Russell Westbrook Isn’t a Good Complement For Anyone

Fadeaway World

Another season, another early playoff exit for the Houston Rockets. Despite having stars, experience, and total commitment to their system, H-Town is once again left watching the postseason play out form home.

The difference this time is that not everyone can agree on who is the most to blame.

Could it be James Harden, who has shown major trouble stepping up when his team needs him most? Is it D’Antoni, whose anti-midrange approach has left the Rockets predictable and vulnerable to inevitable cold streaks? Is it Daryl Morey, who is responsible for trading Chris Paul and Clint Capela?

How about Russell Westbrook? His playstyle has always been a huge controversy and many even call it a detriment to his team. In what one Eastern Conference coach told Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, Russ is the type of guy that makes it harder for other star teammates to succeed.

#basketball

Magic Johnson teases Showtime Lakers documentary

Clutch Points

NBA legend and Los Angeles Lakers icon Magic Johnson is teasing Purple and Gold fans with a Showtime documentary.

Johnson was at the Lakers’ practice facility on Monday, as the Showtime doc has evidently already begun production. The 12-time All-Star ran into Los Angeles owner Jeanie Buss as well.

Michael Jordan’s “The Last Dance” docuseries was epic, so we can surmise this Showtime doc will be good as well.

#basketball

Sheriff Challenges LeBron James To Match Reward Money To Catch Shooter

Total Pro Sports

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is calling out LeBron James personally to take action on behalf of the police.

Over the weekend, two deputies, a 31-year-old female and a 24-year-old male, were sitting in their squad car at a Metro rail station in Compton when a suspect walked up and opened fire through an open window on the passenger side. The deputies were able to radio for help. The department tweeted a video of the shooting that shows a person opening fire with a pistol.

On Monday, the sheriff asked LeBron to match the reward money that’s already on the table to help find the shooter.

#basketball

2020 Battle 4 Atlantis moved to South Dakota

The Score

This year's Battle 4 Atlantis, one of college basketball's marquee early season tournaments, will take place at the Sanford Pentagon in South Dakota, sources told CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein.

Continue reading

#basketball, #collegebasketball

Fox News’ Top 10 NBA Players List Is Very Controversial: Shaquille O’Neal 3rd, Kobe Bryant 6th

Fadeaway World

Top 10 lists are always controversial and that takes a different dimension when you talk about NBA players. The GOAT debate is a hot topic in the league but that doesn’t raise as many eyebrows as the top 10 best ballers in NBA history. That is indeed a sensitive topic since nobody has the same perception or taste of players.

Fox News gave his two pennies on this matter delivering their own Top 10 NBA players list and as usual, it was controversial. To make things worse, it was not even because of the #1 spot, which belongs to Michael Jordan, followed by LeBron James. Things go wrong when we see #3, which according to FN, belongs to Shaquille O’Neal.

O’Neal’s pure dominance was the reason why the NBA was forced to change its rules. First, when O’Neal was a member of the Orlando Magic in 1993, he made a put-back dunk that was so strong, that it basically broke the backboard, and the goal ended up folding and lowering to the floor. This caused the NBA to have a backup hoop in every arena.

#basketball

Pau Gasol gives newborn daughter meaningful name in tribute to Kobe and Gianna Bryant

Larry Brown Sports

Pau Gasol was incredibly close with Kobe Bryant, and he offered a reminder of just how close on Sunday.

Gasol and his wife Catherine welcomed a baby daughter this week. He shared the news on social media, along with what he called her “very meaningful name” in honor of Gianna Bryant, Kobe’s daughter.

13-year-old Gianna died with her father in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. on January 26.

#basketball

Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta releases statement on departure of Mike D’Antoni

Clutch Points

Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta has released an official statement after Mike D’Antoni informed the team he would not return as head coach next season.

