With game in balance, Jason Kidd tells player to “hit me,” spills drink, gets psuedo timeout to draw up play

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This is very clever by Nets coach Jason Kidd. Oh, he’s going to get a healthy fine from the league for this, but it was clever.

The Nets were down two with 8.3 seconds left in the game and the Lakers’ Jodie Meeks was on the free throw line. The Nets were going to get one last shot to at least tie the game up, but Kidd was out of timeouts to draw up a play.

So he walks out to the edge of the court holding a drink, looks at Tyshawn Taylor and you can see him mouth “hit me.” Taylor dutifully does as his coach asks, Kidd spills his drink and there is in essence a timeout while ball boys try to clean up soda from the court.

Kidd tried to sell this as an accident at his postgame press conference (our Brett Pollakoff was at the game and provides the quote).

“The cup slipped out of my hand,” Kidd said. “I was getting tired. Sweaty palms. In the heat of the battle you’re trying to get guys in and out of the game, and the coke fell out of my hand.”

Riiight.

Kidd used the defacto timeout to draw up one last play, which was a Paul Pierce three as he came off a Kevin Garnett screen. The Nets ran the play but as John Lennon told us “instant Karma’s gonna get you” and Pierce missed the shot. The Lakers hung on for the win.

This is reminiscent of when Kidd the player just ran into coach Mike Woodson drawing a technical — there Kidd was the smart veteran drawing the tech on a coach who had stepped on to the court.

Here, he’s going to get fined. The league office isn’t going to let this precedent get set.

Hat tip to TheBrooklynGame.com for the video.

Elfrid Payton slams chasedown block on LeBron James (VIDEO)

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LeBron James is usually the guy handing out chasedown blocks. He’s famous for them, and has carted out his signature move in the biggest moments of his career.

He’s also not used to having his own shots blocked from behind, and certainly not by opposing point guards.

Enter Elfrid Payton.

During a play halfway through the first quarter against the Orlando Magic on Thursday, LeBron was on a drive to the hole with Elfrid trailing far behind.

Thanks to a pinch by two Magic defenders, LeBron had to try and use brute force a bit deeper in the paint than he wanted to.

That allowed Payton — running at full speed — to catch up and pin The King on the glass.

Cleveland still got the best of the Magic, as Isaiah Thomas hit a clutch free throw to win the game with 11 seconds left, 104-103.

All-Star Joel Embiid doesn’t need Rihanna: “On to the next one”

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For about as long as we can remember, Joel Embiid has famously thirsted after Rihanna on Twitter. Fans have tried to boost his standing with the singer, but it apparently that has not been enough.

In 2014, Embiid mentioned on social media that a “famous girl” — presumably Rihanna — told him to “Come back when you’re an All-Star.”

Well, today is that day.

Embiid is a starter out of the Eastern Conference, and on Thursday night he had his chance to speak to Rihanna (or whomever) via national TV on TNT.

Did Embiid decide to reach out to this famous person? Apparently he’s off it.

Via Twitter:

This is like that scene from Private Parts when Howard Stern hits No. 1 and he tells Paul Giamatti’s character to get lost.

Embiid had the chance to curve Rihanna (or whomever) and took it. Long live The Process.

Here are the weirdest NBA All-Star voting results for 2018

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NBA All-Star voting is over, and now we have the results. The starters are in, and what’s left is for us to wait until they announce the teams after they are picked in double secret ceremony.

Of course, the NBA did release the full voting results via their PR website this week, and as such there are some head scratchers. My boy Patrick Redford over at Deadspin did an excellent job rounding up some of the players who got exactly one (1) vote from other players.

The gag here is that these guys presumably voted for themselves.

Of course, what I found most interesting was actually the guys who got multiple votes from their compatriots without being All-Star caliber players.

My favorite list of player-voted non-All-Stars includes: Michael Beasley (4), Gordon Hayward (2), Boban Marjanovic (2), Jahlil Okafor (4), Quincy Acy (2), Tyler Zeller (4), T.J. McConnell (2), Elfrid Payton (2), Zaza Pachulia (3), Taj Gibson (6), Zach Randolph (5), Maurice Harkless (2), Deyonta Davis (3), Lonzo Ball (9), Mike Conley (3).

There’s a whole smattering of guys in there who either didn’t play enough, aren’t stars, are injured, or who aren’t very good.

That multiple players took time to vote for these guys really speaks to the frivolity of the NBA All-Star Game. At least outside of player contract incentives.

Bring on February!

LeBron James throws behind-the-back, nutmeg pass for assist (VIDEO)

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LeBron James is one of the best passers the NBA has ever seen, but even this is too hard to believe.

During Thursday’s game between the Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron through a ridiculous behind-the-back pass that nutmegged Orlando’s Aaron Gordon.

The result of the play was a bucket for Dwyane Wade.

Via Twitter:

I mean, that’s just … insane.