- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie32 mins ago
Phil Jackson, for years, was a bit of a jerk to Jeff Van Gundy. Also, for years, Jeff Van Gundy was a bit of a jerk to Phil Jackson.
Van Gundy probably lobbed the first salvo, tossing out the not-as-appropriate-in-2014-as-it-was-in-1997 characterization of Jackson as “Big Chief Triangle,” in reference to Jackson’s utilization of both the triangle offense, and Native American anecdotes as teachable mini-tomes to pass onto his players.
Jackson, amongst the basketball coaching fraternity, then crossed a few lines by interviewing for Van Gundy’s job in 1999 as an underachieving New York Knicks team was working in its lowest moments. That interview was revealed during a live broadcast of a Knicks playoff game on NBC, and to Van Gundy’s credit that same Knick team went on to overachieve and make the NBA Finals despite entering the playoffs that season as an eighth seed.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie4 hrs ago
We all know that Michael Jordan is fantastic on Twitter. Gems like these are the reason to sign up for that particular website:
I let a lady bug out of my house and a stray dog ate it. that is alot like life
A hot dog won't light like a cigar will, but they are shaped almost the same
When I say swish, but the ball hits the rim, it feels like I let everyone down
how much does a cup of chinese soup weigh? won ton. just a joke
I've been hitting this tree with a bat all day and still no syrup. what gives?
That is not Michael Jordan. I wish it were Michael Jordan, I’d like to think that those are things that Michael Jordan would write, but this isn’t Michael Jordan’s Twitter account. Michael Jordan has no Twitter account, he has no Facebook account, he didn’t just Slap-Vine you on your Tindergram.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie6 hrs ago
Later this month, Paul Pierce will play his first game as a member of the Washington Wizards, which is nearly as weird as what he did 12 months ago, when he played his first game as a member of the Brooklyn Nets. His former teammate in Brooklyn and Boston, Kevin Garnett, still plays in Brooklyn, still working in a Nets uniform that looks as weird on him now as the Celtics uniform that looked super-weird on him in 2007 after KG donned it following 12 seasons in a Minnesota Timberwolves uniform. Kevin Love, meanwhile, will sport a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform this season after half as many seasons as Garnett played in a Wolves uni, working alongside LeBron James in a Cavaliers uniform that almost immediately makes his four-year run in a Miami Heat uniform look truly weird.
Weirdness abounds, as longtime stars jump from one team to another, especially as stalwarts like Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki stick to the same team for the duration of their careers. That’s just how this league works, it’s how it’s always worked, and Paul Pierce wouldn’t mind it continuing to work that way.Wed, Oct 22Washington100 - 103New YorkGame Recap
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie20 hrs ago
The Los Angeles Lakers’ prospects were never going to be all that swell in 2014-15. The team is thin, injury-prone, lacking defenders, and featuring a questionable mindset when it comes to attempting three-pointers. One saving grace that fans did have to look forward to was the potential, at last, for a pairing of a healthy Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant. Though the two would have been diminished by age and injury, the throwback backcourt would have been fun to take in.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
Few NBA stars are as divisive as Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, and that’s saying something as we work our way through “Should We All Hate Kobe Bryant Week.”
The former Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star was finally granted a reprieve from the team that denied him a max contract nearly three years ago and failed to surround him with enough talent to get over the enormous hump that it takes to make the Western Conference playoff bracket. Though the Wolves will rue missing those playoffs for the 11th straight season in 2014-15, the deal was a win-win of sorts, as the team was able to take on two fantastic prospects in Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett along the way.
