Dan Feldman

Russell Westbrook dagger dunks all over Clint Capela (video)

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All that stood between Russell Westbrook and a Thunder win was rim-protecting maven Clint Capela and the conventional wisdom of waiting for the Rockets to foul.

No problem for the daring point guard.

Tristan Thompson dunks on two Pacers at once (video)

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The Cavaliers missed LeBron James in their 103-93 loss to the Pacers tonight.

But for a moment – when Tristan Thompson was dunking on Myles Turner and C.J. Miles at once – everything was alright for Cleveland.

Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan smiles as he watches his team in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
AP Photo/Chuck Burton
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Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have won 11 MVPs, 12 NBA titles and eight Finals MVPs.

Now, they’re adding America’s highest civilian honor.

Jordan and Abdul-Jabbar have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama. The honor is bestowed on those “who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

White House:

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is one of the greatest athletes of all time. Jordan played 15 seasons in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards; he is currently a principal owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets.  During his career, he won six championships, five Most Valuable Player awards, and appeared in 14 All-Star games.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the National Basketball Association’s all-time leading scorer who helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to five championships and the Milwaukee Bucks to another. During his career, Abdul-Jabbar was a six-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a 19-time NBA All-Star. Before joining the NBA, he was a star player at UCLA, leading the Bruins to three consecutive championships. In addition to his legendary basketball career, Abdul-Jabbar has been an outspoken advocate for social justice.

That these two receive this prestigious honor the same year is interesting given how different Abdul-Jabbar feels their contributions to society have been.

Anthony Davis out for Pelicans-Magic

SAN ANTONIO,TX - OCTOBER  29: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans goes thru dribbling exercises before their game against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center on October 29, 2016 in San Antonio, 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 Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
Ronald Cortes/Getty Images
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LeBron James isn’t the only MVP candidate missing a game tonight.

Anthony Davis is joining the club.

(At least we still have the highly anticipated James HardenRussell Westbrook matchup, right? Please don’t take that away).

Justin Verrier of ESPN:

The Pelicans have two wins. Davis has 1.8 win shares.

On the bright – bright? – side, New Orleans has been about as bad with Davis on the court as off. The team hasn’t found much that consistently works, so at least going back to the drawing board won’t require disrupting a positive. But finding a formula that works is obviously so much harder without your best player.

This is welcome news for the Magic, who are trying to get back on track after losing four of five. They open a stretch of winnable games, though if they can’t beat the Pelicans without Davis, that opens a lot of questions about whether any game is winnable for Orlando.

76ers impersonate Rocky, and it’s all that you dream – especially Dario Saric singing ‘Eye of the Tiger’

Dario Saric
AP Photo/Matt Slocum
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At their game against the Wizards tonight, the 76ers are celebrating the 40th anniversary of a movie about one of Philadelphia’s greatest athletes: Rocky Balboa.

That meant several players impersonating Rocky.

Come for the bad impressions. Stay for Dario Saric singing “Eye of the Tiger:”