Kurt Helin

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NBA players react to election of Donald Trump as president

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Like the rest of the nation, the NBA world is distracted Wednesday as news of Donald Trump being elected President sinks in.

Trump is not a well-liked figure among NBA players, which follows the national trend of his low popularity among largely African-American communities. Below are the reactions of some NBA players, collected from Twitter and Instagram.

As I woke up today looking and searching for answers on what has happened this song hit it right on the head! If we continue the faith(as hard as it may be to do so) we will BE ALRIGHT!! Parents and leaders of our children please let them know they can still change the world for the better! Don't lose a bit of faith! They're our future and we must remain stronger than ever!! Yes we all wanna lace up the boots, put on the hard hats and strike but that's not the answer. Love, genuine LOVE and FAITH will be the only thing that can get us through this. Minorities and Women in all please know that this isn't the end, it's just a very challenging obstacle that we will overcome!! The man above will never put something in our paths that we can handle no matter how difficult it may feel/be! To all the youth out there I PROMISE I'll continue to lead u guys every single day without no hesitation!! Time to educate and even more mold my children into being the greatest model citizens they can become in life! They will continue the legacy beyond life! Lastly, Even if whos now in office doesn't, Know that I LOVE YOU'LL!!!

A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

Not all of the NBA family was unhappy. Outside Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert and some other owners, there were players who backed Trump. Spencer Hawes posted this:

However, in general, around the NBA the reaction more closely followed these responses.

Watch Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins trade buckets Tuesday night

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If you were otherwise preoccupied and not watching NBA games last night, we fully understand. Far more important things were taking place.

But if you want a distraction from the fallout of Tuesday night, watch Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins go at it.

Davis represents the new generation of bigs who can play almost as a wing or near the rim, and he dropped 34 on the Kings with just 22 shots. Cousins represents the evolution of the traditional big man — he can hit the midrange (or three) if you leave him, but his game is power, and he dropped 28.

The Kings got the 102-94 win because they have more around their stud big man than the Pelicans (who fell to 0-8 on the season).

James Harden, who is the best point guard in the NBA? “I am”

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James Harden does not lack for swagger. His confidence, like his beard, may be unparalleled in the NBA.

As everyone expected, Harden is putting up ridiculous numbers as the point guard in Mike D’Antoni’s offense — 31.6 points per game with a true shooting percentage of 66.5 percent (which is incredibly efficient, and he is hitting 41 percent from three), 12.7 assists per game, 7.1 rebounds a game, and he has had four games in a row where he dropped at least 30 and 10 (first guys since Jordan to do that).

All of that a cycle feeding his confidence. How good does Harden feel? Check out this exchange from a great bit of writing by Michael Lee of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

Now that Harden is setting up teammates better than anyone else and currently leads the league in assists, who is the league’s best player at his position?

“Best point guard or best player?” Harden responded when asked.

Either one.

“I am,” Harden told The Vertical.

Let’s get the two obvious things out of the way up top. First, what did you expect him to say? I don’t have a problem with Harden thinking he’s the best point guard and player in the NBA, that swagger is part of what allows him special on the court. Second, if you put defense into the equation then no, Harden is not the best point guard in the NBA. You can debate among yourselves where he fits in the Stephen Curry/Russell Westbrook/Chris Paul hierarchy, but also know that he belongs in the discussion of the best ones in the game.

Harden and D’Antoni are perfect for each other, and Harden’s skills are going to be spotlighted all season long (they put shooting around him that is helping with space and pace). He could be the first player since Nate “Tiny” Archibald to averaged 30 points and 10 assists per game for a season. And if that happens, the Rockets almost certainly land in the playoffs. All of that puts Harden in the MVP conversation.

But the very best players in the game prove themselves in the playoffs, and both Harden and D’Antoni will have work to do with these Rockets to take big steps on that stage.

Report: Festus Ezeli suffered “minor setback” in comeback from knee procedure

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Portland made two big offseason moves, neither of which has borne much fruit yet. Evan Turner is averaging 6.4 points a game and shooting just 40 percent coming off the Blazers’ bench.

Then there is Festus Ezeli, the former Warriors’ big man, but he has yet to see the court following a knee procedure this summer. And he’s going to be out a little while longer now than the six weeks originally projected, reports Jason Quick at CSNNW.com.

Trail Blazers center Festus Ezeli last month suffered a minor setback in his comeback from a left knee procedure, CSNNW.com has learned.

Ezeli suffered swelling in his left knee after he took part in two Blazers practices on Oct. 17 and Oct. 18, after which the Blazers have pulled back on his activity.

“I practiced, and that’s what happens sometimes – it reacts, swells up, you go back, regress and come back,’’ Ezeli said Tuesday night before the Blazers game with Phoenix.

Questions about his knees had driven down his price over the summer (although he still got $7.4 million this season, $16 million over two with a team option), and in August he got an injection of bone marrow aspirate in there to help it heal. That has not worked like planned yet.

Portland, at 5-3 with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum playing brilliantly, can be patient. But the team certainly could use his rim protection; it would give them a new level of depth and versatility up front.

Watch Kyrie Irving’s between-the-legs assist to LeBron James

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It wasn’t a good night for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers — they lost their first game of the season to a surprisingly strong Atlanta Hawks team.

But they had one of the best highlights of the night.

Check out this between-the-legs assist from Kyrie Irving to LeBron James, part of the third-quarter run when the Cavaliers focused their defense and came back to make this a game. They just couldn’t sustain the run.

Didn’t make this dunk any less fun and impressive.