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Brad Hurt

Gasol out indefinitely with MCL sprain posted by Brad Hurt

An MRI on Marc Gasol's left knee, which he injured in the first half of the Grizzlies' loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night, revealed a Grade 2 sprain of the medial collateral ligament (MCL).  The injury, similar to one suffered two years ago by Zach Randolph, will keep Gasol out of action indefinitely but will not require surgery.  Kosta Koufos will start in his place.  This is a huge blow for the team, both in terms of production and morale.  The injury has been called "non-contact", although there could have been some contact as it occurred while the Spurs' Danny Green posted up against Gasol and backed into him.  Even so, it's still a freakish, unfortunate injury.Continue reading "Gasol out indefinitely with MCL sprain"

Brad Hurt

Gasol leaves loss with knee sprain posted by Brad Hurt

The Grizzlies had reason to be proud as they returned home Friday to face the perennially tough San Antonio Spurs.  They had just finished the most successful West Coast road trip in a decade.  Now they would have the FedEx Forum crowd behind them to urge them to victory.  Unfortunately, the Spurs would have none of that, playing the role of the rude houseguests with a 102-86 victory.

Potentially far worse for the home team, however, is the fact that center Marc Gasol left the game after suffering a non-contact injury to his left knee early in the second quarter and did not return.  The team is calling it a sprain, and Gasol will undergo an MRI today.  Losing Gasol for any extended period of time would be a crushing blow to the team.  He is currently averaging 16 points and more than 7 rebounds per game, teaming up with Zach Randolph to form an imposing post duo.  Randolph has been putting up monster numbers in his own right, but losing Gasol would undoubtedly change the way teams choose to defend Randolph, enabling more double-and-triple teams.  The Grizzlies currently have the 23rd-ranked offensive output in the league, averaging 94.1 points per game.  Ideally, they would like to see that number increase as they work toward a return to the playoffs come April.  Gasol is also a great veteran leader for the team, and intangibles are difficult to replace.  So let's hope the sprain isn't too severe and Gasol can return to action soon.

Continue reading "Gasol leaves loss with knee sprain"


Paul Hansborough III

Change needs to come! posted by Paul Hansborough III

I love the Spurs but, Duncan needs to retire, Parker needs to develop a jumpshot in the worst way, Rj needs to go somewhere else he couldn t buy a bucket against Memphis, we need to get a bonified athletic shooting forward and shooting guard in the draft or via free agency. Another center would help because again Duncan is on his last leg!Continue reading "Change needs to come!"


nbaball

Parker has no desire to transfer to other NBA teams posted by nbaball

The starting pointguard of the San Antonio Spurs has categorically denied persistent report that he had the desire to transfer to other National Basketball Association (NBA) teams.
Tony Parker told the media that there is no truth to the report since his heart belongs to the Spurs and he wants to stay with the team for many years to come.
Parker said he had a house in San Antonio and had no intention at the moment to move to other NBA teams other than the Spurs.
He revealed that he has confidence that a suitable agreement will be reached between him and the Spurs so that he will remain with the team for many years to come.
To show his desire to remain with the Spurs, Parker has decided to skip the World's Basketball Championship slated on August 28 to September 12 in Istambul, Turkey.
The superstar pointguard said he decided to forego his chance to play for France in the global basketball event to help the Spurs in the next NBA season by keeping himself from injury.
The 27-year-old pointguard had been a vital factor for the success of the Spurs the past 10 years wherein he won championship with the ball club.
Parker is very significant for the Spurs management since he do not only orchestrate plays but also contribute and offense and defense as well.
The Spurs was earlier defeated by the red-hot Phoenix Suns 4-0 in their best of seven NBA second round playoff match-up.
The French pointguard and the rest of the Spurs roster tried their very best to inflict defeat to the Suns but their effort were futile as the Suns proved hotter in the end.
Continue reading "Parker has no desire to transfer ..."


john howard

Big Week for the Thunder posted by john howard

Losing to Indiana last night was tough.  If they had one last night, they would be tied for the 5th seed with Phoenix and 2 games ahead of 7th in front of San Antonio.  But, that didn't happen.  All is not lost, it just makes this week more difficult.  Tonight they are at home against the Spurs.  They have a one game lead over them.  A loss tonight would put the Thunder in 7th.  A win would keep them in 6th and put 2 games between them and San Antonio and more breathing room going into the last 14 games.

