Ball Don't Lie
Richard Jefferson: ‘If I get an opportunity to play for a championship team, I’m going to go hunting … I have no loyalty’Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie39 mins ago
As Our Fearless Leader reminds me, the practice of NBA veteran stars bouncing from also-rans to contenders late in their careers to pursue the championship that eluded them in their heydays goes back a bit. We saw the likes of Bob McAdoo (with the Los Angeles Lakers) do it in the early 1980s, Bill Walton (with the Boston Celtics) do it in the mid-'80s, Mychal Thompson (Lakers) do it in the late '80s, Charles Barkley and Clyde Drexler (Houston Rockets) do it in the mid-'90s, and so on. It feels like we didn't really start regarding "ring-chasing" as a distasteful, wholly unseemly thing, though, until Gary Payton and Karl Malone inked one-year deals to join the Shaquille O'Neal-and-Kobe Bryant-led Lakers before the 2003-04 season.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie1 hr ago
The Indiana Pacers are about to add a former All-Star, one that is still on the fringes of his physical prime, to their rotation for absolutely no cost. Danny Granger may be coming off of a 19-month layoff ( save for a five-game stint in 2012-13) to return to the team on Friday night, but that shouldn’t worry Indiana Pacer fans in the slightest. Any little bit helps, and Danny Granger should act as far more than a “little bit.”
One can’t overstate this, even if we run the risk of overrating someone like Danny Granger – as many people tended to do during his time as a go-to guy for the Pacers a few years back. Granger was a solid enough scorer and efficient enough worker, and he did top out at nearly 26 points per game in 2008-09, but if he was your lead dog, your sled needed some help. Granger always seemed to be in the same position that San Antonio Spur Sean Elliott worked from years ago, a third option miscast closer to the top of the bill.
A few things about that comparison cling, though. Elliott had David Robinson to work alongside during much of that time, and in his peak Robinson was likely the third-best player in the NBA behind Michael Jordan. Granger had no such help.Fri, Dec 205:00 PM PSTHouston at IndianaPreview Game
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie12 hrs ago
When the San Antonio Spurs announced that they would sit Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and the injured Tony Parker for Thursday night's game against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, knowledgable parties warned observers not to count out Gregg Popovich and his players. The Spurs have a history of playing well in games without their big-name players, including the infamous, fine-worthy November 2012 game against the Miami Heat.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie14 hrs ago
Basketball fans brought up on the intense rivalries of the '80s and earlier commonly complain that today's NBA players just get along too well. While I and others would posit that people getting along is not really a bad thing, the observation itself is mostly accurate. Many of these athletes have been peers and competitors since their days in grade school, and rampant player movement means that many were teammates in past seasons. It's the new way of things.
Nevertheless, proponents of the old ways will be happy to know that certain barriers to inter-team camaraderie still exist. On Thursday night, after his Chicago Bulls fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder 107-95 at Chesapeake Energy Arena, center Joakim Noah decided to visit the OKC locker room to see former Bulls teammate Thabo Sefolosha, with whom he played from Noah's rookie season of 2007-08 to the day Sefolosha was traded to the Thunder in February 2009.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie17 hrs ago
Houston Rockets wing Chandler Parsons is not necessarily his team's most well known player. Starting alongside James Harden and Dwight Howard, he has a reputation as a very talented, perhaps underrated talent with the ability to contribute in virtually every aspect while helping the rest of the lineup to cohere. When Parsons does earn attention, it's usually from analysts and fans griping about how and why he doesn't get enough attention.
But Parsons is something of a star, at least based on his appearance in this ad for Buffalo David Bitton (via SLAM). Be warned that the spot is somewhat NSFW, in that it features a scantily clad man (Parsons) and woman (model Ashley Sky) cavorting suggestively on a beach:
Parsons, for his part, is talking about his foray into modeling as if it's no big deal. Here's how he introduced the campaign on Twitter, complete with photo:
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie17 hrs ago
Generally speaking, hustle is a good thing. You'd much rather see an NBA player working hard and giving it his all in the service of trying to help his team win than taking it easy out there; we love it when players purport to give 110 percent, despite the fundamental impossibility of even suggesting such a thing, because it lets us know that even though NBA dudes (well, most of them) are athletically gifted in a way to which we (well, most of us) can't really relate, they're still grinding and striving, just like the rest of us.
