Are you into conspiracy theories and NBA basketball? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
Late Tuesday night, a link began circulating on Twitter to a page on the NBA’s online store that would allow you to buy a New Jersey Nets t-shirt, as if Dwight Howard — of the Orlando Magic currently, but not expected to be after the season, and also kind of in limbo until Thursday’s trade deadline — was now a member of that organization.
It has since been taken down, but as the screen shot accompanying this post shows, it was indeed live.
Howard, of course, has not yet been dealt anywhere, and the latest comments from him suggest he’d prefer to remain in Orlando to finish out the season. But all signs point to his wanting to be in New Jersey next season, so this curious quirk in the NBA Store’s online inventory has, of course, raised some eyebrows.
There are many possible legitimate explanations for this, and it’s unclear how exactly one would have arrived at this destination by starting from the store.nba.com home page to begin with.
But the facts are these: At the time of this writing, there was a live link, at the NBA’s official online store, which specifically mentions Dwight Howard as a member of the New Jersey Nets. The item description read, “The player’s number is subject to change, and the T-shirt will not ship until the official number is issued.”
Draw your own conclusions.
Any controversy over C.J. McCollum‘s suspension for the season-opener should be put to rest. The Trail Blazers fared fine without him.
More than fine.
Portland beat the Suns, 124-76, Wednesday. The 48-point margin is the largest ever in a season opener, even as the Trail Blazers let a 58-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle.
Here are the most lopsided season-openers in NBA history (openers for both teams appearing twice):
The 48-point defeat is also the Suns’ worst lost in franchise history, topping a 44-point loss to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1988. It could be a long year in Phoenix.
Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova thrive on aggravating opponents, so when matched up, of course they aggravated each other.
Deduct points from Smart for pulling the hold-me-back charade behind a referee. Plus, Dellavedova’s Bucks beat Smart’s Celtics, 108-100.
The Nets’ projected record this season came under greater scrutiny when the Celtics traded Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. After finishing third-to-last and last the previous two years, were the Nets poised to take a step forward, or would they convey a very high pick to the Cavs?
Jeremy Lin, who missed 46 games last season, getting healthy was a reason for optimism in Brooklyn and pessimism in Cleveland. But it appears the veteran guard could be out a while.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Billy Reinhardt of Nets Daily:
If the injury is as bad as feared, what a bummer for Lin. He came to Brooklyn expecting to play a leading role on a developing team, and he just can’t stay healthy.
The Nets were probably more focused on developing their younger players, but – especially without their own draft picks – there was no harm in shooting for the playoffs. This appears to a blow to that (already unlikely) dream.
It’s a boon to the Cavaliers, though. And whenever something significantly affects LeBron James‘ team, it has ramifications into the entire power dynamic of the Eastern Conference. For an injury to a player on a team most expect to be bad, the medical developments here will be tracked closely around the league.
Remember when Aaron Gordon was a promising fun player?
The Magic sidetracked him by playing him at small forward most of last season. But back at power forward, Gordon showed how he could push the pace as a four in Orlando’s season-opening win over the Heat.
There’s obviously flair in passing to yourself off the backboard, but it’s a sound way to improve position. Gordon did that to fantastic effect.