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Friday morning And-1 links (formerly one liners)

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New name, same drill. This is our morning look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT).

Snoop Dogg is no Pau Gasol fan. (Language NSFW or family Christmas gatherings. The spelling is bad, too.)

A really fascinating read about how Heat coach Erik Spoelstra learned about the Oregon football spread offense and looked for ways to bring it to the NBA.

Another fascinating read: Jonathan Abrams of Grantland got fantastic access to the Nets for a week as they prepare for the season off a truncated training camp.

Quote of the day goes to Lakers coach Mike Brown, to his designated sixth man Metta World Peace after a couple of exhibition games, “ “If you’re going to shoot that much, you’ve got to make ‘em.”

J.R. Smith’s team in China faced off against Wilson Chandler’s, and Smith went off for 51. And his team still lost.

Manu Ginobili admits he is not yet in game shape. You can bet he’s not alone. Which is too bad because games are starting anyway.

Interesting thoughts about the Dallas Mavericks rotation.

A Memphis fans’ ridiculous lawsuit against Kobe Bryant has been given new life.

What is on your team’s NBA holiday wish list?

Talking about the absurdity of the NBA’s compacted schedule.

Amare Stoudemire says the Knicks are going to do some hunting in South Florida, and Dwyane Wade responds.

Then Stoudemire took another swipe at the Heat, saying the Maverick’s thrown is too high for them.

What Chris Bosh has learned in life.

The Memphis Grizzlies have rescinded their $2 million qualifying offer for center Hamed Haddadi. He currently remains in Dubai with visa issues.

The Pistons new locker room is sweet. Probably not as nice as the one for the Oregon Ducks football team, though.

Marcus Thornton was back on the court for the Kings on Thursday after missing a few days due to kidneys stones. Yes, kidney stones.

Marcus Camby tweaked his left knee, which turns out not to be serious but he is listed as day-to-day.

Reggie Evans signing with the Clippers is official. Great get.

Watch Wizards owner Ted Leonsis talk about his team.

Terrance Williams of the Rockets can dunk. Big time.

Tyrus Thomas is questionable for the Bobcats opener Monday. As of Thursday he was still in a walking boot.

Tying Mark Twain and Nene together.

In case you missed it, the Hawks paid the toll on a road in Atlanta for a day. And they lined the road with cheerleaders.

Watch Sasha Vujacic get ejected from a game in Spain for doing something very Vujacic.

Aaron Gordon both legs over the mascot, ball-under-the-legs dunk (VIDEO)

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TORONTO — Zach LaVine won the NBA All-Star Saturday Dunk Contest, but in an epic night for my money this was the single best dunk.

Orlando’s Aaron Gordon broke ground with this one — guys have jumped over mascots and other players before (and a Kia hood), but by splitting their legs apart. Gordon just put both legs over Stuff (that’s the mascot’s name, Stuff the Magic Dragon, I don’t make this up) — and took the ball off the mascot’s head, went under his legs, and threw it down.

Insane.

Gordon deserved a trophy for his performance in this dunk contest.

Zach LaVine edges Aaron Gordon in epic, insane Dunk Contest

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TORONTO — That. Was. Amazing.

In a dunk contest that will go down with the all-time greats — Jordan vs. Dominique, Dr. J from the free throw line — Minnesota’s Zach LaVine defended his dunk contest title. Barely. Because Orlando’s Aaron Gordon was doing dunks nobody had ever seen before.

And LaVine was bringing it just as hard.

The two men advanced to the finals — dismissing Will Barton and Andre Drummond, each of whom had good dunks — and that was when it got wild.

There were four second-round dunks, and four perfect scores of 50. (That was in spite of Shaq, who wanted to give nines for second attempts.)

“I was prepared for four (second round dunks),” LaVine said. “To tell the truth, he came with something that no one else has done. He did two dunks that were just crazy with the mascots, jumping over them. We just kept pushing each other until the last dunk. I’ve got to give it up to my boy Will “The Thrill” Barton. It’s because of him I think I won. Because he said try to go from the free-throw line. I’d never done that before, and I just tried it. So I guess it was a great dunk. I think it was the best one ever.”

The Air Canada Centre crowd was exploding with every dunk. The two men went to a dunk-off — and got two more 50s.

“If I knew it was going to be like that, I would have prepared better and we would have been here dunking all night, going back 50 after 50 after 50 after 50,” Gordon said. “We would have been here all night. I didn’t know it was going to be like that. I was just hoping Zach was going to miss, and it wasn’t going to happen. You could see as my facial expressions when Zach dunks it, it’s like okay, that’s a 50. Like I know we’re going to have to dunk again.”

So they went to a second-round of overtime, where LaVine put up another 50 and won the contest.

Gordon was close to perfect.

Zach LaVine can flat-out fly.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon with the over-the-mascot mad dunk

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TORONTO — Aaron Gordon was giving Zach LaVine all he could handle in the Dunk Contest.

He blew the lid off the Air Canada Centre with this dunk in the first round — and it wasn’t even his best dunk of the night. Never seen this before.

This dunk contest was awesome, so much more video to come.

Zach LaVine opens Slam Dunk Contest title defense with spectacular behind-the-back slam (VIDEO)

during the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge 2016 at Air Canada Centre on February 12, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
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TORONTO — Zach LaVine clearly heard all the talk that Aaron Gordon or Will Barton had a chance to upset him in the Slam Dunk Contest. He came out ready to prove his superiority right off the bat. This behind-the-back slam was his first attempt of the night:

Even better was the reaction, both from Andre Drummond and from LaVine’s Minnesota teammates: