New York Knicks v Denver Nuggets

Knicks coach Woodson chooses Slava Kravstov to shoot free throws after Markieff Morris is ejected (VIDEO)


NEW YORK — Entertaining moment early in the second quarter on Monday during the Knicks’ 98-96 overtime win over the Suns.

Markieff Morris received his second technical foul of the game for shoving J.R. Smith following an inadvertent shot to the face he received while attempting a shot.

A second technical is an automatic ejection, and since Morris was supposed to head to the line for two free throws, we got to witness a rare occurrence. NBA rules state that if the player shooting the free throws can’t, for whatever reason (including injury), then the opposing team’s head coach gets to choose any player on the active roster to complete the task.

Mike Woodson seemed to be fairly excited about getting to do this, and the crowd in attendance at Madison Square Garden shared in his glee. Woodson took his time before settling on Slava Kravstov, who has played the least minutes for the Suns this season, and was tied with the similarly seldom-used Alex Len for lowest free throw percentage on the team, having made two of his four attempts on the season.

The fans cheered wildly as Kravstov entered the game, and were just as loud in expressing their disappointment when the first free throw bounced around the rim before it eventually dropped through. The second one was missed just as Woodson had hoped, however, and the loud cheering immediately resumed.

Kravstov was subbed out after a stoppage on the ensuing possession, and received a huge round of applause as he headed to the bench.

“I don’t think I’ve ever done that as a head coach,” Woodson said afterward. “I think it’s the first time I’ve done that, when a guy got ejected and I had to pick a player.”

Woodson wasn’t exactly up to speed on the free throw percentages of the players at the end of his opponent’s bench, so he deferred to his assistants to make that decision.

“I turned to my staff, they keep me abreast on who (I should choose),” he said. “And the kid makes one out of the two, so it worked to our advantage a little bit.”

In a game that went to overtime before the Knicks eventually won by two points, every advantage helps.

Raptors unveil updated court design

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Several teams have updated their court designs this offseason, including the Bulls, Nuggets, Bucks and Hawks. The Raptors are the latest team to update their floor, to go along with a new logo and uniforms. Here’s what the Air Canada Centre will look like this season:

It features their new claw/basketball logo at center court and the font on their new uniforms at the baselines. The “We The North” along the sideline is a nice touch, too. Overall, the Raptors have done an excellent job with their rebrand, just in time for All-Star Weekend to be hosted in Toronto for the first time.

Former UCLA, NBA player Dave Meyers dies at 62

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LOS ANGELES (AP) Dave Meyers, the star forward who led UCLA to the 1975 NCAA basketball championship as the lone senior in coach John Wooden’s final season and later played for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, died Friday. He was 62.

Meyers died at his home in Temecula after struggling with cancer for the last year, according to UCLA, which received the news from his younger sister, Ann Meyers Drysdale.

He played four years for Milwaukee after being drafted second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers. Shortly after, Meyers was part of a blockbuster trade that sent him to the Bucks in exchange for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The 6-foot-8 Meyers led UCLA in scoring at 18.3 points and rebounding at 7.9 in his final season, helping the Bruins to a 28-3 record. He had 24 points and 11 rebounds in their 92-85 victory over Kentucky in the NCAA title game played in his hometown of San Diego.

Meyers Drysdale also played at UCLA during her Hall of Fame career.

Meyers assumed the Bruins’ leadership role during the 1974-75 season after Bill Walton and Jamaal Wilkes had graduated. Playing with sophomores Marques Johnson and Richard Washington, Meyers earned consensus All-America honors. Meyers made the cover of Sports Illustrated after the Bruins won the NCAA title.

“One of the true warriors in (at)UCLAMBB history has gone on to glory,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. “Dave Meyers was our Captain in `75 and as tenacious a player ever. RIP.”

Johnson recalled in other tweets how Meyers called him `MJB’ or Marques Johnson Baby when he was a freshman, and later in the NBA, Meyers was nicknamed “Crash” because he always diving on the floor for loose balls.

As a junior, Meyers started on a front line featuring future Hall of Famers Walton and Wilkes.

Meyers was a reserve as a sophomore on the Bruins’ 1973 NCAA title team during the school’s run of 10 national titles in 12 years under Wooden. The team went 30-0 and capped the season by beating Memphis 87-66 in the championship game, when Meyers had four points and three rebounds.

In 1975, Meyers, along with Elmore Smith, Junior Bridgeman and Brian Winters, was traded to Milwaukee for Abdul-Jabbar and Walt Wesley.

During the 1977-78 season, Meyers was reunited with Johnson on the Bucks and averaged a career-best 14.7 points. He missed the next year with a back injury. Meyers returned in 1979-80 to average 12.1 points and 5.7 rebounds in helping the Bucks win a division title.

Born David William Meyers, he was one of 11 children. His father, Bob, was a standout basketball player and team captain at Marquette in the 1940s. The younger Meyers averaged 22.7 points as a senior at Sonora High in La Habra, California.

Meyers made a surprise announcement in 1980 that he was retiring from basketball to spend more time with his family. He later earned his teaching certificate and taught sixth grade for several years in Lake Elsinore, California.

He is survived by his wife, Linda, whom he married in 1975, and daughter Crystal and son Sean.