22 Sep 2014 at 4:50pm
CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Bulls say they have re-signed veteran center Nazr Mohammed.
18 Sep 2014 at 12:47pm
CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Bulls have signed former Orlando Magic guard E'Twaun (EE'-twan) Moore.
15 Sep 2014 at 8:57pm
When Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski first set about making the roster for the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball this summer, one of the biggest stories was the triumphant return of Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose. The 2010-11 NBA MVP and three-time All-Star has missed all but 10 games of the past two seasons with various major knee injuries and appeared set to use the World Cup as a sort of comeback tour. At the beginning of August, Coach K even announced that Rose had returned to the level of basketball's best . It looked like he was ready to serve as one of Team USA's stars. The eventual reality was much more disappointing. Rose sat out an exhibition game with knee soreness, took on a diminished role in the rotation, and struggled once official World Cup games began. In nine games, Rose averaged 4.8 points on 25.4 percent shooting from the field (including 1-of-19 from the shorter international three-point line), 3.1 assists, and 2.0 turnovers in 17.1 minutes per game. He was also the only American not to score in the final vs. Serbia, though he did log six assists. It's arguable that he was Team USA's worst performer in the tournament . Nevertheless, Rose views his experience in the World Cup as a major positive for his NBA comeback. From Mark Woods for ESPNChicago.com (via EOB ): It came without the former NBA Most Valuable Player needing to overextend himself -- with Rose used sparingly in playing just 16 minutes in the final. That he survived intact through 50 days of national team duty without any reason to believe that his knees will be a significant issue during the coming season will be a huge relief to the Bulls as training camp approaches. ?Physically he?s great,? said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who shared in the victory as assistant to USA head coach Mike Krzyzweski. ?Mentally he?s great. We had five games in six days. He handled that. There was a lot that was real good." [...] ?I?m going to transfer this onto next season with the Bulls,? he said. ?It?s really helped me with my recovery. Being off the floor, taking care of my body, eating right. I was feeling good every time I stepped on the floor, stretching every time, I think it?s going to help me with the Bulls season. ?This has gotten my body accustomed. I haven?t been playing in a long time. I still have to get my rhythm back. But as far as I?m concerned, I think I performed well. Making this team was enough for me. The championship was the cherry on top, just coming here, performing in front of this great crowd. Just coming here. Now, sad to say, I have to put this behind me and concentrate on playing for the Bulls.? Rose may be seeing a silver lining to his rough performance, but these comments are also not an isolated case. Before the final, he said that he would give himself an A-grade for the tournament and received strong feedback from Bulls officials. While it's hard to be too positive given the stats listed above, it's also understandable that everyone involved would want to focus on what went right. Even if that constitutes getting excited that Rose played in several real basketball games without suffering a painful setback. On Monday, Yahoo's own Adrian Wojnarowski referred to Rose's FIBA experience as a " Double-A rehab assignment ," a joke that doubles as the most effective way to think about what Rose did in Spain. In baseball, stars often appear in the minor leagues on the way back from injury without actually playing in a particularly impressive way. When that happens, it's not a problem ? it's just part of a process. The situations aren't entirely comparable, if only because a string of poor games is accepted as normal in baseball to a degree it's not in basketball. Yet FIBA is also not the NBA, and it's possible that Rose would have done better under NBA rules. After all, he wasn't overwhelmingly excellent in the 2010 FIBA World Championships , and that tournament occurred right before his MVP season with the Bulls. What's clear, though, is that we don't yet know what kind of player Rose will be when he suits up for the Bulls in late October. At that point, he will have been 30 months removed from his pre-injury peak, with only those 10 rust-covered games last fall and this tournament to serve as evidence of his abilities. Rose and the Bulls want observers to withhold judgment on his future, but that process also must involve admitting that he showed very little with Team USA to compel optimism. It makes little sense to write off Rose ? it would also be foolish to declare his FIBA World Cup an unmitigated success. There's a lot left to prove. - - - - - - - Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @FreemanEric
15 Sep 2014 at 2:51pm
It's not surprising to hear Mario Chalmers tell Bleacher Report's Ethan Skolnick , "We all just took too much of a back seat in the Finals," since the San Antonio Spurs undressed everyone not named LeBron James and Chris Bosh in their five-game dismantling of the Miami Heat this past June. But the mercurial point guard's reflection on a failed three-peat offers words of warning for the Cleveland Cavaliers: Dynasties aren't easily built and even harder to maintain. Only Scottie Pippen remained on the roster from the first edition of the championship Chicago Bulls when Michael Jordan began his pursuit of a second three-peat in 1995. It was an even lonelier road for Kobe Bryant in the seven seasons between Lakers titles last decade. A leading man can carry a production so far, but the show won't go on without an adequate supporting cast, and NBA bit players only take a backseat for so long before seeking bigger roles and paychecks. Taking the analogy a step further, the occasional Alan Arkin or Jared Leto accepts a smaller part for redemption or to stave off retirement, but they seek the spotlight again or aren't long for the stage. Where were we? Ah, yes, Mario Chalmers, a disastrous NBA Finals performance and the mental makeup of a role player living in the shadow of one of the game's brightest stars. "You know, for the first time in my career, I felt like I wasn't ... yeah, my confidence wasn't there," Chalmers said. "Going through that whole San Antonio series, I just felt like in the playoffs I kept getting worse and worse every round. I just couldn't figure it out. ... "Yeah, that's the worst thing, because you never know," Chalmers said. "Everybody in my ear, talking about, 'We need you, we need you to do this, we need you to do that.' And then when it comes to the game, I didn't feel involved. Like, you all talk about how y'all need me, but y'all didn't put me in position to do anything. In previous years, if I was in that position, I would make sure I would go get the ball, I would put myself in position to score. I felt like this year, we all just took too much of a back seat in the Finals. ... "I feel like I've finally got a chance to shine, show my real game," Chalmers said. "Me, CB, D-Wade and the rest of the guys, we're going to pick it up, we're still going to play Miami Heat basketball, and we're still gonna be a competitor." It's a delicate balance between a bit player knowing his role and feeding an inflated sense of self that helped him get a job only a miniscule percentage of people in his profession ever attain. Chalmers has twice declared himself a top-10 NBA point guard, and that kind of ego requires some stroking. This is the road LeBron faces now in Cleveland, the same one he had to pave in Miami before quieting the Thunder for the first of two straight championships. Finding a court comfortable kneeling at the throne of King James isn't easy, but the maturation of Chalmers and the addition of ultimate character actor Shane Battier helped the 2012 Heat dispose of the Celtics in seven games and Oklahoma City in five. Consummate professional Ray Allen helped the sequel prove better than the original, as Miami rattled off 27 straight regular-season victories before surviving the upstart Indiana Pacers and always game Spurs in 2013. But the Heat couldn't pull off the trilogy in 2014, because ? if Chalmers is to be believed ? the franchise relied too heavily upon its stars. The same thing happened with "The Godfather," I think. San Antonio casts supporting roles best, surrounding Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili with an ever-evolving roster of players willing to fill roles until they aren't. (I see you, Stephen Jackson.) But the Spurs model isn't one easily replicated, so LeBron is taking a different road, trading in a supporting cast that failed him in Miami this past season for one that seems more promising in Cleveland. But that doesn't mean these Cavaliers are ready for the spotlight. The road to sustained Eastern Conference supremacy has long required dethroning a worthy predecessor. The 1980s Celtics gave way to the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons, the Pistons to Jordan's Bulls, and so on until the Celtics seized control from the Pistons in the late 2000s and LeBron's Heat staved off Kevin Garnett & Co. in 2012. Only the Cavs won't have that battle-tested champion standing in their way ( except in the eyes of one Almario Chalmers ), and the lack of a worthy adversary ? save for perhaps the Bulls ? may make unseating the Spurs, Thunder or whoever else emerges from the wild West an even more difficult task. LeBron can get them to the Finals, but how players like Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters perform in their supporting roles will ultimately determine whether they're championship worthy. In the meantime, new Cavs coach David Blatt will have his hands full keeping everyone happy on the set. Just ask Rio. (h/t @talkhoops )
