Boston Celtics assistant coach Jamie Young to run Boston Marathon

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Jamie Young is from Indiana and attended college in Illinois, but he’s definitely a Massachusetts guy now.

Young is in his 13th season with the Boston Celtics, lasting through the Jim O’Brien and Doc Rivers regimes and surviving into the Brad Stevens era. He’s held a variety of roles and is now an assistant coach.

Like anyone in the area, he was shook by last year’s Boston Marathon bombings. Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe:

On that April Monday last year, Young stepped off the treadmill at the Celtics’ practice facility in Waltham and hurried to check in with his colleagues.

Young was concerned, because he knew that Doc Rivers, then the Celtics coach, and forward Jeff Green were both living in downtown Boston.

Rivers and Green obviously ended up OK, but like so many in and around Boston, Young still wanted to do something. That will show this year, when the race will surely be the biggest in the event’s history. And it will included Young. Holmes:

On the one-year anniversary of the bombing this April, Young plans to again go for a run, only this time in the Boston Marathon. It would be his first marathon of any kind.

The Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 21, which is in the midst of the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Celtics’ season will likely be over at that point – they have just a 23.9 chance of reaching the postseason, according to ESPN’s formula – but that hardly means they’re out of it. Boston is just 2.5 games back of the eighth seed and Rajon Rondo returning soon could provide a lift.

What if the Celtics have a playoff game the day of the marathon?

Obviously, there are a lot of to-be-determined factors that would influence whether Young could run the marathon and then coach that night, but it at least seems possible. Vince Carter famously received his diploma the day of the Raptors’ Game 7 against the 76ers in the 2001 second round.

It’s great Young plans to run, period. But I’m rooting for him to run the race and then get an ovation when introduced before the Celtics’ game that night. How cool would that be?

NBA introducing 2-for-1 All-Star voting days

AP Photo/Chris Carlson
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The NBA changed its All-Star format this season from East vs. West to captain-picked teams (though still naming players equally from each conference).

That apparently wasn’t a big enough overhaul.

After including media and player votes last year, the league is making All-Star starter selection even more complex.

NBA release:

NBA All-Star Voting 2018 presented by Verizon will tip off with an early voting period exclusively on the NBA App and NBA.com beginning Thursday, Dec. 21 at 1 p.m. ET.

Voting via all other channels, including Amazon Alexa for the first time, will launch on Monday, Dec. 25 at 11 a.m.

Additionally, new for this season, five “2-for-1 Days” will allow fans to have their votes count twice on Dec. 31, Jan. 4, Jan. 11, Jan. 12 and Jan. 15 when voting through the NBA App and NBA.com, along with Sina Weibo and Tencent in China.  All “2-for-1 Days” will be designated 12 a.m. – 11:59 p.m. ET.

TNT will reveal the All-Star Game starters, including the two captains, on Thursday, Jan. 18 during TNT NBA Tip-Off

The network will announce the reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, on Tuesday, Jan. 23 during TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET. 

The team rosters for NBA All-Star Game 2018 in Los Angeles will be revealed on Thursday, Jan. 25 during a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET.

I suppose this is to drum up interest on otherwise quiet voting days. After all, this is really just about the NBA selling itself.

But the All-Star voting process has always left something to be desired. I don’t see how this changes that.

Report: Lakers ‘longshot’ to sign LeBron James

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
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Preeminent NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski called it “likelyLeBron James would sign with the Lakers or Clippers next summer. The Clippers have since been somewhat debunked as a LeBron destination. There’s circumstantial evidence linking LeBron to Los Angeles.

Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

So imagining James’ last act coming in purple and gold isn’t without basis. But as of now, it’s also a longshot, according to league sources.

Shelburne and Windhorst are highly credible. I doubt they’d report this without connected sources.

LeBron’s agent, Rich Paul, and manager, Maverick Carter, have recently publicly downplayed the importance of Los Angeles to LeBron. That felt like a coordinated attack on the LeBron-Lakers rumors, and this fits as a continuation.

But why wage that campaign? To keep the Cavaliers focused while LeBron still plays for them, even if he might leave after the season? To lower expectations among the Lakers’ massive fan base, so as not alienate those people (potential customers of the many LeBron-connected brands) when LeBron inevitably signs elsewhere? Both could be true, but there’s obviously a difference between each driving LeBron’s camp.

DeMarcus Cousins barrels in for powerful putback dunk over Bucks (video)

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When DeMarcus Cousins builds up a head of steam like this… poor John Henson (and kind of Khris Middleton).

This helped the Pelicans pull away for a 115-108 win over the Bucks last night.

Enraged Jason Smith restrained from Mario Chalmers (video)

AP Photo/Nick Wass
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During the Wizards’ win over the Grizzlies last night, Mario Chalmers tried to stop Jason Smith from shooting after Smith had been called for travelling. It’s a fairly common tactic, one pioneered by Kevin Garnett. Players don’t want their opponents to gain confidence by seeing the ball go through the net, even after play stops.

But Chalmers held onto Smith’s arm, and Smith took umbrage.

NBC Sports Washington:

I think it’s more likely, after halting Smith’s shot, Chalmers was trying to hold up Smith rather than yank him down. But I can’t know Chalmers’ intentions, and holding up a falling person by his arm isn’t very effective.

The double technical foul called seems about fair.