Monthly Archives: January 2015

Something new about Sprite Slam Dunk Contest contestants

Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo, Minnesota Timberwolves Zach LaVine, Orlando Magic Victor Oladipo and Brooklyn Nets Mason Plumlee will be participating in this year’s Sprite Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend. Though it would be more entertaining (in my opinion) to have players like LA Clippers DeAndre Jordan or Blake Griffin, this will give these younger guys their time to shine and show what they have.

NBA.com | Hang Time Blog

[nba-video vid=channels/nba_tv/2015/01/28/20150127-all-star-slam-dunk-contestant.nba]

VIDEO:NBA TV announces 2015 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest participants

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Someone long, someone new, someone blue and someone true to New York City for All-Star 2015.

We’ll get it all during All-Star Saturday night, which will officially be showtime for Giannis Antetokounmpo, Zach LaVine, Victor Oladipo and Mason Plumlee, the four players who will vie for above-the-rim supremacy in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest.

Antetokounmpo, the extremely long and ridiculously athletic Milwaukee Bucks swingman, brings his own brand of excitement to a contest that is always in search of a new wrinkle.

LaVine, the Minnesota Timberwolves rookie with the otherworldly bounce, was made for this contest.

Oladipo, who sports blue every night for the Orlando Magic, brings a 360-degree flair to the party, is a showman if ever there was one.

And Plumlee, the Nets’ big man who…

View original post 506 more words

Categories: basktetball, National Basketball Association, NBA, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MVP Race: Steph or James?

The other day, a co-worker asked me who I think is the MVP between Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry and Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden. He’s a Rockets fan, so naturally, he said Harden. I disagreed and chose Curry because I felt he’s more consistent (and I like him more as a player, 99 percent of the reason I chose him). My co-worker raised some good points in favor of the bearded shooter, but I couldn’t bring myself to concede, which got me thinking: without any bias, which one is more MVP-worthy?

After further thinking and taking their roles on the court into consideration, I have to stick with Steph for five reasons:

1. The obvious — check the record. The Warriors are currently first in the Pacific Division with a 34-6 record and only one home loss. Golden State also went on a 16-game win streak in November and December. The Rockets, however, are 29-14 with a 15-7 home record and third in the Southwestern Division. Basketball is a team sport, so you can’t attribute the Warriors’ better record to just Curry like you can’t say Harden does it all by himself. However, you have to take each team’s wins and losses into consideration. Edge: Curry.

2. Scoring: Harden has led the last 12 of 18 games in scoring, averaging 27.2 points per game on the season compared to Curry, who has only led the last seven of 17 in scoring and averages 23.2. But, Curry’s field goal percentage is better on the season at 50.1 percent, with Harden not too far behind at 45.2 percent. Curry also has Harden beat in three-point field goal percentage, 40.2 percent to 38.3 percent. So, although Harden scores more, Curry is more accurate. Edge: Curry.

3. Assists: In the last 10 games, Harden is averaging seven assists per game and has a game-high in assists in the last 10 of 18 games. Steph has dished out 9.2 dimes in the last 10 games and led in assists in 10 of the last 17 games. It also helps Curry is a point guard, so naturally, he knows how to distribute the ball and get it where it needs to go. Edge: Curry.

4. People’s Choice: Curry leads the starting lineups for the 2015 NBA All Star Game in votes with 1,513,324. Harden finished fifth overall, but may earn a starting spot at the two after news of Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant’s torn rotator cuff. Edge: Curry.

5. Four just seemed like an odd number to end with, so I’ve decided to think of another qualification (five is a much more absolute number). Going back to the teams, as a whole, the Warriors have a better chance of going further come playoff time. In the past, Golden State has made some deep runs in the playoffs for the past few years and looks as though this could be the year for the team to go all the way. Houston has had its struggles and even with the addition of Josh Smith, the team will have stiff competition being in the Western Conference. Because, he has a better chance of getting ring number one first… Edge: Curry.

Categories: basketball, entertainment, NBA, Sports | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

NBA Remembers Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today is the day set aside to honor one of America’s most iconic leaders: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was one of the many civil rights leaders fighting for the rights of not just African Americans, but minorities in general, as he also worked with other leaders like Caesar Chavez. Though King is long gone, his legacy lives on and the NBA continues honor and remember that legacy.

On Friday, the association posted a video titled, “NBA/MLK: Barrier Breakers.” The video details many NBA players who have made history in the NBA, beginning with Chuck Cooper, the first African American man drafted by an NBA team (Boston Celtics) in 1950. Because of him and Walter Brown, the Celtics owner at that time, others were able to follow suit. In 2013, over 60 years later, 76.3 percent of the players were African American and 81 percent were people of color.

Today, NBA teams and players have taken to social media to express their admiration and respect for King, consisting of various tweets and tribute videos. On top of this, the association has a full lineup of games throughout the day in lieu of the holiday. Charlotte Hornets players wore warm-up shirts in an effort to celebrate King’s life.

Here’s the MLK Day schedule (times are EST):

  • Minnesota Timberwolves at Charlotte Hornets currently being aired on NBA League Pass.
  • Philadelphia 76ers at Washington Wizards also currently being aired on NBA League Pass.
  • Detroit Pistons at Atlanta Hawks at 2:30 p.m. to be aired on ESPN.
  • Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Clippers at 3:30 p.m. to be aired on NBA League Pass.
  • Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors 4 p.m. to be aired on NBA League Pass.
  • Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies at 5 p.m. on NBATV.
  • Indiana Pacers at Houston Rockets at 5:30 p.m. to be aired on NBA League Pass.
  • New Orleans Pelicans at New York Knicks at 5:30 p.m. to be aired on NBA League Pass.
  • Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers at 7:30 p.m. to be aired on TNT.
  • Toronto Raptors at Milwaukee Bucks at 8 p.m. to be aired on NBA League Pass.
  • Sacramento Kings at Portland Trail Blazers at 10 p.m. to be aired on NBA League Pass.
  • Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns at 10 p.m. to be aired on TNT.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to everyone! May we not only honor him in word and holiday, but strive to continue the work he started by treating everyone equally and seek to tear down barriers.

Categories: basketball, NBA, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From One Generation to the Next: Kobe and LeBron Face Off Thursday Night

From Twitter: Then (2004) and now (2015)

Last night, the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Los Angeles Lakers 109-102 in Staples Center. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise due to the Lakers’ struggling to find what works for the team (for the past couple of years). What was so special about the game, though, is the symbolism. Guard Kobe Bryant faced off against forward LeBron James for what some are saying could be the last time this ever happens.

Here’s where the symbolism comes in: Bryant is 36 years old and on the verge of retirement, while James just turned 30 in December and arguably hasn’t even reached his peak professionally yet. Though Bryant had more assists than James (17 compared to five), James dropped 36 points, 17 more than the Mamba, and came away with the win. During and after the game, James and Bryant were very complimentary of one another, showing the utmost respect for their opponent.

“We love going against one another, it brings out the best,” James said of he and the Lakers veteran. “(He’s) someone I’ve always looked up to, someone I’ve admired. It’s always great competition going against him.”

To view James’ full postgame interview with Rachel Nichols, click here.

Seeing them reminds me of how the next generation of superstars are rising up.

You always hear about people age 40 and over talk about Magic Johnson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Larry Bird and guys from that era and you think, “Wow, that was a really long time ago.” Now, for the late 80s and 90s babies, it’s our turn to reminisce:

I can remember a time when the superstars of the league were Bryant, Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Shaquille O’Neal, etc. and the Eastern Conference was filled with competitive teams, many of which were over .500 (but no shade). I can remember the Lakers’ three peat and the infamous 2001 NBA Finals where Iverson came as close as he’d ever be to getting a ring. If you ask people my age who their favorite player was growing up, most of them will choose someone from the men I listed above.

But now, you see the next generation of superstars. Jerseys of James, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Damian Lilliard, Steph Curry, etc. now are hot ticket items and have replaced the superstars of old. Bryant is one of the few players of that time to still be an active player on an NBA roster (Jermaine O’Neal may or may not be trying to become part of that list again). Most of those guys are commentators, coaches or have kids following in their footsteps playing basketball in high school or even college (like Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp).

So, congrats to James and the current generation of superstars. May you continue to build on the game for the next generation the way those before you did. Oh, and always remember: Ball is life!

Categories: basketball, NBA, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Nate Robinson is a Celtic again

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports

Just when my head had finally stopped spinning from all the recent trades, another one happens.

Denver Nuggets Nate Robinson has been traded to one of his old teams, the Boston Celtics where a buyout is expected.

In exchange, Denver will get Jameer Nelson. Yahoo Sports’ Marc Spears first reported the trade this afternoon. Robinson’s return to Boston comes on the heels of the Celtics trading Jeff Green for Tayshaun Prince and a future first-round pick from the Memphis Grizzlies and Austin Rivers from the New Orleans Pelicans.

Robinson had a couple stints with the Celtics during the 2009-2010 NBA season when the team lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. He also spent some time as a Celtic during the 2010-2011 season. The Celtics, at this point, can use any help that they can get. So far this season, Robinson has averaged 5.8 points, 1.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

Though recorded as only being 5’9, Robinson can offer the team quickness offensively and will be good for a steal or two on defense for some fast break points.

Categories: basktetball, NBA, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rajon Rondo’s Return to Boston

Boston is familiar to Rajon Rondo, but playing there Friday night won’t quite be the same. He won’t be rocking the same green and white uniform he’s worn since he was traded to the Celtics in 2006 shortly after being drafted by the Phoenix Suns. This time, he’ll be the opponent from Dallas wearing blue and white. Rondo admitted that the return will be somewhat emotional, but sought advice from former Celtics teammate Paul Pierce, who told him to “keep blinking when I look up so I don’t cry.”

Rondo was traded to the Dallas Mavericks on Dec. 18 after rumors of him being traded have been swirling around for years. This time, the trade was official and completed with Rondo playing in his first game as a Mav just a few days later. Now, with six games under his belt on his new team and not even a month away from Boston, he’s back. Rondo will be greeted by former teammates, some of which he calls his friends. Jeff Green, for one, considers the point guard a good friend and said it will be “weird to see him in a different colored uniform.” He can also look forward to a video tribute and a warm welcome from fans, which will make it a little more difficult for him to keep his composure.

Though it wasn’t his choice, leaving Boston for Dallas is a better move for Rondo’s career and certainly increases his chances of adding to the lone championship he won as a Celtic in 2008. The Mavs have a more complete team to which he adds, as opposed to a young and rebuilding Celtic team, which includes a young Brad Stevens coach in his second year of coaching in the NBA.

As far as the game this evening, I see the Mavericks getting the road win, which will probably be bittersweet for Rondo. The win will be good for him and his new team, but in the back of his mind, Rondo can’t help but to forget about the Celtics team that made him the player he is today.

Categories: basketball, NBA, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.