Ball Don't Lie
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie4 hrs ago
Sports teams have a long relationship with "bulletin board material," certain quotes and comments of criticism or arrogance that compel a feeling of disrespect. The idea is that feeling slighted can inspire great performances and continued excellence. It doesn't matter if plenty of people (or more of them) say complimentary things, too. Logic isn't the point — it's all about getting yourself to feel like you have something to prove to the world. These efforts usually aren't even particularly organized, and it might be enough just to hear of a remark through the media grapevine or even get so paranoid as to imagine this negativity exists without any real proof.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie7 hrs ago
The NBA contains many experiences, from the game on the court to the various discussions surrounding everything that happens in the league. That includes the in-arena halftime performances, even if many fans use the break as a chance to grab food or use the restroom. Home teams will do what's necessary to keep fans engaged during stoppages, and usually that involves a little bit of entertainment. For the most part, they rely on a relatively small group of surefire crowd-pleasers.
For years, one of those acts has been Red Panda, a 40-something Chinese-born acrobat named Rong Niu. Her performances pile on the feats of flexibility and skill — she rides a unicycle, balances bowls on her foot, and then flips those bowls onto her head. It is never not incredible.
Unfortunately, Red Panda did not appear at any NBA games during the 2013-14 season due to injuries. It has now come to light that Rong Niu has retired from performing (via SB Nation):
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie7 hrs ago
A look around the league and the web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie8 hrs ago
You might recall that last week new’ish New York Knicks president Phil Jackson made a slight comparison between incumbent Knick scoring swingman J.R. Smith, and Basketball Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman.
Here, from an interview with the New York Post, is the stretch:
Q: How do you plan to try to get through to J.R. Smith to put an end to all his immature on- and off-the-court antics?
A: I don’t know if that’s possible or not. He might be one of those guys that’s a little bit like Dennis Rodman that has an outlier kind of side to him. But I’m gonna get to know him as we go along, and we’ll find a way to either make him a very useful player on our organization, or whatever.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie10 hrs ago
As you might have heard, DeMarcus Cousins has a bit of a reputation for being a hothead. The Sacramento Kings center has led the NBA in technical fouls in each of the past two seasons, and has finished in the top five in that less-than-stellar stat in all four of his pro campaigns. Some of that, perhaps, can be attributed to the former Kentucky star not getting the benefit of the doubt from NBA officials; some of it, indisputably, can be attributed to groin-striking, throat-forearming and "effing female"-ing. Wherever your sympathies lie, the numbers don't — Boogie's been a double-digit tech-getter ever since he left campus, and his penchant for punishment's become one of the defining characteristics of his early career.
A report reveals that NBA basketball officials have discussed eliminating extra free throws to save timeKelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie11 hrs ago
I wasn’t aware that the NBA was in danger of losing fans because the product wasn’t moving along quickly enough, but perhaps I’ve been watching games incorrectly. In comparison to the NFL’s mindless and brain-altering slugfests and Major League Baseball’s endless Great Day Out, the NBA seems rather wonderfully-paced. It may fall short of the NHL when it comes to nonstop end to end action, but then again this (fantastic, we love the NHL) sport features low scoring contests and 36 minutes’ worth of intermissions.
ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz recently revealed that some within the NBA’s ranks have suggested eliminating the decades-old standard of awarding two free throws for either a shooting foul, or a personal foul committed by a team that is over the quarter’s penalty limit. The change would shorten game lengths, purportedly giving fans a faster product with shorter standing-around breaks while relieving the overall time of game of a few extra minutes.
- Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie12 hrs ago
After two decades of mediocrity, winning between 26 and 46 games — save for a trip to the Eastern Conference finals in 2001 — the Bucks finally bottomed out again, submitting the worst ever record for a franchise that’s earned 17 top-10 picks and four No. 1 overall selections in its 47-year history.
If not for Cleveland’s good fortune — a phrase, by the way, that still seems strange — Milwaukee may have landed a fifth top choice, but came away with the guy GM John Hammond probably would’ve taken there anyway, delivering the Bucks arguably the best player in each of the past two drafts.
Now, they’re peddling a pair of teenagers as the faces of their franchise, a rebranding that encourages Milwaukeeans to remove their beer goggles and admire an attractive roster, even as they go home without a date to the postseason dance for the second straight season.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie12 hrs ago
Looking back on a season that began with nine straight wins, a 25-5 record by New Year's Day and a 40-12 mark in mid-February, Paul George offered a brief assessment of the 2013-14 Indiana Pacers: "We peaked too early."
With a new campaign approaching, it seems the '14-'15 edition won't peak at all.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
Professional sports franchises, like most businesses, do whatever they can to appeal to the most potential consumers possible. In most cases, this means that they shy away from making any statements or taking stands that could offend a sizable portion of their fan base. Few topics divide more than politics, and so teams typically reserve comments on social issues for special occasions in which a groundswell of support makes silence untenable. This phenomenon is certainly not unique to the NBA or other leagues, but it's apparent enough that any crossing of that line tends to stand out.
An official mascot appearing at an event for a state political party would seem to qualify. Rocky, the plush mountain lion who represents the Denver Nuggets, showed up alongside 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney and others at a rally for the Colorado Republican Committee and the party's various candidates for office this November. This tweet proves as much (via Deadspin):
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
Former Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Kevin Love was, in effect, dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first week of August. The Wolves and Cavs could not execute the deal until Aug. 23 because of the NBA’s bylaws regarding the trading of rookies, but eventually the two teams did follow through on the agreed-upon move to send Love (in essence) to Cleveland for youngsters Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and scoring forward Thaddeus Young.
That’s a pretty large franchise shift, especially for a player in Kevin Martin who decided to join Minnesota two summers ago so as to ride out his prime with a knowing coach in Rick Adelman (since retired) and a sweet-shooting forward in Kevin Love (since traded). Trading a 26-and-12 guy for a couple of young men born during the Clinton Administration would seem to be a bit of a lifestyle shift, especially for a player about to enter his 11th NBA season, as Martin is.