14 Sep 2014 at 4:12pm
Things could not have gone better for Team USA on Sunday. It just took a few minutes for everything to start getting better. Team USA downed Serbia by a 129-92 score to win the FIBA World Cup in Spain, earning the gold medal with stellar all around play, but not before starting slow against a game and confident Serbian squad. With just under four minutes gone in the first quarter, Team USA was reeling from foul trouble, unable to keep up with Serbia?s ball movement on offense, and facing a 15-7 deficit. There was still plenty of game left to play, but even the most experienced of international basketball observers were getting a little punchy: Team USA had better wake the bleep up! ? Bob Ryan (@GlobeBobRyan) September 14, 2014 It?s strange to point to pivotal first quarter plays as game-defining and eventually game-deciding, but that?s what tends to happen in an eventual 37-point blowout. With the eight point deficit ahead of him, James Harden sprang free for a lay-in and a foul, while tossing in a three-pointer on the next offensive possession. Kyrie Irving then scored five straight of his own as Team USA came back to build a lead. Those offensive plays were sandwiched around fantastic defense and a free throw from center DeMarcus Cousins, who was pushed into duty because of starting pivotman Anthony Davis? two quick fouls. Cousins closed out hard on a pick and roll play from Serbian star Milos Teodosic, causing a turnover, and he cleanly blocked the shot of ex-Milwaukee Buck big man Miroslav Raduljica. Cousins would continue the stellar defensive play as the game moved along, earning a starting nod in the second half, finishing with 11 points, nine rebounds, two blocks, and a plus-31 mark on the night. The biggest worry with DeMarcus Cousins in his professional and now international career concerned his often-iffy pick and roll defense, and his attitude when things went pear-shaped. Baited all evening by both Serbian big men and guards, rarely getting a call from the referees on either end, Cousins still kept his cool throughout his road to the gold medal. And his defense in this Cup-winning contest was absolutely pivotal. He should be incredibly proud of his performance. Team USA finished the half on a 60-26 tear, turning this into a blowout by halftime. Serbia attempted to lure the coach Mike Krzyzewski-led squad into losing its way in the second half with a series of chippy fouls, but Team USA wasn?t having any of it. With assistant coach Tom Thibodeau calling out Serbia?s expertly-scouted sets from the bench, and with Teodosic?s impact mitigated by withering defense from Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry and (especially) Klay Thompson, the silver medal winners didn?t have a chance. On offense, Kyrie Irving was an absolute killer, nailing all six of his three-point attempts and finishing with a team-high 26 points in the win. James Harden only missed one of his six three-pointers, ending the contest with 23 points, as eight Team USA players finished with double digit points. We?re expected to point out Derrick Rose?s continued struggles, he missed all four shot attempts from the field again, but the returning Chicago Bulls star did dish six assists. Team USA was expected to win this tournament even with what some have called the country?s ?C Team? (?only? five players on Team USA?s roster made the NBA All-Star team last season), and the expected top opponent ? Spain ? shocked the basketball world by bowing out in the quarter finals. Still, this doesn?t mean Team USA didn?t have its potential stumbling points, or that it had an easy road in building and developing this crew in such a short amount of time. Team USA played with a level of class that its fellow countrymen and women should be proud of, and a sense of flair and style that we appreciated taking in during late summer afternoons. Kyrie Irving is this tournament?s MVP, and while he shined on the international stage, this truly was a team effort. Those who weren?t used to providing help defense or diving down for rebounds had to cover new territory. Franchise players had to come off the bench. Top scorers had to distribute the ball to teammates that had the hotter hand. Quick tip scouting reports had to be taken in on the fly. The participants were expected to play like this was the middle of June, just three months removed from the actual middle of June. Somehow, even after being asked to put together a dominant performance against supposedly inferior international opponents, Team USA managed to impress us. That was some great basketball. - - - - - - - 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
12 Sep 2014 at 3:17pm
In the wake of ever-swirling revelations about the way Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry handled the free-agent courtship of Luol Deng in July, the Hawks? recently-promoted CEO Steve Koonin has accepted Ferry?s request to take a leave of absence from the team he has run since 2012. Here is part of the statement made by the Hawks on Friday afternoon: ?This afternoon, Danny Ferry requested, and I have approved, taking an indefinite leave of absence, effective immediately. This has been an incredibly difficult time for him and his family and it is my hope that this time away from the Hawks organization allows him the privacy he needs to listen to the community, to learn about his mistakes, and to begin the long process of personal healing. As a human being, manager and friend, I wish him well as he undergoes this process. While the issues related to race are deeply troubling, at the heart of this dispute is an unfortunate disagreement amongst owners. That said, we have taken several steps to address what we can do as an organization to be better and stronger, including working with a diversity consultant to examine us and to train us to ensure something like this never happens again, we are committed to hiring a Chief Diversity Officer, and we have and will continue to meet with community leaders in an ongoing way to ensure our values reflect the community in which we play and work. The process of selling the team, which is to remain in Atlanta, is already underway. Effective immediately, our Head Coach, Mike Budenholzer, will assume oversight of the basketball operations department. He will report directly to me. Ferry released his own statement: "No words can adequately describe my remorse for the hurt that I have caused many people through the statements I repeated, most importantly Luol Deng. "Luol is a good man who I have known for many years and he has done a tremendous amount of good for his country and around the world. I apologize to Luol and I apologize to all that I have offended. As I have said, while these were not my words, I deeply regret repeating them. Almost all the background information I provided during the lengthy presentation regarding Luol was positive and my personal and professional recommendation during the call was very much in favor of adding Luol to our team but I never should have uttered those offensive remarks and for that I apologize. "My focus moving forward is to tirelessly work to rebuild trust with this community and with our fans. I realize that my words may ring hollow now and my future actions must speak for me. I will maximize my time during this leave to meet with community leaders and further educate myself and others on the extremely sensitive issues surrounding race, diversity, and inclusion. I will find a way to make a positive difference in this area, and further learn from the sensitivity training that I will go through.? This move comes on the heels of yet another bombshell, following revelations of the meeting that Ferry called in order to detail Deng?s supposed background to a cadre of Hawk owners , and the release of the actual audio from that meeting . A document recently obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB Channel 2 appears to disclose that a former Cleveland Cavaliers executive wrote the damning ?scouting? report that Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry expounded upon in his discussions regarding Luol Deng?s possible signing with the franchise. The remarks were paraphrased by Ferry, they allowed one disgruntled minority owner to pounce and ask for Ferry?s resignation, and the resulting criticism could cost Ferry his job. Here?s a screen shot of the Cleveland-sourced report:
