Jan Vesely exits NBA historically quickly

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Jan Vesely entered the NBA with a kiss.

He’s now kissing the league goodbye.

After being drafted No. 6 overall by the Wizards in 2011, Vesely has signed in Turkey (hat tip: Ben Standig of CSN Washington).

Spending so little time in the NBA after being drafted so high is rare. Unless Vesely – whose athleticism could never overcome his lack of skills – makes an unlikely NBA comeback, he’s on track to become just the seventh player drafted in the top six to spend three or fewer seasons in the NBA since the NBA-ABA merger.

The other six:

Jonny Flynn

Flynn regressed in two seasons with the Timberwolves, who drafted him No. 6 in 2009, and then a third year in Houston and Portland. He might have left the NBA after three seasons regardless, but a hip injury did him no favors.

Jay Williams

Williams, the No. 2 pick in the 2002 draft, had a decent rookie year. But a motorcycle crash before his second season ended his careerand nearly his life.

Len Bias

Bias infamously died due to a cocaine overdosed the day after the day after the Celtics drafted him No. 2 in 1986.

Chris Washburn

Drafted No. 3 by the Warriors in 1986, Washburn stunk for a season and a half in Golden State and a half season in Atlanta. Then, he was suspended for drugs, costing him his third season. A third failed drug test ultimately got him banned from the NBA for good.

Russell Cross

Cross, drafted No. 6 in 1983 by the Warriors, astoundingly lasted only one season in the NBA. According to the Chicago Tribune, he had a chronic knee problem dating back at least to his time in Purdue.

James Ray

The player drafted highest every out of Jacksonville University, Ray – chosen No. 5 in 1980 – lasted just three years with the Nuggets.

Assuming there are no later revelations to the contrary, Ray was the last top-six pick to exit the NBA as quickly as Vesely without injury or drugs playing a major factor. Just as the Wizards imagined in 2011, Vesely ultimately made history.

Larry Nance Jr. throws alley-oop to himself, throws alley-oop to himself (video)

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Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. immediately motioned for the replay to be shown of this dunk. It was necessary to properly appreciate it.

Best dunk of the night.

Donovan Mitchell won the dunk contest, though.

Larry Nance Jr. plays tribute to father — rock-the-cradle dunk in Suns uniform

Associated Press
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Back in 1984, high-flying Larry Nance Sr. won the first NBA All-Star Dunk Contest with this set of dunks — most famously a rock-the-cradle move.

Larry Nance Jr. came into the 2018 Dunk Contest and went nostalgic — all the way back to the Suns’ throwback uniform and the same dunk.

That and a good second dunk got him into the Dunk Contest finals. In that round, Nance Sr. threw an alley-oop to his son for the windmill.

Donovan Mitchell throws alley-oop to himself – off second backboard (video)

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LOS ANGELES – Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell set a high standard with the first slam of the 2018 dunk contest.

Very creative. Very well-executed.

Looks like all that preparation paid off.

Devin Booker’s 3-point-contest victory bright spot for Suns (video)

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Los Angeles – Devin Booker‘s Suns have the NBA’s worst record (18-41).

“I think everyone is fed up with the losing, from the top to the bottom of the organization,” Booker said this afternoon. “So, for us, it’s what’s next?”

A 3-point contest victory.

Overcoming Phoenix’s poor record to draw an invite to All-Star Saturday Night, Booker won the 3-point contest with a whopping 29 points in the final round.

That score left little margin for 2016 champion Klay Thompson, who capped the event with a 25-point round that was otherwise the night’s high. Clippers forward Tobias Harris, in his new home arena, finished third.

Booker was all smiles after the rare victory.

“Season not going how we planned, but I know a lot of the city was ready for this All-Star Weekend, having somebody participate,” Booker said. “So, I’m glad I could win it.

Where he and the Suns go from here is still questionable, but he has a plan.

“I’m going to win the dunk contest next year,” Booker said. “No, I’m just kidding.”

Full results

First round

Klay Thompson 19

Devin Booker 19

Tobias Harris 18

Wayne Ellington 17

Bradley Beal 15

Eric Gordon 12

Kyle Lowry 11

Paul George 9

Second round

Devin Booker 29

Klay Thompson 25

Tobias Harris 17