If you're an official running down the sideline as two players work to track down a loose ball, though, you might not enjoy hustle quite so much. I sure as heck wouldn't blame referee Michael Smith for wishing Oklahoma City Thunder reserve Reggie Jackson and Chicago Bulls guard D.J. Augustin — Augustin more than Jackson, really — took it down a notch late in the second quarter of Thursday night's game:
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie19 hrs ago
Throughout the Gregg Popovich era, the San Antonio Spurs have done things their way, at times incurring the wrath of a broader basketball culture that considers marketing and fan service to be paramount virtues. That disregard for the NBA's business interests was never made clearer than in November 2012 when Popovich sat four of his top five players for a marquee, nationally televised TNT game against the defending champion Miami Heat. Commissioner David Stern responded by levying an unprecedented $250,000 fine against the franchise, but Popovich did the same thing a little more than a month later for a locally televised game against the New York Knicks without seeing repercussions.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie22 hrs ago
Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant needed 7 1/2 arduous months to return from an Achilles tear, seemingly making it back in time to save a Lakers team that was left to battle the elements without injured guard Steve Nash and with Pau Gasol hobbling and inconsistent. The Lakers, faced with a tough road schedule, have dropped four of six with Bryant in the lineup, and they’re likely to be dropping quite a few more from now until February.
Bryant complained of left knee stiffness after an awkward move sent him tumbling during Tuesday’s Laker win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Two days later, we know the final diagnosis: Kobe will be out six weeks with a left knee injury in a move that could doom the Lakers’ postseason hopes.
The team revealed the details of the injury on Thursday afternoon:
Injury Update: Kobe Bryant has a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee. He is expected to miss 6 weeks.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 19, 2013Fri, Dec 207:30 PM PSTMinnesota at LA LakersPreview Game
Kanye West rants about Chicago forcing Michael Jordan to play for the Wizards, is also very wrong (Video)Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie23 hrs ago
Kanye West performed at Chicago’s United Center on Wednesday night, working in his former hometown of Chicago and in the same building where Michael Jordan won three of his six NBA championship rings.
Following his retirement in 1999, Jordan went on to become part-owner of the Washington Wizards in 2000, along with taking on player personnel decision-making duties, and a player for the team from 2001-03. Following a disastrous stint as both player and ostensible general manager (the title technically had to be stripped from Jordan, along with minority ownership, when he suited up), Jordan went on to become the GM and eventually the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats in 2006 and then 2010. The results during his seven-year term, despite a surprisingly mediocre start to the 2013-14 season, have not been good.
Kanye West, in a NSFW and auto-tuned rant from Wednesday, decided to fall back on the easy conceit that Chicago Bulls ownership somehow made it so Michael Jordan “had” to play for the Wizards. Despite things being much more nuanced and deeper and not stupidly simple than that hook. Here’s a clip from the show:Sat, Dec 2110:00 AM PSTWashington at BostonPreview Game
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
The NBA-styled drama surrounding Omer Asik’s current employment won’t go away any time soon, there are still exactly two months left until the league’s trade deadline, with the transaction-happy NBA draft and 2014 offseason to follow after that. What is clear for now is that the Rockets, unhappy with the proposed deals reportedly offered to the team in the wake of Asik’s off-record trade demand, have pulled Omer off the table for now. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey reportedly decided on a Dec. 19 personal trade deadline in any transaction for Asik, as it would allow either his front office or the team that traded for the big center to potentially trade Asik again on trade deadline day after a two-month wait, as per NBA bylaws.