Category Archives: NBA
SLAM Magazine Issue 191 profiles the hard work and fast rise of Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler: “I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind”
Via SLAM’s Christopher Cason:
Confidence in one’s self is essentially the biggest asset a successful athlete can have.
And that power of self-belief is the exact reason that by the time you’re reading this, the ink of Jimmy Butler’s signature will be dry and affixed to a new (5 year $95M) max contract.
From an early age, the Tomball, TX, native learned to trust and rely on himself due in large part to spending some of his teenage years without a place to call home. Those experiences from those tough times, along with a Texas-sized work ethic, became pillars of his character. Those pillars are why it wasn’t that difficult for him to turn down an estimated four-year, $44 million offer from the Chicago Bulls prior to the beginning of the regular season.
Kings All-Star DeMarcus Cousins leads White Team to victory in Team USA’s training camp tuneup in advance of 2016 Olympics:
Via The Associated Press:
LAS VEGAS — There was no LeBron James or Stephen Curry.
Nor were there any signs of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant or James Harden.
Most important, there weren’t any injuries.
The U.S. men’s basketball team ended its minicamp with an exhibition that felt like a light-hearted pickup game, a much smoother ending than last summer, when Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George broke his leg after crashing into a backboard stanchion.
Sacramento Kings All-Star DeMarcus Cousins scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the White team to a 134-128 victory over the Blue team.
“I feel so good about these four days. … I thought our guys really responded tonight (with) a lot of effort (and) enthusiasm, they had fun,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “They all want to be a part of USA Basketball. Read the rest of this entry
2015 NBA Draft: Yahoo Sports recaps the NBA Draft’s 1st round, offering team grades for each player selected from No. 1-30:
1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Karl-Anthony Towns (PF/C, Kentucky, Fr., 19, 7-0, 248): The Towns vs. Okafor debate faded recently as NBA personnel fell in love with the versatile ex-Kentucky big man. Towns shined in the paint for the Wildcats, protecting the rim with his ability to alter shots at one end and bullying big men for low-post baskets at the other. He will never be as brilliant a back-to-the-basket scorer as Okafor, but he runs the floor well, moves more fluidly defending the perimeter and is capable of knocking down mid-range jumpers. Marc J. Spears’ grade: A+
2. Los Angeles Lakers – D’Angelo Russell PG/SG, Ohio State, Fr., 19, 6-5, 193): Once considered a tick or two below some of the elite players in his class, Russell ascended draft boards this winter thanks to a brilliant freshman season. He has the quickness and vision to run the point in the NBA yet also possesses the shooting ability and scoring instincts to thrive off ball too. By going with Russell instead of Jahlil Okafor, the Lakers keep alive the possibility of adding a free-agent big man this summer in a year when a handful of frontcourt standouts will be available. Marc J. Spears’ grade: A
Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver on the 2015 Golden State Warriors; From Best Record All Season To NBA World Champs:
CLEVELAND—A season in which everything always seemed to fall perfectly into place ended in perfectly charmed fashion, with the proper button being pushed at the right time and every shot falling once the championship was in reach.
The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 105–97 in Game 6 on Tuesday to claim their first title since 1975, following up a franchise-best 67-15 regular season with a spectacular 16-5 jaunt through the playoffs. Lacking in Finals experience before it entered the series, and facing the daunting task of slowing LeBron James, Golden State was nevertheless well-prepared for this series, having faced multiple superstars earlier in the playoffs, having won matchups by playing both fast and slow, and having climbed out of a 2-1 hole against the Grizzlies in the second round.
Those experiences, coupled with Golden State’s talent-laden, healthy and unselfish roster, fueled the Warriors. Golden State coach Steve Kerr expertly drew on the lessons he learned along the way. In defending James, as in dealing with Anthony Davis and especially James Harden, Kerr used multiple defenders and regularly changed his help coverage before sticking with Andre Iguodala once the veteran wing proved he could consistently make James work hard for his numbers. Read the rest of this entry
A look at the top NBA Finals storylines & matchups including this season’s MVP Steph Curry facing former MVP LeBron James:
Via NBA dot com:
LeBron James satisfied ? Never. Not with four more wins needed to finish the story properly. Same goes for Stephen Curry.
Grinding your way to The Finals, for the fifth straight year for LeBron and for the firs time ever for Curry, is just another step on the path to bigger things … a place in history and the chance to bring a parade to streets that have either never seen one or at least haven’t seen one in decades. The goal for LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers has always been to crown his homecoming with a Larry O’Brien Trophy. Curry and the Warriors laid out their plans in training camp, a Larry O’Brien Trophy or bust.
So it’s fitting that the four-time MVP and the reigning KIA MVP would square off for supremacy after traveling two very different paths to get here. The Warriors looked like a lock for months, running roughshod over the league nearly all season, while the Cavaliers had to survive an early season transition period, with so many new faces in the mix, before emerging in the playoffs as the true beasts of the Eastern Conference.