During his time in Minnesota, Love put up fantastic statistics (save for his injury-plagued turn in 2012-13), as even his per-minute numbers were top shelf in his first few years, when he was weirdly kept from playing big minutes by coaches Kevin McHale and Kurt Rambis. In a self-penned feature entitled for The Players’ Tribune, Love looked back on his time with the struggling franchise:Wed, Oct 22Cleveland92 - 99MemphisGame Recap
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
Let’s pretend, for a moment, that Kobe Bryant is some wonderful, cheerful, galoot of a man. That he is super swell to work with, and that his on-record tough guy musings spat out in an expletive-laden style that reminds of a 11-year-old who just realized he could use blue words is just a show for the media. Let’s pretend that, behind the scenes, Kobe Bryant is the ideal teammate, and that he’s promised many things to prospective Los Angeles Lakers teammates through the years.
Promised that the storied franchise will be theirs, all theirs, once Bryant retires and the salary cap shoots way up upon his retirement.
Assured that he’d willingly give up shots and the ball in order to develop a more harmonious partnership with a free agent partner. Or partners.
Pointed out that there are still grapes to be eaten in California, and that he’d sacrifice whatever it takes to win, even if that means abandoning the spotlight and ceding the reins of the offense.
Let’s just try to live in that world, for a moment. It may take a Brando-like sense of method acting to put yourself in that spot, but give it a try.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie2 days ago
So, now it’s on the players.
Currently, Clipper fans don’t have to hate themselves, as they probably did at times, for paying to see a team owned by Donald Sterling. NBA fans, as we often did, don’t have to hate ourselves anymore while enjoying those late night, must-watch Clipper broadcasts on League Pass. The players don’t have to cringe anymore when Sterling goes meandering around the locker room. Doc Rivers won’t have to question his own ethics anymore. It’s over.
(Shelly Sterling needs to go, to be sure, but it’s over.)
What we have left, finally, is ball. Ball run by the league’s best point guard, one of its best coaches, and one of the NBA’s best players. Plays run by a supporting cast that is to be envied. Work run in the toughest conference in NBA history, one the Los Angeles Clippers have as good a chance as any at getting out of this spring, possibly representing the Western Conference in the 2015 NBA Finals.
Blake Griffin is tired of being pushed around, and vows to stand up for himself. Whatever that means.Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie2 days ago
An angry Blake Griffin said some angry things over the weekend, and we need to figure out where to go from here.
(An allegedly angry Blake Griffin also allegedly did some angry things over the weekend as well, but if the allegations are true, they seem totally justified – don’t be the doofus that bothers famous people by taking endless pictures of them at a club.)
Griffin has been a target for hard fouls for his entire pro career, partially as a result of his merely so-so free throw shooting, but mainly because he’s just much better than the men who guard him. On Friday evening, Utah Jazz reserve forward Trevor Booker attempted this maneuver:
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie3 days ago
After Derrick Rose basically (and understandably) ducked extensively speaking with most media while sitting out the 2012-13 season with an ACL tear, the NBA changed its rules regarding the media availability required for its seriously injured players. Though Kevin Durant’s right foot fracture won’t shelve him for the entire 2014-15 season, it will put him out for most of the exhibition season and at least the first month of the regular season – and it is a serious injury.
This is why Durant spoke at a press conference on Tuesday morning, one that was technically nationally televised on NBA TV. It was his first showing in front of the cameras since leaving his team’s second exhibition game nearly two weeks ago. In a move that was probably whimsical to most but worrying to Thunder fans, this is how Durant literally rolled:
Here’s a snippet from Durant’s presser:
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie3 days ago
LeBron James’ trail of delicious bread crumbs has helped reshape the entire Cleveland Cavaliers roster. Kevin Love forced a trade to the Cavs following James contract agreement with Cleveland, asking to go to a team that had an even worse record than his mediocre Minnesota Timberwolves club last season. Shawn Marion and former James teammates Mike Miller and James Jones soon followed suit. Suddenly, the Cavs are a destination team, and that doesn’t figure to change as the franchise continues to add free agents to surround James with over the next few years.
It’s not all about LeBron, though, apparently. Shawn Marion’s attempt secure another championship was pushed over the top by the acquisition of Love, who ironically plays the same position that Marion sees much of his time at. For once, LeBron James’ pied piping wasn’t tempting enough.