What does an Amar'e Nets team look like? Scary.

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The Newark Star Ledger spoke with Amar’e Stoudemire after the Nets-Suns game last week and asked him about playing in New Jersey. With the Nets. Who just recently avoided being the worst team in the history of professional basketball, record wise (though we’ve told you they’re not that bad). So surely Amar’e is going to distance himself from such talk, right?

Take it away, Ledger!

“There have been a lot of teams that have inquired about me this past
trade deadline,” he said. “It’s much respected, because those are teams
that really take notice of my game and really appreciate the hard work.
New Jersey is definitely one of them.”

Hey, now. Even if that is just polite political maneuvering to ensure he gets the best deal, it’s pretty arm, especially considering he also talks about how the team is sure to turn things around in the article.

The most likely scenario is Amar’e re-signs with Phoenix for the most money and finishes out Steve Nash’s career. But if he were to go to New Jersey? Look out.

You’d be looking at this possible starting five: John Wall, Courtney Lee, Terrence Williams, Amare Stoudemire, Brook Lopez. That’s before you factor in the possibility of the Nets using their cap room to lure another small guard, or what the y would conceivably get from a Devin Harris trade.

A Stoudemire-Lopez frontcourt would be awe-inspiring. It would give Amar’e a big next to him to shore up his defensive liabilities without questioning or interfering his role in the offense like Shaq did. John Wall’s speed and vision would give Amar’e a point guard to run the pick and roll he’s been so succesful with, and Williams and Lee fill out a roster of shooters along with Chris Douglas-Roberts and whoever the Nets land with the rest of their draft picks.

LeBron is obviously the number one choice, Wade second, and Bosh probably third. But to pair with the core this team could very well be looking at after the lottery? Amar’e could provide them with something equally special. And Stoudemire likely finds the idea of playing in Brooklyn attractive when the Nets move in two seasons. It would give him the big-name recognition he feels he deserves and puts him on the map like he wants.

Something to keep an eye on as we start to watch all the possibilities come into play.

Enjoy 50-best circus shots of last NBA season

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As of tomorrow, training camps around the league open, and all the focus goes to the 2016-17 season.

For fun, let’s look back one more time at last season — the 50 top circus shots of last season.

Stephen Curry driving the lane and throwing up prayers once he draws contact (and hitting them), there is Russell Westbrook throwing the inbounds pass off an opponent’s back, and so much more. Enjoy. Then let’s get on with next season.

To avoid trash talk, Steven Adams told Kevin Garnett he didn’t speak English

Kevin Garnett
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Kevin Garnett intimidates people. In the machismo-fueled world of professional sports nobody comfortably admits they were intimidated, but in the wake of Garnett announcing his retirement, a number of players stepped forward to say exactly that. And that KG trashed talked them fearlessly.

Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams found a way to avoid that — tell KG he didn’t speak English.

Brilliant.

Adams was lucky, KG had a reputation for going harder at foreign-born players with his trash talk and intimidation. Then again Adams is not the kind of guy prone to be intimidated.

Pistons’ Stan Van Gundy “encouraged” by players speaking out, protesting social issues

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 17: Head coach Stan Van Gundy of the Detroit Pistons yells to his players during the first half of the NBA Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on April 17, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)  *** Local Caption ***Stan Van Gundy
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Athletes are injecting themselves into the needed national conversation about race, violence, and policing in this nation. That has taken some very public forms, including LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony speaking at the ESPYs, and Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem and leading others to do so. Some NBA players likely will follow Kaepernick’s lead.

Pistons coach/GM Stan Van Gundy likes seeing players speak out.

A couple of his Detroit players — Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris — said they backed the 49ers quarterback. Here is what the never shy Van Gundy said about all of it, via Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.

“I’m encouraged by the fact of what some of those guys stood up and did at the ESPYs and had a conversation,” Van Gundy said. “I’m really proud of the fact that we have guys that not only see the problem, but want to try to do something about it…

“To me, in some ways, (police brutality is) just the most visible to focus on and it goes to deeper inequities in our criminal justice system, our education system so there’s so much to focus on,” Van Gundy said. “I think it’s great that we have players that want to be part of that conversation, and a lot of players that want to go beyond the conversation and be part of the solution.”

Van Gundy has been telling his players part of that solution is to vote.

The players union and NBA sent out a release saying they wanted to work together to create positive change, but details are still vague on what that might be. The only thing we know for sure as we head into the NBA season — with as divided a nation and election as anyone can remember as a backdrop — is that some NBA players are going to try and keep the conversation going.

Sunday is 16th anniversary of greatest dunk ever: Vince Carter over Frederic Weis

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It was the last game of the group stage of the 2000 Olympic basketball tournament at the Sydney Olympics, the USA was taking on France, another USA win on its way to another gold medal.

But what we all remember is this one play — Vince Carter dunking over the 7’2″ French center Frederic Weis.

Best. Dunk. Ever.

By anyone.

Weis was never the same.

In an impressive career — two-time All-NBA, eight-time All-Star, hours and hours of crazy highlights — this is always going to be the highlight at the top of the list. So we will use the anniversary of this dunk to look at it one more time.

Hat tip to nitramy at NBA Reddit.