12 Sep 2014 at 1:34pm
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution?s release of Danny Ferry?s actual recorded words confirms what Adrian Wojnarowski already reported on Wednesday : Ferry was more than certainly the brains behind the needless and insulting comments about then-free agent forward Luol Deng, and the entire Atlanta Hawks franchise is in flux as a result. When I navel-gazed regarding Ferry?s future with the Hawks and the league he?s called home since returning stateside in 1990, I mentioned the absence of leadership as the most damning reason why Ferry should not continue with the team. To relay those thoughts and perceptions, be they his or the words of some witless scout, was so far off base that it still defies belief. It defies belief no matter how many times we?ve had to re-read or eventually hear the words that I won?t waste your time in relaying once again. What are worth relaying are the words of two of Ferry?s contemporaries in the general manager market. Toronto Raptors GM Masai Ujiri and Brooklyn Nets GM Billy King have both known and have worked with Danny Ferry for years, and both spoke out on Thursday in regards to the thought process that leads to scouting reports like these, Ferry?s character as a person and professional, and his future. The Nigeria-born Ujiri, in an expertly-penned op-ed piece for The Globe and Mail , gets the first nod: R. C. Buford is the GM of the San Antonio Spurs. He was one of the first NBA executives to come to our Basketball Without Borders camps a decade ago. That same year, he adopted a young man from Cameroon. Wayne Embry is an adviser for our team. Forty years ago, he was the first African-American GM of an NBA team. Both of these men, whom I trust so much, are close to Danny. They have nothing but great things to say about him. The league is a small world. Other people I?ve spoken to who know Danny well say that he has never done anything they?ve seen to suggest he holds racist views. I spoke to Danny myself about this. He started off by apologizing to Luol. He apologized to me and apologized for any insult he?d offered to African people in general. He explained the incident as best he could to me. There are some things about that conversation I would like to keep between the two of us, but I came away feeling like I?d understood what he had to say. Here is what I have to say: I have no idea what is happening in the Atlanta Hawks organization, but I do know how the scouting world works. We all have different ways of sharing information about players and different vocabularies to do so. It crossed a line here. That said, we are all human. We are all vulnerable. We all make mistakes. You discover a person?s true character in their ability to learn from and then move on from those mistakes. One of the truly important things we must learn is how to forgive. Via Grantland?s Zach Lowe , here are King?s statements: King on Ferry: ?I have known him since we were 15 years old. He is like a brother to me and he is the furthest thing from a racist.? ? Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) September 12, 2014 The issue here is that nobody I know has called Danny Ferry a racist. I?m sure he?s been referred to as much in message boards I don?t frequent and comment sections I don?t peruse, but even with that highly-dubious Bonzi Wells incident from 2002 still lingering , I cannot recall any NBA voice of substance referring to Ferry in such strict terms. We do know that he?s prejudiced, because to impugn an entire continent as sneaky and backhanded by definition of its name alone shows a shocking lack of knowledge and character. We do know that he failed as a leader, because no voice of the basketball end of the Hawks franchise should be either relaying or (more likely) thinking and then expressing these thoughts as a way of describing a potential employee. I cannot recall who, but someone on Twitter recently wondered aloud as to what a scouting report in someone like Ferry?s hands would say for someone like Michael Beasley. Luol Deng is widely respected and the recipient of the NBA?s Citizenship Award, and Beasley is a career-wasting flameout that is looking to join his fourth NBA team in two calendar years right now, with little luck so far and with training camp just weeks away. The issue with that (appropriate) query is that good leaders don?t need to reduce themselves to even nastier language to describe someone like Beasley, who didn?t even bother to show some sort of care and concern for his game last season even while being gifted the opportunity to spell LeBron James and play deep into June with the Miami Heat. The same goes for Deng, even if he does have some batch of mitigating factors Atlanta Hawk owners should worry about. Mitigating factors we?re unaware of. (Though if it is true that Deng sometimes acts as an anonymous source for the press while denying as much, can you blame him? This is the guy that watched as the Chicago Bulls publicly scolded for not playing on a broken leg, before having to get an outside opinion that confirmed that, yeah, Luol Deng has a broken leg. This is a guy whose Chicago front office stood by silently while their coach ? who knew exactly what was wrong with Luol Deng at the time ? referred to his career-threatening botched spinal tap as ?flu-like symptoms.? This is the guy that had to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, before the franchise got its head out of its tails and dumped the Chris Grant/Mike Brown regime.) Danny Ferry should have found some way to discuss Luol Deng?s merits and demerits and the sometimes beneficial overlap of the two in ways far better than the ones we read about on Wednesday , and heard on Thursday . Whether or not this misstep is a fireable offense in a vacuum is up for debate. This didn?t happen in a vacuum, though, and there are feelings to consider and a franchise?s future to think about. Donald Sterling wasn?t pushed out of the NBA because he?s a racist ? the league has known about his line of thinking and discriminatory practices for decades. He was pushed out of the NBA because he was bad for business. The Hawks may have just signed Elton Brand, a solid pickup that shares a university affiliation with Ferry, but that doesn?t mean Ferry won?t be bad for their particular brand of business ? be it recruiting players, fans, or potential owners ? in many ways moving forward. Ujiri and King were right to talk about forgiveness, and after the initial shock and anger wore off, I think most of us have already forgiven Danny Ferry for what appear to be his own dumb thoughts and expressions. What matters now is the cold, hard world of creating a winning team and (more importantly) securing profits. In that regard, Ferry?s future is out of forgiveness?s hands. - - - - - - - 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
11 Sep 2014 at 4:21pm
