Atlanta Hawks v Indiana Pacers - Game One

Tuesday And-1 Links: Re-imagining the 2010 NBA draft


Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points more than pundits love mock outrage over Miley Cyrus (you know, if you don’t like her act you can just tune out)….

• It really takes about three years to judge a draft properly, to look at the players after they developed and see who nailed it. Look back at the 2010 draft and it’s pretty clear the Indiana Pacers nailed it — Paul George and Lance Stephenson were their picks. Over at Sekou Smith looked back at that draft and reconfigured it in the order the players would go now. Here is his top 10 (with their actual draft spot in parenthesis):

1. Paul George (10, with Indiana Pacers); 2. John Wall (1, with Washington Wizards); 3. DeMarcus Cousins (5, with Sacramento Kings); 4. Larry Sanders (15, with Milwaukee Bucks); 5. Greg Monroe (7, with Detroit Pistons); 6. Avery Bradley (19, with Boston Celtics); 7. Derrick Favors (3, with Utah Jazz); 8. Gordon Hayward (9, with Utah Jazz); 9. Eric Bledsoe (with Phoenix Suns); 10. Greivis Vasquez (28, with Sacramento Kings).

Who would have fallen? Evan Turner, the No. 2 pick of the Sixers; Wesley Johnson, the No. 4 pick now with the Lakers; and Ekpe Udoh who went No. 6 and is with the Bucks now (behind Sanders).

• Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Washington Wizards (and Capitals of the NHL) has thrown his support behind an effort to bring the 2024 Olympics to Washington D.C. He owns the Verizon Center, where you would imagine some major sports like basketball would take place.

“I think our community is ready for it,” Leonsis told “We’re the largest, most powerful city in the world that’s never hosted an Olympic games.”

• Here is how often NBA players get mentioned in hip-hop lyrics, in a chart.

• Kobe Bryant met with a terminally ill veteran.

This is a great in-depth look at the Pacific division, with look ins from a scout and more.

• Here is the latest on the NBA negotiating its next television deal — let’s hope Turner (TNT) still keeps its Thursday night

Everything you wanted to know about the upcoming Portland Trail Blazers season but were afraid to ask.

Lang Whitaker at the All Ball Blog wrote a fantastic appreciation of Allen Iverson.

• Jordan Hill believes the Lakers could be the third best team in the West. He also believes in unicorns.

• Here is a good Q&A with rookie Trey Burke of the Jazz.

• Rookie Solomon Hill looks “ready to contribute right away” for the Pacers according to coach Frank Vogel. Good luck cracking that rotation.

• The former head of the  Arizona Board of Executive Clemency (parole board) became friends with Amar’e Stoudemire then coincidentally voted to parol STAT’s half-brother. Okay, not so coincidentally, apparently.

Before season starts, watch top 10 dunks of preseason

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Starting Tuesday night, the games matter. The dunks matter.

But before we move onto those dunks, let’s have some fun with the top 10 dunks of the meaningless preseason. They may not matter, but they certainly were fun.

Of course there are some expected highlights — can you have a dunk reel without Russell Westbrook? — but game-winning dunks always get the top slot.

Carmelo Anthony says rather than take knee during Anthem he wants action in communities

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 26:  Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks looks on against the Cleveland Cavaliers during their game at Madison Square Garden on March 26, 2016 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Colin Kaepernick certainly fired up a discussion — not always the conversation he intended, but a discussion of the treatment of African-Americans in our society was part of that conversation.

No NBA player has taken that same step through the preseason, taking a knee during the national anthem (only anthem singers have done that). Some teams are locking arms during the anthem in a show of solidarity, but they stand in two orderly rows.

Carmelo Anthony explained in an interview with Bleacher Report that what he and many others want to see is the next step in Kaepernick’s protest — action in the community.

“I’m past the gestures,” New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony told B/R Mag. “I’m past that. It’s all about creating things now and putting things in motion. So, that’s what I’m on. I’m trying to get guys on board with that and help them understand that—enough of the gesturing and talking and all of that stuff—we need to start putting things in place….

“He’s done it,” Anthony said of Kaepernick. “He was courageous enough to do that. He created that. He created the kneeling and that protest. And people fell in line with that. Some people supported it. Some people didn’t. But at the end of the day, and I’m not taking nothing away from him…I just don’t think the gesturing is creating anything. I think it’s bringing awareness, but I think doing stuff and creating awareness in the communities [is more effective].”

What are those things? Players, the players’ union, the NBA itself, and it’s teams are all working to figure that out. This is not something where one blanket program fits all — what is needed in communities in New York is different from the needs in Milwaukee, is different from the needs in Sacramento. This needs to be local, with players involved.

There have already been some steps. The Bulls held a basketball tournament between police and a mentoring agency, which was followed by a panel discussion. Dwyane Wade biked with police through Miami. The Grizzlies have revived the Police Athletic League in Memphis. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, there are teams from New Orleans to Los Angeles are working to bring youth and police together to talk.

It’s a start. A good start.

There is no one magic gesture, no one simple measure that can heal the deep divides in our nation right now. There are no easy answers, and as a nation we can be too dependent on easy answers. We need to listen. We need to talk to each other, not at each other. We need to practice empathy.

NBA players can help lead that effort, that conversation. It would be the next step after a protest — to act on those steps. Good on Anthony and the NBA for attempting to go down that road.


Rockets change from earlier reports, waive Pablo Prigioni, keep Tyler Ennis

HOUSTON, TX - MAY 17:  Pablo Prigioni #9 of the Houston Rockets celebrates in the third quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers during Game Seven of the Western Conference Semifinals at the Toyota Center for the 2015 NBA Playoffs on May 17, 2015 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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The Rockets traded for Tyler Ennis., sending Michael Beasley away in the deal.

Which is why it was a bit of a surprise on Monday when early reports had the Rockets waiving Ennis, but either the report was off or the Rockets changed their minds.

With Patrick Beverley out injured, this leaves the Rockets thin at the traditional point guard spot. However, in practice James Harden, Eric Gordon and others will initiate Mike D’Antoni’s offense, so the bigger challenge will be defensively. Prigioni was not much help there at this point in his career.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a team snaps up Prigioni as insurance, or he certainly can make money overseas. Prigioni played last season as a backup point guard for the Clippers.

Want some dance lessons from Hassan Whiteside? We got that.

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: A portrait of Hassan Whiteside #21 of the Miami Heat on September 26, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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Miami’s Hassan Whiteside is a lot of things: An elite shot blocker, up-and-coming NBA star who worked hard for the right to be that, a Heat cornerstone.

Dance instructor?

I’m not sold, but he’s showing off his groove in this Twitter video.

When you get a $98.6 million contract, you can do whatever you want. So he can be a dance if he wants to.