Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford both drained half-court buzzer-beaters vs. Lakers (VIDEO)


The Clippers beat up on the Lakers Tuesday night, in a game where one team looked like it was trying to find its playoff form and one team was looking like it wanted to secure its lottery spot. The thrashing was so complete CP3 had his kids with him on the team bench by the end.

The win included two Clippers’ buzzer beaters.

The first just before halftime was somewhat on the Lakers — they let Paul dribble into a long shot and take it uncontested, in rhythm. While the odds are still against him hitting it, give a guy an open look and the chances go up.

The second one was a ridiculous, high-arcing, never should have had a chance for Jamal Crawford that fell. Because it was that kind of night for the Clippers.

How charter flights and Tinder helped reduce home court advantage in NBA

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If you played on an NBA team on the first night of a road back-to-back around 1990, your schedule went something like this: Game ended around 10:30, after that you showered and grabbed a beer in the locker room (the team provided them), then you and some teammates went out and got a bite to eat, then likely hit up a club looking for some drinks and a one-night stand. You probably left the club at 2 a.m., got to sleep whenever if at all, then at 5:30 a.m. you were on a bus to the airport to catch a commercial flight to the next town. You got almost no sleep before you took to the court for that second game, and you were not going to play near your peak.

Today, right after the game the bus heads to the airport for a charter flight to the next city that lands an hour (or whatever) later. Once there a hotel room is waiting for you. You likely don’t drink anything, and if you’re looking for a tryst you just head to Tinder or another social media app and find one. Either way, you get plenty of sleep at night, plus likely a nap the next afternoon.

Charter flights, Tinder, and guys taking care of their bodies (because of how much money they make) has lessened home-court advantage in the NBA. Tom Haberstroh of ESPN broke it all down in a must-read story for their magazine.

One general manager calls it the “Tinderization of the NBA….”

Indeed, various apps have done for sex in the NBA what Amazon has done for books. One no longer needs to leave home to find a party. The party now comes to you. And lifestyle judgments aside, the NBA road life is simply more efficient — and less taxing — when there aren’t open hours spent trolling clubs.

“It’s absolutely true that you get at least two hours more sleep getting laid on the road today versus 15 years ago,” says one former All-Star, who adds that players actually prefer Instagram to Tinder when away from home. “No schmoozing. No going out to the club. No having to get something to eat after the club but before the hotel.”

Let’s not pretend for a second that NBA players don’t go out and party. They do. Just less than they used to. Along those same lines, you can be sure they find a way to altered states plenty of nights. But they don’t drink like they used to. Alcohol is dehydrating and impacts athletic performance for days after getting drunk. None other than George Karl – who used to drink with players at halftime in the 1970s — said you don’t see near as much alcohol around teams now.

However, the biggest change was chartered flights.

“Home-court advantage was huge because of commercial flights,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers says. “It was the travel. And nightlife was a little different back then. You knew you were staying overnight, but you were also at the airport at 5:30 in the morning.”

Do yourself a favor, go read the entire story.

This season, home teams are winning 57.4 percent of home games, an all-time low and 10 percent less than three decades ago. Players are better prepared to win on the road now than ever before, because they are better rested.

And they’re still finding plenty of ways to have their fun on the road.

Here’s an early look at Shaq’s statue going up outside Staples Center

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The statue garden outside of Staples Center in Los Angeles is getting crowded. Already there are Lakers Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West, and broadcaster Chick Hearn. And that doesn’t touch on Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille from the NHL’s Kings, or Oscar de la Hoya’s boxing statue.

Come Friday Shaquille O’Neal’s statue will be flying high above them all.

The Lakers’ legend sent out a photo of his statue going up.

The Lakers have already retired Shaq’s jersey inside the arena. When the statue goes up Friday Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson and others are expected to be on hand for the ceremony before the Lakers face the Timberwolves.

Big 3 legends basketball league reaches broadcast deal with Fox Sports

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Are people going to tune in to watch legendary basketball players of their youth lace them up again for a three-on-three, half-court game?

Fox Sports is betting that they will.

Big3 — which will tip-off this summer and features Allen Iverson, Jason ‘White Chocolate’ Williams, Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin, Charles Oakley, and other former NBA stars — has inked a deal with Fox Sports to broadcast the games on FS1, the two sides announced on Wednesday.

“This is a big day for the BIG3,” league founder Ice Cube said on UNDISPUTED. “We are very excited … we’ve been waiting for this day. It’s extremely exciting to be here with FOX Sports. They definitely see the picture and see the great things we are trying to do.”

“This is an ideal fit for FS1,” said Charlie Dixon, FOX Sports EVP of Content/Original Programming. “It will be appointment viewing for any basketball fan, showcasing star-power, fiery personalities and classic matchups on the court.”

It’s going to be interesting. Names we all know but guys well past their prime playing a 3-on-3 halfcourt game similar to what you and I have played in pickup games on the blacktop. Well, except the Big 3 has a four-point shot. There will be games packed into 10 cities on sort of a barnstorming tour, with the teams playing all games back-to-back each in the same venue. FOX will broadcast the games the following night. The league championship airs Aug. 26 live on FOX.

Big3 is well funded and went and got big names to take part. It’s an interesting concept. Will it catch on with fans? Fox thinks it will.

Steve Kerr said he would take less money to shorten NBA schedule. So that’s one.


Every time you get in a serious discussion about fixing the NBA’s issue of marquee players getting rested for big games, the topic will come around to “the NBA’s regular season schedule is too long.” Everyone nods in agreement with that statement, the league doesn’t really need 82 games and then a couple months of playoffs.

However, changing that would change to the core how the NBA’s financial model. How many people around the league are willing to make less money to have fewer games?

Steve Kerr would. Here is what he said, via Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

“I wouldn’t be opposed to it, even at the expense to my own salary, but it’s something that everyone would have to agree to,” Kerr said before Tuesday night’s 112-87 win over the Dallas Mavericks. “I think even just going down to 75 games, I think that would make a dramatic difference in schedule. Now I don’t see that happening because there is money at stake for everybody.”

Kerr makes one. With some work we might be able to get up to five people willing to take less for more rest.

Shortening the NBA schedule, even by seven or 10 games, would require a restructuring of every NBA contract — with the players, with the television broadcasters both national and local, with national NBA sponsors, with individual team sponsors. That’s just the first step. And again, you’re doing all this so that the players and owners can both take a pay cut (both gate and television revenue would go down).

The league is going to take steps to make sure that the league’s biggest names play in its showcase games if healthy (although let’s be honest, DNP-Rest will simply be replaced by DNP-back or DNP-ankle in plenty of cases). That has to start with how the NBA schedules games — if you’re going to hype a Saturday night game like it was a playoff game, then treat it like one with rest on either side for the teams involved.

“I do think this (rest issues) can be remedied though — maybe not remedied — but I think it can be dramatically helped with what the league is already working on for next year and the consideration of geographics when it comes to the schedule,” Kerr said.