Nets GM Billy King takes trip to see locked-out Deron Williams play in Turkey

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This is one of those “We wish this wasn’t a story, but it’s probably going to be because the inmates are running the NBA asylum” kind of deals.

So you’re aware that the NBA’s got pretty strict rules about league personnel meeting with, cavorting with, hanging out with, or really being in the same place as NBA players. They told Mark Cuban he couldn’t be at Rucker. They have fined several coaches, owners, etc. So Billy King, the Nets’ GM, has been walking a fine line this weekend in order to avoid such a fine.

From Nets Daily:

Tweeting as if he were leaving bread crumbs across the face of Europe, Billy King arrived in Izmir Saturday afternoon for Deron Williams first away game in the Turkish League.

On Friday, he tweeted that he was on board a Turkish Airlines flight, then Saturday morning, he posted a picture of the Bosporus, that waterway separating Europe and Asia in Istanbul, before finally announcing that Izmir “is a beautiful city”.

Alas, just before the game between Besiktas and Pinar Karsiyaka SK was set to begin, the Nets GM had to tweet bad news: “2 mins to tip off someone breaks the backboard”. Kings image showed a good home crowd at the Izmir sports arena.

via King in Turkey to Watch Williams Who Goes for 24 and 10 in Best Game Yet – NetsDaily.

So King went all the way to Istanbul to watch a player he can’t tweet about, talk to, or have contact with. Props to King, though, for doing something which involves looking to a future when the NBA’s back. This probably puts his mind at ease about Williams’ wrist which had surgery this past summer, especially since Williams dropped 24 -10-4.

Oh, a good basketball line. I’d forgotten how cool those look. (/cries)

Anyway, King won’t be levied a fine, but he’d better lock it up. You know, lock it up.

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

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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

Associated Press
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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.

Devin Booker’s 3-point-contest victory bright spot for Suns (video)

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Los Angeles – Devin Booker‘s Suns have the NBA’s worst record (18-41).

“I think everyone is fed up with the losing, from the top to the bottom of the organization,” Booker said this afternoon. “So, for us, it’s what’s next?”

A 3-point contest victory.

Overcoming Phoenix’s poor record to draw an invite to All-Star Saturday Night, Booker won the 3-point contest with a whopping 29 points in the final round.

That score left little margin for 2016 champion Klay Thompson, who capped the event with a 25-point round that was otherwise the night’s high. Clippers forward Tobias Harris, in his new home arena, finished third.

Booker was all smiles after the rare victory.

“Season not going how we planned, but I know a lot of the city was ready for this All-Star Weekend, having somebody participate,” Booker said. “So, I’m glad I could win it.

Where he and the Suns go from here is still questionable, but he has a plan.

“I’m going to win the dunk contest next year,” Booker said. “No, I’m just kidding.”

Full results

First round

Klay Thompson 19

Devin Booker 19

Tobias Harris 18

Wayne Ellington 17

Bradley Beal 15

Eric Gordon 12

Kyle Lowry 11

Paul George 9

Second round

Devin Booker 29

Klay Thompson 25

Tobias Harris 17