested coaching types to move a few seats over on the bench, or run a team for the first time. Rookies, like Jason Kidd, Derek Fisher and Steve Kerr get their first run as leading men. Longtime assistants take over as head coaches. Tape operators and advance scouts get to actually sit on the bench and act as assistants. The experience for these hopeful coaches is as significant as the experienced gleaned by the various rookies, young prospects and fringe types that populate Summer League rosters.
Natalie Nakase is no coaching rookie. She was the assistant and then head coach of the Saitama Broncos, a men’s team that plays in the Japanese League. She’s also a “she” and, according to the Los Angeles Clippers, the current Clipper assistant video coordinator is the first female to serve as an assistant coach in any capacity in the NBA’s history. Nakase rounded off head coach Brendan O’Connor’s staff, as veteran Clippers coach Doc Rivers took a deserved summer off following a tumultuous 2013-14 season.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie4 days ago
The Cleveland Cavaliers, as presently constructed and until Indiana and Chicago define themselves, are the best team in the Eastern conference. It’s true that there are holes in this roster, it’s true that the team that won just 33 games last season has a long way to go, but the addition of the Best Player in the World and what should prove to be a forceful coach in David Blatt has to make these Cavs the clear favorites to come out of their conference.
That doesn’t mean the team can’t pine for better things, though.
As a basketball nut, I’d give a year off of my life to see LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett all working in tandem at the same age, ideally through ages 26 to 30. Those four, when paired with role players like Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao, would act as multiple title-winners were they to be working together in their respective primes. In a perfect world, all four of them would have been born in 1988.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie5 days ago
Carlos Boozer could not clear waivers.
The recently-released former Chicago Bulls forward was picked up by the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday afternoon, when it was revealed that the Lakers’ winning bid of $3.25 million (as first reported by Marc Stein of ESPN) was enough to secure the services for the former All-Star. Boozer’s final year and $16.8 million were waived by the Bulls earlier in July under the amnesty provision, clearing his salary figures off the cap. Chicago will still be on the hook for $13.55 million in actual payroll doled out to Boozer.
Carlos’ game has been in steep decline since leaving the Utah Jazz in 2010. Though he remained a starter through his four seasons with Chicago, Boozer’s defensive lapses and inability to score near the rim frustrated teammates, coaching staff, and fans alike. At first it was presumed that the penetration-heavy presence of Derrick Rose, who is not a natural screen and roll passer, was getting in Boozer’s way; but Rose’s absence over the last two seasons just about quelled that notion.
In an autobiography update, Phil Jackson talks up flirtations with Seattle, and recruiting Dwight HowardKelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie5 days ago
Between his final game coaching the Los Angeles Lakers in May 2011and his official hiring as president of the New York Knicks in March, Phil Jackson worked through quite the tumultuous 34-month stretch. He became engaged, he watched his family grow, he underwent a series of significant surgeries, he nearly became coach of the Lakers for a third time, he flirted with front office gigs, he discovered that he was great at Twitter, and he wrote a book.
Brooklyn coach Lionel Hollins puts foot in mouth, refers to the city of Memphis as 'back in the stone age'Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie6 days ago
There is ingratiating yourself to a new city, new fan base, and a new work culture, all with good intentions.
There is slipping on your tongue and using a poor choice of words, despite those good intentions.
And then there is what Lionel Hollins just said.
The new Brooklyn Nets head coach could not get out of his own way in a recent talk with Lenn Robbins of the Nets’ official website. Hollins, who coached the Memphis Grizzlies from 2008 until 2013 (with interim stints with the franchise thrown in during 2000 and 2004), dropped this needless nugget of comparison out there that our pals at Nets Daily happened to catch: