Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Kyrie Irving reacts after a turnover during the second quarter of the Cavaliers NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat in Cleveland

Point guards Irving, Rubio lead NBA All-Rookie team


The NBA is evolving into more of a point-guard league — if you can’t touch a quick ball handler on the perimeter they are going to carve up any defense. With the rules enforced as they are, Tony Parker can’t guard Tony Parker.

So no shock that the two guys on top of the NBA All-Rookie Team are two point guards who helped transform their team’s offenses — Kyrie Irving and Ricky Rubio.

The full lists are below. There are seven guys on the first team because three players — Iman Shumpert, Kawhi Leonard and Brandon Knight — all tied with 40 points. So they all make the first team. It’s like U8 soccer, everybody gets a medal.

I have a few beefs with the voting (done by head coaches, or whichever staff person they pawn the job off on) although nothing major because I can’t get that worked up about this award. Still, how does Kawhi Leonard get the same vote total as Brandon Knight? Shumpert is only in that tie because he played for the Knicks, good defender but second team guy here.  Klay Thompson came on late and got recognition, but so did Isaiah Thomas in Sacramento, just nobody noticed.

First Team (points in parenthesis):

Kyrie Irving, Cleveland (58)
Ricky Rubio, Minnesota (49)
Kenneth Faried, Denver (46)
Klay Thompson, Golden State (43)
Iman Shumpert, New York (40)
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio (40)
Brandon Knight, Detroit (40)

Second Team (pints in parenthesis)

Chandler Parsons, Houston (33)
Isaiah Thomas, Sacramento (27)
MarShon Brooks, New Jersey (18)
Derrick Williams, Minnesota (16)
Tristan Thompson, Cleveland (16)

Other players receiving votes, with point totals: Markieff Morris, Phoenix, 7; Kemba Walker, Charlotte 7; Alec Burks, Utah 2; Norris Cole, Miami 2; Bismack Biyombo, Charlotte 2; Enes Kanter, Utah 1; Greg Stiemsma, Boston 1; Gustavo Ayon, New Orleans 1; Nikola Vucevic, Philadelphia 1.

Is Stephen Curry the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Lionel Messi
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Stephen Curry has reached the transcendent point in his career. We’re now talking about if he has passed LeBron James as the best player on the planet (he has), and we’re starting to think about his legacy as the perfect point guard for a modern NBA small-ball, space-and-pace offense. Plus he’s just a joy to watch play.

Does that make him the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Curry was asked to compare himself to the Barcelona/Argentinian player who (arguably) is the greatest soccer player in the world, certainly as elite a finisher as that sport has ever seen. Here is his answer, via the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia. Is Curry the bigger international star now?

“I don’t know – it’s a chicken and egg kind of conversation,” Curry said while laughing.

“We both have a creative style, a feel when you are out on the pitch or the court. I’m trying to do some fancy things out there with both hands, making crossover moves and having a certain flair to my game and that’s definitely the style Messi has when he is out there in his matches.”

I love Curry, but Messi is the bigger international star.

But I love the comparison in terms of the must-watch nature of the two stars, the flair in their games, the sense that you have to keep an eye on them at all times because the spectacular could happen any time they touch the ball. When the ball comes to them, everybody leads forward in their chairs. That is the sign of a real superstar.

Jahlil Okafor fights man in Boston (video)

Jahlil Okafor

The 76ers lost a heartbreaker to the Celtics last night, dropping Philadelphia to 0-16.

Jahlil Okafor was apparently in a foul mood after the game.


We’re told everyone got up and fled the scene and no arrests were made.

We’re told the altercation began because one of the men in the other group yelled at Jahlil, “The 76ers suck.”

We spoke with a rep for Jahlil who tells us … Okafor says he was being heckled from the moment he left the club and felt threatened because people swarmed him on the street.


This video obviously doesn’t show everything, but it certainly makes Okafor look like the aggressor.

Okafor will probably face punishment from some combination of the legal system, NBA and 76ers.

Kristaps Porzingis envelops Victor Oladipo’s dunk attempt (video)

Nikola Vucevic, Kristaps Porzingis
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Scott Skiles moved Victor Oladipo to the bench, because the Magic coach wanted to give Oladipo a chance to be more aggressive.

It worked.

Oladipo scored a season-high 24 points in the Magic’s 100-91 win over the Knicks.

But Oladipo’s aggressiveness also produced this fantastic Kristaps Porzingis block: