Tue Dec 10 03:06am EST
In recent years, it's become common for athletes to grab hold of their front of their jersey and pull out their team's name. This practice, similar to the tradition of soccer players kissing their clubs' badges to prove devotion, gives athletes the opportunity to celebrate their own amazing play while avoiding the sort of behavior that gets certain types of fans to argue that today's athletes are selfish.
However, it's possible that these athletes have also been engaging in an important test of their uniforms' durability. On Monday night, Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan experienced the worst case scenario.
Only a few possessions into the Clips' road game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Jordan challenged several opponents for a rebound. In the midst of the scrum, Sixers point guard Tony Wroten grabbed the front of Jordan's jersey and, like many players do while rebounding, pulled fairly hard. In the process, he ripped off the full script "Los Angeles" lettering from the jersey's chest. Jordan eventually asked the Clippers bench for his spare No. 6 top and went on to play the other 38 of his 39 minutes with no real incident.
As you can see, Jordan didn't get angry over Wroten's error and was able to see the humor in the situation. It's almost as if he knew he was on his way to dominating the glass: Jordan finished the night with 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and 21 rebounds (six offensive) in his team's 94-83 win.
It's a good thing they got him that new jersey. Otherwise I'm not sure these stats would have counted. Those are the rules, right?
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Fri Dec 06 09:35pm EST
Atlanta Hawks wing Kyle Korver has been one of the NBA's top three-point specialists since entering the league in 2003, thriving in the role for four teams and setting a record for highest single-season percentage at 53.6 percent in 2009-10. Korver has improved other aspects of his game over his career, but shooting from the perimeter is what he does and why he continues to get minutes.
On Friday night, Korver added another very impressive record to his resume. Just over halfway into the first quarter of the Hawks' home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, forward Paul Millsap found Korver open on the right wing for an open triple. Korver nailed it, marking the 90th consecutive game in which he had hit a three-pointer. That mark breaks Dana Barros's record of 89 straight games, set during his time with the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics from 1994 to 1996.
Korver's streak began on November 4, 2012 against the Oklahoma City Thunder in only his second game with the Hawks. (Korver did go 0-for-7 from deep in Game 6 of Atlanta's first-round playoff series against the Indiana Pacers, but that game does not count against the record.) Over these 90 games, Korver has hit only one three-pointer 22 times, proving that he has married impressive volume to the consistency, as well.
We can't yet know how long Korver will stretch the streak, but it's worth assuming he'll continue things for at least a few more games. He's certainly given fans little reason to doubt his ability.
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Thu Dec 05 10:15am EST
When he was sidelined by a rib injury following a Nov. 26 loss to the Orlando Magic, Kyle Korver had made a 3-point shot in 88 consecutive games. When he returned to the lineup for the Atlanta Hawks' Wednesday night showdown with the Los Angeles Clippers after four games on the bench, he wasted no time in picking up where he left off:
On the Hawks' first offensive possession of the game, Korver ran the race he's run so many times — starting at the left wing, curling down under the basket along the baseline and back up to the right wing, aided by a couple of screens — and popped out above the 3-point arc as point guard Jeff Teague looked for an opening. Neither DeMarre Carroll nor Paul Millsap really made contact on their screens, though, so defender Willie Green managed to stay close enough to Korver to delay a quick kick and shot. The Hawks didn't give up on the look, though; Teague feinted a drive to the left, then bounced back to his right as Korver faded toward the sideline, creating just enough space from Green for the point guard to make the delivery. Pass, catch, shoot, bottoms — Korver was 1 for 1 from 3-point land, and had just earned himself a piece of NBA history.
Korver has now made a 3-point field goal in 89 straight games, tying a record for long-range consistency set by mid-'90s marksman Dana Barros, who hit a long ball in every game he played from Dec. 16, 1994 (as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers), through Jan. 10, 1996 (as a member of the Boston Celtics). After learning that Korver had matched his all-time mark, Barros struck a gracious note:
Dana Barros reax on Korver tying his record; "It’s no fluke, it takes a real shooter to do that 89 straight. I enjoyed it while it lasted."
— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) December 5, 2013
And Korver, for his part, sounded relieved to have resumed his pursuit after having to spend a few days on the mend, according to George Henry of The Associated Press:
"I'm glad it's done," he said. "It was a long period of time. I think the happiest person was probably my wife. I was just not fun to be around the last five days at the house." [...]
"It really is a team streak," Korver said. "I'm not out there creating those shots. I don't want to make a speech, but there are a lot of people to thank."
Good news, Kyle — you get to spend the next 24 hours making that list, checking it twice and ensuring you don't forget anyone, because you go for sole possession of the record against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night. And you better write them all down — Mike Brown's squad is 19th in the league in 3-point makes allowed per game, tied for 18th in 3-point attempts allowed per game, and ranks 22nd in 3-point percentage allowed this season, so I like your chances.
What was really nice for the Hawks, though, was that Korver wasn't done. He hit five more bombs to tie his season-high of six on nine attempts, going 8 for 12 from the field overall and finishing with a season-best 23 points, five assists and three rebounds in Atlanta's 107-97 win over the visiting Clips. The interior tandem of Paul Millsap (25 points, nine rebounds, six assists, three steals, one block, just one turnover in 37-plus minutes) and Al Horford (21 points, nine rebounds, two assists) led the way for Mike Budenholzer's Hawks, who returned to .500 at 10-10 after dipping below-par following Monday's final-second loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
To hear Clippers coach Doc Rivers tell it, though, it was that first make — the one that extended a streak that began on Nov. 4, 2012, the second game of last season — that set the tone and told the tale, according to the AP: "The first play of the game, Korver got a 3, and that was indicative of our defense all night." It's a refrain with which coaches around the NBA have become pretty familiar over the 89 games, Doc, and the end might not yet be in sight.
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Wed Dec 04 12:45am EST
Rookie guards Michael Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo made a bit of NBA history on Tuesday night, and all it took them was a combined 98-plus minutes of work. (They can handle it. They're young.)
In the final 61 seconds of a double-overtime contest between the Orlando Magic, who selected Oladipo out of Indiana with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 draft, and the Philadelphia 76ers, who took Carter-Williams out of Syracuse with the 11th pick, both rookies put the finishing touches on the first triple-doubles of their NBA careers — MCW with an assist on a Thaddeus Young runner that put Philly up five with 1:01 remaining, and Oladipo with a rebound of a missed James Anderson free throw that kept the door just slightly ajar with the Magic trailing 125-122 and less than nine seconds remaining.
The Sixers would hang on for a 126-125 victory by hitting just enough free throws to make Arron Afflalo's final 3-pointer — his fifth of a career-high 43-point night — a moot point, but not before the two rookies made NBA history (per the Elias Sports Bureau) by becoming the first pair of rookies ever to post triple-doubles in the same game. Carter-Williams, the Rookie of the Year favorite one-fifth of the way through the season, finished with 27 points on 11 for 19 shooting, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and three steals in 46 1/2 minutes. Oladipo, the Rookie of the Year favorite heading into the season, set career highs in points (26 on 8 for 18 shooting), rebounds (10) and assists (10) while adding three steals of his own in 51 1/2 minutes.
It is, according to some digging through Basketball-Reference.com's handy Play Index tool, the ninth time since the 1985-86 season (as far back as B-R's database goes) that two players have recorded triple-doubles in the same NBA game, and the seventh time it's been done by players on opposing teams. Jason Kidd and Clyde Drexler did against one another twice, on April 11, 1995 and March 22, 1997. Gary Payton and Chris Webber did it on April 18, 2000. Kidd and Jay Williams did it on Nov. 9, 2002. Kidd and Tracy McGrady did it on Feb. 23, 2003. Baron Davis and Caron Butler did it on Nov. 23, 2007. The two instances when teammates put up triple-doubles on the same night? Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen of the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 3, 1989, and Kidd and Vince Carter of the then-New Jersey Nets on April 7, 2007.
Carter-Williams becomes the second Sixer to post a triple-double this season, joining fellow Team WHOP member Tony Wroten, who put up 18 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in a spot start for an injured Carter-Williams during a win over the Houston Rockets last month. He and Oladipo are the eighth and ninth players to notch triple-doubles this season, joining Wroten, Stephen Curry, Nicolas Batum, Ricky Rubio, Kevin Durant, Jordan Crawford and Lance Stephenson, who's done it twice. They're the first rookies to turn in a triple-double since Kemba Walker did it back in January 2012, and the 36th and 37th freshmen to pull it off since '85-'86. (Some of the players on that list put up triple-doubles within their first 82 NBA games, but not during their rookie seasons.)
After it was over, Carter-Williams downplayed both his individual achievement and the matchup with his fellow lottery choice, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
"We needed somebody to make some big plays," Carter-Williams said, "whether it was for me to find my teammates or try to get to the hoop and make something happen." [...]
"Clearly, there's a competitive side to it," Carter-Williams said of the rookie duel. "But this is a team game. It's not me versus Oladipo. It's Sixers versus Orlando."
In the record books, though, Tuesday's result will always be highlighted by the performances of the two rookie guards, which the NBA helpfully recapped for you in this neat little video clip:
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Tue Dec 03 05:15pm EST
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: The Classical. Sam Riches on "the dunk of death," Wordsworth, rising and falling actions, and the place Vince Carter occupied (and maybe still occupies) in NBA fans' minds, especially those of fans who grew up north of the border.
PF: The Hook. Ziller on "the stretch four spectrum," and how Ryan Anderson, Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge and many of the other best power forwards in the league are all, to some degree, variations of Dirk Nowitzki. Delightful.
SF: USA TODAY Sports, ESPN Insider ($), Regressing and Bleacher Report. Hey, have you heard that the Eastern Conference is terrible this year? Like, all-time, historically terrible? Well, it is! The Atlantic Division, especially! Here are some articles about that fact.
Tue Dec 03 01:50pm EST
Before being released, Royce White played in two exhibition games with the Philadelphia 76ers in October. His stats weren’t good – Royce missed eight of 12 shots, he racked up eight fouls in nearly 33 minutes of action, alongside five turnovers and nine rebounds. He was also, clearly, out of shape, and even thrown out of one of those games.
He also looked the part of an NBA basketball player, though, the sort of unique point forward type that often leaves scouts and obsessive NBA freaks drooling. White hasn’t been able to do much on the NBA level with those significant gifts in the year and a half since he left Iowa State. A frustrating partnership with the Houston Rockets ended after a short preseason stint, a trip to the Rockets’ D-League team in Rio Grande didn’t produce much, and a reuniting with former Rockets executive (and new’ish Sixers general manager) Sam Hinkie in Philadelphia last summer obviously didn’t pan out.
Somewhat quiet save for his Twitter feed, White says he doesn’t want his NBA career to be finished. Back home in Ames, Iowa, White talked up his still-intriguing potential as an NBA contributor to Randy Peterson at the Des Moines Register:
Tue Dec 03 12:55am EST
After a grueling 62-plus minutes of basketball, New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams had one more trick tucked up his sleeve, and Tom Thibodeau's Chicago Bulls weren't ready for it.
With the game knotted up at 128 and 4.5 seconds remaining in triple overtime of a nip-and-tuck contest that had already seen more than its fair share of game-changing plays, the Pelicans prepared to inbound in the frontcourt. Williams stationed three players atop the 3-point arc and sent point guard Jrue Holiday, who (after curiously waiting to attack despite trailing) hit the late-fourth-quarter jumper that tied the game at 103 and sent it into the first extra session, into the backcourt. That positioning took advantage of a rulebook wrinkle that allows teams to inbound into the backcourt in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter and overtime periods.
Here's what came of it:
Mon Dec 02 05:10pm EST
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: Behance. "The idea was to pretend that brands designed NBA jerseys. That's all." From that simple idea came an awful lot of fun alternate-reality uniform concepts from Canadian graphic artist Dilly, including this theoretical Memphis Grizzlies x Jeremy Scott mashup that would probably make Dave Joerger's players a little bit sweatier than normal. On the plus side, at least there are no sleeves.
PF: Deadline Detroit. Joey Yashinsky believes it is high time that Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond receive an official nickname befitting his increasingly impressive play (in non-free-throw-making contexts, at least). As an '80s baby who grew up loving wrestling, I am partial to "Andre the Giant," but Drummond himself seems to dig "The Goose." Please feel free to share your preferred moniker for this monstrous 20-year-old.
SF: Thunder Rumblings. Via Darnell Mayberry, interesting stuff from Sam Presti on the Oklahoma City Thunder's evolving identity, the importance of establishing an organizational culture, and how an awful setback like Russell Westbrook's season-ending/playoff-scuttling knee injury last summer can actually help a franchise in the long run.
Thu Nov 28 12:00pm EST
With Thanksgiving upon us, each Yahoo Sports blog is taking stock of what they're thankful for while also providing menu suggestions and a sport-specific viewing guide for when you hit your couch. Share what you're thankful for on Twitter with the #YSBThanks hashtag or in the comments below. Have a safe and happy holiday!
Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie editor
1. This may start on a dour note, but I’m thankful that Derrick Rose did what he was supposed to do with both his ACL and meniscus tears. Jumping back into late season or playoff action to work with a roster that was designed, by the front office no less, to take a year off in 2012-13 would not have worked for anyone. And though his most recent injury is a cruel blow, the choice to re-attach his meniscus as opposed to cutting it will save him years of frustration, and a possible eventual microfracture surgery.
