Friday has been a day of tributes to Ray Allen — and he deserves it. Guy’s a legend. An icon. Now the greatest three point shooter in the history of the NBA.
One of the more interesting ones comes from A. Sherrod Blakely at CSNNE.com. He went and talked to the five other active players in the all-time top 10 for three pointers made to get their thoughts on shooting and Allen. It’s a great read.
That list includes Jason Kidd — yes, really — and former teammate of Allen in Seattle Rashard Lewis, who said he learned a lot from Ray-Ray.
“His preparation,” Lewis said, “is second to none. That’s something that I really picked up from him that, if you want to be a great player in this league, you have to work at your game and never be satisfied.”
Like the rest of us hacks, Peja Stojakovic envies the style.
“Ray is an unbelievable shooter,” Stojakovic said. “His form, release, everything is perfect. You can see he’s so focused when he shoots. It doesn’t really matter what the defense is doing.”
Also on that list, Jason Terry. (That’s two Mavs on the list, opposing teams may want to take note of that when devising defensive game plans.)
“Obviously, we know who the pioneer was for our era; it was Reggie Miller,” Terry said. “He set the bar. And now Ray Allen has raised that bar. His longevity, the way he has been able to do it, and for how long he’s been doing it for, I want to continue to do that. Once he leaves, hopefully I’ll just slide right on in.”
The Toronto Raptors had their best half of their first-round series against the Bucks, taking an early lead and, despite a little shooting slump midway through the second they were up nine at the half.
That was all topped off by two emphatic Serge Ibaka dunks. Ones Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn’t going to stop.
Ibaka dunked around him more than over the Greek Freak, but still.
Stephon Marbury is big in China — he has his own statue and a play in his honor.
In six seasons he led the Beijing Ducks to three titles, but eventually rebuilding hits every team and it is coming to Beijing. Which means that while Marbury wants to stay in China beyond this season he is essentially a free agent. Here are the details, via shanghaiist.com (this has been confirmed by other sources).
The 40-year-old former NBA All-Star had a contract with Beijing for the next season that included an unusual clause allowing the team to decide if Marbury — known to fans as “Old Ma” — would return as a player or as an assistant coach. Marbury has said that after his playing days are over, he wants to coach in China; however, he still feels he could play for one more year.
But, after missing the playoffs this past season, Beijing is looking to rebuild and didn’t want their aging superstar clogging up a precious foreign player roster spot. The Ducks announced at a press conference on Saturday that after being unable to negotiate a deal, they were going to terminate Marbury’s contract.
Marbury put out a letter to fans on Weibo — a Chinese social media site — that Shanghaiist excerpted.
Second, we did not make the playoffs in the past season, as a player who always want to win and work hard to prepare myself for winning, it’s very hard to accept the way the season ended. Though I am 40 years already, I still work very hard to keep my body right, I can still play at a very high level, I am sure all the fans could tell from last season I’m still capable of playing. I was still able to lead the team to compete, even with an injured leg. I pulled my hamstring at the beginning of the season and I still played and put everything on the court because that’s who I am. I want to play, I love to compete, I [pursue] winning all the time, l love basketball because it’s my life, I still have a lot in the tank that [makes] me really want to play for another year. I want to dedicate this last year of my career in the best way possible on the court for the CBA, then I’ll retire and work as a coach to help the basketball here for the rest of my life.
Marbury had a 13-year NBA career (and was a two-time All-Star) but things got a little messy for him around the end of his career in the Association. Then he found a second life in China. A lot of Western players struggle to adjust to a very different culture and environment in China — not to mention a different style of basketball — so the league has a high drop out of Western players
However, Marbury has thrived. He’s found a second home.
I have to imagine a lot of teams would leap to get a draw like him on their team for a season.
The NBA’s Most Valuable Player award will not be announced until an awards ceremony June 26 on TNT — after the NBA draft, and after the NBA playoffs that will shape the narrative of the award even though voting will have been completed more than two months earlier. Same for Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year and on down the line.
But not the All-NBA Teams, those are coming sooner — because teams want it that way.
The easiest example is the Indiana Pacers: If Paul George makes an All-NBA team they can offer him a designated veteran contract worth roughly $80 million more than any other team. However, if he doesn’t make a team the Pacers need to worry about him leaving as a free agent in 2018, and they may try to trade him. The best time for that trade might be around the draft — Indiana may be able to secure a high pick from a team near the top of the draft in a trade. However, if the Pacers didn’t know if George made an All-NBA team by the draft they wouldn’t make that move.
So the NBA is announcing early, a story broken by Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post.
To allow for its teams to have all the necessary information to make offseason preparations, the NBA will announce its all-NBA teams before its inaugural awards show in late June, according to league sources.
Because of the newly created Designated Player Exception, which relies on players making, among other things, one of the three all-NBA teams to qualify, decisions about whether players — such as Indiana Pacers star Paul George, for example — will be willing to remain with their current team or be open to being traded elsewhere could be based upon whether a player is voted on to one of the teams.
Smart move by the NBA. There are also bonuses and other impacts on salaries based on end of season awards that will alter the salary structure of teams heading into free agency.
NEW YORK (AP) — Indiana wants the NBA All-Star Game and sent Larry Bird to get it – in an Indy car.
Bird drove four blocks down Fifth Avenue in his car Monday to deliver the Pacers’ bid to host the 2021 game to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, fitting his 6-foot-9 frame into a car usually driven by much shorter people.
Bird, an Indiana native and now the Pacers president, had driven an Indy car only once, during his practice for his drive Monday.
Drawing a crowd of a couple hundred spectators, he maneuvered along the left lane, exited his yellow and blue “Larry Bird” car and called it a “little rough ride” because of his big feet and the car’s small pedals.
Silver says the Pacers, who hosted the game in 1985, would be “fantastic hosts.”
The 2018 NBA All-Star Game is in Los Angeles, and 2019 is expected to be re-awarded to Charlotte. Houston, Orlando, and a number of other cities are expected to make bids for the 2020 and 2021 games, along with Indiana.