Finally, the Olympic basketball tournament field is set.
Nigeria — led by 25 points on 14 shots plus 10 boards Ike Diogu (he formerly of the Spurs, Clippers, Pacers, Kings, Blazers and Warriors) — earned the final spot in the tournament by knocking off the Dominican Republic in a third-place game in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Venezuela.
The night before Russia (by far the best team in the tournament) and Lithuania qualified with wins that sent the DR and Nigeria to the do-or-die game.
Nigeria was the better side most of the game — they were up 8 at the half and led most of the way — but the Dominican Republic never went away with Francisco Garcia who had 17 points.
The game was tied with less than six minutes left, but the Diogu hit two three pointers and Nigeria took control again. New Orleans’ Al-Farouq Aminu added 14 points and five blocks for Nigeria.
The Dominican Republic should have had the best player on the floor with the Hawks Al Horford, but he had just 12 points as foul trouble kept him in check.
So the field for London is set. The 12-team tournament starts July 29 with play in the two six-team groups (four from each advance to the knockout tournament). The groups are:
Group A: United States, France, Argentina, Tunisia, Lithuania, Nigeria.
Group B: Great Britain, Spain, Brazil, Australia, China, Russia.
The #DriveByDunkChallenge has been a fun distraction this summer. If you don’t know what it is, it essentially involves NBA players jumping out of their cars to dunk on regular folks on community basketball hoops.
Players like Boston Celtics wing Jaylen Brown have led the charge in the social media video fad, and now it appears that Houston Rockets guard James Harden is setting a new trend.
That trend? Doing the #DriveByDunkChallenge from dang boat.
I can’t think of anything more baller than dunking on somebody from a speed boat, so congrats to Harden for winning the NBA offseason.
I suppose it will take some time to get used to seeing Gordon Hayward in a Boston Celtics jersey. This photo is the first step on that journey.
In a photo posted to Hayward’s Instagram on Wednesday, many of us got our first look at the former Utah Jazz forward in his new digs.
Specifically, the new Celtics Nike jersey in green with the GE patch on the left shoulder.
There are still some serious doubts about whether the Celtics will be able to unseat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference, but perhaps they won’t need to wait for long. Rumors are starting to trickle in about LeBron James leaving Ohio, so maybe by the time we are used to seeing Hayward in Celtics green next season they will have less competition out east.
It appears as though Houston billionaire Dan Friedkin will have some competition if he decides to bid for the Rockets. Namely, former NBA big man Dikembe Mutombo.
Mutombo played in the NBA from 1991-2009, ending his career with five seasons in Houston. The franchise apparently made an impact on the Hall of Fame center, as he is apparently looking to buy the franchise per an interview with USA Today.
Speaking with Adi Joseph over at FTW, Mutombo would not give out names of his partners but said that he will be able to make a bid in the coming weeks.
“I’m putting together a group to buy the Houston Rockets, and we’re getting close,” he said. “Getting close in the next couple weeks, maybe I’ll have a chance. Lot of people, lot of people and good people with a lot of money.”
With Leslie Alexander’s decision to sell the team, it certainly would be interesting to get another NBA player as part of team ownership in this league.
The NBA’s top-10 highlight packages have been pretty enjoyable. This one is oddly specific – but still dizzyingly fun.