Chris Bosh offers advice to Denver’s front office

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Last season, we all pretty much knew Chris Bosh was out of Toronto. He didn’t push for a trade and kept hinting he might re-sign, the Raptors in retrospect should have pushed him to sign and extension or get dealt, but they didn’t. Everyone just rode out the season.

So his situation was not exactly like the Carmelo Anthony situation, but there were similarities. I guess. Either way, he’s been watching the Carmelo Anthony situation unfold like the rest of us and when he spoke to the Denver Post he had advice for Masai Ujiri, the Nuggets GM who Bosh knew when both were with the Raptor organization.

“As soon as (it was announced Ujiri) was coming here, I said ‘Ooh. He’s got his hands full with all the rumors,’” Bosh said. “The rumors had started already before all that. It was just like ‘Aw man he’s going to have to deal with that and do a good job. But you know, Masai, he works hard and he’s a great guy. I think he’ll be fine….”

“Just communicate,” Bosh said. “It’s a business. Whether a move is made or not, just communicate. I think that’s important. And just keep the respect and at the end of the day nobody can say the other wasn’t professional if they part. Period. And I’m sure everyone will come to the best solution whether that’s staying here or moving on.”

There was plenty of speculation around Bosh last season — at every stop he got the “Can you picture yourself here with Team X?” question — and he said that a distraction like the Anthony trade rumors can wear on a team.

“It’s extremely hard,” Bosh said. “All you want to do as a player is think about what you’re supposed to do, think about your profession. And you can’t escape it. People are asking you every minute of everyday. Mentally, whether you know it or not that’s going to take a toll on you. You might be short on your shots, you might just be playing bad and don’t know why. You could be aware of it, you may not be. He’s been going through a lot right now. It may not be only the trade rumors. It could be other things. Things in your personal life can affect you, too. So, all you have to do is try your best and be a professional and try as hard as you can.”

Utah’s Donovan Mitchell wins throwback Dunk Contest with Vince Carter tribute

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LOS ANGELES — The 2018 Dunk Contest went retro.

And it worked.

The throwbacks started with Cleveland’s Larry Nance Jr. going quick-change to pay tribute to his father, the 1984 winner of the Dunk Contest.

Nance later had the best dunk of the night, but it wasn’t enough in the face of Utah’s Donovan Mitchell‘s strong and consistent night highlight by his throwback dunk — donning a Vince Carter Toronto dinosaur jersey and doing VC’s famed 360 dunk — which got Mitchell the 48 points he needed to hold-off Nance and win the contest. It was over.

“Growing up I was a big dunker,” Mitchell said. “I wasn’t really much of a basketball player. I just dunked and played defense, and I watched a lot of Vince’s videos. I’ve been seeing what he’s been doing all year at his age, which is incredible.

“So I figured, you know, at my size if I was able to get it, it would be a great dunk and a way to finish it, you know. And actually, funny story is I haven’t made that dunk in like half a year. I tried it in practice the past two days and tried it this morning, didn’t make it. Tried it last night, didn’t make it… But to be able to make it was why I was so excited.”

Earlier in the night, Mitchell had done another tribute worn a Darrell Griffith jersey — Utah’s Dr. Dunkenstien, who went to Louisville like Mitchell — for an off-the-side-of-the-backboard jumping over Kevin Hart dunk.

“You know, just knowing your history, I think, is the biggest thing,” Mitchell said of the throwbacks. “Just understanding where this game originated, I guess the OGs of the game, I guess you would call it. But just understanding. Even if it’s just dunking. Whether it’s dunking in the NBA in general, Darrell Griffith, we went to the same school in college. I know Darrell very well. Both got drafted by the Jazz, and he was an incredible player. To be able to pay homage to him meant a lot to me.”

For my money, Nance had the dunk of the night, his first in the Finals, a double off-the-backboard throwdown that you had to see on replay to get (it wasn’t as evident in the building what he had done until it was re-shown on the big screen).

It was a fun contest all night long.

Mitchell (the leader in the Rookie of the Year race) started it off brilliantly — he brought out a second backboard, and did a self-alley-oop off one to the other.

Larry Nance Jr. did his tribute to his father with his first dunk, and on his second one came from behind the backboard, going around the world, and threw it down hard. That got him into the Finals.

Oladipo missed all three of his dunks in the first round, which almost doomed his night. He, however, did a dunk wearing the Black Panther mask for his second dunk, which impressed.

Mitchell said he wanted to beat Dennis Smith Jr. because the Mavericks’ point guard had beaten him in dunk contests for years. Smith had one monster dunk, when he went between the legs and threw it down hard and got the full 50. It just wasn’t enough to get Smith to the Finals.

Nance started off the final round by bringing out his father again to throw an alley-oop to a windmill. Mitchell responded with a self-alley-oop to a windmill that was flat-out wicked. That got Mitchell a 50-46 lead after one round of the Finals.

Then Mitchell went to Vince Carter and “it was over.”

Larry Nance Jr. throws alley-oop to himself, throws alley-oop to himself (video)

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LOS ANGELES — Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. immediately motioned for the replay to be shown of this dunk. It was necessary to properly appreciate it.

Best dunk of the night.

Donovan Mitchell won the dunk contest, though.

Larry Nance Jr. plays tribute to father — rock-the-cradle dunk in Suns uniform

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LOS ANGELES — Back in 1984, high-flying Larry Nance Sr. won the first NBA All-Star Dunk Contest with this set of dunks — most famously a rock-the-cradle move.

Larry Nance Jr. came into the 2018 Dunk Contest and went nostalgic — all the way back to the Suns’ throwback uniform and the same dunk.

That and a good second dunk got him into the Dunk Contest finals. In that round, Nance Sr. threw an alley-oop to his son for the windmill.

Donovan Mitchell throws alley-oop to himself – off second backboard (video)

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LOS ANGELES – Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell set a high standard with the first slam of the 2018 dunk contest.

Very creative. Very well-executed.

Looks like all that preparation paid off.