NBA Playoffs: Dwight Howard, James Harden Lead The Houston Rockets Past Dallas Mavs In Playoffs Opening Round
Dwight Howard and James Harden dominate 1st round series vs Mavs as Houston becomes a sleeper in Western Conference:
Via ESPN. com
HOUSTON — The owner wearing the cool sunglasses slowly got up from his courtside seat as the standing ovation began.
Leslie Alexander, who owns the Houston Rockets, shook hands with some people sitting next to him as if he’s been here before.
Well, he has. It’s just that this Rockets version of the big three as a group hadn’t escaped the first round until Tuesday night.
The Rockets eliminated the Dallas Mavericks in five games with a 103-94 victory on Tuesday, earning a berth in the second round for just the second time since 1997.
The Rockets’ big three of Kevin McHale, the coach, James Harden, the MVP candidate, and Dwight Howard, the star center, advanced after being knocked out in the first round in each of the past two seasons. Howard has been around since the 2013-14 season. Read the rest of this entry
NBA All-Star rosters set as Bulls Jimmy Butler, Kings DeMarcus Cousins, Warriors Klay Thompson notable 1st time All-Stars:
Official NBA Release:
NEW YORK — Three members of the Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta Hawks — Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague — headline the list of 14 players selected by the coaches as reserves for the 2015 NBA All-Star Game, the NBA announced Thursday. Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors earned his first All-Star selection, joining teammate and starter Stephen Curry to give the Western Conference-leading Warriors two All-Stars for the first time since Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway in 1993.
The 64th NBA All-Star Game will tip off Sunday, Feb. 15, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The game will be seen by fans in 215 countries and territories and will be heard in 47 languages. TNT will televise the All-Star Game for the 13th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports’ 30th year of NBA All-Star coverage.
The Hawks’ trio is joined in the East by Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat, the Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving. Read the rest of this entry
NBA: The Boston Celtics finally trade Rajon Rondo who goes to Dallas to join an already loaded Mavs team as Boston rebuilds:
Via ESPN Dallas:
DALLAS — The opportunity to play for a contender again has Rajon Rondo feeling revitalized after leaving a rebuilding franchise in the Boston Celtics.
“There’s one goal that you have in mind, and I’m dying to get another ring again,” Rondo said in his introductory news conference after joining the Dallas Mavericks in a blockbuster trade. “I want another parade.”
The Mavs acquired Rondo along with rookie power forward Dwight Powell from the Celtics in exchange for center Brandan Wright, point guard Jameer Nelson, small forward Jae Crowder, a protected first-round pick, a second-round pick and a $12.9 million trade exception in a deal finalized Thursday night.
Sports Illustrated and Sports Media World sit down with Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler in Portland for extensive SI NBA feature:
Jimmy Butler’s smile says it all: It’s been a good month for the Bulls’ budding star.
Back in Butler’s hometown of Tomball, Texas, they might even use a phrase like “boom times” to describe his strong start this season. Chicago’s defensive-minded shooting guard is averaging 20.8 points and posting career-high numbers across the board. Not only is Butler looking like a leading candidate to become a first-time All-Star, he is also emerging as one of the most-coveted free agents of the 2015 class.
The smile crept across Butler’s face again as he thought back to the Tomball teenager who, even though he wasn’t recruited by a single Division-I school, was convinced that he was the best player in the country.
“Derrick [Rose] and I were both in the Class of 2007,” Butler told SI.com during an extended interview in Portland, where the Bulls were playing, on Saturday. “At that time, I never paid attention to the game. I didn’t know this guy was No. 1 in the nation or this guy was No. 10. Some of my teammates did and obviously Derrick was No. 1 in the nation. They’d come to the games and say, ‘Did you see what Derrick Rose did last night? Simeon High School! Chicago, Illinois!’ Everyone in the nation knew who Derrick Rose was.
“Me being myself, I was like, ‘Let him come down here, I’ll give him 40.’”
The New York Times on the economic and financial impact of local hero LeBron James’ return to Cleveland and NE Ohio:
When LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in July, fans celebrated by hanging banners, getting drunk and digging old jerseys out of purgatory. They ran into the streets, honked horns and hugged strangers. And some of them started trying to figure out just how much money was about to rain down on Cleveland. According to one estimate, the return of the “king,” as James is known, will add $500 million a year to the city’s economy. “When people say this is just about an athlete making money, there’s more to it than that,” said Edward FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive, at a news conference devoted to the anticipated windfall. “Other people will make a living.”
James is certainly a good investment for the Cavaliers, who will probably cover his $20.6 million salary just from increased ticket sales. The last season James played in Cleveland, after all, the Cavs sold every available regular-season seat at an average price of $55.95, earning about $47 million. Last season, the Cavaliers sold just 84 percent at an average price of just $43.31, for a decline of $16 million. This year, season tickets sold out the day James announced his return, and demand is so overwhelming that the team is raffling the remaining single-game tickets so that everyone in Cleveland has a fair chance. Read the rest of this entry