The Thunder play the Spurs, the Lakers, Houston, and Portland. Going 2-2 would be fine.  That would keep them in the playoffs and still have a shot at a good seed. Anything above that would be great. Anything below that would put them in danger of falling to the 8th seed.  It all starts tonight with San Antonio. 

Houston may be the biggest game of the week.  Right now, they are the first team not in the playoffs. They can win 50 games if they run the table.  That makes the Thunder's magic number 9, since they have 42 wins. So, winning that game would reduce the magic number by 2. 

Portland is a game and a half behind OKC.  Sweeping the Spurs and the Trailblazers would distance OKC from the bottom to seeds and keep them in the hunt for the 5th seed.  With the 5th seed, they would likely face Utah, the team they have had the most success with of those in the top 4.

As a sidenote, Russell Westbrook played limited minutes with a stomach virus last night.  Eric Maynor did good, as usual, in his absence.  But, they are going to need everyone at full throttle this week.

Continue reading "Big Week for the Thunder"


Paul Stengel

New York Knicks, what the salary cap future holds posted by Paul Stengel

CLAAAANG!!!  Another errant Knicks shot glances off the rim.  The New York Knickerbockers have mastered the art of losing for the past 10 years.  The only silver lining after this season is the possibility of signing two big name, “max contract” players.  The Knicks traded away their upcoming draft pick (along with Jared Jeffries and others) to Houston,  to free up more money for these players.  Nothing is guaranteed, the Knicks aren’t necessarily getting anyone for their trouble. 

 

The losing that the Knicks have been doing is a relatively new experience for their head coach, Mike D’Antoni.  D’Antoni came over from Phoenix, where he had an outstanding winning percentage, playoff appearances every year, and usually a late-season meeting with the San Antonio Spurs that ultimately would decide who would come out of the west.  Before he coached Amare Stoudemire, Steve Nash and Shawn Marion to 60 wins a year.  Now he leads Al Harrington and a band of inexperienced, below average knicks to likely two 30 win seasons. 

 

The Knicks have been on a downward spiral since they decided to trade away their franchise player of the 90’s Patrick Ewing.  They have been compiling bad contracts ever since, and it wasn’t until Donnie Walsh became the active general manager that their attitude toward free agents began to change.  Starting with the trades of Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph, Walsh has managed to free up more and more salary cap space, and with it, the possibility of greater things in the future. 

Continue reading "New York Knicks, what the salary cap future holds"


Al Liggens

Top european NBA players risk injury, money, to play summer basketball posted by Al Liggens

I hope that it's not part two for the San Antonio Spurs. Manu Ginobili got hurt last summer playing for Argentina in the olympics and at the time, contract negotiations between Ginobili and the spurs were underway. Now, those talks have stalled, as the spurs have taken a cautious approach regarding his contract, meaning no extention up to this point!. If Ginobili doesn't come out this year and have one his best, he stands to lose millions.

 Tony Parker was injured playing basketball for France this week and I'm quite sure that the spurs are not happy with this latest episode. The question is will he be healthy and 100% for the spurs training camp and the regular season? Sometimes players that play basketball year round begin the season tired and not playing at their usual high level, and it does affect the entire team. So at some point, personal judgement and career decisions must be made by the players themselves and  realize the risks involved with playing basketball during the summer.

The spurs were fortunate to find Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. They are the core of the team along with Tim Duncan, but there is a responsibility to the team that you are under contract to play for and perform well. There is the business side of professional sports that needs to be taken into account...

Continue reading "Top european NBA players risk injury, ..."


Al Liggens

Is there a heated rivalry between the San Antonio Spurs and L.A. Lakers on the horizon? posted by Al Liggens

The spurs and lakers have done just about everything possible to put themselves in a position to win a championship. Both teams added some key players and odds are that the western conference will come down to these two teams!

How is Ron Artest going to fit into the lakers rotation and get his shots? I know that he's going to bring a toughness to the lakers that they haven't had in recent years, but will he have a positive impact on the team? I'm sure Phil Jackson will do a good job of managing player issues. The spurs on the other hand, are back in the discussion with their offseason moves. It will be interesting to watch the lakers and spurs play during the regular season. They will meet  four times and these games will all be statement games. The fact that the L.A. Lakers are the current NBA champs means that the San Antonio Spurs might have a little something to prove!     