Fertitta thanked D’Antoni for his achievements as Rockets head coach and wished him the best in future endeavors:

“I would like to thank Mike D’Antoni and his wife, Laurel, for their incredible contributions to the Houston Rockets organization and the Houston community,” Tilman Fertitta said. “Mike is a true professional and an amazing basketball mind. He is a winner, and we have been blessed to have had such an outstanding coach and leader to work with the past four seasons. We wish Mike and Laurel nothing but success and happiness in their next chapter.”

Mike D’Antoni entered the 2019-20 season on an expiring contract after he and Houston failed to come to terms on a potential extension.

#basketball

LeBron James Drops Cryptic Tweet Amid Lakers Playoff Run

Heavy

The Los Angeles Lakers are one win away from advancing to the Western Conference Finals, but LeBron James had something else on his mind during his off day.

James revealed some frustration in a tweet on Friday night, writing: “Same [crap] different day #JustThoughts.”

 

It’s a cryptic tweet and James could be taking about a variety of things. However, shortly after the tweet he posted an Instagram story popping open a bottle of vintage wine, so it obviously didn’t slow down James too much.

He has been very outspoken about the constraints of the bubble, where he and the rest of the Lakers have been now for two plus months. He recently had his wife, Savannah, join him in the bubble, but it’s still far from the life he’s used to living.

“I’m not going to tell you exactly what I do,” James said told the media. “Because I would be giving my opponents a lot of my ingredients. But let’s just say my wife is not enjoying what I do on a day-to-day basis inside the bubble getting ready for a game. Let’s just say that. I spent a lot of time, a lot of time on my body.”

#basketball

Raptors Fans Start Disgusting Petition To Send Pascal Siakam Back To Africa After Celtics Series

Total Pro Sports

For the Toronto Raptors, many thought All-Star forward Pascal Siakam would be the one to lead the team throughout the bubble experience in Florida.

Siakam had a bubble experience to forget as he averaged 16.9 points on 39.4% shooting from the field after he was putting up 23.6 points on 45.9% shooting overall and 35.9% from deep during the regular season before the stoppage.

#basketball

Giannis Antetokounmpo appears to unfollow Bucks teammates on Instagram

Yahoo! Sports

It appears that Giannis Antetokounmpo no longer follows any of his Milwaukee Bucks teammates and staff on Instagram, as screenshots confirmed Saturday morning.

It's unclear how many of his teammates he followed before, but he no longer is following them as of this publish. Antetokounmpo long has been a subject of trade rumors, with the Warriors, Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors all considered to be teams that will pursue the reigning MVP, who also brought home the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year trophy in 2019-20.

Giannis made it clear after the Bucks were eliminated from the NBA playoffs last week that he'd like to remain with the organization, still hoping to bring a championship to the team that drafted him back in 2013.

#basketball

University at Buffalo basketball player charged in stabbing of Canisius basketball player

Buffalo News

A University at Buffalo basketball player was arrested Friday after North Tonawanda police said he stabbed a basketball player from Canisius College during a pickup game.

Malik Zachery was charged with second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, in connection with the incident at 875 Eggert Drive, which is the address of St. Matthew Lutheran Church.

In a statement, the university said Zachery has been suspended indefinitely from the UB men's basketball program, but remains enrolled in school.

The athletic departments at both schools confirmed earlier Friday that a player from each program was involved in an incident Wednesday night in North Tonawanda.

#basketball, #collegebasketball

Michigan State basketball’s Tom Izzo likes how his team sacrificed in unprecedented summer

Detroit Free Press

It has been six months of uncertainty since Michigan State basketball and the rest of the college hoops  world slammed on the brakes in March.

The pandemic and ensuing shutdown did not give Tom Izzo and his staff much of an opportunity to work hands-on with the Spartans as in previous offseasons. But the Hall of Fame coach has been impressed with the maturity of his returning players as they try to seek the consistency he demands.

“The one thing I did enjoy about the summer because everybody was sacrificing, I thought everybody made good improvements,” Izzo told the Free Press Tuesday by phone Tuesday. "I didn't walk away, even to the staff, and say, 'Well, that guy wasted the summer.' So that was encouraging.”