The pattern works, apparently, so why give up on it? Team USA has turned this into a routine. The squad doesn?t exactly start off each game of the FIBA World Cup by playing poorly, but it usually needs the entirety of the first half in order to hash out the strengths of its opponent, before turning the jets on in the third quarter. This was ridiculously apparent on Thursday, when Team USA outscored Lithuania by a 33-14 mark, in a 10-minute quarter no less, to take a massive lead and eventually win 96-68. The semifinal victory allows Team USA the chance to play for the gold medal in Sunday?s championship game, taking on the winner of Friday?s Serbia/France pairing in the other semifinal matchup. All the hallmarks for coach Mike Krzyzewski?s team were in place. Lithuania never had a comfortable lead of any kind, but it did manage to stay at arm?s length for the bulk of the first half, entering the halftime break with just an eight-point deficit in a game Team USA was favored to win by 3 1/2 times as much. Team USA paired poor decision-making on offense with high-school-level mistakes on defense ? and that isn?t even getting into the work of James Harden, as there wasn?t a member of the rotation who couldn?t be spotted screwing up on that end in the first half. Harden, though ... let?s just say that James Harden gave us several of the James Harden-esque plays on defense that he?s sadly become known for: Harden?s excuse in this instance was that he was already playing with two first-half fouls in an international setup that fouls you out with five infractions. Stephen Curry was also playing with two ticky-tack fouls at the same time, though, and one possession after this one he moved over to take an expertly placed charge call defensively. The international referees didn?t correctly call the charge, it should be noted, so Team USA was left with its sieve on the floor as social media cackled away. Each of the missteps, eventually, allowed for redemption on the other end. Klay Thompson?s defensive indifference ushered Lithuanian forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas in for an easy putback dunk at one point, and an obviously bothered Thompson made up for it by calling for the ball on the other end and scoring to keep the opponent?s momentum at bay. Harden was eye-rollingly awful defensively in the second half as well, without the foul-trouble excuse, but he responded with 16 second-half points as Team USA pulled away. Curry and Kyrie Irving had their difficulties on the defensive end, and Kenneth Faried's and Anthony Davis? heads were often turned, but all more than made up for it with movement and quick finishes in the win. The only one to end his night without any singular act of come-uppance was Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose, who is continuing a worrying World Cup trend of missing shots around the basket and pull-up 3-pointers. Rose missed seven of his eight looks in the win, and turned the ball over three times in 15 minutes. As the game wore on, Team USA?s typical insistence on causing turnovers in order to take pressure off its sometimes-shaky half-court offense failed to materialize to the degree that it has in other wins, but the group still managed to force 20 of the miscues. Lithuania shot 30 percent from the floor and looked defeated midway through the third quarter, the likely response to giving its physical all in the first half, only to watch as Team USA kept the game in hand. Part of that physical work came from Lithuania?s best player, Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas, who nearly instigated a fight with Team USA center DeMarcus Cousins at one point. Valanciunas could no doubt sense Cousins? frustrations at being scored on in the post on one possession defensively, with the referees missing a call on the other end as DeMarcus was hacked upon going up for a shot. Jonas responded by giving two elbows to Cousins? forehead and neck in the ensuing free throw rebound scrum, and Cousins responded with this: Probably not the best decorum for an international tournament, but considering Valanciunas? moves it was completely understandable in basketball terms. In the end, the passing and movement and collective play took over for Team USA. Kyrie Irving led the squad in scoring with 18 points, making six 3-pointers while taking advantage of the shortened 3-point line. Thompson realized that while he might not be a slashing athlete in comparison to his NBA cohorts, he certainly has the one-up in athleticism at this international level, and he utilized his all-around skills offensively. Rudy Gay overcame a smack to the mouth on a drive to corral a team-high seven rebounds in a little more than 13 minutes. It?s never going to be easy with this crew, despite the blowout wins, because this is a team that was created one month ago, playing under different rules and working to overcome the ?no-you-shoot-I-insist? instincts that can sometimes dog All-Star-type rosters like these. Team USA just needs to keep it going for one more game in order to win that gold. It would be nice, though, if the group would start to pretend that it?s the third quarter in the second quarter of the championship game. Or, perhaps, start pretending as much in the first quarter? - - - - - - - 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
11 Sep 2014 at 4:43am
By Tim Hanlon BARCELONA (Reuters) - Spain centre Pau Gasol has doubts about his future with the national team following the hosts' shock quarter-final defeat by France at the basketball World Cup on Wednesday. The Spaniards, packed with NBA talents and joint favourites with the United States, were expected to reach the final but the contest against France which began with fans in festive spirits ended with calls for coach Juan Antonio Orenga to resign. The defeat could well mean the end of an era for a successful Spanish side who lifted the 2006 World Cup, bagged silver medals at the last two Olympics and won two of the last three European Championships.
10 Sep 2014 at 3:32pm
The Atlanta Hawks cancelled a scheduled meeting between their CEO and city civil rights leaders Wednesday, prompting one of the group's leaders to say his community was greatly offended. The Rev. Markel Hutchins said the meeting with CEO Steve Koonin was called off ''at the last minute.'' He later said he received a call from Hawks spokesman Garin Narain on Tuesday night asking the appointment be postponed. Hutchins said he needed to hear that request from Koonin, and because Koonin didn't personally cancel the meeting, the group of 12 civil rights leaders showed up as planned. When they entered Philips Arena and were told there would be no meeting, Hutchins and the other leaders said they were insulted.
10 Sep 2014 at 2:29pm
In the late 1980s, Michael Jordan's need for roomier Chicago Bulls garb to cover his lucky North Carolina shorts helped pave the way for the even baggier version popularized by Michigan's Fab Five in the early '90s, thus closing the book on the NBA's bare thighs chapter. But one American hero is hopping in his DeLorean in an attempt to bring short NBA shorts back to the future, and that man is newly signed Los Angeles Clippers wing Chris Douglas-Roberts. Told Clippers I'm wearing # 14 this yr & I need medium shorts. They said medium shorts? I said yea like Stockton. Gonna be a fun yr #LobCity ? Memphis CDR (@RockstarCDR) September 9, 2014 Everyone from George Mikan to Charles Barkley wore short shorts for the first century of basketball's existence, but John Stockton was the NBA's Daisy Duke, wearing skimpy Utah Jazz Underoos well into the baggy bottoms boom as the last vestige of a bygone era.
9 Sep 2014 at 9:18pm
African-born British NBA star Luol Deng said he was saddened and disappointed in remarks made about him in June by Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry. "'He has a little African in him.' These words were recently used to describe me," Deng said.
9 Sep 2014 at 10:10am
I?ve got a lot of Mick in me. I?m prone to bouts of depression, and I have a hair-trigger temper that tends to lash out in the face of those who don?t tip well or use turn signals. Sometimes I overindulge. I can write, but I can?t tan. If you?re looking for a ruddy-faced stereotype, I?m your Mick. Of course, if you call me that, or mention to others that ?Dwyer has a lot of Mick in him,? your nose is about to meet my forehead. I?m the only one who is allowed to say it. Just me. This is where Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry screwed up. And this is why he probably won?t be the Hawks GM once the 2014-15 season rolls around. And this is why such a removal might be in the best interests for all involved. According to reports , in a phone conference detailing the Hawks? interest in free agent swingman Luol Deng, Ferry was heard relaying a quote that stated that Deng ?has a little African in him, not in a bad way, but he's a guy who would have a nice store out front, but sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back." Not in a bad way, just in an illegal way. You know, typical African stuff. What this description even means is anyone?s guess. Whoever actually penned this particular version of the scouting report is up for anyone?s guess. It could have come from a Hawks scout, a member of the same Chicago Bulls franchise that completely sold out Deng after a botched spinal tap procedure , or a Cleveland Cavaliers staffer still employed after last season?s front office overhaul. The source is sickening enough, but it?s the oversight that matters most. Danny Ferry is where the buck should have stopped, and he failed in his authoritative role. Ferry comes from sound pedigree. His father Bob was a longtime NBA executive with the former Washington Bullets, he is a Duke graduate, and he worked his way into his own executive career after working under Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford in San Antonio. His