Kurt Helin

He’s not crying: Michael Jordan’s reaction to Villanova game winner

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Michael Jordan had great seats for the NCAA Final matchup in Houston Monday between his beloved North Carolina Tar Heels and the Villanova Wildcats (shocking, I know). He got to see a dramatic game — one won by the Wildcats on Kris Jenkins smooth jumper from three as time expired.

The Internet exploded with crying Jordan memes. Some of them kind of funny.

Jordan’s actual reaction? He thought it was a good shot.

Hat tip Eye on Basketball

Stephen Curry says if he gets to 399 threes this season “I will chuck”

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Stephen Curry has made 378 threes this season, the most any player has made in one season in NBA history.

He’s also just 22 threes short of 400 with five games to play. Curry averages 5.1 threes a game, which means he should make it past the big round number, but it’s going to be pretty close. You think Curry wants the number?

Just one question: What is chucking for Curry? Outside 45 feet?

Steve Kerr said Warriors “not really pushing” for 73 wins

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Steve Kerr has not gone the full Popovich with resting members of the Golden State Warriors down the stretch — Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson are still out there every game. To many, that would constitute a push to get to 73 wins and break the 1996 Jordan Bulls record of 72 wins.

Kerr doesn’t see it that way.

Sam Amick did for the USA Today asked Kerr about it, and the coach denied this is a push for 73.

“We’re not really pushing for this,” Kerr, whose Warriors (69-8) must win four of their final five games to best the 72-10 mark set by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls squad on which he played a pivotal part, told USA TODAY Sports after practice Monday. “All we’ve said is, ‘Yeah, it’d be nice to get. We’d like to get it.’

“But if I were pushing for it, I probably wouldn’t be resting (backup point guard) Shaun Livingston and (center Andrew) Bogut, and I’d be playing our starters more. We’re just playing it out. I don’t understand if people are going to say that we’re pushing for this. I don’t think that’s the right word to use. We’d like to get it, but we’re still resting people and trying to get us set up for the playoffs.”

Kerr has said before he has a deal with his players: He will not force them to sit out a game and they can go after the mark — which they want — but they must be honest with him about injuries or being tired and needing a night off. Kerr has admitted that going after the record and the constant attention to it/questions about it has been somewhat mentally draining, but he thinks his team can handle it.

What would be interesting is if the Warriors win their next three games and were 72-8 they would go to break the record next Sunday at San Antonio, where the Spurs have yet to lose a game this season.

The best story in Amick’s story — which you should read — comes with Kerr’s joking exchange with former fellow 1996 Bull Luc Longley.

“He had a great line,” said a smiling Kerr, whose Warriors host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday before facing the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies twice apiece in the final four games. “He said ‘You know, you haven’t thought this through obviously.’ And I said, ‘What do you mean?’ And he said, ‘Your coaching legacy is already established. You won a championship, so people are going to know down the road that you were a good coach. But as a player, you were mediocre at best. So if you break this record and you don’t have that record as a player, nobody’s ever going to remember you as a player, so what are you thinking?’ And I said, ‘Are you talking about you or me, Luc?’ He said, ‘both.’”

Arrest made in Cleanthony Early robbery, shooting

Associated Press
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It’s been good to see the Knicks’ Cleanthony Early getting some run the last couple games, the first time he has gotten on the court for a length of time since he was shot in the leg back in December as part of a robbery.

Now an arrest has been made in that case.

The New York Daily News has the details.

The feds have arrested a Brooklyn man in connection with last year’s robbery and shooting of Knicks forward Cleanthony Early, the Daily News has learned.

Delvon Dowling, whose nickname is “Bam Bam,” was arraigned Saturday in Brooklyn Federal Court in the Dec. 30 stickup of Early, his girlfriend and their Uber car service driver outside the CityScapes Gentleman’s strip club in Maspeth, Queens….

Dowling was arrested Friday and admitted that he was part of the crew that had planned the robbery and waited outside the jiggle joint in three cars for the victims to come out. According to the complaint, Dowling claimed that he was in one of the getaway cars while his accomplices committed the robbery and that he was not the shooter.

According to the police report, this was a coordinated attack where the three cars blocked in the Uber car after following it from the club. Early turned over his wallet and valuables then was shot in the leg anyway, according to the report. Fortunately, the shot near the knee did not cause structural damage.

Obviously, there are more people involved than the man arrested. Hopefully, all of them can be brought to justice.

Report: Maryland freshman center Diamond Stone to declare for draft, hold off on agent

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Diamond Stone is a perfect example of why the new NCAA guidelines on declaring for the draft are infinitely better than the old version.

That said, the Maryland freshman center will test the waters, reports Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

A year ago Stone would be coming up on a hard-and-fast deadline — declare and you’re committed to the NBA draft. This year, Stone is declaring, but by not taking on an agent he can get evaluations from NBA teams on his draft stock then make an informed decision on staying in the draft or returning to college.

Stone is projected as a late first-round pick; DraftExpress.com has him going 23rd. Players selected in the first round of the draft get guaranteed deals in the NBA for at least two seasons (and most times a third and fourth year are picked up by the team). However, if he were to slip to the second round (just eight spots) he would have no guarantee of an NBA roster spot or money.

PBT’s NBA Draft expert — and Rotoworld writer — Ed Isaacson had this breakdown of Stone’s game for PBT before the start of the NCAA Tournament.

As the season went on, Stone became a force in the middle for Maryland, giving them strong play on both ends of the floor. At 6’11” and 255 pounds, Stone can be an imposing figure in the post, and he showed impressive skill and footwork for his age. He uses his body well to make his way to the basket, and he has no problem getting physical when hitting the offensive boards. Stone built a good on-court rapport with point guard Melo Trimble, and the duo became very tough to stop in pick-and-roll situations, as well as Stone getting open space around the basket off of Trimble’s penetration. Defensively, other than what seemed like normal freshman lapses, Stone more than held his own in a conference with some quality big men.

That sounds like the kind of guy who has a game that fits in the NBA, the kind of player who climbs draft boards, not slides down them. But Stone will hear from the people doing the drafting, then get to make his call.