Metta World Peace

Harden not yet cleared to play; no word on World Peace suspension

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As of Tuesday afternoon, it looks like the concussion suffered at the elbow of Metta World Peace will keep James Harden out Tuesday night.

He sat out Tuesday’s shootaround and continued to undergo the battery of tests needed to get cleared after suffering a concussion under the new league policy, according to NBA.com.

Coach Scott Brooks said he would not make a call on Harden’s status for Tuesday night’s game against the Kings until closer to game time.

“He’s just going through the process, the league-mandated process. We’ll know more later on,” Brooks said.

Harden has not spoken to the media but tweeted: “”Im solid. Feeling good. Appreciate y’all for checking on me!!”

Brooks also said that while the Thunder are locked in at the two seed in the West for the playoffs he planned to play his regular rotations, although key players could see reduced minutes.

Meanwhile, World Peace and the Lakers continue to wait for word from the league on what the suspension for World Peace will be. The league is not under pressure to make a decision as the Lakers do not play again until Thursday.

Reactions around the league have been all over the place. There are some calling for World Peace to be out through the playoffs. The consensus seems to be at least five games maybe up to 10, impacting the Lakers in the playoffs.

Mark Jackson, current Warriors coach and former NBA player, told CSNBayArea.com he lands on the lenient side.

“I don’t think you can say that it was intentional. You can guess that it was intentional — the footage shows that it was somewhat intentional,” Jackson said. “But at the same time, I think that he is the same way that we treated him as Ron Artest in the past, and said what his body of work said. We also have to treat him as Metta World Peace.

“He’s done a very good job of putting his life back together and being sane on the basketball court and not having any issues. That being said, a punishment has to go forth. I’m not one of those guys that say ‘the rest of the way’ and ‘no playoffs’ and all that. I think that’s drastic. You punish him a couple of games and you move forward.”

“Somewhat intentional?” Next time I do something stupid, I’m going with that. I’ll let you know how it works.

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: