Ball Don't Lie's most popular posts of 2014

Ball Don't Lie's most popular posts of 2014

In a lot of ways, the NBA’s take on 2014 was a bit of a throwback.

The San Antonio Spurs won the league’s title, LeBron James was courted endlessly before making a major free agent announcement, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal said some daffy stuff, Donald Sterling acted like a prat, while Dirk Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant made a little history.

In all other ways, however, it was a fantastic year for an ever-evolving league working under new leadership, new approaches to team-building, with scads of MVP-level players bounding about.

With that in place, we thought we’d take a look at some of the more popular Ball Don’t Lie posts from the calendar year, as we prepare to dive into 2015.

1. LeBron James violates royal protocol, puts arm around Kate Middleton during a photo (Dec. 9) Who knew that you weren’t allowed to use typical and innocuous photo embracement protocol when it came to the visiting English royals? LeBron James, and apparently most Americans; that’s who.

2. Charles Barkley on Adrian Peterson: 'Every black parent in the South' whips their children (Sept. 14) Barkley made some dumb but telling comments in the wake of Adrian Peterson’s suspension for whipping his children, comments that were defended by many while offending most others.

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Other popular posts in the Yahoo Sports Blog family
Ball Don't Lie (NBA) • Big League Stew (MLB) • Cagewriter (MMA) • The Dagger (NCAAB) • Devil Ball Golf • Dr. Saturday (NCAAF) • Fourth Place Medal (Olympics) • 
From The Marbles (NASCAR) • Puck Daddy (NHL) • Shutdown Corner (NFL)

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3. Tristan Thompson kisses a sideline reporter, and he really, really screwed up (Video) (Oct. 18) The Cavaliers forward reminds us that, even if you’re all really good friends, please don’t kiss your friend on television while she’s trying to do her job. She has enough to deal with as a woman in this field.

4. 2014 NBA free-agency tracker (July 12) A collection of real time links, tweets, and all manner of goofs surrounding a free agent turn that included blockbuster deals involving Steve Blake, LeBron James, and Greivis Vasquez.

5. Who is V. Stiviano, and what's her connection to the Donald Sterling story? (April 28) A look into the life and background of Donald Sterling’s girlfriend, the woman who helped the NBA finally usher the former Clipper owner out of its ranks. Hopefully by this time next year she’ll be relegated to a Kato Kaelin-level punch line, if she hasn’t been already.

6. LeBron James' much-talked-about hairline seems to be fluctuating a bit these days (Photos) (Sept. 29) LeBron James’ forehead follicles have seen more phases than the shores of Malibu, babe. Come check out how they’ve danced around through the years.

7. LeBron James is already instructing other Cavaliers on new coach David Blatt's offense (Oct. 2) Just a few days into training camp, a re-signed LeBron James was already helping his Cleveland teammates work their way through rookie coach David Blatt’s offense. The early returns have been unsteady, but the team does boast a top five offense so far in 2014-15.

8. Charles Barkley blames his 'rift' with Michael Jordan on his criticism of the former Charlotte Bobcats (Sept. 4) The Turner Sports analyst was completely correct in taking shots at Michael Jordan’s sycophant-heavy and quite unsteady first few years with the Charlotte franchise. MJ isn’t taking the barbs too well.

9. Grading the 2014 NBA draft (June 27) Taking a look at the work each and every team put in during the 2014 NBA draft, considered to be one of the best drafts in ages. The early season production from the crop hasn’t been great thus far, but this will be an interesting crew to look at some point down the line.

10. Shaquille O'Neal thinks Dr. J is 'the greatest player ever,' other strange thoughts (Aug. 22) Shaq talks up how he makes the ‘Maury Povich Show’ a staple of his daily viewing, the way he wants to put stadium seating with the mausoleum that holds his ashes, and his opinion that Julius Erving is the greatest player. Weirdly, the last item is the strangest thing here.

The next five
11. LeBron James reportedly cutting carbs to lose weight, and the early returns seem promising (Photo) (Aug. 5)
12. Manu Ginobili's shoe basically exploded during the Spurs-Pistons game (Video) (Feb. 26)
13. Former Lakers camp invitee recalls the time he was torn to bits by Kobe Bryant in practice (Oct. 15)
14. DeMarcus Cousins turns around a condescending question about Slovenia (Sept. 8)
15. The Essay: LeBron announces return to Cleveland in his own words, and they were worth the wait (July 11)

Other big stories on BDL in 2014:

On our coverage of Jason Collins’ historic NBA turn:

*Jason Collins is returning to the NBA, and this is news (Feb. 23)
*Jason Collins has made history, and his new Brooklyn Nets teammates have his back (Feb. 23)
*Jason Collins checks in, makes history, plays his ho-hum game in Nets’ win (Video) (Feb. 24)
*The NBA will donate all proceeds from Jason Collins jersey sales to the Matthew Shepard Foundation and GLSEN (Feb. 28)
*Jason Collins says he's received gay insults from just one opponent (March 20)
*Jason Collins retires, leaving unique, unparalleled legacy (Nov. 19)

On the end of Donald Sterling’s time with the Los Angeles Clippers:

*Report: Clippers owner Donald Sterling caught on tape telling his girlfriend to not bring African-Americans to 'my games' (April 26)
*Report: An alleged extended recording of Donald Sterling offers more racial comments (Video) (April 26)
*Donald Sterling attacks Magic Johnson in a bizarre interview with Anderson Cooper (May 12)
*Donald Sterling wraps himself in an American flag, declares that the NBA is trying to deny his rights (June 10)
*Donald Sterling fails to show up for his first day in court, as Shelly Sterling wins the first round (July 8)
*Donald Sterling testifies to maintain grip on Clippers, says a lot of weird stuff (July 8)
*The Clippers sale is now complete: Steve Ballmer is in, and Donald Sterling, at long last, is out (Aug. 12)

A collection of each of Ball Don’t Lie’s 2014-15 season previews:

*BDL's 2014-15 NBA Season Previews: All 30 team previews, collected in one spot (Oct. 28)

Dan Devine’s work at the 2014 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference:

*Former Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo admits to tanking ... or, at least, trying to (Feb. 28)
*Adam Silver weighs in on NBA draft age limit, tanking, potential lottery and postseason changes, and more (March 1)
*Devine at Sloan 2014: Automated decision-making: The machines don't know it all, but they're learning (March 3)

Some milestones:

*Dirk passes Hakeem for 9th on all-time scoring list, now top foreign-born scorer ever (Nov. 12)
*Revisiting Kobe Bryant's battles with Michael Jordan (Videos) (Dec. 12)
*Kobe Bryant passes Michael Jordan for third on NBA's scoring list (Video) (Dec. 14)

As always, thank you for reading. We reckon 2015 will only be bigger and better.