first turn as a full-on GM in Cleveland was a misspent five years, but he has created an entertaining team in Atlanta, one that should grow into a second-round mainstay as the years move along. Danny Ferry won?t be around for such growth, or at the very least he shouldn?t be, because of this astonishing lack of principle when it came to discussing Luol Deng?s merits in the presence of his bosses ? one of whom, minority owner Michael Gearon, has already called for his firing. The fact that Ferry is not a back-slappin? good ole boy hardly matters here. What counts is the mentality that tells an NBA executive that it?s passable to discuss a player and more importantly a person in these terms and think that it?s just fine. As we discussed on Monday , Luol Deng is an absolute saint. The Sudanese-born forward is also a Duke product, he is as selfless as players come, and he remains a dutiful teammate and leader. His African heritage should be a point of pride, as should be the source of all of our respective lineages. To refer to it as some sort of positive slur ? some mishandled, ?no, that?s a good thing!? ? is beyond insulting. Especially when, as any good basketball scout will tell you, Luol Deng hardly fits the mantle of some back-alley, counterfeit cheat. To refer to any basketball player along these terms even if they do toss the occasional elbow or dirty screen, whether they come from Spokane or southwest Dallas, is wrong. That scout was wrong, and Ferry was completely out of his gourd for relaying the scout?s thoughts. His front office and ownership group gathered in anticipation of paying Luol Deng eight figures a year to work for their basketball club, a perfect salve for both ends of the ball for that growing Hawk squad, and Ferry decided to utilize this line as an attribute ? It?s an astonishing misstep from somebody that should know better. The Ferry family should always have a place in the NBA, Danny has earned as much, but that doesn?t mean the Hawks owe him one after this. This is an unacceptable brand of leadership. - - - - - - - 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
8 Sep 2014 at 6:12pm
It?s possible that, even as an ardent NBA fan, you?d never heard Bruce Levenson?s name before Sunday morning. Donald Sterling was a go-to joke for years. He made the cut of Jay Leno?s hackiest late night show jokes, and this was in the years after Jay rolled down his blazer sleeves and turned into the hackiest of hacks. His Clippers were a disgrace, his discriminatory practices were destructive, and his presence on the Clippers sideline was embarrassing and real. Billy Crystal and Penny Marshall may have drawn the red light of the cameras, but true NBA fans knew that Donald Sterling was the NBA?s great shame, a blight that David Stern refused to do anything about. That failure should forever loom large whenever anyone brings up Stern?s supposed accomplishments. Cable television deals can go to hell in response to enabling a racist slumlord for three decades. Bruce Levenson? The Atlanta Hawks? Milquetoast, all. A team that shoots for 45 wins each year while working in a literal arena that looks like every other building while playing in red uniforms and blasting the same wedding party hits during timeouts and even during the game. Former Chicago Bulls coach Scott Skiles once complained about the Phillips Arena band pumping ?get off your feet, Aunt Linda?-type hits like ?Play That Funky Music? for the white boy crowd following a loss in 2007, and we don?t bring up this particular band?s choice of lyric nor the intended subject?s implication for a reason. Levenson did that for us. In a widely reported 2012 email, Levinson wildly wondered about the implications of owning a mostly African-American team coached (then) by an African-American coach in a mostly African-American city, positing and challenging his front office to field the sort of production that would lure older white males into his arena to secure season ticket passes. According to Levenson?s email, the cheerleaders (already a needless anachronism in 2012) needed to be whiter. The songs needed to fit the white man?s classic rock playlist. The Kiss Cam needed to show more couples with blue eyes ? possibly while playing a KISS song along the way. It was a ramble, but it was terrifyingly accurate. It is if you?re the sort of affluent white guy that has enough money to purchase an NBA team, wondering why you?re ranked third from last in attendance even while working out of one of the nation?s busiest cities. What you should worry about, more than anything, is the related comment that current Hawks general manager Danny Ferry recently made about Luol Deng. Ferry, as reported in a column by Yahoo Sports? Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday , was described as having ?some African in him,? which is as infuriating as it is telling. Deng, who is Sudanese, sure does have some African in him. He should be proud of as much. I?ve never covered nor followed an NBA player that I respect more than Luol Deng, and if his pitch-perfect playing and sublime temperament are a result of his heritage, than we should all aspire to make more friends and commiserate more consistently with those that share Luol Deng?s lineage. The man is an absolute prince amongst mortals. Of course, that doesn?t stop longtime NBAniks like Sam Smith ? who is still trusted by the Chicago Bulls to act as their voice on record on their official website ? from spouting off ridiculous opinions like these in 2010, via Blog-a-Bull : My latest theory is growing up in Africa I don?t believe Deng was exposed to the nutrition our kids have and might have issues with bone strength. Mr. Smith, it should be noted, has yet to earn his medical license. The Chicago Bulls? medical staff, in 2010, should have been revoked of theirs ? they wildly outed Deng as some sort of malingerer while he attempted to work through what was later diagnosed as a broken leg in 2010, the femur that ?Dr.? Smith was attempting to diagnose while noting that Sudanese children don?t get enough milk with their Wheaties in the morning. Deng would go on to attempt to play through a botched spinal tap that the Bulls medical crew and current coach ? the sainted Tom Thibodeau ? publicly sniffed at two years later. Straight white males are really good at their ?latest theory,? at least in their own head. I?m one of them, and I?ve spent the entirety of my Monday creating my own. We love to dish about as to what people that don?t look like us both above or below the sheets like to do, we love to project our own hot takes as to what people that have nothing to do with us (for good reasons, in most aspects) would want to take in as consumers, and we love to nod tellingly when things go our way. This isn?t self-loathing, this is just privilege run amok. Sometimes ? hell, usually ? to destructive ends. Luckily, in this pathetic instance, we?re only talking about a basketball team. A mediocre outfit in Atlanta that has trouble learning to aim for the fences in a town with the worst traffic in any city not named ?Los Angeles? or ?New York? while working in a town that is notorious for its in-person indifference to sports. Bruce Levenson?s candor regarding an embarrassing email may have been a means to an end, a way to cash in on something in between the quarter of a billion the Milwaukee Bucks were recently sold for, and the actual $2 billion the Los Angeles Clippers were sold for in the wake of the NBA finally growing up and using Donald Sterling?s words and actions against him. We have no idea, because even though the NBA is a private league, its owners are publicly prone. Millionaires and potential billionaires like Levenson are allowed to be racist behind the closed executive doors perched upon their particular ivory tower. You can get away with as much as long as you?re not one amongst 30 NBA owners, as opposed to one amongst thousands of straight white males running larger and larger businesses ? thrashing away at the middle class that once supported you, taking more and more from the low-lying financial stanchions that dock below it. It?s easy for me to write this, as my suburban neighbor?s lawnmower blares a yard away and as the cats in my living room tap at my ankles. I may not be able to afford season tickets for Atlanta Hawks games, but I can grill burgers on my back porch tonight, and my children are happy with what they have to wear to school the next day. Here comes the #NotAllMen rant, though. I worked for this privilege, from government-issued housing and a $150 weekly Sports Illustrated paycheck eight years ago to a position at this website that I coveted and respect above all else. I don?t deny the fact that because of the color of my skin and orientation and gender, however, that I am and will forever be privileged. That some outfits will prefer my three quarters to another man?s dollar. That some people on the street in Indianapolis will prefer seeing me walking down the road outside the Pacers? arena with my ancient Blackberry and cuffed jeans to an African-American colleague of mine wearing a tailored suit that costs more than my monthly car payment. It?s time to come clean, about such things. Bruce Levenson did as much on Sunday. The questions from here, however, remain the same. Why did he do it, and how does this help anyone? - - - - - - - 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