That meant trying to keep his players focused on a number of things via phone and video calls and text messages over the past six months — checking in to make sure they are not going out in large crowds, seeing how they are doing academically with remote classes, figuring out how much basketball-related work they have been getting in on top of it all.

#basketball, #collegebasketball

NBA wants fans at games next season

Larry Brown Sports

The NBA is aiming to return to something closer to normal in 2020-21 instead of a bubble scenario.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the league made clear on Thursday’s Board of Governors call that its preference is for in-market games next season. There would likely be a limited amount of fans allowed, and there would likely be reduced travel.

The league is aiming for a full 82-game season. It would start no sooner than Dec. 25, though this is not set in stone. 

#basketball

NBA planning two-part draft combine process

Clutch Points

The NBA is planning a Draft Combine process beginning later this month and it will reportedly be in two parts, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

On Thursday, the league held a call with its Board of Governors and many details were discussed about the 2020 draft and the 2020-21 season.

The NBA is planning a Draft Combine process beginning later this month and in two parts:

— Mid-September to early October: In-market medical exams and on-court drills and virtual interviews.

#basketball

Ex-Teammate Takes Shot at Lakers Star

Heavy

Despite his age, LeBron James has defied father time and is still the face of the NBA. He’s proving once again in the playoffs that he’s the best player in the world. However, the Los Angeles Lakers star can keep up his run at the top forever.

At just 20 years old, Dallas Mavericks wunderkind Luka Doncic proved to be an unstoppable force. He led the Mavericks in a surprisingly competitive series against the stacked Clippers in the first round of the playoffs and even hit an iconic game-winning shot. Real Madrid center Edy Tavarez played with LeBron when he was in Cleveland and with Doncic when he was still in Europe and isn’t surprised by the young man’s progression.

 

“It makes me very happy to see how he is playing,” Tavares said of Doncic, via Radio Marca. “I knew that it would be easy for him to play in the NBA and he would be a much better player because there are more spaces.

The league needs an heir apparent to LeBron and there are some strong contenders. However, Tavares believes that Doncic is already the best player in the NBA.

#basketball

5 defining plays the Raptors made to win Game 6 vs. Celtics

Yahoo! Sports

The double-overtime thriller between the Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics was an instant classic, and it came right down to the wire. Both teams made incredible plays throughout the fourth quarter and in the two overtime periods, but it was the Raptors who nailed all the tiny details to secure the win and force a decisive Game 7.

Here are five defining plays the Raptors made to win Game 6.

OG’s stunt, better than Nurse’s stunt

There was a considerable amount of griping, especially from Boston media, over Nick Nurse supposedly walking onto the floor and baiting Jayson Tatum into a vital turnover with less than a minute left in regulation. The claim was that the 53-year-old Nurse — dressed in a grey polo, slacks, and glasses — was somehow able to present himself as if he were a Celtics player, which then baited Tatum into throwing it out of bounds. Instead, the intent was pretty clear: Nurse was trying to get a better angle on the play to call out defensive assignments, especially since he didn’t have any of his centres on the floor calling out coverages.

However, what this claim misses is the fact the real stunt pulled here was by OG Anuonby. Watch closely how the play unfolds. Tatum got a step on Pascal Siakam driving to his right and could have potentially got to the rim, but Anunoby made him hesitate by stunting over on the play away from the corner shooter, Daniel Theis, for a brief second before shifting back to close out.

#basketball

Kevin Durant Reveals He Was Never Considering the New York Knicks

The Big Lead

Kevin Durant disappointed New York Knicks fans when he chose to play for the Brooklyn Nets last summer instead of taking his talents to Madison Square Garden. On Thursday, Durant revealed the Knicks were never actually under consideration for his services. It's yet another blow to a franchise that hasn't been able to lure big-name talent for years.

Durant was a guest on J.J. Redick's podcast The Old Man and the Three, and said the Knicks were out of it from the beginning:

#basketball

Celtics, Raptors Share Hotel In NBA Bubble Amid Contentious Playoff Series

NESN

Things between the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors have gotten contentious, to say the least.