Continue reading "Is there a heated rivalry between ..."


Al Liggens

Can the San Antonio Spurs win a 5th NBA Championship for the upcoming 2009-2010 season? posted by Al Liggens

Have the spurs put together enough talent to contend with elite teams in the NBA?

I believe the answer is a definite yes. The San Antonio Spurs have had an offseason many feel was their best ever and with the talent already in place, the spurs should be in the hunt for another title. It will be interesting  to see how the new players mesh with the likes of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili. Richard Jefferson and Antonio McDyess will add much needed scoring and length to a team that was exposed a bit during this  years surprising first round exit against the Dallas Mavericks. Looking back to last season, the spurs had quite a few issues that needed to be addressed to make the team better, younger and more athletic.

Defense will be an important factor this upcoming season.

 Last year, the overall defensive play of the spurs seemed to be lacking and at times non existent. I expect to see much more emphasis on stopping teams from scoring at will and return to spurs basketball, which is to shut people down and rely on your defense to help you win games. The  defensive rotations will be much better with the addition of NBA journeyman Theo Ratliff getting minutes off the bench. This allows for Tim Duncan to get some much needed rest as well as have a guy on the court that can play good defense and score when necessary and give you quality minutes off the bench.

The spurs now have enough weapons to challenge the so called "elite" teams in the NBA. This was a major problem last season as Tim  Duncan and Tony Parker had no scoring help  and the bench players couldn't help carry the team during the playoffs and were a non factor. Other teammates are going to have to find a way to score and create their own shots when called upon. I expect to see better bench play this season with rookie Dajuan Blair getting some minutes off the bench along with some other players contributing. General managers around the league are going to kick themselves after they get a glimpse of this young player. The talent and potential to be a great NBA player are definitely present and his physical style of play will cause problems for anyone trying to guard him. He will exceed expectations this coming season! This team has made a very good effort to try to get younger and add some youth to the team during the offseason, so we know that trying to stay injury free is probably the biggest common denominator for the entire year. Manu Ginobili needs to regain his form and stay healthy throughout the season in order for the spurs to have any chance at  winning a championship. Hopefully, he can compete at a high level and contribute to the team...     

Continue reading "Can the San Antonio Spurs win a 5th ..."


Greg Archuleta

Trading the Lakers' Enemies? I Don't Think So posted by Greg Archuleta

Shaq can't even proclaim himself "The Big Trade."

The defending Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic trumped Los Angeles Laker ex Shaquille O'Neal's move from the Phoenix Suns to the Cleveland Cavaliers when they acquired Vince Carter from the New Jersey Nets.

Carter's relocation to Disney World seemingly would keep the Magic in control of the ever-increasing wild, wild east. Although, it is intriguing to imagine what The Big Change of Address (five teams in the career of the most dominant center of our generation? Hard to fathom) might do for King James -- His Royal Poor Sport -- and the Cavs if Shaq is properly motivated.

Yet, the biggest immediate threat to a potential Laker dynasty -- if properly healed -- comes from our Green "friends" in Boston.

If Kevin Garnett can return to 100 percent form from the knee injury that derailed his 2008 season just inches from the start of the playoffs, the hated Celtics remain the most viable candidate to make good on that "Beat L.A." chant.

Remember, Boston was one game away from knocking Orlando from the postseason in the Eastern Conference semis without Garnett, not to mention Leon Powe.

Sure, two of the key figures in the Celtics' 2008 run to the title -- the New Orleans Hornets' James Posey and 77-year old P.J. Brown -- aren't returning anytime soon to help them.

And the Chicago Bulls almost eliminated the C's in the first round.

But the scary thing about the Celtics is their toughness was evident as ever in the playoffs despite their short stay. And that was without Garnett, their toughest player.

