UPDATE 6:00 pm: In the immortal words of Emily Litella, “never mind.”
Durant tweeted this afternoon that he was just joking, he has no intention of doing the dunk contest. His choice, he can do what he wants, but don’t tease us like that man. We need people like you to be in, to liven it up, to own it like Dwight Howard owned it. Don’t say you’re in and not mean it. We can’t take it.
3:15 pm: After this season’s infamous dunk contest, the NBA would love for somebody to generate some interest in next year’s contest. Maybe Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant can be that guy. Durant announced on his U-Stream show last night that he’ll compete in the dunk contest.
Durant says he ways invited to participate in this year’s contest, but was scared to do it. Apparently, watching that abomination of a contest gave Durant confidence, as he said “I know I got some dunks that I coulda did better than what those guys did.” One would hope so.
I’m not sure what kind of a performance Durant will put on in the contest. Durant is obviously a great player who will generate some interest, and he’s an entertaining in-game dunker. However, he’s not much of a leaper, and his dunks are more a product of his length than his hops. Off the top of my head, I would say that Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka might both be better dunk-contest dunkers than their superstar teammate. That said, Durant is a creative guy who will have a lot of pressure on him to succeed in the contest. Hopefully he has some tricks up his sleeve, because I don’t think I can take another dunk contest like the last one.
With the Timberwolves trailing the Pistons by three and 6.2 seconds left, Jimmy Butler drew a foul on a 3-pointer.
Butler made the first two free throws then, just before he got the ball for the third, Reggie Jackson interrupted to talk to Stanley Johnson, who was in rebounding position. Butler missed the free throw, and Detroit won 100-97 after an intentional foul.
Butler said Jackson didn’t affect him, but Butler’s side eye during the delay at least appeared to speak loudly.
Kris Dunn had a nice weekend – 39 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds as the Bulls beat the Hornets and lost to the Suns – punctuated by this dunk in Chicago’s 113-105 loss to the Suns last night.
T.J. Warren paid the price for Tyler Ulis overplaying a Robin Lopez screen Dunn cleverly never used.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Orlando Magic has decided to end their annual summer league.
Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said Sunday the trend of NBA teams playing in the Las Vegas Summer League led to the decision end Orlando Pro Summer League. Orlando’s Summer League, which showcased rookies and young players, began in 2002.
Las Vegas will host all 30 teams for the summer league beginning in the summer of 2018. The Orlando Pro Summer League began as a 10-team tournament but there were just eight participating teams this past summer.
The summer league in Orlando, which is played in the Magic’s practice gym, was the only one of three summer leagues that did not allow fans to come in to watch.
Not that the Warriors needed him with Stephen Curry going off again, but Golden State was without Kevin Durant on Sunday in Brooklyn due to a sprained ankle.
Durant is officially day-to-day, but that brings up the question of whether he will be ready to go Wednesday night when the Warriors travel to Oklahoma City to take on his former team. Chris Haynes of ESPN asked Durant about it.
While some blowhards will talk about him dodging the Thunder, the Warriors course here is obvious — they do not want to rush him back for any game in November. Even one against Russell Westbrook. Ankles with stretched ligaments are easy to re-injure if not fully healed, and the Warriors don’t want this to be chronic and last through more of the season.
Durant is averaging 24.9 points per game, 7 rebounds, and 4.7 assists, and — with all due respect to fellow former MVP Curry — he is the best player on the Warriors. Maybe the best player in the world right now, period. Durant can score at will, and he had become a key part of the Warriors’ fifth-ranked defense blocking 2.2 shots per game (their offense is No. 1 in the league).