Author: Kurt Helin

Milwaukee Bucks v Los Angeles Clippers

It’s official: Zach LaVine, Greek Freak Antetokounmpo headline All-Star Dunk Contest


There was no surprise, the names had leaked out already, but now it is official:

Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Zach LaVine (Minnesota Timberwolves), Victor Oladipo (Orlando Magic) and Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn Nets) will be in the NBA All-Star Saturday Night Dunk Contest live from the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.

That’s a potentially great group but the best news is the NBA ditched the awkward team contest of last season and has just gone back to the classic format — there are two-rounds for all four and they can perform any dunk they choose without time limits. However, the players will have a maximum of three attempts to complete each dunk.

If I were a betting man I would put my money on LaVine, who has serious hops and gets that this is time to put on a show.

Maybe the guy that will draw the most buzz is the Greek Freak Antetokounmpo — he is freakishly long and athletic and that makes for some wild in-game dunks. The question is how will he do in this exhibition format, but don’t doubt he could win this thing.

Oladipo has potential in this contest — the guy had the stones to do a 360 dunk for the dagger to win a game, what will he do when he has the freedom to do anything?

Finally there is Plumlee. The guy with the hometown advantage. Often centers can struggle in this event (although JaVale McGee should have beat Blake Griffin back in L.A.) but he has potential.

This event has struggled to be captivating in recent years, we’ll see if this group can recapture the spark.

Everything Atlanta touches is gold: Mascot Harry the Hawk lip syncs Uptown Funk

Indiana Pacers v Atlanta Hawks

To paraphrase Homer Simpson:

The Atlanta Hawks, is there anything they can’t do?

The team has won 16 games in a row, is the story of the NBA and have owned the East through the first half of the season.

Now Harry the Hawk nails Uptown Funk and shows off some legit Bruno Mars moves.

Top that lip sync, Jimmy Fallon.

Paul Pierce on why trash talk is down in league: NBA2K

NBA 2K15 promo

Think about the best trash talkers currently in the NBA and you get an older generation of guys: Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, Kendrick Perkins. It’s not so much the up-and-coming generation of guys.

Why is that?

Washington Wizards forward Paul Pierce has an idea, via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.

I don’t know, my gaming experience suggests you talk a lot of trash to the guy next to you on the couch when you beat him at NBA 2K or anything else. Well, so long as you’re playing with friends.

Or, maybe the decline is because we live in a social media age, and with more media following the sport, so the things said on the court often aren’t as private as they might have been a decade ago or more. So rather than get in trouble guys learned to rein it in.

But Pierce’s theory is as plausible as anything else, if you think there is a shortage of trash talk.