Ball Don't Lie
Larry Drew on his public dismissal from the Milwaukee Bucks: 'I don't think it was very professional'Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie16 mins ago
We all were more or less gobsmacked.
June 28 was supposed to as the calm before the free agent storm, pitched just days after the tumultuous 2013-14 NBA season and the draft that youth-rocked the NBA’s world on June 26. Free agents were still days away from being legally pursued, the coaching carousal was in a slow churn, and nobody expected much of any NBA news to hit as the league’s media and followers settled in to what felt like its first Saturday night off since the 2013 offseason.
Then Tim Bontemps of the New York Post, out of nowhere, dropped news that Jason Kidd was attempting to become coach and de facto general manager of the Milwaukee Bucks after a failed front office coup in Brooklyn. Days later, the Bucks would send second-round picks to the Bucks for the right to hire Kidd away from the final two years of his coaching contract with the Nets, which would then send Bucks head man Larry Drew off to the curb after just one year on the job in Milwaukee.
- Jeff Eisenberg at Ball Don't Lie39 mins 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, Jeff Eisenberg of The Dagger recalls Vince Carter's stunning slam over Frederic Weis in the 2000 Olympics and how it became the basketball legacy of the dunk's victim.
Many of the victims of the best dunks in NBA history have enjoyed such accomplished careers that being emasculated on national TV is a mere footnote in their careers.
Not so for the man nicknamed "French Toast."
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie11 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 Lie14 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 Lie15 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 Lie17 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 Lie20 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 Lie20 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 Lie22 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 Lie22 hrs ago
Members of each NBA fanbase have surely cited Dick Bavetta's bias against their team, and the recently retired referee's take on the league's top crowds adds fuel to the fire for all but three cities.
In a parting interview with NBA.com after his 39 years of service, Bavetta named Boston, Los Angeles and New York as the association's best crowds, describing them as "avid, knowledgeable basketball fans."
Bavetta's ties to those three cities is woven throughout the interview, starting with his Brooklyn roots, continuing through his first NBA game (Celtics at Knicks) and his most memorable game (Dr. J choking Larry Bird), and featuring his favorite spectator (Jack Nicholson), the most challenging coach (Bill Fitch) and the players whose games he wished he'd refereed (Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West).