Continue reading "Trading the Lakers' Enemies? I Don't Think So"

San Antonio Spurs News

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The 2014 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot featured lots of sweet dunking, trick-shot-making challenges (Vi

The NBA's annual Rookie Photo Shoot would be wonderful enough if all it gave us was awkward still shots of each year's Kelly Olynyk . In recent years, though, the photo opp has turned into an impromptu dunk contest , with members of the rookie class strutting their stuff, showcasing their springs and instantly sharing the fruits of their labors via social media. The rooks added an extra wrinkle to this summer's mid-shoot exhibition —a bit of a "can you top this?" competition featuring direct Twitter challenges. It all seems to have started with Minnesota Timberwolves second-rounder Glenn Robinson III calling out his new teammate , lottery-pick high-flyer Zach LaVine, to top this 360-degree windmill dunk: As you might expect, given the UCLA product's résumé, LaVine accepted, pulling off this off-the-wall, through-the-legs righty throwdown: ... before paying the challenge forward to No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, rocking ( for now , at least) the wine and gold of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The former Kansas standout responded in kind, making the act of getting airborne, spinning, switching hands behind your back and finishing look entirely too easy: Here's another look at that from the baseline: Wiggins kicked the challenge over to fellow Canadian and Phoenix Suns point guard Tyler Ennis, who ... well, took things in a different direction. (More on that in a sec.) The dunking displays didn't stop, though, with Sacramento Kings guard Nik Stauskas getting creative on the floor before getting in the air: ... and Boston Celtics point man Marcus Smart showing some power with the off-the-bounce double-pump reverse: ... and Charlotte Hornets power forward Noah Vonleh looking awful springy in those super-cool purple-and-teal duds : ... and Toronto Raptors mystery man Bruno Caboclo displaying his remarkable wingspan with a through-the-legs reverse: There was also quite a bit of teamwork at the shoot, with multiple freshmen-to-be showing off their love of the extra pass to set up a fellow rook for a furious finish. The young Wolves who lit the candle on the competition showed their love of sharing, with Robinson III setting up LaVine: ... and LaVine returning the favor: Celtics draftee Smart set aside future Atlantic Division beef to set up Brooklyn Nets second-rounder Markel Brown, his former Oklahoma State teammate, for a whirling slam: Atlanta Hawks big man Adreian Payne got to be the beneficiary of multi-pass work on a couple of occasions, with Orlando Magic point guard Elfrid Payton and Los Angeles Lakers power forward Julius Randle doing the honors once: ... and a handful of fellow rooks —Payton, New York Knicks wing Cleanthony Early, Celtics swingman James Young, Randle and Magic forward Aaron Gordon —setting him up for another: The crispest three-way dance came courtesy of former Michigan men Stauskas, Oklahoma City Thunder big man Mitch McGary and Robinson III: McGary proved to be quite a nimble facilitator for a 6-foot-10, 255-pounder, offering a soccer-inspired feed to fellow OKC draft pick and future D-Leaguer Josh Huestis: McGary's most triumphant work, however, came in this unparalleled feat of athleticism and acrobatics: Not to be outdone, the Magic's Gordon showcased the brand of panache that leaves children's ankles pulverized with this off-the-wall homage to Michael Finley : I'm not sure that tops McGary's flawless floor work, but it's an admirable attempt, if nothing else. Back to the aforementioned Ennis: Since the Suns point guard couldn't match his north-of-the-border-bro Wiggins in feats of aerial assault, he decided to introduce H-O-R-S-E style shot-making into the proceedings: Ennis' trip behind the basket opened the door for some of the not-quite-as-high-flying members of the Class of 2014 to get in on the fun. Rodney Hood of the Utah Jazz checked in from the not-so-short corner: Chicago Bulls sharpshooter Doug McDermott offered his spin on Kobe Bryant's favorite H-O-R-S-E shot : The San Antonio Spurs' Kyle Anderson got a little trickier (and, to be fair, a little closer, too) with his take: Jabari Parker, the No. 2 overall pick of the Milwaukee Bucks, went behind the back: ... and Miami Heat point guard Shabazz Napier topped him by making Parker's short shot from long distance (albeit on his sixth try ): And last, but certainly not least, here's recuperating Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, walking boot and all, taking a page out of the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's book: Hi, Rihanna . My personal quick picks for best of the bunch: the Smart-to-Brown Oklahoma State connection, the Michigan three-man weave, Napier's behind-the-back heave and, of course, McGary's tumble. Feel free to share yours in the comments below. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Ray Allen on joining LeBron James in Cleveland: 'I haven’t had that conversation' (B