Especially after Wednesday evening’s Game 6 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series. The match went into double-overtime and ended with a verbal altercation between Celtics guard Marcus Smart and Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, that caused quite a commotion.

But unlike most NBA Playoff series, where teams can go home at night and forget about what happened in the last game to clear their minds ahead of the next one, the Celtics and Raptors can’t escape each other.

#basketball

NCAA not looking to expand 2021 national tournament field

The Score

The NCAA has no plans to allow nearly every Division I basketball program to compete in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

"Every college basketball team's goal is to play in the NCAA Tournament because everyone loves March Madness," Dan Gavitt, the organization's senior vice president of basketball, told Andy Katz of NCAA.com. "Certainly we missed it this year and can't wait for 2021."

#basketball, #collegebasketball

Arron Afflalo Leading Investment Group Seeking to Purchase Timberwolves

Bleacher Report

Arron Afflalo is looking to make a return to the NBA, though not as a player.

According to The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski and Shams Charania, Afflalo is leading an investment group that is in discussions to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, "partnering with entrepreneur Jay Bloom and several other deep-pocketed investors to make a run at buying the team."

Afflalo, 34, spent 11 seasons in the NBA as a player with the Detroit Pistons, Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic, Portland Trail Blazers, New York Knicks and Sacramento Kings, averaging 10.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per game in his career. 

#basketball

Jalen Rose caught asking about nasty NSFW Odell Beckham Jr. rumors

Clutch Points

Former NBA star and current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose appears to have had a little gaffe while still on the air during halftime of Game 6 between the Toronto Raptorsand Boston Celtics.

It would seem Rose thought they had been sent to a commercial break because he abruptly asked Stephen A. Smith about recent rumors regarding Cleveland Browns’ wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

#basketball

Knicks Could Land Joel Embiid For RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, No. 8 Pick

Fadeaway World

The New York Knicks’ search for a star has been going on for years now, and the Knicks don’t appear any closer to a solution that the day they started.

Besides some solid young players, future draft picks, and veterans, the Knickerbockers don’t have all that much to work with.

Still, it might just be enough to finally end their drought. In a recent article by Jonathan Kiernan of Fansided’s Sir Charles In Charge, he details a scenario that could see the Knicks land one of the NBA’s best big men: Joel Embiid.

#basketball

ACC, led by Mike Krzyzewski, to propose every Division I college basketball team make the 2021 NCAA Tournament

CBS Sports

The ACC is drafting a proposal in which every Division I college basketball team would automatically qualify for the 2021 NCAA Tournament, a source told CBS Sports. The idea, if ratified, would transform the regular 68-team NCAA Tournament bracket into a mega-March Madness tournament with more than 350 teams vying for an NCAA championship.

Stadium's Jeff Goodman reports that Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is the one spearheading the proposal from the ACC, with the league's coaches in lockstep with him via unanimous approval as a way to shake up the sport in a unique and unprecedented way.

#basketball, #collegebasketball

FSU Hoops Coach Sue Semrau Takes Season Off to Help with Mom’s Cancer Battle

TMZ

Florida State coaching legend Sue Semrau will step away from the women's basketball program this season to focus on caring for her mother, who is battling ovarian cancer.

Semrau says she's been traveling back and forth from Tallahassee to the family home in Seattle to help out, but the COVID pandemic has complicated things.

"For the past several months I’ve found it increasingly difficult to commute back and forth due to the tedious and ever-changing restrictions as a result of COVID-19," Semrau said.

So, instead of trying to split her time between work and family, Semrau announced she will "step away from the day-to-day coaching through March 2021."

#basketball, #collegebasketball

Billy Donovan won’t return as Thunder coach next season

ESPN

Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan won't be returning to the Thunder next season, sources tell ESPN.

Donovan's contract expired at season's end and the sides have decided against pursuing an extension.

Discussions between OKC management and Donovan were described as collaborative and realistic.

The reality of Oklahoma City's eventual transition toward a rebuild made it a challenge for the two sides' to find a way to continue forward together, sources said.

#basketball

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