Ball Don't Lie
Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 10 hrs ago
NEW ORLEANS — The lesson, friends: It isn’t easy to author an encore to near-perfection.
One year after Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon captivated us all with one of the great mano a mano competitions in the history of All-Star Weekend, Gordon and three other players took the court at Smoothie King Center with their sights set on clearing the unbelievably high bar set by the two high-flyers in Toronto. Unfortunately, they came up short.
Glenn Robinson III of the Indiana Pacers outdueled Derrick Jones Jr. of the Phoenix Suns in the final round, receiving a perfect score of 50 from the judges for this admittedly killer two-handed reverse slam after clearing teammate Paul George, Pacers mascot Boomer and a Pacers team dancer …
… to be crowned the champion of the 2017 Verizon Slam Dunk contest.
More NBA coverage:
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Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 11 hrs ago
The NBA made the first All-Star weekend since Craig Sager’s passing a memorable affair, expertly helmed as always by TNT’s Ernie Johnson. Sager, the longtime sideline reporter from Turner Sports who succumbed to cancer late in 2016, was the inspiration behind a slightly impromptu 3-point, half-court and eventual layup-shooting benefit at Saturday night’s All-Star festivities in New Orleans. A layup hit by Sager’s son Ryan marked a $500,000 donation made from the league and its sponsorship partners to the Sager Strong charity.
After a cadre of NBA greats both past and present rang up $130,000 worth of contributions which a cool $10,000 added for each 3-point make …
Harden and Parker (who ditched her shoes on her way onto the court) were noticeably impressive, hitting 3-pointers in civvies, while even D.J. Khaled got in a swoosh.
This. Is. Why. We. Play.
Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 12 hrs ago
One small step for Eric Gordon, one giant leap for mankind.
Naturally, Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving, who stole headlines this weekend with his flat-Earth theory and potential fake news commentary, made the championship round of the All-Star Weekend’s 3-Point Shootout. The NBA couldn’t have scripted it better if they were Alex Jones himself.
But Gordon, the former New Orleans Pelicans turned Houston Rockets guard who heard boos from his former hometown crowd all night, pushed Irving to overtime of the final round, and then knocked him out before he even got to his final rack, ensuring all those “Kyrie’s shot looked flat” jokes still landed.
Eric Gordon has to do this for Earth
— Vann R. Newkirk II (@fivefifths) February 19, 2017
(•_•) <) )╯Kyrie's /
(•_•) ( (> Shot is /
(•_•) <) )> Flat /
Irving was feeling it, too:
Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 13 hrs ago
The NBA has happened upon something interesting with its ‘Bigs’ vs. ‘Guards’ format to the league’s Skills Challenge. Kristaps Porzingis, who stands over 7-1, has taken the 2017 version of the competition, defending the Bigs’ honor after Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns won the event in 2016.
The contest features NBA notables dribbling the length of the court 2 3/4 times while battling through stationary objects, asking the participants to nail both a 15-foot bounce and chest pass, leading to a three-point finale.
Porzingis, the 21-year old New York Knick phenom working on the New Orleans stage, did it all with aplomb. Watch:
Hayward made his way into the final round after Thomas’ three-point stroke abandoned him …
We should've told Isaiah Thomas that the Skills Challenge took place in the fourth quarter
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Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 13 hrs ago
NEW ORLEANS — When NBA Commissioner Adam Silver strode to the podium in the belly of Smoothie King Center on Saturday night to deliver his annual All-Star Weekend “state of the NBA” address, there was only one question that everybody in the room really wanted to hear him weigh in on:
So, Mr. Commissioner, do you think the Earth is flat?
Adam Silver believes the Earth is round + thinks Kyrie was making some sort of statement on fake news with this flat-Earth theory. pic.twitter.com/YE8l1ePulS
— Ben Rohrbach (@brohrbach) February 19, 2017
“Kyrie and I went to the same college; he may have taken some different courses than I did,” Silver joked. “In all seriousness, though, as he made clear today, he was trying to be provocative, and I think it was effective. I think it was a larger comment on the so-called ‘fake news’ debate on what’s going on in our society right now, and what’s reported, and it led to an interesting discussion.
Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 16 hrs ago
NEW ORLEANS — After Kevin Love went under the knife for arthroscopic knee surgery that will keep him on the shelf for six weeks, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had to tap a replacement to take the Cleveland Cavaliers forward’s spot on the Eastern Conference roster for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game. The commish leaned on the coaches’ vote and chose Carmelo Anthony, a nine-time All-Star who had made his peace with missing the midseason exhibition for the first time in seven years, saying he “would love to take this break”from all that he’s with dealing with as he makes his way through another and lost and chaotic season with the New York Knicks.
Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 18 hrs ago
Of course LeBron James would defend Kyrie Irving, he’s his teammate, but what about any opponents on hand at All-Star weekend? If you had to pick one NBA All-Star to align himself, however slightly, with Kyrie Irving’s assertion that the idea that the planet Earth is round is “a façade,” it would probably be Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green.
If you laid money on the hum-drum odds that he would partially come to Cavalier Irving’s defense, you haven’t won too much cash, but you would be a winner. And you’d be the only one.
Speaking to the media on Saturday, a day after Kyrie’s musings went wild, Draymond checked in:
Uh oh: Draymond is a Flat Earth/Kyrie Truther. pic.twitter.com/icJThyG7hx
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Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 18 hrs ago
NEW ORLEANS — Back in December, Tracy McGrady couldn’t believe he’d made the ballot for the 2017 class of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Two months later, he’s one step closer to enshrinement … and the prospect hasn’t gotten any less surreal.
“I still can’t believe I’m here,” McGrady said Saturday, when the Hall announced that he was one of 14 players, coaches and contributors to make the cut as finalists for this year’s induction class. “This is not even a dream come true.”
McGrady is one of nine first-time finalists for enshrinement, joining:
• Hugh Evans, who spent 28 years as an NBA referee;
• Rebecca Lobo, legendary University of Connecticut women’s basketball player, WNBA All-Star and former Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year;
• Rollie Massimino, one of 20 men’s college basketball coaches with at least 800 career wins, and the head coach of the legendary 1985 national champion Villanova Wildcats;
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Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 19 hrs ago
The NBA All-Star break, despite some recent alterations, is hardly a break. It’s a long weekend in a bad way, what with media and promotional appearances on Friday, followed by, well, media and promotional appearances on Saturday, followed by the same on Sunday no matter what your role in the makeup of the showcase is.
Whether you’re in the actual All-Star Game proper or any number of the NBA’s sideshow events, there will be a microphone in your face and a suggestion to detail how, exactly, everything has gone wrong with the team you left behind in order to come to New Orleans.
No amount of fleur-de-lis ubiquity or King Baby creepiness can fully remove a player from what they know best, even if they don’t like what they’re aware of. They’re still on the Chicago Bulls. Their team still needs a power forward. There’s still beef, somewhere. They’re still on the trading block. They can’t quite escape, even with an All-Star weekend invite, their last team and/or coach.
They’re still on … the Knicks.
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Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago
NEW ORLEANS — Jamal Murray told me Friday morning that all he really wanted to do during his time on the court in the 2017 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge was “to put on a show.” Well, mission accomplished.
The Denver Nuggets guard and Canadian shooter spent the early part of the evening setting up his teammates for dunks, then slammed the door on Team USA by catching fire from beyond the arc, leading Team World to a 150-141 win. The 19-year-old Kentucky product finished with a game-high 36 points on 13-for-19 shooting, including a 9-for-14 mark from the 3-point line, to go with 11 assists, four rebounds and one steal in 30 minutes, earning MVP honors for his work.
Buddy Hield of the host New Orleans Pelicans scored 28 points on 11-for-22 shooting with six rebounds, three assists and three steals. New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis chipped in 24 points, 10 rebounds and two assists for the World squad, which has now won two of the three Rising Stars contests since the competition switched to a U.S. vs. the World format.