Kurt Helin

James Harden, DeMar DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan dunks all over James Harden at Drew League (VIDEO)

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The Drew League playoffs have been going on in Los Angeles and some NBA stars have rolled out for the fun, including LA natives James Harden and DeMar DeRozan.

DeRozan got the best of this play, video via the fantastic Jared Zwerling. We can debate if Harden was dunked on here, he tries to block the pass, but his back is to the shot. Personally, I say he was still in the poster.

Here it is from another angle.

Harden’s revenge was that his team won the game and the Drew League title. Well, that and he’s got the better beard. And is about to get PAID.

 

Lakers to work out Bobby Brown, Toure Murry, others

Los Angeles Clippers v New York Knicks
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As you read this, the Lakers have 12 guaranteed contracts in place for the upcoming season. Then there are a couple non-guaranteed deals from guys who could, maybe even are likely to make the final roster in Tarik Black and Jabari Brown.

But Los Angeles is still looking for guys to get training camp invites and prove they belong in the final 14 (or 15, but most teams leave that last roster spot open for flexibility in trades or due to injury).

The Lakers are bringing in a few interesting names for workouts, reports Marc Stein of ESPN and Dave Pick.

A workout means just that — the Lakers are going to take a look at these guys and decide if they want to invite any of them to training camp in Hawaii. If these guys can get that far (certainly no guarantee, most will not), the Lakers will probably have 18 guys at camp (give or take a couple) and that number will be cut down to 14 or 15 when the season opens.

Meaning there is almost no chance any of these guys are on the opening day roster. But they are going to get their chance.

Michael Jordan says in his prime he could have beaten LeBron James at one-on-one “no question”

Miami Heat v Charlotte Bobcats - Game Four
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If you know even the slightest thing about Michael Jordan, you knew the answer before he said it.

Jordan was doing a Q&A at the Michael Jordan Flight School in Santa Barbara, CA, and was asked (and he repeated the question), “If I was in my prime, could I beat LeBron in a one-on-one game?” He called it an “ESPN question” and then, after a short pause, gave the answer everyone knew was coming:

“No question.”

He’s said this before. He said the same thing about Kobe Bryant. It wouldn’t matter if he were asked about Stephen Curry or Larry Bird or one of the Monstars from Space Jam, there is always only going to be one answer from Jordan — he is ultra competitive and he believes he is the best that ever was.source: AP

LeBron’s comment last time it came up: “I’ve thought about the matchup but no one will ever see it.”

Fans have thought about it, too — a ridiculous number think Jordan would win if they play right now. This is something people get in fights over. Obviously, we will never know the answer, but get on your bar stool and go ahead and debate it in the comments.

Jordan answers questions for about six minutes on this video about the biggest trash talkers he played against (Larry Bird), could the all-time Bulls beat the all-time Lakers (of course he thinks Bulls), and he said he’d take Dean Smith over Phil Jackson. But nothing he says is surprising or out of character. It’s just Jordan being Jordan.

 

 

Zach LaVine owns Seattle Pro-Am dunk contest, as he will all future ones (VIDEO)

Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Lakers
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It’s over. I’m ready to give the 2016 NBA All-Star Dunk Contest to the Timberwolves’ Zach LaVine. He won the 2015 edition and said he didn’t even pull out his best ones.

Then he showed up in Seattle Sunday for the Pro-Am dunk contest there and did this.

And this, without even breaking a sweat.

Then, just for fun, this.

LaVine’s biggest challenge with future dunk contests may be living up to his own hype. He makes ridiculous dunks look effortless.

Hat tip Eye on Basketball.

Tracy McGrady gets his number retired somewhere in China

Tracy McGrady Visits China
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Tracy McGrady is very popular in China — he was still a relatively high-flying star with the Houston Rockets when Yao Ming was a dominant NBA center. You know, back when everyone in China was watching and rooting for the Rockets. Then, after McGrady played 16 NBA seasons, he suited up for one more in the Chinese Basketball Association to cash in on that popularity.

His star has not yet faded over there.

He’s so big in China he got his jersey retired — somewhere, we’re not exactly sure where — after his 2015 summer tour of the country. There is video proof.

Hat tip Eye on Basketball.