Kurt Helin

JaVale McGee

Next up for NBA impersonator Brandon Armstrong: JaVale McGee

1 Comment

JaVale McGee could return to the NBA this season, which would certainly make life easier for the guys cutting the video for Shaqtin’ a Fool.

McGee is as athletic a big man as you will find, and he has averaged 11.3 points (on 55 percent shooting) plus 7.8 rebounds a game in a season. He can dunk with the best of them, and he will block shots. But that’s not what fans talk about. McGee’s list of mental blunders is legendary — he may not like to speak about it, but it’s all fans want to talk about.

Or do impressions of.

McGee has played 28 games the past two seasons due to some pretty serious injuries — he needs to prove he can get back on the court and be productive. Then he can worry about his image.

Hat tip Eye on Basketball.

Kevin Love names best crossovers: Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook

Chicago Bulls V Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Four
10 Comments

Who has the best crossover in the NBA?

Kevin Love was asked that as part of the American Express Home Court Advantage videos the NBA has done and he came up with a pretty good list:

“Kyrie (Irving) is right there. So shifty and can do so many things with the ball. Derrick Rose, his change of speed and change of direction is unlike any other. Russell Westbrook is right up there because he’s so powerful. You know, those guys are amongst the elite when it comes to handling the ball.”

We all should have seen Kyrie Irving (Love’s current point guard) and Russell Westbrook (Love’s good friend and college teammate) coming, he leans on those guys a lot whenever he talks point guards. Even if Westbrook isn’t exactly known for his crossover. Rose (who shares an agent with Love) is certainly a good call if he returns to vintage form next season (we’ve seen that only in stretches since his return from injury, but hopefully next season those stretches are much longer).

Personally, I’m not sure how you leave Jamal Crawford and Stephen Curry off this list, unless you’re just naming people with ties to you. But the fact is the NBA is loaded with ball handlers who have killer crossovers and Love’s list is respectable if not perfect.

Hat tip Eye on Basketball.

Chris Paul involves entire family in pool alley-oop dunk (VIDEO)

Chris Paul
3 Comments

Now we see how Chris Paul got so good at throwing alley-oop passes — he spends his summers working on them by the pool.

The Paul family all can throw pretty accurate passes — it must be genetic — and while lounging about recently they executed the six-person pool alley-oop dunk. Well done.

Also, nice pool.

Hat tip Dime Magazine.

Report: Wizards not eager to move Garrett Temple, will not give him away

Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards - Game Four
4 Comments

The first rule of trading a player: Don’t look like you’re trying to trade a player. Keep some leverage.

A report surfaced Monday that the Washington Wizards were open to trading point guard Garrett Temple to the Utah Jazz — he’d be third on the Wizards’ depth chart (behind John Wall and Ramon Sessions) while Utah needs point guard depth in the wake of the Dante Exum tearing his ACL and likely missing the season. There’s some logic to it.

But the Wizards aren’t looking to move him, reports J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.

He adds that the Jazz and Warriors have not spoken. Officially they likely haven’t (they likely have started the process though back channels).

Temple is a defense-first point guard, which is why Wizards’ coach Randy Wittman likely wants him around. But the Wizards have a price they would take to unload Temple, the Jazz just have to get to that number. It’s a negotiation.

Report: Nike will not match $200 million offer, James Harden to sign with Adidas

James Harden
16 Comments

This was the only hint you needed: James Harden was playing in the Drew League playoffs last weekend in Los Angeles and his girlfriend (apparently) Khloe Kardashian showed up to watch him ball — fully decked out in Adidas gear.

Harden had gotten a reported 13-year, $200 million offer from Adidas to become the face of that brand and, after much deliberation, Nike has decided not to match it. TMZ was first with this story.

Our Nike sources tell us the company has decided it won’t try to top the $200 million deal Adidas offered Harden last week. As we’ve reported … Nike had concerns about sinking that much dough into just ONE player, when it has several other superstars to sign.

Harden has yet to officially accept Adidas’ 13-year deal, but the writing is on the wall … or on Khloe’s back. She was sporting Adidas gear at his Drew League game this weekend.

Nike still has LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, plus a number of stars under the Air Jordan brand — Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Kawhi Leonard, and Russell Westbrook, to name a few.

But they had missed out on Stephen Curry (he signed with Under Armour) and there was reported concern the company didn’t want to lose another big name and would match. Turns out, they are not that worried.

Harden becomes the biggest star in the Adidas NBA universe, replacing Derrick Rose (his struggles to stay on the court hurt sales). Adidas can’t get his signature shoe to market fast enough. They also have John Wall, Damian Lillard and others under contract. However, Harden’s teammate in Houston Dwight Howard is rumored to be leaving the brand soon

The question is will the Harden signing move the needle on shoe sales? Nike has incredible customer loyalty and a product people love and trust, which is why they still have 90 percent of the basketball shoe market. It’s not just the Jordan name.

But Adidas needs some star power to start chipping away at Nike’s dominance (especially after Nike outbid them for the NBA apparel contract), and Harden with his beard is a good start.