clyde drexler

Drexler, Mutombo, Olajuwon, Tomjanovich, and Yao Ming to judge 2013 Slam Dunk Contest


Clyde Drexler, Dikembe Mutombo, Hakeem Olajuwon, Rudy Tomjanovich, and Yao Ming will serve as judges in the 2013 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, the NBA announced today. The Houston connection runs deep, as all five legends will score all of the dunks in the event’s first round.

In case you needed credentials for each of these guys, we’ve got you covered.

From the official release:

“Drexler played 15 seasons for the Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers, was a 10-time NBA All-Star, a two-time NBA Champion with the Rockets, enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2004, and was a member of the 1992 USA Basketball Dream Team.

“Mutombo, who played the final five seasons of his 18-year career with the Rockets, was a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, an eight-time NBA All-Star, and currently serves as an NBA Global Ambassador.

“Olajuwon is a two-time NBA Champion with the Rockets (1994 and 1995), a 12-time NBA All-Star, was named the 1993-94 NBA Most Valuable Player, and was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.

“Tomjanovich played for the Rockets for 11 seasons while being named an NBA All-Star five times and coached the team for 12 seasons, including their back-to-back NBA Championships.

“Yao was the number one overall pick for the Rockets in the 2002 NBA Draft and an eight-time NBA All-Star. ”

Besides Drexler, none of these guys are exactly known as the type of high-flyers that would typically excel in a dunk contest. But having Rockets legends represent the city of Houston isn’t such a bad idea — as long as they get it right.

As a reminder, fans will determine the dunk contest champion, and can do so by voting via text, Twitter, or online at the website.

Kings’ Karl admits mistakes in DeMarcus Cousins trade controversey

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In the NBA, elite players have the leverage. It is just simple supply and demand.

DeMarcus Cousins is an elite player — and a favorite of owner Vivek Ranadive. He is not going anywhere.

Which made this summer’s “George Karl wants trade Cousins” a battle the coach couldn’t ultimately win — the owner wasn’t going to sign off on it, and the fans are going to side with Boogie. Remember Karl said he never had a player that was untradable, and that spiraled into reports Karl probed trade options with other teams, much to the frustration of management and Cousins himself.

Karl owned up to some of his mistakes in an interview on Comcast Bay Area, as reported by James Ham at

“To be honest with you, I apologized to DeMarcus for making the trade comment that I’ve never coached a player that’s untradeable,” Karl told Christensen. “That was wrong for me to say, because you all (the media) took it and blew it up into crazy.”

“But it’s my responsibility to be smart enough to not say things like that,” Karl continued. “So I did apologize because I thought that was the only thing, maybe some other things, but really the only thing that got us separated was that comment that then everybody wrote the we’re going to trade [Cousins].”

The relationship between Cousins and Karl — not to mention Rajon Rondo and other veterans — is the biggest key to the Kings’ season. Karl and Cousins say their relationship is solid now, but what happens when that is put under stress at some point during the season?

In talking to people around the team, the Kings players seemed to have formed a tight bond — even if part of the glue of that bond is a distrust of Karl that can work for them. This is a team that has the talent to compete for the bottom couple playoff seeds in the Western Conference, but everybody needs to be pulling on the rope in the same direction. We will see pretty quickly if the Kings can do that.

Pistons reveal “Detroit Chrome” alternate uniform


I’m a fan of the Pistons’ alternate uniforms in general — their “Motor City” ones may be may favorite alternates around the league.

Now they have a new one — Detroit Chrome.

The Pistons will break these out for seven home games this season. From the official release:

The inspiration for the Detroit Chrome jerseys came about as a way to honor our coolest cars from the past and the cars of the future. Detroit is universally known as the auto capital of the world, where chrome leaves an indelible mark on the cars we create. The uniforms feature a matte chrome base color with clean simple lines inspired by the classic muscle cars that have roared up and down Woodward Avenue for decades. The navy trim and Detroit emblazoned across the chest represent the blue collar work ethic that the auto industry and region was built on.

Clean, simple, cool — I like it.

That would look good in the first round of the playoffs, too. (I’m predicting they get the eight seed.)