“Ring-chasing”is an oft-derided modern phenomenon. It wasn’t mocked in 1985 when Bill Walton demanded a trade to either the champion Los Angeles Lakers or would-be champion Boston Celtics, but for some reason (deduce as you will) it was roundly criticized in 2003 when Gary Payton and Karl Malone took far, far less money than they were being offered elsewhere to sign with the Lakers; a team that actually hadn’t even won a ring the year before. In the years since, just about every player who has joined a team along those lines has gotten the same treatment, even down to the sainted Shane Battier and Ray Allen as they joined the (in Battier’s case, non-champion) Miami Heat. Battier earned two rings with the Heat before retiring, while Allen earned his second ring as a pro in 2013. Allen currently is considering stepping down after a Hall of Fame-level career. Or, he could follow LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and hear the catcalls from those who have no idea what it’s like to be in a locker room when the champagne starts spraying. Allen discussed his impending decision in a discussion with Mark Murphy at the Boston Herald : "No," he said when asked about the assumption that he would return as a Cavalier. "There’s so much speculation about me going to Cleveland. I haven’t even decided where I will play. Obviously LeBron and I are great friends, and James Jones and I are really close. But at no point have those two tried to push me in that direction. I haven’t had that conversation. LeBron and I went on vacation to the Bahamas earlier this summer, and we didn’t talk one iota about things. And that was before he made his decision. "It’s just what they start talking about on TV —where I’m supposed to go. I have not leaned towards Cleveland," said Allen. "I have not made any mention of going to Cleveland. These last two months were about me physically, and deciding whether I want to play again." Instead, Allen is weighing family concerns and a major question of whether he wants to retire in prime physical shape, or whether he wants to chase his third NBA title. That will most likely mean leaving Miami, his city of the last two years. Allen said he has not talked with Heat general manager Pat Riley, or any other member of the Heat organization, about returning. "That’s the other dilemma. If I do play again, based on what Miami is doing or not doing, I’ll end up having to move," he said. "I’ll live in Miami, but I’ll have to move to another team." Yes, “where the dude and his family actually live.”Something that gets lost way, WAY too often as we discuss these players as assets, and complain when they stay in their incumbent cities, declining to pull up roots and move. In Allen’s case it would be the fourth such move of his career, not counting the time he was traded just minutes after being drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves. We know, we know –world’s tiniest violin. Allen’s potential “veteran’s minimum”contract with Miami or Cleveland (and probably not with Doc Rivers’Los Angeles Clippers, who are just about hard-capped out) would make him yet another million, even if it will underpay for the sort of services he provides. Ray’s three-point shooting declined last season, but anyone who watched a Heat game and took in the “oh no oh no oh no oh no”-reaction that defenses gave Miami while collapsing on an open Allen will attest to what he brings to the table. Does he want to return to that table, though? Typically, when athletes retire, they do it right away. Sick of the grind, the game, or any other number of elements, they’ll pack it up right after the season ends, or even announce before a campaign that this is the final year, I’ve had it, I’m out . Now that we’ve entered early August, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that Allen is considering giving it another go, and returning for one final year, mainly because he didn’t throw up his hands as soon as the San Antonio Spurs were done dismantling (literally, it turns out) the Miami Heat. Allen is no ordinary, typical athlete; he’s an intelligent sort that doesn’t have to follow the same path that his predecessors in basketball or other sports have. Remember, he’s famously devoted to his physical routine both during the season and in the summer months, and his declaration that the “last two months were about me physically”is a nod to that brand of obsessive orthodoxy. From there come the ring-chasing “charges.”It’s nice to win a ring. It’s fun to play with really good basketball players, and it’s even better fun to play with really good basketball players that (as it is with Allen and LeBron James) you’re also really good friends with. What would Allen’s would-be detractors want him to do? Stay in Miami for a middling team, the same franchise they criticized him for joining? End his career with a team in Milwaukee that once traded him? Go to Oklahoma City because they were kind of the SuperSonics once? Wait, no, that would be ring-chasing. It’s understandable that NBA fans are sick of supposed superteams, but LeBron James just joined a potential-laden franchise in Cleveland that is no strong guarantee to win a championship during James’prime over the next couple of years even with Allen. Carmelo Anthony declined to set up shop in Chicago, the designed superteam in Los Angeles failed miserably with Dwight Howard in the middle, Houston has so far been unable to acquire a third star, and the former superteam in Miami won just two rings in four tries, one of them just barely. “Superteam-up at your own peril,”we should probably say. We should also truly hope that we haven’t watched the last game of NBA basketball that Ray Allen will ever play, and we certainly shouldn’t criticize him should he decide to “follow”LeBron James to Cleveland and spot up in the corner for the emerging Cavaliers. This would involve a man leaving his family for months at a time while dealing with, um, significant climate change in order to try to earn another championship –the sort of thing huge gobs of fans yell at players for declining to do all the time. The only decision that Ray Allen could make that we should boo would be the decision to retire from the NBA. Then, after that initial “boo,”we should all stand and applaud the man’s legendary career. Check out what's buzzing on the Yahoo Sports Minute: - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


