Ball Don't Lie
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie1 hr ago
Back in January and February, when Kevin Durant was in the midst of an absolutely torrid stretch of play that vaulted him to the forefront of an MVP race that he wound up winning handily, a national "debate" emerged as to which nickname we should use when referring to the Oklahoma City Thunder flamethrower. Well, "re-emerged," really; the Durant nickname discussion had been going on for at least five years, and had even been touched on in a national sneaker commercial, but with Durant in the midst of a mammoth scoring surge, folks turned back to the notion that "Kevin Durant" and "KD" were insufficiently rad monikers for the dude spending his winter doling out depression.
- Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie2 hrs ago
Among the great YouTube videos of the last few years is one titled, "Brandon Knight is the unluckiest player in the NBA," a series of unfortunate incidents — including Ole Miss forward Reginald Buckner's rim-protecting block of the Kentucky product and, of course, DeAndre Jordan's rim-shattering alley-oop over the then-Pistons guard — all set to Daniel Powter's 2006 ballad "Bad Day."
Truth is, Knight is a freakish athlete only getting freakier, as evidenced by this remarkable video of him successfully completing a 60-inch box jump posted on the Milwaukee Bucks' Vine account.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie3 hrs ago
Utah Jazz forward Jeremy Evans is entering his fifth NBA season, and it appears he hasn't grown weary of doing the sort of get-out-and-press-the-flesh work for which NBA teams often deploy rookies and youngsters:
Rookie season, a guy told me that 5 years from then I wouldn't think about doing Jr. Jazz, he was wrong.
I don't doubt that quite a bit of Evans' passion for Jr. Jazz, "the longest-running youth basketball league in the NBA," stems from an honest-to-goodness commitment to community service. But it also seems very likely that the 26-year-old former Slam Dunk Contest champion continues to participate because, after you oversee camp drills and speak to students, you get the opportunity to absolutely devastate children in the air.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie18 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.
- Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie18 hrs ago
As the calendar turns from July to August and the doldrums of another NBA summer continue, never fear — Andrei Kirilenko is here, with a cheetah, to brighten your days before the FIBA World Cup brings meaningful basketball back into our lives.
As brought to our attention by The Brooklyn Game, the 33-year-old Nets forward posted a picture from his Basketball Without Borders tour across Africa on Instagram, declaring, "I am in love with cheetahs."
Kirilenko is one of 10 NBA representatives — including Greg Monroe, who would be wise to stay away from big carnivorous cats as an unsigned restricted free agent — scheduled to attend the league's global development program in Johannesburg from Aug. 5-8. The others' affection for cheetahs is unknown.
Of course, Kirilenko's love of cheetahs makes all the sense in the world. Long and lean and fleet of foot with a mean mane, AK-47 has a relationship with large felines rivaled only by Ed Helms in the "Hangover."
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie19 hrs ago
Metta World Peace, it turns out, is a man of his word — the 34-year-old forward really . But he also won't be playing professional basketball in the NBA next season. Or, at least, he won't be at the start of the season.
After tweeting early Tuesday morning that he "met with three teams" about playing in China, that a "deal [was] done" and that he "just [had] to sign now," the former Ron Artest has reportedly reached an agreement to join the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association, as first reported by ESPN New York's Ian Begley and subsequently confirmed by Chinese news outlet Sports Sina (via Sportando).
Apparently, World Peace already has his first order of business lined up:
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie20 hrs ago
During the 1990-91 season, a campaign that saw the Los Angeles Lakers ride a fifth-ranked offense all the way to the NBA Finals, Magic Johnson and Byron Scott led the team in attempting 250 and 219 3-pointers, respectively. No other Laker even broke triple digits in triples attempts, as the aging Laker backcourt relied more and more on the perimeter bombs to contribute.
It would be the last season the two would play together, as Johnson retired the next November after being diagnosed with HIV, and Scott went on to a respected journeyman career as a 3-point specialist. Both eventually returned to the Lakers for one final NBA season – Magic in 1996, Scott the next season – with Magic continuing to rely on his push shot from outside the arc, and Scott taking nearly half his attempts from long range.
This is why it was more than a little curious that Magic would offer a particularly nasty take on the shot that has served him so well, in talking up Scott’s recent hire as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie22 hrs ago
In 1993, when he was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in the years before rookie-scale contracts, Vin Baker signed a 10-year agreement with the team. That deal included an opt-out after the sixth season, by which time Baker had made nearly $17.3 million. He then signed a seven-year, $86.7 million contract with the Seattle SuperSonics, though he chose to negotiate an opt-out settlement after five years in order to make himself a free agent, strangely negating the final two years of the deal. The smaller contracts Baker played on over his final few seasons put his official career earnings at nearly $100 million.
Half of that career was spent disappointing his teams and various fan bases, as Baker struggled with weight issues and an admitted alcohol problem. Though he made four consecutive All-Star teams from 1995-98, Baker’s confidence tailed off in the 1997-98 season (especially at the free-throw line), and his weight ballooned extensively in the lockout months following that campaign.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
Violet Palmer came into the NBA as something of a trailblazer and pioneer, as she and Dee Kantner became the league's first ever female referees upon their arrival in 1997. Nine years later, she became the first woman ever to officiate a playoff game, refereeing Game 2 of the 2006 first-round series between the Indiana Pacers and New Jersey Nets. Now, Palmer has added another historic "first" to her résumé, becoming the NBA's first ever openly gay referee.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
The argument against NBA teams tanking games is tired and silly. For decades, pro squads have given up on entire seasons in order to develop young talent and secure high-end draft picks, but it wasn’t until 2013-14 the hyperdrive media and those who tend to fall in lockstep with their favorite TV/radio shows and/or writers started to kvetch about things.
Recently, Grantland’s Zach Lowe broke the news about the league considering a percentage-based variation on determining draft lottery odds. We strongly discouraged the league to pass on the idea, and we weren’t alone.
The Philadelphia 76ers – the squad that lost 26 straight games last season while sitting out its top draft pick, a franchise that may sit out its current top draft pickfor most or not all of 2014-15 – are also strongly objecting to the idea.