It’s early. It guts me, as a Chicago Bulls fan, that I won’t get to watch him at full strength for another 12 months, but it’s early. And this is why I’m just as thankful for the presence of Joakim Noah, a player that is elbowing in the paint with Mssrs. Harper, Pippen and Jordan as my Favorite Bull Evah.
2. I’m thankful for basketball Twitter. I’m thankful that I’m fed huge scores of information, quotes, links, analysis, jokes, support, pointed and intelligent criticism, and endless goofs. It’s a silly website with a silly name that forces you to be circumspect and quick and not always on point – but it’s a massive resource that I would encourage any curious holdout to take advantage of. And please pardon my Twitter avatar, it was for a Halloween party.
3. I’m thankful to my wife and kids for understanding how and why Kelly does this. For understanding that 82 games leads to two months of playoffs which leads to the draft which leads to free agency which leads to “Kelly’s having a hard time coming up with something to write about” which leads to the whole thing starting all over again. That they don’t mind me emailing myself links off of Twitter before I start the car up to drive us home from gymnastics practice. That they don’t mind quiet goodbyes in the morning while I stare down my final paragraph in an Orlando Magic column that nobody is going to read. And that they’re still with me, with Kelly jumping between the kitchen and the Bucks game as he serves dinner, so many seasons in.
4. I’m also thankful for the ability to work daily with Dan Devine and Eric Freeman. Their talent, to say nothing of their approach, touch, effort and eventual creation is a huge inspiration to me, and something I’m so, so happy to be a part of.
What’s on my Thanksgiving menu? I’m cracking open a too-cold can of American beer, and hitting the “F5” key over and over and over. I’ve already filed, I’ve already hit “Publish,” and my column is floating out there amongst the tubes. Not on Ball Don’t Lie yet, nothing’s showing up, but I’m done. Nothing left but to email it out to my editors once it shows up live, tweet it out to whoever’s up at this hour, and quickly drink this beer that the United Center staff was kind enough to give us following this particular Chicago Bulls game. Hoping, as usual, that everybody noticed that I didn’t crack it until I was done with the column.
The column’s finally up, but I still have to finish the beer, pack up, quietly say “so long” to whichever colleague’s eyes I meet on the way out, call the wife, and find the Corolla. It’ll be one of the few cars left in the lot at this hour, with most of the fans long having headed home at this point, so it’s not a chore I’m dreading. Once the beer is finished, I skulk over to table next to that vat of too-cold American cans of beer, and pick up a turkey sandwich that the United Center staff had prepared and pre-wrapped. I grab two packets of mayonnaise, because nobody can judge you on the Skyway, and head to the Corolla. Once the Dan Ryan is navigated, the tolls are paid and I’m working on cruise control, I pull the thing out.
It’s dry. I don’t much care for cheese on turkey, but I don’t want to take it off and whip it out the window at this speed. It’s past midnight and I’ve got two hours of driving left to get home to a wife and kids that have been asleep for hours. I’ve got two hours of driving through the Indiana plains, with only the massive red LED lights of the windmills to remind me that I’m getting there, nearly home, nearly finished with this. Home at 2:30, crack the back and feed the cats, and there’s still that American beer on my breath. Still that Swiss cheese, still that extra packet of mayonnaise.
The kids have to be up for school in four hours. I have to be back at the computer in six. And yet I’m still tasting that cheese, and that beer, and I’m reminded of the crowd, and the game, and my colleagues, and I’m reminded again that I am so damn lucky to be doing this for a living.
Not a bad meal, in all.
Dan Devine, Ball Don't Lie editor
1. That the Atlantic Division is bad enough that nobody has totally run away and hidden from the lowly, moribund New York Knicks, and that Tyson Chandler's coming back in a week or two. (Right? Please?)
2. That Kevin Love's comeback has been everything I'd hoped for. As I wrote in our Wolves season preview, the prospect of a motivated, in-shape, in-form Love resuming the level of play that made him an All-NBA Second Teamer in 2011-12 and pushed him into Coach K's rotation in London was one of the things I was most looking forward to about the '13-'14 campaign, and man, has Love delivered.