LeBron, Adam Silver, Becky Hammon, Dikembe Mutombo among NBA'ers to take ALS Ice Bucket Chal

The NBA's ongoing commitment to dumping cold water on itself to raise awareness of and money for research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis , often referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, continues apace. After a slew of players and coaches, including multiple members of Team USA , participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge last week, they were joined by several well-known stragglers over the weekend, including a certain four-time NBA Most Valuable Player with whom you might be familiar. (If you've somehow managed to avoid the videos to this point, the challenge is a viral video-based campaign dreamed up by the ALS Association to bolster fundraising efforts during the waning days of summer. The process is simple: start recording video, have someone pour a bucket of ice water over your head or pour one on yourself, and then ask a few people to do the same thing within the next 24 hours or to donate money to the charity. The campaign has been a monstrous success, with the ALS Association reporting Sunday that there have been "about 260,000 new donors" responsible for "$13.3 million in donations since July 29, compared with $1.7 million during the same period last year, according to the New York Times .) After being challenged to participate by reigning MVP Kevin Durant, LeBron James bit the bullett and faced the bucket this weekend: Like Team USA before him, the Cleveland Cavaliers forward nominated President Barack Obama to participate in the challenge. I once again regret to inform an NBA superstar that the president has already been challenged and declined to dump a bucket of ice water on his head , though he reportedly did donate to the ALSA. LeBron also nominated his two sons, which seems especially cold (WRITING) since he can tell them that he's not going to let them have a hundred bucks each to make a donation. Game's rigged, man. While I don't expect the president to get wet, another one of Team USA's targets accepted the challenge, as predicted in this very space . Take it away, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver: Silver paid the challenge forward to recently hired San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon, who accepted in an appropriately all-business fashion: ... and to legendary big man Dikembe Mutombo, who accepted wonderfully and on what appears to be a flip phone from 1998: Other noted cold water/charity enthusiasts include Heat president of basketball operations Pat Riley: ... and Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra: ... and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook: ... and Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadivéand Hall of Famer/team advisor Chris Mullin, joined by U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati, with the bucket-dumping done by none other than Rudy Gay and, obviously, Rod Stewart: ... and, in a somewhat dismissive yet contextually appropriate way, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who never stops wanting to remind us that he is always working: If you would like to donate to the ALS Association, you can do so here . - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. Related Video: [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


The 2014 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot featured lots of sweet dunking, trick-shot-making challenges (Vi

