Is this mostly just an excuse to run this video again? Yes, yes it is. But there’s also a little bit of NBA-related news here too, as we got word today of the lineup headlining the All-Star Pregame Concert that will take place before the All-Star game on Sunday, Feb. 17.
From the official release:
“Global pop music sensation Ke$ha, Grammy Award-winner hip hop artist Ludacris and Grammy Award-nominated hip hop artist B.o.B will help tip off the 2013 NBA All-Star Game when they perform during the Sprint NBA All-Star Pregame Concert on Sunday, Feb. 17. The Sprint Pregame Concert, which will be held at the NBA All-Star Jam Session Sprint Arena in Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center, will lead up to TNT’s exclusive telecast of the 62nd NBA All-Star Game at 8 p.m. ET.
“Hip hop superstars, Ludacris and B.o.B will open the show with a live performance during NBA TV’s coverage of the Sprint Pregame Concert beginning at 6 p.m.ET, prior to TNT’s pregame coverage. Ke$ha will hit the stage to perform during the live telecast on TNT starting at 7 p.m. ET.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is starting to feel differently. He realizes he runs an entertainment business and a parade of guys to the free throw line without because of a non-basketball play — you can’t begin to tell me fouling a guy 50 feet from the ball is a basketball play in the spirit of the rules — is bad for that business. It is unwatchable. And while every coach in the NBA “I hate to do it” they all do it with more and more frequency, there will be more than twice as many instances this season as there were a year ago, with more and more players involved. Because it works, and because they are paid to win, not play beautiful basketball.
Change is coming. Old-school types always bemoan change, and that’s not just a basketball thing. But the rest of the world has rules in place to stop this because they realize it’s not basketball, it’s gaming the system. And it needs to change.
Timofey Mozgov with maybe “best” missed dunk of the season (VIDEO)
While the Timberwolves have plenty of question marks around him, but Towns has been exceptional. Coming into Monday night, he was averaging 21.6 points (on 59.9 percent shooting) and 12.7 rebounds a night in his last 10 games.
The summer of 2016 is all about Kevin Durant — and we don’t know what Durant is going to do as a free agent because Durant doesn’t yet know what Durant is going to do as a free agent. Stay in Oklahoma City, bolt to the Bay Area or maybe Washington D.C.? These playoffs, meetings with teams and his advisors, plus personal factors all will play a role in Durant’s decision. Which he will get around to announcing in early July sometime.
But the sense around the league is that while Durant may very well stay in Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook was drawn to the bright lights of big markets. If an elite player were to bolt OKC, this was the more likely guy. Westbrook is a free agent in 2017.
The Knicks have a real chance to sell Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook in 2017 – New York and Porzingis have his attention, yes – and Jackson ought to start constructing an elite coaching staff to begin that process with Westbrook and with free agents beyond him.
Come 2017, expect Westbrook to meet with a number of big market teams on both coasts, and then make a decision. The summer of 2017 is a couple of NBA lifetimes away, it’s impossible to say what Westbrook will do (he may well decide to stay in OKC if they win enough), but the big market teams looking for a star will get their turn in the batter’s box.
Which is why I still think Durant signs a 1+1 deal this summer to stay in Oklahoma City for another season — he’s going to give everything another chance to come together for the Thunder, then when the salary cap is at its peak in 2017 (an estimated $108 million) he makes his peak seasons decision. He and Westbrook and Serge Ibaka will all be free agents at the same time, and they can make their calls.