5 Sep 2014 at 2:07pm
Much has been written about Carmelo Anthony?s potential departure and eventual re-connection with the New York Knicks. How it wasn?t about the money, even though Carmelo Anthony turned down offers from better teams to play for less money. How it?s all about winning, even if it may take a while to succeed in New York under new president Phil Jackson and rookie head coach Derek Fisher. Now, we?ve got yet another reason. The guy doesn?t want to be a free agent again. Ever, ever, ever. (Even if he totally wanted to be a free agent this summer.) Anthony further discussed his reasoning at the same Bloomberg Sports Business Summit that provided Adam Silver?s telling remarks about legalized betting and the idea of early-morning NBA tip-offs to further accommodate Chinese viewership. Here?s Anthony?s take on what must have been a miserable summer, via the New York Post?s Marc Berman?s report : ?I plan on ending my career here, so it wasn?t for me to go out there and try to strike a two-year deal and then have to go through this situation in two years. I?m not doing that ever again. I would never do that again. I would advise no one to ever do that,? Anthony said. ?I experienced it and it?s behind me.? Remember that ?behind me? entails five-star accommodations as Anthony was wined and dined and recruited in third-world outposts like Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and Houston . Also, ?membah this :? ?I want to be a free agent,? Anthony tells a reporter from the New York Observer, as their cigars burn close to the nub. ?I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career. It?s like you have an evaluation period, you know. It?s like if I?m in the gym and I have all the coaches, all the owners, all the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate everything I do. So yes, I want that experience.? Be careful what you wish for, I suppose. September snark aside, this is completely understandable from all angles. Anthony was never a free agent, prior to this summer, despite entering the NBA in 2003. His 2006 contract extension with Denver fell before his eventual free-agent status, and he signed an extension with New York upon forcing a trade to the Knicks in 2011. It?s nice to be wanted, and it?s nice to feel in control of your own destiny. It?s also nice to have potentially great teams, potentially interesting situations, and potential hundreds of millions of dollars offered to you by a variety of franchises. The Lakers aren?t doing anything any time soon, but they will have a future once Kobe Bryant?s contract comes off the books, and helping re-load a franchise while nesting by the waves of Malibu should have been incredibly appealing. Dallas didn?t figure to be an obvious championship contender even with Anthony suiting up alongside Dirk Nowitzki, but the Mavericks didn?t seem like an obvious championship contender heading into 2010-11, and that didn?t stop them from falling behind Rick Carlisle?s wily ways and winning a ring. Lining up alongside Dwight Howard, James Harden and lord knows who else in Kevin McHale and Daryl Morey?s madcap experiment with Houston? That could have been incredible, and possible championship, fun. Nobody knows how Derrick Rose will look while suiting for ( essentially ) his first time in two seasons, but a lineup featuring a brilliant defensive front court and emerging young bench talent under the leadership of Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau should have truly intrigued Anthony. Especially when the Bulls were apparently, for better or worse for the franchise, ready to offer Carmelo the same deal that is going to make LeBron James a whole heck of a lot of money: Melo says idea of a two-year deal, like what LeBron just agreed to, wasn't intriguing to him. Didn't want high-stress situation of FA again ? Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) September 4, 2014 CHI had reportedly floated the idea of a short-term 2-yr deal for Melo so he could re-sign for max in 2016. He says that wasnt appealing. ? Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) September 4, 2014 Melo: "Over five years, the amount of money I left on the table, relative to the contract that I got, it?s not a lot of money." ? Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) September 4, 2014 That would, as you know, make Anthony a free agent in 2016 at the age of 32, and possibly as his prime starts to decline. The Chicago Bulls can?t NBA-legally assure Anthony that a maximum contract extension following a two-year deal would be in the cards, and there?s always the possibility the franchise could take advantage of two years of Anthony?s prime at below his free-agent value, then pull the carpet out from underneath him and leave him without that expected extension just as his production starts to decline. Now, Chicago would run the risk of turning off just about every player agent and future NBA free agent in the process, but there?s always the chance. I suppose. Of course, there?s always this telling addendum, via the Post : Anthony noted a move also would have meant restarting his brand from scratch. ?I just felt if I was to leave, I would have to ? build that foundation up once again, and it took me a while to build that foundation and to get it up and going to where it?s at right now,? Anthony said. /Mr. Burns voice: Ah yes ? the brand! Now ?his brand? is Marc Berman?s choice of phrase, but he?s not wrong in using it. And Carmelo Anthony isn?t wrong in considering it ? his off-court and on-court brand and, heaven forbid, thinking about his family . Anthony is explaining quite a bit away, but he doesn?t need to. All he has to do is align his statements, and we?d understand. The Knicks offered him the most amount of money, and the ability to play in a wonderful city while making an average of $26 million until he is 35. He and his wife enjoy New York, and the roots they?ve put down. Also, while the Knicks were embarrassing last season and won?t be much better in 2014-15, there is the sound possibility that Phil Jackson could at the very least turn the squad into an aesthetically-pleasing winner that Anthony would enjoy playing with. They won?t land Kevin Love or Kevin Durant, but things could eventually turn around, even if a championship isn?t in the offing. That?s just a paragraph?s worth of explanations. There?s no need to lie about how it wasn?t about the money, because money was a huge part of it, and we understand. There?s no need to hold your nose at the thought of free agency, 11 months after drooling over the prospect of no restriction, because anything can happen between now and 2016, and we understand. And don?t talk up building a foundation in New York, because it?s already shot to hell, and foundations in Houston, Chicago and Dallas are already in place. Just say that you love New York, you have faith in Phil Jackson, and that the guaranteed money was too much to pass up. We?d understand. Around the NBA: - - - - - - - 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
5 Sep 2014 at 2:54am
They set out in different directions, with every reason to believe they are headed for the same destination. Both went 5-0 and were hardly challenged in group play, Spain powering past what was considered a difficult pool and the U.S. ''They are playing well, but we can't think about games that could come in the future,'' Spain guard Ricky Rubio of the Minnesota Timberwolves said. If the Americans reach the final, they would then travel to Madrid, perhaps with Spain waiting for them.
4 Sep 2014 at 9:03pm
The Philippines may have beaten only one of its five opponents and been eliminated at the group stage of the Basketball World Cup but they have won over a country that can sense the rapid progress of the sport in the nation. ''Being there is a mini victory for the country already,'' former captain Chris Tiu told The Associated Press. ''It means that we belong to the elite of Asian basketball.'' One of the most successful coaches in Philippine professional basketball, American Tim Cone, shared Tiu's sentiments. ''What a moment,'' he said in commentary on local television as the Filipinos geared for the opening battle last Saturday against Croatia.
4 Sep 2014 at 8:50am
As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History . Today, we're driving all the way back to 1977 to watch a healthy Bill Walton dunk on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in both their primes. In one of the great art crimes in the game of basketball?s long and lovely history, we don?t tend to think of highlight reel moves when it comes time to recall the playing career of Hall of Famer Bill Walton. Touch passes, in-between hooks, killer defense and, sadly, that litany of career-confining injuries would be amongst the first images to pop up in our internalized scrapbook. From there we get the Grateful Dead, facial hair, the Symbionese Liberation Army and his mercurial broadcasting career to work off of. It?s true that Bill?s game, even when he was healthy, was never about flash. He left that to David Thompson, whose N.C. State Wolfpack downed Walton in the 1974 NCAA championship, or Julius Erving, Walton?s ABA counterpart and eventual adversary in Walton?s 1977 peak triumph as a pro. In an NCAA era that wouldn?t even let Walton legally stuff the ball even as he went on to make 21 out of 22 shots in the 1973 title game win, some of his best and healthiest years were spent using touch and toughness to ease things in. By the time Walton got to the NBA, though, the man didn?t want to be eased in. And by the time Walton hit his too-early peak during the 1976-77 playoffs, the sight of the front of the rim and longtime combatant Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was too compelling to pass up. Forget your extra pass. Watch: Walton and Kareem did and do not have as chilly a relationship as Abdul-Jabbar had and has with ? well, just about every damn center of the last 60 years. With that in place, the two UCLA Bruin titans still had a job to do, and a Western Conference finals to take down. Abdul-Jabbar was brilliant during that regular season, outpacing Walton in points (26.2 to 18.6) tying him in blocks per game, while nearly matching him in rebounds (14.4 to 13.3) and even assists (3.8 to 3.2). All while, in the pre-Magic Johnson era in Lakerdom, working with a Los Angeles roster that couldn?t hold a candle to Walton?s deep and vibrant Portland Trail Blazer squad. Kareem also outscored Walton in the series by 30.2 to 19.2 margin (marks for rebounds, blocks and assists aren?t reliably available), but even though the Lakers owned the home court advantage, the Blazers swept Los Angeles. It?s a team game, and Bill had the better team. You likely know how the story moves along from here. All the stereotype Walton-isms come back into play. The Trail Blazers won the NBA championship with Bill calling for the equal-opportunity motion offense all along, keeping Portland weird by saying endearingly daffy things about his missing bike during the city?s championship rally. Jack Ramsay?s team would go on to win 50 of its next 60 games in 1977-78 before Walton injured both his legs, returning far too early for the playoffs in the days before we knew what the hell a ?stress fracture? was. From there, sadness, the breakdown of his relationship with an unknowing Blazer team , the San Diego Clippers, three-piece suits , more injuries, Boston , another ring, more injuries, ankle fusion, sadness, Ralph Lawler, NBC, ABC/ESPN, Boris Diaw , and the formation of the Bill Walton legend. All certainly worth it, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the guy that got to stay healthy throughout his 30s and win five more championships. What Bill Walton wouldn?t give. It hardly matters. For one spring and early summer, the whole of the basketball world was Bill Walton?s to dance around. More from BDL's Dunk History series: ? Shaq literally takes down the Nets ? Gerald Green turns off the lights ? John Starks, the Chicago Bulls and 'The Dunk' ? Tom Chambers rising like a Phoenix and taking orbit as a Sun ? Taj Gibson starts the break, then breaks Dwyane Wade ? Joakim Noah makes Paul Pierce a memory ? Baron Davis unloads on Andrei Kirilenko, moves beyond belief ? Michael Jordan embarrasses, like, all of the Knicks ? Spud Webb shocks the basketball world ? LeBron James tries to take down all of Boston ? A young Kobe Bryant goes way over a young Ben Wallace - - - - - - - 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
4 Sep 2014 at 1:46am
Brazil and Argentina kept alive their dreams of rekindling past glories after winning in contrasting fashion to reach the basketball World Cup last 16 with a match to spare on Wednesday. Australia and Lithuania also booked their knockout-stage berths on a frantic penultimate day of the preliminary group stage, with holders United States and hosts Spain enjoying comfortable wins after sealing their passage earlier. Winners in 1959 and 1963, Brazil stayed on course for a first podium finish since 1978 with a rollercoaster 81-73 win over Serbia, having trailed in the second half after squandering a 16-point halftime lead. Argentina, the 2002 tournament runners-up and the 2004 Olympic champions, romped to an 81-46 mauling of surprise package Senegal on the back of 22 points and 14 rebounds from Indiana Pacers forward Luis Scola.
3 Sep 2014 at 6:07pm
GRANADA, Spain (AP) -- Ricky Rubio's quick hands set the tone and Marc Gasol had a game-high 17 points as Spain beat France 88-64 Wednesday to remain undefeated at the Basketball World Cup.
3 Sep 2014 at 4:29pm
NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Knicks added four assistant coaches to first-year coach Derek Fisher's staff Thursday, hiring Jim Cleamons, Rasheed Hazzard, Brian Keefe and Joshua Longstaff.
3 Sep 2014 at 12:20pm
The Clippers have added Ekpe Udoh to their roster to give their front line added depth.
2 Sep 2014 at 2:40pm
The 2014-15 NBA Draft Guide has launched! Get access to dozens of columns and mock drafts, 350 player outlooks, rankings, and so much more.
2 Sep 2014 at 10:17am
1 Sep 2014 at 7:28pm
Spain and Greece are headed to the round of 16, and Senegal is in position to join them after shaking up Group B with an upset Monday at the Basketball World Cup. The Spanish earned a trip to their capital by routing Brazil in a battle of unbeatens to take the lead in Group A, while Greece clinched the first spot in Madrid by improving to 3-0 earlier in the day. Pau Gasol of the Chicago Bulls had 26 points and nine rebounds for Spain in its 82-63 victory over Brazil in Granada. The hosts had already routed Iran and Egypt by a combined 67 points, but have difficult first-round games remaining against France and Serbia following Tuesday's rest day.
1 Sep 2014 at 8:22am
As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History . Today, Joey Gulino on the time LeBron James seemed to make Cleveland every other sports city?s equal ? or even higher. To say the Cavaliers won the summer of 2014 is to say Theodore J. Stepien lacked the acuity to own a basketball team. Cleveland added the best player on the planet, a ludicrously versatile power forward and a spate of veteran role players to a roster that already included one of the best young players in the game and several up-and-comers. If championships were, in fact, won in the offseason, this would be the equivalent of the Cavs going 16-0 in the playoffs while winning every game by 20 points. It?s silly to think LeBron James and Kevin Love won?t be the team?s most important acquisitions of the offseason. Silly. But another addition caught my eye this month: the addition of James Posey to the coaching staff . He still has a lot to prove on the sidelines, no question. But the memories of Posey the basketball player are still very fresh in my head. They?re dogged, obnoxious memories that frequently get in the way of others from LeBron?s first run in Cleveland. Which is to say, they?re emblematic of Posey?s defensive prowess.
29 Aug 2014 at 7:14am
As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History . Today, Jay Busbee takes us back to a day when a short man broke through basketball's height-prejudiced ceiling ... and kept on rising. Here's a story that ought to be a fairy tale, or maybe a children's book: The Little Dunker That Could. Or, from another perspective, The Sure Thing That Wasn't. Growing up in Atlanta in the mid-1980s, you didn't exactly have a banquet of exquisite sports options. There were the Braves, still years away from the start of their everything-but-rings dynasty. The Falcons featured the planet's most eligible bachelor in quarterback Steve Bartkowski ... and little else. The Hawks, though -- the Hawks had some promise. Though, as always seems to be the case with Atlanta, the Hawks' finest moments came when someone else was just a little bit better. Dominique Wilkins embodied and personified the 1980s Hawks. He would have been the most electrifying player in the league, were it not for Michael Jordan. He led a Hawks team that legitimately could have won at least one ring, were it not for the Boston Celtics. But 'Nique's not the whole story here. No, to get a sense of the frustrated potential of 'Nique, you only need look to his teammate, who at five-foot-seven literally played in his shadow. If Spud Webb didn't exist, high school coaches looking for a way to motivate their teams would have had to create him. Told all along that he was too short to play basketball, Webb just flat-out jumped over his critics and his doubters. He landed in Atlanta in 1985, more than a mascot, less than a credible threat. So it was no surprise that his decision to enter the 1986 Slam Dunk Contest was met with the kind of amused acceptance usually reserved for kids who say they want to be Batman when they grow up. Check out the crop of contestants at that year's showdown:
26 Aug 2014 at 9:32pm
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Prosecutors say former Chicago Bulls forward Ronnie Brewer has been sentenced to probation after pleading no contest to driving drunk in Beverly Hills.
