If you’re looking at rivalries from the Lakers side of things, teams like the Celtics in the East and the Spurs in the West are the ones that immediately come to mind for most fans in Los Angeles.
But in Phoenix, Suns fans loathe the Lakers more than any other NBA team, with the possible exception of those same Spurs.
Whether due to proximity (the two teams’ home arenas are just 375 miles apart) or due to the Lakers’ relative success breeding contempt, the “Beat L.A.” chants in the arena are fierce every time the purple and gold come to town.
When taking this into account, the team’s latest move on the digital side is perhaps less of a surprise.
From Domain Name Wire (via Eric Pincus of the L.A. Times):
As for the Phoenix Suns, the NBA team bought Beat.la for $5,300. GoDaddy just started a marketing push to help brand .la as the domain name for Los Angeles, even though it’s the country code domain for Laos. This is a clever domain for the Suns to drum up their rivalry.
The site is live now, and features two links on the home page. One takes you to a photo gallery depicting the rivalry over the years, while the other takes you to a video feature commemorating the first time the Suns beat the Lakers in the postseason back in 1990.
Lakers fans may want to laugh this off, but remember, Kobe Bryant holds a grudge for the beatings his teams took at the hands of the Suns in 2006 and 2007. Credit Phoenix for coming up with a creative way to keep the rivalry alive digitally for its fans.
The NBA has unveiled its top 100 plays of the 2015-16 season, and there’s no mystery as to what were the top two.
No. 2: Stephen Curry‘s halfcourt buzzer-beater in overtime against the Thunder in Oklahoma City during the season.
No. 1: “The Block” by LeBron James on Andre Iguodala in the final stretch of Game 7 of the Finals.
There’s plenty more, too, and if you have 25 minutes to kill, you can and should watch all of them above.
Tyler Zeller is one of the few restricted free agents left on the market who could make an actual impact next season, and on Saturday morning, he’s come off the board. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports that the fourth-year big man has agreed to a deal to stay with the Celtics. It’s for two years and $16 million, with the second season being a team option.
Zeller isn’t a starter, but he’s a nice rotation big man, especially at that price. He can play minutes off the bench for Boston, and his contract is also very movable with the second season being unguaranteed. He played just 11.8 minutes per game last season, but averaged 18.5 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes.
The Toronto Raptors were good last season, second best team in the East. That means the guys on Inside the NBA on TNT had to talk about them.
Which means Charles Barkley had to say “Jonas Valanciunas” a lot. Which is high comedy. While a lot of people struggle to say his name the guy is a solid NBA center who, with a little practice, you can say (and spell) his name pretty easily.
This comes from a YouTube user, via Reddit, with a hat tip to Eye on Basketball.
Argentina isn’t considered a medal contender heading into the Rio Olympics. Their golden generation — led by Manu Ginobili — has picked up a lot of speed on the downhill side of their careers at this point.
They didn’t provide much of a challenge for Team USA in an exhibition game Friday night in Las Vegas, one won by the USA 111-74. Kevin Durant impressed playing with his new teammates in dropping 23 points, Paul George had 18, and the Americans had their way in the game.
Which is what we’re going to see a lot of in Rio — the USA’s talent level is just steps above any other team in the tournament.