The NBA's annual Rookie Photo Shoot would be wonderful enough if all it gave us was awkward still shots of each year's Kelly Olynyk . In recent years, though, the photo opp has turned into an impromptu dunk contest , with members of the rookie class strutting their stuff, showcasing their springs and instantly sharing the fruits of their labors via social media. The rooks added an extra wrinkle to this summer's mid-shoot exhibition —a bit of a "can you top this?" competition featuring direct Twitter challenges. It all seems to have started with Minnesota Timberwolves second-rounder Glenn Robinson III calling out his new teammate , lottery-pick high-flyer Zach LaVine, to top this 360-degree windmill dunk: As you might expect, given the UCLA product's résumé, LaVine accepted, pulling off this off-the-wall, through-the-legs righty throwdown: ... before paying the challenge forward to No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, rocking ( for now , at least) the wine and gold of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The former Kansas standout responded in kind, making the act of getting airborne, spinning, switching hands behind your back and finishing look entirely too easy: Here's another look at that from the baseline: Wiggins kicked the challenge over to fellow Canadian and Phoenix Suns point guard Tyler Ennis, who ... well, took things in a different direction. (More on that in a sec.) The dunking displays didn't stop, though, with Sacramento Kings guard Nik Stauskas getting creative on the floor before getting in the air: ... and Boston Celtics point man Marcus Smart showing some power with the off-the-bounce double-pump reverse: ... and Charlotte Hornets power forward Noah Vonleh looking awful springy in those super-cool purple-and-teal duds : ... and Toronto Raptors mystery man Bruno Caboclo displaying his remarkable wingspan with a through-the-legs reverse: There was also quite a bit of teamwork at the shoot, with multiple freshmen-to-be showing off their love of the extra pass to set up a fellow rook for a furious finish. The young Wolves who lit the candle on the competition showed their love of sharing, with Robinson III setting up LaVine: ... and LaVine returning the favor: Celtics draftee Smart set aside future Atlantic Division beef to set up Brooklyn Nets second-rounder Markel Brown, his former Oklahoma State teammate, for a whirling slam: Atlanta Hawks big man Adreian Payne got to be the beneficiary of multi-pass work on a couple of occasions, with Orlando Magic point guard Elfrid Payton and Los Angeles Lakers power forward Julius Randle doing the honors once: ... and a handful of fellow rooks —Payton, New York Knicks wing Cleanthony Early, Celtics swingman James Young, Randle and Magic forward Aaron Gordon —setting him up for another: The crispest three-way dance came courtesy of former Michigan men Stauskas, Oklahoma City Thunder big man Mitch McGary and Robinson III: McGary proved to be quite a nimble facilitator for a 6-foot-10, 255-pounder, offering a soccer-inspired feed to fellow OKC draft pick and future D-Leaguer Josh Huestis: McGary's most triumphant work, however, came in this unparalleled feat of athleticism and acrobatics: Not to be outdone, the Magic's Gordon showcased the brand of panache that leaves children's ankles pulverized with this off-the-wall homage to Michael Finley : I'm not sure that tops McGary's flawless floor work, but it's an admirable attempt, if nothing else. Back to the aforementioned Ennis: Since the Suns point guard couldn't match his north-of-the-border-bro Wiggins in feats of aerial assault, he decided to introduce H-O-R-S-E style shot-making into the proceedings: Ennis' trip behind the basket opened the door for some of the not-quite-as-high-flying members of the Class of 2014 to get in on the fun. Rodney Hood of the Utah Jazz checked in from the not-so-short corner: Chicago Bulls sharpshooter Doug McDermott offered his spin on Kobe Bryant's favorite H-O-R-S-E shot : The San Antonio Spurs' Kyle Anderson got a little trickier (and, to be fair, a little closer, too) with his take: Jabari Parker, the No. 2 overall pick of the Milwaukee Bucks, went behind the back: ... and Miami Heat point guard Shabazz Napier topped him by making Parker's short shot from long distance (albeit on his sixth try ): And last, but certainly not least, here's recuperating Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, walking boot and all, taking a page out of the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's book: Hi, Rihanna . My personal quick picks for best of the bunch: the Smart-to-Brown Oklahoma State connection, the Michigan three-man weave, Napier's behind-the-back heave and, of course, McGary's tumble. Feel free to share yours in the comments below. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Ray Allen on joining LeBron James in Cleveland: 'I haven’t had that conversation' (B

