Ball Don't Lie
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie4 hrs ago
When a team trades its franchise player, it's expected that many people surrounding the franchise will treat it as a stone-cold bummer. It's rare to get anything approaching value for one of the top stars in the NBA, and swapping an established, excellent player for a clear rebuilding project doesn't always seem like a fair deal. It's not always good form to turn the player who pushed for the deal into an outright enemy, but it's understandable that fans would be a little ticked off.
The team's owner, on the other hand, is usually expected to act with a little more decorum. On Wednesday, Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor answered questions regarding the trade of All-Star power forward Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was not especially complimentary of Love's skills. From Derek Wetmore for ESPN1500.com:
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie7 hrs ago
There is no question that Team USA features the most athletic roster of any nation involved in the upcoming FIBA World Cup of Basketball. The Americans simply feature too many players with elite physical talent, from Anthony Davis to Derrick Rose to James Harden. No one can compete with their level of depth. When you watch Team USA, expect a lot of dunks, blocks, and fast break opportunities.
Of course, if Team USA's obvious athletic advantage doesn't mean other teams in the tournament are completely without their own highlight-ready players. Take, for instance, the hosts Spain, who feature Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka as one of their key players. In an exhibition vs. Argentina on Tuesday, Ibaka showed off the athleticism and skills that make him such a strong presence on the court. After blocking a layup from Andres Nocioni, Ibaka sprinted the length of the court to finish an alley-oop pass from Ricky Rubio. Check it out here (via EOB):
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie8 hrs ago
Every NBA game involves players jumping with abandon at or near the baseline, either to save a ball falling out of bounds or make some sort of offensive or defensive play at the basket. Such moves often put these athletes in danger, because the league and its media partners station cameramen only a few feet from the edge of the court. These people have to do their jobs, of course, but their presence still endangers the 10 players (and arguably three referees) on the floor. It's certainly difficult to juggle the needs of media members and the safety of athletes. Nevertheless, striking that balance is often the difference between a major injury and a more basic hustle play.
- Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie10 hrs ago
Mike Krzyzewski named Kyrie Irving his starter over Derrick Rose for Tuesday's final Team USA tuneup entering the FIBA World Cup, setting up a battle between the reigning All-Star Game MVP and Slovenian Third Team All-NBA point guard Goran Dragic, and the two took turns embarrassing each other.
Irving went behind-the-back to cross up Dragic before leading with his right hand and switching to his left on a layup that made quick work of aptly named former Raptors center Uros Slokar.
In equally impressive fashion, the lefty Slovenian double-crossed both Irving and All-Star Anthony Davis for a layup of his own. Even normally game defender Kenneth Faried was confused by Dragic's Magic.
- Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie13 hrs ago
The Cavaliers introduced Kevin Love as the newest member of a revamped squadron, culminating 30 days of nonstop coverage ranging from legitimate analysis to Minnesota also dealing an octopus named K-Love to Cleveland, so little was expected from Tuesday's press conference.
For the most part, that held true — since Love's stated "longterm" commitment to the Cavs was reported by Adrian Wojnarowski three weeks ago — except for one revelation that is sure to raise some eyebrows in the NBA commissioner's office: LeBron James called Kevin Love the day he signed in Cleveland.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie13 hrs ago
After years of being slapped in the face by the stasis that mediocre records create, and after the embarrassment of watching what was supposed to be a playoff season ending in the league’s worst record, the Milwaukee Bucks are finally rebuilding.
Weirdly, they’re continuing the process by dealing for a player that can actually help them win this year.
As first reported by Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the Bucks have acquired forward Jared Dudley and a first-round pick in exchange for Carlos Delfino and . Raduljica, a 26-year old center who played adequately in limited minutes last season, can possibly contribute to the Clippers. Otherwise, this is a total salary dump for Los Angeles.
The Clippers’ rotation is a formidable, and it is championship-worthy, but in a lot of areas it is also aging. Dudley was one of those aging contributors, because even though he boasts a fantastic basketball IQ and only just turned 29, his production (per-minute, per-game, name your area) fell off across the board last season.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie15 hrs ago
Kobe Bryant will never be traded.
Never be traded again , we mean, as our grandparents will tell us tale of the Charlotte Hornets dealing a 17-year old Kobester for something called a “Vlade Divac” just hours after he was drafted in the summer of 1996, but Bryant will not be traded again. Not only does he have a no-trade clause that he’d have to waive in any such maneuver, but the Los Angeles Lakers kind of like their arena the way it is. Full of fans and not under constant threat of siege by Laker Nation.
They also kind of like Kobe, and for good reason. He’s been an integral part of five championships, he’s been a proud Laker and compelling television watch, and despite some backhanded free agent visits in 2004 and 2007 trade demands, his relationship with the team’s front office and ownership has been relatively calm. He’ll be well compensated – at $23.5 million this season and $25 million the next – to finish his career as a Laker, even if the team is more or less out of playoff contention in the loaded Western conference.
Still … what if the team attempted to trade Bryant, and what if Kobe complied? It’s August, so we’re allowed to wonder about such things.
- Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie17 hrs ago
On Instagram over the weekend, LeBron James suggested his chalk toss routine would accompany him back to Cleveland, posting NBA 2K video of the pregame ritual he borrowed from Michael Jordan as a member of the Cavaliers last decade, and Northeast Ohioans are apparently pretty amped about it.
Two brides — one in Cleveland and another in Akron — not only allowed the chalk toss to be incorporated into their wedding introductions, but actively participated, which is a big deal if you've ever talked to a bride about her wedding. The area's LeBron excitement has officially reached defcon levels.
We'll start in Cleveland, where Brian Perk flashed the Money Manziel as the newly anointed Mrs. Perk tosses chalk. Never has there been more to celebrate in the Metropolis of the Western Reserve.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie18 hrs ago
As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History.
Today, Kelly Dwyer takes a look at Randy Brown's throwdown over the Los Angeles Lakers.
There was a time, young cats and kittens, when you had to work for this.
I understand this will come off as a “walk-two-miles-in-the-snow-to-go-to-school” story, but I’m actually of a generation that did leave me (in the vaunted winter of 1988) left to walk two miles to school just to learn how to write in cursive – so I’m allowed to write with this furrowed brow. I’m also of a generation that left me, in the days before DVRs and League Pass, to tape every NBA game you could come across. With actual tapes. Oxide be damned, "Late Night with Conan O’Brien" episodes be saved, Marc Maron appearances on actual television shows (instead of tiny podcast downloads) to be respected.
On one night, I nearly missed it.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
While top pick Andrew Wiggins was the obvious gem of the Minnesota Timberwolves' return in the now-official deal that sent Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft stands as another notable addition to the roster. The 21-year-old forward endured a very disappointing rookie year with the Cavs, posting a 6.9 PER that ranks as the worst among first-overall selections in the last 24 years, and that fact alone would seem to make his future success a longshot. But Bennett showed a few signs of improvement over the last few months of the season, particularly when playing at his preferred position of power forward, and still has enough ability as a scorer and rebounder to suggest he could carve out a place on a team in need of any help it can get — like, say, one that just traded its franchise player.