Let’s travel back in our minds to 2003, when at the movie theater we were all Finding Nemo and at the NBA draft the Detroit Pistons went with Darko Milicic over Carmelo Anthony. We wince now (we winced then, too), but Detroit went on to win the NBA title the next season thanks to stifling defense and a team led by Rip Hamilton and Chauncey Billups.
But dreams of what might have been if Anthony had been part of that team in 2005 and beyond still haunt Piston fans. How many titles? For sure they would still be relevant rather than rebuilding.
Now, the three-team trade talks between the Nets, Pistons and Nuggets could unite in New Jersey what Detroit fans dreamed of — Billups could move with Anthony from Denver to New Jersey, and Hamilton would join them out of Detroit.
It’s Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose, who is pushing for Billups and Hamilton to go to Jersey, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo. The reason is simple: Anthony does not want to take a step backwards by going to a New Jersey team that is still rebuilding, he wants to go there and be competitive in the East. We can have a debate about whether bringing in 34-year-old Billups and 32-year-old Hamilton — while sending Devin Harris and Derrick Favors out — is really smart or makes them competitive in the East, but that’s their thinking.
However, Ken Berger of CBSSports said this Detroit dream scenario is dead for now because the Nets asked Detroit to also give up a pick while taking on Johan Petro and his two-year deal. That may well have shut off talks, but there are so many scenarios and offers out there we’re hesitant to think any option could not be revived.
Berger adds that there have been talks with Minnesota to be the third team, and they are not the only team being approached. But the bottom line has not changed — Denver is taking its time and likely will drag this entire thing out until close to the Feb. 24 trading deadline. Don’t expect anything soon.
LeBron James is usually the guy handing out chasedown blocks. He’s famous for them, and has carted out his signature move in the biggest moments of his career.
He’s also not used to having his own shots blocked from behind, and certainly not by opposing point guards.
Enter Elfrid Payton.
During a play halfway through the first quarter against the Orlando Magic on Thursday, LeBron was on a drive to the hole with Elfrid trailing far behind.
Thanks to a pinch by two Magic defenders, LeBron had to try and use brute force a bit deeper in the paint than he wanted to.
That allowed Payton — running at full speed — to catch up and pin The King on the glass.
Cleveland still got the best of the Magic, as Isaiah Thomas hit a clutch free throw to win the game with 11 seconds left, 104-103.
For about as long as we can remember, Joel Embiid has famously thirsted after Rihanna on Twitter. Fans have tried to boost his standing with the singer, but it apparently that has not been enough.
In 2014, Embiid mentioned on social media that a “famous girl” — presumably Rihanna — told him to “Come back when you’re an All-Star.”
Well, today is that day.
Embiid is a starter out of the Eastern Conference, and on Thursday night he had his chance to speak to Rihanna (or whomever) via national TV on TNT.
Did Embiid decide to reach out to this famous person? Apparently he’s off it.
This is like that scene from Private Parts when Howard Stern hits No. 1 and he tells Paul Giamatti’s character to get lost.
Embiid had the chance to curve Rihanna (or whomever) and took it. Long live The Process.
NBA All-Star voting is over, and now we have the results. The starters are in, and what’s left is for us to wait until they announce the teams after they are picked in double secret ceremony.
Of course, the NBA did release the full voting results via their PR website this week, and as such there are some head scratchers. My boy Patrick Redford over at Deadspin did an excellent job rounding up some of the players who got exactly one (1) vote from other players.
The gag here is that these guys presumably voted for themselves.
Of course, what I found most interesting was actually the guys who got multiple votes from their compatriots without being All-Star caliber players.
My favorite list of player-voted non-All-Stars includes: Michael Beasley (4), Gordon Hayward (2), Boban Marjanovic (2), Jahlil Okafor (4), Quincy Acy (2), Tyler Zeller (4), T.J. McConnell (2), Elfrid Payton (2), Zaza Pachulia (3), Taj Gibson (6), Zach Randolph (5), Maurice Harkless (2), Deyonta Davis (3), Lonzo Ball (9), Mike Conley (3).
There’s a whole smattering of guys in there who either didn’t play enough, aren’t stars, are injured, or who aren’t very good.
That multiple players took time to vote for these guys really speaks to the frivolity of the NBA All-Star Game. At least outside of player contract incentives.
Bring on February!
LeBron James is one of the best passers the NBA has ever seen, but even this is too hard to believe.
During Thursday’s game between the Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron through a ridiculous behind-the-back pass that nutmegged Orlando’s Aaron Gordon.
The result of the play was a bucket for Dwyane Wade.
I mean, that’s just … insane.