He's been sensational for Rick Adelman, averaging 24.6 points, just under 14 rebounds and 4 1/2 assists per game for a Wolves team that has looks poised to be in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race all season long. But it's not just the stuff we already knew about — the preternatural nose for missed shots, the cleverness around the rim, the long-range touch. It's also, as MinnPost's Britt Robson recently noted, the evident maturation of his game — the increased attentiveness and vocalization on defense, the evolving feel for picking out the right pass and successfully completing it — and the firm belief that, absence of playoff experience or not, he belongs in that All-NBA/MVP conversation. He's proving it night in and night out, and after an injury-scuttled year cost us a season of Love at the top of his game, I'm feeling fortunate that we're getting to see it.
3. That Eric Bledsoe's now free to be a full-time game-changer, and that he's taking advantage of his opportunity.
When I spoke to Bledsoe ahead of the Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend back in February, he was still a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, still playing behind established veterans like Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, Jamal Crawford and Willie Green, and still seeing little more than rotation-reserve minutes despite the regular flashes of brilliance he routinely showed in the open court and as a defensive demon. He'd yet to get the chance to really cut loose and showcase everything he could do; in fact, he hadn't gotten the chance to do that in college, either, not with John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson and Darius Miller all vying for their share of the spotlight, too. With the Clippers facing a decision on how to deal with the soon-to-be-extension-eligible guard while also facing a no-brainer max extension for Paul, I asked Bledsoe if he found himself itching for a chance to stretch out, get a team of his own and take the next step in his development
To his credit, he didn't bristle or strike an overeager note: "I just want to keep on getting better and learning from Chris, Chauncey … it's just been a great experience, my time with the Clippers. It's just been great. So I want to just keep on learning as much as I can, and then someday, probably, it'll happen." Someday, as we now know, would come sooner rather than later, with Bledsoe flipped to the desert to kickstart the Phoenix Suns' rebuilding process ... and before suffering a bruised shin that's cost him the last five games, he'd been absolutely brilliant in doing so.
Given his first consistent opportunity to take the reins of an NBA team, the 23-year-old Bledsoe has shown that he really was paying attention while serving as an understudy to CP3 and Billups, showing off not only the blinding speed and sudden-shift quickness that make him a transition terror, but also an advancing understanding of how to change his pace to get wherever he wants on the court whenever he wants to get there. He's growing as a facilitator, assisting on more than one-third of his teammates' buckets while on the floor and experiencing only a slight increase in his turnover rate despite a marked increase in the size of his role. He's still making the kind of explosive plays that made League Pass diehards swoon during his time in California, but now he's also turning in the more muted difference-makers that have helped lead meteoric rises on both offense (where the Suns have improved from 29th in points scored per possession last year to the middle of the pack so far this year) and defense (up from 24th last year to a top-10 mark).
He's proving us right, rewarding new Suns general manager Ryan McDonough for having faith that he was a star worth building around, and nudging the value of that eventual extension northward with every dynamic drive to the basket. We'd spent two years wondering what it would look like when Bledsoe finally got unleashed, and thus far, the reality's outpaced most of our wildest dreams. Lucky us.
4. Reddit's NBA community. I watch a lot of basketball — not the full 48 (or more) minutes of every game every night, but a lot. I read a lot of writing about basketball — not every story, notes column and blog post out there, but a lot. I follow a lot of basketball-discussing types on Twitter — not everybody with an opinion about whether Kevin Durant or Chris Paul needs a championship more, but a lot. And still, despite the hours of watching, reading, listening and writing, I miss stuff sometimes. r/NBA basically never does, though.
That community — well over 125,000 members strong at this point — catches the items of note from the things you might miss in a given day or night, fanning out across the 30 NBA teams and their respective individual Internets to ensure that if something funny/ridiculous/awesome/important happened, everyone gets a look at it. It is an essential supplement to my daily watching, reading, listening and writing, and I'm glad it not only exists, but continues to thrive.
What’s on my Thanksgiving menu? At the risk of being something of a homer, I'm going with the pressed Cuban sandwich from the Habana Outpost stand at Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets and a short train ride away from where I'll be getting ready to carpool out to my family festivities. Sure, Thanksgiving is primarily about Turkey, but I have a hard time envisioning this combination of roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and chipotle mayo being anything but a welcome addition at a Devine family dinner.
Also, my wife is half-Cuban. I feel like there's a chance -- maybe a small chance, but a chance nonetheless -- that if I brought some boutique-y Prokhorov-co-signed Cuban sandwiches to her family's party, some member of her family might interpret it as some sort of challenge and decide it's time to throw down in the kitchen to firmly establish a cultural-culinary pecking order. And if that happens, then I might wind up with two Cuban sandwiches, for taste-test purposes. Again: Maybe only a small chance, but a chance I'd have to take.
Thanksgiving’s TV schedule
There are no NBA games scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, but NBA TV's got a nice troika of documentaries on tap for your tryptophan-haze viewing pleasure.
First up, at 8:30 p.m. ET: "The Doctor," which traces Julius "Dr. J" Erving's life and career from his childhood in New York through his trendsetting years in the ABA, his time with the Philadelphia 76ers, and his at-times headline-grabbing life after retirement. It earned headlines at the time of its release for providing proof that Doc could still dunk at age 63, but the in-depth accounting of Erving's peaks and valleys offers much more than that, too.
Up next, at 10 p.m. ET: "The Dream Team," NBA TV's original feature on the legendary 1992 U.S. men's Olympic basketball team. For more, check out Eric Freeman's June 2012 review.
Wrapping things up at 11:30 p.m. "Magic & Bird: A Courtship Of Rivals," an HBO documentary about the rivalry and eventual friendship between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, the two guys popularly credited with saving the NBA in the 1980s. For more, check out my February 2012 review.
Eric Freeman, Ball Don't Lie contributor
1. Russell Westbrook: At a time when many of the NBA’s best players — Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, Marc Gasol, et al. — have recently succumbed to serious injury or are still engaged in initial rehab processes — it’s nice to know that one superstar has returned and appears to be at full strength. Mere weeks after returning from the knee surgery that struck him from last spring’s postseason, Westbrook looks every bit the mercurial, attack-minded force that made the Oklahoma City Thunder the favorite to win the West as recently as last April. It’s good to have him back.
2. The 2014 NBA Draft: Not yet a month into the regular season, several teams can already project themselves as lottery participants. The good news for them, of course, is that the draft gives hope to any future, no matter how dire its present. That’s particularly true this year, when college stars Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, and Marcus Smart inspire visions of grandeur. With the lottery providing a shot of nabbing a future star, no situation is entirely hopeless.
3. Local ads on League Pass: Watch an NBA game on national TV and you’re likely to see the same advertisements many times each, if only because it costs a lot of money to maintain a relationship as one of the league’s corporate partners. Yet the commercials available on local channels via NBA League Pass provide a world of unerring variety, a glimpse into the league’s 28 cities. They all serve as a reminder that this multibillion-dollar business started as a regional affair. That character has not died out entirely, if you look closely enough.
4. LeBron James: LeBron James has been a part of serious basketball fans’ life for more than a decade, and at no time has he been anything other than a divisive figure. From the earliest arguments about his bust potential to more recent discussions of his supposed lack of killer instinct, LeBron has inspired so much hate that it sometimes threatens to eclipse all the amazing things he does over the course of a game. Thankfully, those games still exist, and every time we watch him play we have the opportunity to marvel at his peerless combination of athleticism, strength, skill, and understanding of the game. There’s no one on his level, and the sooner we realize it the better. We might know what we had until it’s gone.
What’s on my Thanksgiving menu? Basketball is not the best sport for in-game eating, what with the near-constant action and somewhat unpredictable highlights. You don't want to be caught scarfing down a hot dog in the midst of an alley-oop or contemplating why the ketchup is slightly orange in the midst of a fast break. The attending fan's goal, then, should be to eat either before or after the games. Ideally, that spot should be within walking distance of the arena and affordably priced.
Historically, there have been two standard options at Oracle Arena in Oakland: Doug's #1 BBQ, right across from the BART station and somewhat recently shuttered, and Coliseum Burger, located a few blocks away. Neither is (or was) great, frankly, but they have served as particularly good complements to the experience of watching the Warriors in Oakland. The food gets the job done with little fuss — it's fast, tasty enough to justify the purpose, and maybe just a little questionable for your health. You eat it because it's a prelude to the game. You're there for basketball, not top-of-the-line amenities.
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Wed Nov 27 07:35pm EST
Since last playing in the NBA in 2011, NBA legend Allen Iverson has gone through a not particularly respectable period of time typified by news stories alternately unfortunate and ridiculous. However, things appear to be looking up for Iverson, in part because he finally announced his official retirement from basketball shortly before the Philadelphia 76ers' opener in October. The hope is that, with this chapter closed, Iverson can transition into a less volatile lifestyle and build on many of the fond memories fans have of his career.
Now, the Sixers have decided to formalize Iverson's meaning to the franchise and honor his excellent career. As announced Wednesday, the franchise will retire his iconic No. 3 jersey on March 1. From the official press release: