Author: Kurt Helin

Beijing Ducks v Guangdong Southern Tigers - CBA Final Game 5

Stephon Marbury talks frankly about depression, suicidal thoughts, rebirth in China (VIDEO)

1 Comment

Stephon Marbury doesn’t pull any punches in his interview with HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

Above is just a clip of the interview where Marbury talks about his father dying during a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden and Isiah Thomas (then the Knicks coach) telling him after the game. At the same time Marbury’s on-the-court game had fallen apart and his dream of an affordable basketball shoe — the Starbury — was dying on the vine.

It sent him in a real depression. One that included suicidal thoughts.

Marbury talks about all that and his rebirth as a basketball icon in China, where he has led Beijing to two Chinese Basketball Association titles, where he has a statue in his honor, and where there has even been a play about his influence on the youth of the city.

Watch the full interview on HBO airing at 10 p.m. eastern and repeating on various HBO channels throughout the week, and on HBO On Demand.

Report: NBA considering moving D-League Showcase to Las Vegas

Image (1) D-league-thumb-250x256-12043.gif for post 2083
Leave a comment

It’s quickly growing into one of the must-see events on the NBA calendar — the D-League Showcase.

It took place last weekend in Santa Cruz, Calif. All 18 D-League teams came in played in one tournament event, showcasing the league’s talent, and allowing scouts and GMs one-stop shopping to get an in-person look at players they may want to try out on 10-day contracts. Already guys such as James Michael McAdoo, JaMychal Green, Quincy Miller and Tyrus Thomas got contracts out of the event. Plus, with all those front office people in one place trade rumors are flying off the walls.

The challenge for the league is becoming where to host it. The plan so far has been to move it around various D-League cities, but to be blunt as the event grows not every team and city has the facilities to accommodate the Showcase (arena, hotel rooms near the arena, restaurants, etc.). Plus, the front office types are willing to go to somewhere like Santa Cruz (and Reno before that) but would they return to Sioux Falls? Would they travel to Bakersfield?

They would travel to Las Vegas — home of the growing NBA Summer League — and the league has considered that kind of move, reports Scott Howard-Cooper of

The D-League is considering Las Vegas as a future stop for the Showcase even though the city does not have a team, commissioner Malcolm Turner said, a move that would deepen ties between the parent NBA and the gambling mecca….

“It’s one that we’re exploring,” Turner said. “It’s too early to say whether or not that is a strong possibility, but I think there are a lot of reasons why we would find it an attractive market to go to. Obviously that would work counter to … our teams hosting the Showcase. But Vegas is an interesting market for a lot of reasons.

“With NBA summer league in Vegas, we’ve had very good and strong experiences in Vegas. And certainly logistically and infrastructure wise, clearly that’s an easy box to check versus potentially some of the markets where we’re playing the D-League clearly there are some logistical hurdles. Las Vegas is set up to host big and significant events. That takes a lot of that (those hurdles) off the table.”

It may ultimately depend on the size of the showcase.

As a boutique event, hosting it in D-League cities makes a lot of sense. Why not bring it to Austin to promote the Toros, or to Canton to promote the Charge? If the city has the facilities, they should be able to host.

But as the event grows — and the showcase is growing as are the number of teams in the D-League — that list of cities will shrink. Then Vegas becomes a viable option. I’m not sure if the D-League Showcase is there yet, I don’t know if it needs to find a permanent home in Vegas.

But that day may be coming, sooner rather than later.

Giannis Antetokounmpo picks up assist off a jump ball (VIDEO)

2015 Global Games - New York Knicks v Milwaukee Bucks

You don’t see an assist off a jump ball every day.

But early in the third quarter of the Raptors/Bucks game, the 7-foot (and growing) Giannis Antetokounmpo picked up a jump ball against six-foot Kyle Lowry. It was pretty clear where this was going.

But rather than safely tap it back, the Greek Freak launches his tap toward the other end and lets Brandon Knight chase it down for an easy dunk and two points. Well played.

It wasn’t enough as the Raptors won the game 92-89.

Langston Galloway? Yes, Langston Galloway with monster putback (VIDEO)


If you’re asking yourself “who is Langston Galloway?” I can’t blame you. He’s a rookie out of St. Joseph’s who has played in just five games for the Knicks this season.

But Monday against the depleted Pelicans he put up 21 points, and that included this monster putback dunk during a key stretch in the fourth when the Knicks were trying to hold off the Pelicans’ late charge.

We need to see more of this kid. A lot more. The Knicks need to see what they really have here.

Five Things We Learned in the NBA Monday: Tom Thibodeau is not a happy man

Tom Thibodeau

If you watch closely every night in the NBA you can learn a little something. We know you are busy and can’t keep up with every game, so we’re here to help with those lessons from another night in the Association. Here’s what you missed while reading about the home Muhammad Ali grew up in

The Chicago Bulls are not playing Thibodeau-level defense. For the past few years, through all the injuries and challenges, the Bulls at least played good defense. But not lately. Monday they let the Cavaliers — who has played better in their now three game winning streak — score 108 points, which translates into 116.1 points per 100 possessions. In their last five games the Bulls have allowed teams to score 113.6 per 100 — that’s 29th in the NBA in that stretch. The Bulls are not defending or rotating with energy, evidenced by the Cavaliers taking 49 of their 90 shot attempts in the paint. The Bulls have lost 6-of-8, Derrick Rose is more than irritated, and Tom Thibodeau is losing it in post-game press conferences saying “enough is enough.” The Bulls offense has not been pretty of late either, but Chicago has gotten away from its identity as a defensive power. If that doesn’t change, the dream of making the NBA Finals will fade faster than Thibodeau’s voice.

James Harden doesn’t care how good your defense is, he will score on it. At will. The Indiana Pacers are still a top 10 defense this season. James Harden doesn’t care. He scored 45 points on 12-of-18 shooting (he got to the free throw line 15 times). The beard can flat out score.

The Knicks can win a game. Break up the Knicks. Sure, it took playing a Pelicans team without Anthony Davis or Jrue Holiday playing on the second night of a road back-to-back, but so what. The Knicks got a win. Carmelo Anthony had 24 points and 9 boards but most importantly played selfless, smart basketball in the final minute. However, the star of the show was Langston Galloway. If you just said “Who is that?” the answer is the guy who put up 21 points and can do this.

The Dallas Mavericks can beat a good team. Coming into Monday Dallas was 1-8 against Western Conference playoff teams, while Memphis was 10-3 against that same group. So consider this your daily reminder that the Western Conference playoffs will be a bloodbath. Dallas took an early lead then, when it was tight late, they got great play out of Dirk Nowitzki and some key buckets from Rajon Rondo to get the win. Memphis was 3-of-22 from three and had just one bucket in the final four minutes as Dallas is playing better defense of late. Dallas was 10-of-25 from three and will be much more dangerous if they keep shooting and hitting from deep.

The Cleveland Cavaliers can play defense. This game was the best we have seen Cleveland play this season. Sure, LeBron James was doing LeBron James things, J.R. Smith was raining threes, and the return of Kevin Love brought better movement and passing to the Cavaliers offense, but that’s not the most impressive part of the game for them. No, the real story is the Cavaliers played good defense. The Bulls shot just 37.5 percent in this game and the Cavaliers contested 51 of the Bulls 80 shot attempts. Timofey Mozgov was strong in the paint, taking away easy looks. This was the best the Cavs have defended this season and if they keep this up they will get a lot closer to fulfilling their promise. But they have to start doing this consistently.