Blake Griffin arrives for a news conference announcing the players selected for the 2012 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team in Las Vegas

Breaking News: Blake Griffin can still dunk so hard NBA stars freak out


One thing that is commonly said by reporters covering Team USA, outside of the annoying lack of media access, the joy of being in Vegas long-term, and the long travel hours traipsing the world for exhibitions and the games, there’s usually a level of awe at the amount of talent in one room.

Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, they’re all on the same team, with Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook and the like. Blake Griffin is the last guy on the roster, for crying out loud, and a lot of people wondered why he was even on the team. The answer is that he can rebound, he can run the pick and roll, and he is, despite everyone’s over-counter-reaction to his hype, a very good basketball player.

Oh, yeah, and he can do this.

“Oh, of course he dunks, that’s all he does.”

Well, aside from that not being true, a dunk still counts as two points. And in the grand tradition of Vince Carter and Frederic Weis, it’s always nice to have a poster machine ready for when you face a worthy object to dunk over.

Just in case.

Don’t let the jaded approach get you. Enjoy Blake Griffin’s dunks. The man’s a master. My favorite part is assistant coach Mike D’Antoni at the end.

Blake Griffin dunks are like live ammo, reality television and fast food. They’re bad for you but it’s still part of our culture. U-S-A! U-S-A!

Players’ union, NBA to set up cardiac screening for retired players

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First it was Darryl Dawkins. Then it was Moses Malone.

Two all-time great players who recently died — and at t0o young an age, 58 and 60 respectively — from undiagnosed heart conditions. Even before that, recognizing the issue the NBA players union and the league itself were setting up supplemental health coverage to provide cardiac screening for retired players, something ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan recently broke.

The joint effort between union executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — at a time when there still may be potentially acrimonious labor negotiations looming for their sides — is intended to ease the health concerns of its retired players.

Roberts said action from the players’ association on providing screening for its retired players is “imminent.”

“I wish I could give you an exact timetable, but we have to make sure all the components are in place,” Roberts told ESPN recently. “I will tell you we hope to have something sooner than later.”

The Cardiologists are affiliated with the NBA already, and some of the money will come from the league, while the union is both pitching in a chunk of cash and is the one organizing this, according to the report.

It’s good to Roberts and Silver working together on this. While you’d like to think this would be the kind of no-brainer move that the league and union would work together on, in the past the relationship didn’t always facilitate this sort of cooperation even on the obvious.

I’d like to think this bodes well for future labor talks, but I’m not willing to completely draw that parallel.


Stephen Curry drops 30 on Portland in preseason (VIDEO)

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Somebody is in midseason form.

Stephen Curry put up 30 on Portland in a preseason game Thursday night, hitting six threes and getting to the line 15 times over the course of his less than 26 minutes. It was quite a show.

Portland won the game 118-101 behind 25 points from Allen Crabbe and 22 from Damian Lillard. Not a lot of defense in this one but it was fun to watch.