Jason Kidd to begin coaching career with Nets at Orlando’s Summer League

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The hiring of Jason Kidd to be the next head coach of the Brooklyn Nets raised some eyebrows around the league, mainly due to his complete lack of coaching experience at any level in the past.

LeBron James wasn’t concerned that it would be an issue, citing the success of Mark Jackson with the Warriors who entered the coaching ranks under similar circumstances. But the reality is, there are some fundamentals that must be picked up by anyone looking to thrive in a new position.

Kidd will attempt to start gaining that experience as soon as possible, beginning with Summer League in Orlando this July.

From Roderick Boone of Newsday (via HoopsHype):

“I think it’s the best thing to get right into it,” Kidd said on ESPN Radio. “I know that a lot of times head coaches don’t coach summer league. But this gives me time to work on different parts of the game, learning to be a coach, also my philosophy and plays and the defensive stuff that I’ll get to put in as my system.

“So, I get to see if it works. If it doesn’t work, [then see] what changes I have to make and work from there.”

Summer League is a time when head coaches around the league usually turn things over to their assistants, while observing from afar as their team’s bench players and freshly drafted rookies are gaining some valuable exposure to real basketball situations.

Kidd needs to spend time learning the basics of his new profession, too, so Summer League seems like as good a place as any to get started.

LeBron James hits go-ahead shot in All-Star win (video)

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LOS ANGELES – LeBron James‘ team trailed by 13 midway through the fourth quarter of the All-Star game, but he led a competitive comeback.

This shot put his team up 146-145 over Stephen Curry‘s team, and Team LeBron held on for a 148-145 win:

Great penetration by Russell Westbrook, and he and Kyrie Irving moved the ball well. LeBron made it count.

LeBron James finishes reverse alley-oop from Russell Westbrook (VIDEO)

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LOS ANGELES — The new format for the NBA All-Star game brought a little more defense to the first half of the annual showcase, but it didn’t do much to enliven the game. That said, the game has been better than the pre-game “entertainment.”

Midway through the second quarter, his team down 15, LeBron James decided to make it a game again and played with some energy. That included a three, and a couple impressive alley-oop finishes. The best came via Russell Westbrook.

There also was this one courtesy Kemba Walker.

Those may be the two best dunks of the first half.

Anthony Davis opens All-Star game wearing DeMarcus Cousins’ jersey

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LOS ANGELES – Anthony Davis often relies on his Pelicans teammates to set him up.

Tonight, he gave a nod to one of them.

Davis started the All-Star game wearing DeMarcus Cousins‘ No. 0 jersey. Cousins and Davis were both voted starters then drafted by LeBron James, but Cousins can’t play due to injury.

Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated:

Very cool gesture by Davis. He’s an excellent teammate.

No, Joel Embiid didn’t cheat during the NBA Skills Challenge

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The Internet got itself all in a huff on Saturday as they watched the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend Skills Challenge. In particular, the matchup between Chicago Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen and Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid stirred up a bit of controversy.

Specifically, folks accused Embiid of cheating.

During the passing section of the obstacle course, Embiid didn’t actually make any of his passes into the ring. He then proceeded on the next section and was neck-and-neck with Markkanen as they tried to finish out the head-to-head competition. Markkanen won, but that didn’t stop folks from saying the 76ers All-Star had circumvented the rules.

We now know that’s not true.

According to the rules (provided on the NBA media site, page 47 of the 2018 NBA All-Star Media Guide) Embiid was allowed to move onto the next section even though he hadn’t completed any of his passes. A player only has to exhaust the rack, not complete a pass. It appears rules sort of assume that if a player stands there trying to complete a pass three times they’ll fall so far behind they won’t be able to catch up.

Re-watching the video, it appears Embiid knew this rule to the game and figured if he didn’t make the first one he would quickly try to blast the next two passes off the rack so he could then move onto the next section.

Embiid even took to Twitter to head off accusations that he had cheated.

Via Twitter:

Trust. The. Process.