“Ring-chasing”is an oft-derided modern phenomenon. It wasn’t mocked in 1985 when Bill Walton demanded a trade to either the champion Los Angeles Lakers or would-be champion Boston Celtics, but for some reason (deduce as you will) it was roundly criticized in 2003 when Gary Payton and Karl Malone took far, far less money than they were being offered elsewhere to sign with the Lakers; a team that actually hadn’t even won a ring the year before. In the years since, just about every player who has joined a team along those lines has gotten the same treatment, even down to the sainted Shane Battier and Ray Allen as they joined the (in Battier’s case, non-champion) Miami Heat. Battier earned two rings with the Heat before retiring, while Allen earned his second ring as a pro in 2013. Allen currently is considering stepping down after a Hall of Fame-level career. Or, he could follow LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and hear the catcalls from those who have no idea what it’s like to be in a locker room when the champagne starts spraying. Allen discussed his impending decision in a discussion with Mark Murphy at the Boston Herald : "No," he said when asked about the assumption that he would return as a Cavalier. "There’s so much speculation about me going to Cleveland. I haven’t even decided where I will play. Obviously LeBron and I are great friends, and James Jones and I are really close. But atno point have those two tried to push me in that direction. I haven’t had that conversation. LeBron and I went on vacation to the Bahamas earlier this summer, and we didn’t talk one iota about things. And that was before he made his decision. "It’s just what they start talking about on TV —where I’m supposed to go. I have not leaned towards Cleveland," said Allen. "I have not made any mention of going to Cleveland. These last two months were about me physically, and deciding whether I want to play again." Instead, Allen is weighing family concerns and a major question of whether he wants to retire in prime physical shape, or whether he wants to chase his third NBA title. That will most likely mean leaving Miami, his city of the last two years. Allen said he has not talked with Heat general manager Pat Riley, or any other member of the Heat organization, about returning. "That’s the other dilemma. If I do play again, based on what Miami is doing or not doing, I’ll end up having to move," he said. "I’ll live in Miami, but I’ll have to move to another team." Yes, “where the dude and his family actually live.”Something that gets lost way, WAY too often as we discuss these players as assets, and complain when they stay in their incumbent cities, declining to pull up roots and move. In Allen’s case it would be the fourth such move of his career, not counting the time he was traded just minutes after being drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves. We know, we know –world’s tiniest violin. Allen’s potential “veteran’s minimum”contract with Miami or Cleveland (and probably not with Doc Rivers’Los Angeles Clippers, who are just about hard-capped out) would make him yet another million, even if it will underpay for the sort of services he provides. Ray’s three-point shooting declined last season, but anyone who watched a Heat game and took in the “oh no oh no oh no oh no”-reaction that defenses gave Miami while collapsing on an open Allen will attest to what he brings to the table. Does he want to return to that table, though? Typically, when athletes retire, they do it right away. Sick of the grind, the game, or any other number of elements, they’ll pack it up right after the season ends, or even announce before a campaign that this is the final year, I’ve had it, I’m out . Now that we’ve entered early August, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that Allen is considering giving it another go, and returning for one final year, mainly because he didn’t throw up his hands as soon as the San Antonio Spurs were done dismantling (literally, it turns out) the Miami Heat. Allen is no ordinary, typical athlete; he’s an intelligent sort that doesn’t have to follow the same path that his predecessors in basketball or other sports have. Remember, he’s famously devoted to his physical routine both during the season and in the summer months, and his declaration that the “last two months were about me physically”is a nod to that brand of obsessive orthodoxy. From there come the ring-chasing “charges.”It’s nice to win a ring. It’s fun to play with really good basketball players, and it’s even better fun to play with really good basketball players that (as it is with Allen and LeBron James) you’re also really good friends with. What would Allen’s would-be detractors want him to do? Stay in Miami for a middling team, the same franchise they criticized him for joining? End his career with a team in Milwaukee that once traded him? Go to Oklahoma City because they were kind of the SuperSonics once? Wait, no, that would be ring-chasing. It’s understandable that NBA fans are sick of supposed superteams, but LeBron James just joined a potential-laden franchise in Cleveland that is no strong guarantee to win a championship during James’prime over the next couple of years even with Allen. Carmelo Anthony declined to set up shop in Chicago, the designed superteam in Los Angeles failed miserably with Dwight Howard in the middle, Houston has so far been unable to acquire a third star, and the former superteam in Miami won just two rings in four tries, one of them just barely. “Superteam-up at your own peril,”we should probably say. We should also truly hope that we haven’t watched the last game of NBA basketball that Ray Allen will ever play, and we certainly shouldn’t criticize him should he decide to “follow”LeBron James to Cleveland and spot up in the corner for the emerging Cavaliers. This would involve a man leaving his family for months at a time while dealing with, um, significant climate change in order to try to earn another championship –the sort of thing huge gobs of fans yell at players for declining to do all the time. The only decision that Ray Allen could make that we should boo would be the decision to retire from the NBA. Then, after that initial “boo,”we should all stand and applaud the man’s legendary career. Check out what's buzzing on the Yahoo Sports Minute: - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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