Ball Don't Lie
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie50 mins ago
What are the Los Angeles Lakers even trying to do? With Kobe Bryant coming off a six-game season, the Lakers entered the offseason looking to assemble a roster and coaching staff able to carry the team to the postseason through their icon's massive two-year contract extension. The result is one of the most confusing, seemingly dysfunctional squads in the league. Somehow, they look worse than the outfit that finished a lost season with the worst winning percentage in franchise history.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie1 hr ago
Few NBA stars are as divisive as Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, and that’s saying something as we work our way through “Should We All Hate Kobe Bryant Week.”
The former Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star was finally granted a reprieve from the team that denied him a max contract nearly three years ago and failed to surround him with enough talent to get over the enormous hump that it takes to make the Western Conference playoff bracket. Though the Wolves will rue missing those playoffs for the 11th straight season in 2014-15, the deal was a win-win of sorts, as the team was able to take on two fantastic prospects in Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett along the way.
During his time in Minnesota, Love put up fantastic statistics (save for his injury-plagued turn in 2012-13), as even his per-minute numbers were top shelf in his first few years, when he was weirdly kept from playing big minutes by coaches Kevin McHale and Kurt Rambis. In a self-penned feature entitled for The Players’ Tribune, Love looked back on his time with the struggling franchise:Wed, Oct 22Cleveland92 - 99MemphisGame Recap
Adam Silver isn't preparing for a labor stoppage, but he *would* prefer a harder salary cap, just FYIDan Devine at Ball Don't Lie1 hr ago
When the NBA celebrated its new nine-year, $24 billion broadcast rights contract earlier this month, the sunniest, most hopeful takeaway centered on the possibility that the rising TV tide will lift owners' and players' boats so high that neither side would jeopardize the jackpot. With everyone benefiting from a monstrous infusion of new cash, why would either side dig in for a prolonged labor battle in the summer of 2017, the first opportunity for either side to opt out of the 2011 collective bargaining agreement (CBA)?
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie2 hrs ago
Let’s pretend, for a moment, that Kobe Bryant is some wonderful, cheerful, galoot of a man. That he is super swell to work with, and that his on-record tough guy musings spat out in an expletive-laden style that reminds of a 11-year-old who just realized he could use blue words is just a show for the media. Let’s pretend that, behind the scenes, Kobe Bryant is the ideal teammate, and that he’s promised many things to prospective Los Angeles Lakers teammates through the years.
Promised that the storied franchise will be theirs, all theirs, once Bryant retires and the salary cap shoots way up upon his retirement.
Assured that he’d willingly give up shots and the ball in order to develop a more harmonious partnership with a free agent partner. Or partners.
Pointed out that there are still grapes to be eaten in California, and that he’d sacrifice whatever it takes to win, even if that means abandoning the spotlight and ceding the reins of the offense.
Let’s just try to live in that world, for a moment. It may take a Brando-like sense of method acting to put yourself in that spot, but give it a try.
Eric Bledsoe's crossover makes Clippers' Jared Cunningham jog off the court, toward the stands (Video)Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie5 hrs ago
While the Phoenix Suns and Eric Bledsoe found themselves embroiled in a negotiating standoff this summer, the offseason drama had more to do with the vagaries of restricted free agency than any lack of interest on Phoenix's part in keeping the 24-year-old guard in Arizona. As their eventual five-year, $70 million offer made clear, the Suns have an awful lot of respect for the damage that the Kentucky product can do with his explosive athleticism ... and now, so does Jared Cunningham.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie18 hrs ago
Los Angeles Clippers wing Matt Barnes has had a really, really bad preseason. As noted by Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times, Barnes is just 3-of-31 (9.7 percent) from the field and 1-of-18 (5.6 percent) from beyond the arc through five preseason appearances totaling 114 minutes. It could just be a slump, but Barnes will be looking to reverse his play as the team sets about challenging for a championship this season.
The 10-man rotation, starring Oscar Schmidt, the Brazilian great for whom shooting was a way of lifeDan Devine at Ball Don't Lie22 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.
C: Grantland. Amos Barshad with a wonderful story on Oscar Schmidt, the Brazilian and European basketball legend whom many consider to be the greatest player never to play in the NBA, and a Hall of Famer with supreme confidence that he would've been one of the best ever to play in the NBA had he made the decision to come over: “Basket, the same. Ball, the same. Basketball, the same. In every part of the world, I didn’t see a guy that could guard me!"
PF: Sports Illustrated. Lee Jenkins on LeBron James' approach to team-building in Cleveland, and why his brand of leadership works: "They’ll follow him because he provides what everyone in the NBA wants, a little space and a clean look."
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie23 hrs ago
Our last two 10-man rotation posts have led with long pieces considering whether Kobe Bryant's to blame for the Los Angeles Lakers' unseemly predicament. The thrust came with the publication Monday of Henry Abbott's ESPN the Magazine feature, replete with anecdotes and vignettes from anonymous Lakers sources and agents supporting the premise that Bryant — through his $48.5 million contract extension, his age/minutes/injury-sparked decline and his alleged insistence on not only winning, but being "the reason we're winning" — is the reason for the Lakers' descent from championship contender to one of the league's worst teams.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
So, now it’s on the players.
Currently, Clipper fans don’t have to hate themselves, as they probably did at times, for paying to see a team owned by Donald Sterling. NBA fans, as we often did, don’t have to hate ourselves anymore while enjoying those late night, must-watch Clipper broadcasts on League Pass. The players don’t have to cringe anymore when Sterling goes meandering around the locker room. Doc Rivers won’t have to question his own ethics anymore. It’s over.
(Shelly Sterling needs to go, to be sure, but it’s over.)
What we have left, finally, is ball. Ball run by the league’s best point guard, one of its best coaches, and one of the NBA’s best players. Plays run by a supporting cast that is to be envied. Work run in the toughest conference in NBA history, one the Los Angeles Clippers have as good a chance as any at getting out of this spring, possibly representing the Western Conference in the 2015 NBA Finals.
Chris Kaman got stitches after Timofey Mozgov accidentally bit his head during Blazers-Nuggets (Video)Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
If Chris Kaman thought pursuing a 1,000-pound marlin was going to be the most dangerous thing he did before the start of the 2014-15 regular season, he was wrong. That honor belongs to "boxing out Timofey Mozgov."