26 Aug 2014 at 9:44am
As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History . Today, Kelly Dwyer takes a look at Randy Brown's throwdown over the Los Angeles Lakers. There was a time, young cats and kittens, when you had to work for this. I understand this will come off as a ?walk-two-miles-in-the-snow-to-go-to-school? story, but I?m actually of a generation that did leave me (in the vaunted winter of 1988) left to walk two miles to school just to learn how to write in cursive ? so I?m allowed to write with this furrowed brow. I?m also of a generation that left me, in the days before DVRs and League Pass, to tape every NBA game you could come across. With actual tapes. Oxide be damned, "Late Night with Conan O?Brien" episodes be saved, Marc Maron appearances on actual television shows (instead of tiny podcast downloads) to be respected. On one night, I nearly missed it. It was my mom?s night. My father is a chef, and six nights out of seven he prepped a fantastically brilliant dinner for us all. One night out of seven, though, he left the cooking to mom, no matter how late she came home from her work at a corporate gig with responsibilities that I still don?t fully grasp to this day. That back and forth between big business and misunderstood genius will never make sense to me, but what I did get out of it was solid-enough ground beef tacos from mom?s handiwork, spicy-enough chicken enchiladas, or, in this case, fantastic baked mostaccioli. Mostaccioli that I almost missed. It was 1996, DVRs did not exist and this 16-year-old was out of VHS tapes. It wasn?t so much that I needed to see Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones, Shaquille O?Neal and this cat named ?Kobe Bryant? play, it was that I need to tape every basketball game available to me because I don?t know why but let?s just tape every game to re-watch over and over during the summer and not ask questions because it might pay off later. My thoughts were almost entirely composed of run-on sentences back then. So, yeah, I should have had a license by then, but some things came up. I did manage to run down a few blocks to Osco to buy my usual brand of three-deep VHS tapes, and rush back to plop this brand of analog goodness into the machine. The machine produced a rough night out, initially. That Tuesday featured the NBA?s best defensive team giving up 72 damn halftime points to the damned Lakers, distracting me from junior-year homework that has absolutely no impact on my current profession (don?t do drugs or homework, kids) and wondering if I should renounce my profound love for one Nick Van Exel. Toni Kukoc started to get warm after that, though: He started to bring the Bulls back from 22, from 15, from whatever. Dude didn?t even start, didn?t matter ? Shaq, NVE, Eddie Jones and Jerome Kersey were the future of the NBA, and I was just some hopeless cat with a Robert Gordon haircut that was a few months removed from writing about basketball on the Internet (what a stupid endeavor!). Every loping lefty toss-in seemed to fly in the face of a Lakers team that expected differently by the first quarter. It was Michael Jordan who was supposed to lead a comeback. It was Dennis Rodman who was supposed to bury his face in Shaq?s left arm. It was Scottie Pippen who was supposed to get lucky. It was anyone but Toni Kukoc, that goofball that shouldn?t matter. Then it was Randy Brown, the only member of my hometown team who was actually from my hometown, that ? (You?ll have to excuse me.) (I miss my hometown, and I miss players like Randy Brown. Guys who can?t shoot to save their lives, but will never, ever, allow you to get past them on the other end.) (This is what Chicago is all about. Watch.) It?s a last-second spring, when nobody is expecting it. It?s a last push toward 21 by two, when the sun is going down and we don?t know if the lights are going to turn on. It?s a plunk right at the rim, because you can?t trust this backboard. It?s a left hand, when everyone expects a right hand and for Jane Byrne to clear the streets of snow and Harold Washington to make it past his second term. Michael Jordan dunked on Patrick Ewing a few times, Scottie Pippen did the same , Joakim Noah made me yell louder than I?ve ever yelled watching a sporting event while taking down Paul Pierce. I?m lucky. I?ve been able to grow up rooting for players that I love, teams I adore, and outfits that make me proud of my hometown. I also have the greatest job in the world, my world at least, and I?ll never forget that. Part of that job means watching basketball on a Tuesday in December, when the rest of the sporting world doesn?t care as much, and when the stakes seem to be low. Sometimes, though, there are people who care quite a bit. These people encourage followers who run down to a drugstore to buy VHS tapes, fans who turn an obsession into a living. And in a game with 252 combined points , one dunk will remind you of the two points that keep you coming back. - - - - - - - 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
25 Aug 2014 at 10:30am
Dick Bavetta retired last week after a 39-year career as an NBA referee. The longtime whistleblower did so in a relatively unspectacular fashion, considering his accomplishments, granting interviews to the league?s website and the Associated Press , hardly making a spectacle, and declining on turning the 2014-15 season into a year-long victory tour of sorts. A 40-year run would have been a tidy end to things, but Bavetta and his family decided that enough was enough. Bavetta?s extended family includes the hundreds of players and coaches that he?s worked with since 1975, a staggering crew that moves from the pre-ABA merger to the dregs of the drug years to the booming 1980s, the Jordan-dominated 1990s, and all the various bits of dynasties that have followed in the years since the fin de siècle. The combination of those last two realms would be typified by the 1998 NBA Finals, one that saw Michael Jordan on his last legs with the Chicago Bulls, working against a Utah Jazz team that seemed ready to establish a mini-dynasty of its own while using a group that included Jordan-aged superstars and younger contributors. Down 3-2 in Game 6, the Jazz saw a Howard Eisley three-pointer waved off and a Ron Harper two-pointer waved in by Bavetta. In the days before instant replay, the in-the-moment calls held up, even though it was obvious from the Standard Definition outset that both weren?t the right call. Watch: That?s a five point swing in a game that would end with a one point Bulls victory. Had Utah prevailed, it would have taken two in a row against Chicago and earned the right to play for the championship at home, where the Bulls would have lost four of six in two combined Finals? if the Jazz would have taken Game 6. Game 7 would have been played with an aching and/or drugged up or even inactive Scottie Pippen, working through major back woes, as well. Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, a former Bull coach and the first Bull to have his number retired as a player, still holds no ill will for Bavetta?s role in possibly denying him his only NBA championship ring. From Brad Rock at the Deseret News : ?I think everybody has a chance of missing calls; nobody bats a thousand in this league, in coaching as well. But I think his interest was in doing the best he could for the league and everyone involved,? Sloan said. ?I never felt anything malicious about the calls. After the game was over and you see what?s going on, they do a pretty darn good job.? [?] ?I think you?ve got to put it behind you and go about your business. To be so concerned about something like that ? you have no control over it whatsoever ? so you just have to hope your team gets the benefit of the doubt,? Sloan said. That?s a pretty high-minded approach, as Sloan has more than earned the right to be a little cranky about those lost five points. In the modern NBA, official replay rules would have soon overruled those calls (though not after Jerry Sloan would have absolutely lost his mind on the needlessly-long review process on the most obvious of High Definition replays), and Michael Jordan would have had to dig deeper into his bag of tricks in order to pull out a win. (People can bitch about this all they want, but Michael Jordan?s off arm ? with his entire body and ball moving the opposite direction and with all the momentum going the other way, was not enough to push the 6-6 and 220 lb. Bryon Russell to the ground. Jordan had been turning the corner and going hard right on Russell all evening, rarely pulling back for the jumper that topped off his Chicago career, and Bryon got shook. Get over it.) (But Russell fell dude and his hand was on him!) (Get over it.) (Jerry Sloan has.) Enjoy your retirement, Dick Bavetta. Don?t be a stranger. - - - - - - - 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