Kurt Helin


NBA 2K16 screen shots released, and they look sharp


Our friends at 2K Sports are just starting to tease the release of NBA 2K16 — one of the few gaming franchises still going strong as that industry undergoes a shift (it’s about mobile now, like everything else).

They are doing it by releasing some screen shots out of the upcoming game. And they look sharp.



It’s the attention to detail that impresses — Curry will even chew on his mouthpiece in 2K16.

Stephen Curry and Anthony Davis — along with James Harden and, for a special edition, Michael Jordan — all will have cover editions. There will be a lot more details coming out about the game as 2K ramps up to the October release date, but the first glace caught our eye.

Dirk Nowitzki used to sing Counting Crows “Mr. Jones” at free throw line, sings few bars on podcast

Dirk Nowitzki

My first thought: Hey, DeAndre Jordan, do you know the lyrics to “Einstein on the Beach?”

Let’s go back to the beginning.

We know that Dirk Nowitzki has different musical tastes than the average NBA players. Most guys are listening to Drake or J. Cole, while thinking Jay-Z is a god, and Nowitzki is listening to David Hasselhoff. So why not some Counting Crows? Frontman Adam Duritz is an NBA fan (Warriors to be specific), and they are a little bit older now, just like Dirk.

When Nowitzki was a younger player who would get nervous when he had to sink pressure free throws, he used to sing a little Counting Crows Mr. Jones to relax, he told Adam McKay and Adam Davidson on the Awesome Boring podcast (hat tip Eye on Basketball).

It works, Nowitzki shot 88.2 percent from the stripe last year, right at his career average.

So, Jordan, about learning some Counting Crows songs…

Kevin Garnett took Mason Plumlee’s crab cake, gave it to Reggie Evans because “veterans eat first”

Brooklyn Nets V Detroit Pistons

This is about the most Kevin Garnett story ever, as relayed by new Blazer and former Net Mason Plumlee on ESPN.

You heard that right. The Nets were on a team plane last year when Plumlee got to order food first because the youngsters boarded before the vets. KG was having none of that. He took Plumlee’s crab cake, gave it to Reggie Evans — because veterans eat first — and then made Plumlee play the role of flight attendant and serve all the vets.

And Plumlee laughs about it now.

Consider this a heads up, Karl-Anthony Towns. All the lessons are not on the court.

The time Jon Stewart was a color commentator for a basketball game

Jon Stewart

Late night television is about to undergo a huge shift — Jon Stewart is walking away from The Daily Show. More people may have watched when Jimmy Fallon took over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno (and Fallon kills it in that gig), but nobody has been more influential than Stewart.

That would be the same Stewart who once was the “color analyst” on a basketball game.

Not exactly a traditional game — 1993’s MTV Rock n’ Jock basketball game.

If you’re too young to remember, MTV used to put on softball and basketball games featuring professional athletes and musicians on the same court. So that means in 1993 you got Oliver Miller and Flavor Flav. Then there were made up rules. And Tiffani Amber Thiessen was a GM (she can be anything she wants, including a celebrity chef). So it was incredibly serious, obviously.

The play-by-play broadcaster was Steve Albert, the current Suns’ broadcaster, who recounted his experience working with Stewart on the Suns’ official Web site.

Jon Stewart? Whatever happened to him? I guess he peaked with MTV Rock N’ Jock and just couldn’t get a break after that!

But seriously, I kind of remember that experience working with Jon in generalities. I guess I could go back and look at the tapes but they’re the old Jurassic Park VHS type and on top of that, they’re packed away in a box in some storage closet gathering dust. I know, you’re saying: well why aren’t they in The Smithsonian where they belong? I’ll look into that.

Jon was an up-and-coming comedian at the time but one of those guys who had the “it” factor. You knew he was destined for something special. But of greater significance to me was his humility and the way he carried himself. He was a true sports fan, very respectful of yours truly as a play-by-play announcer and seemed genuinely thrilled to be my color commentator. For a situation that might have been somewhat foreign to him, he handled it like a pro, like he’d been doing it for years…knowing exactly when I was supposed to speak as well as when it was his turn to speak. And when he spoke, he was usually witty and funny.

We both knew our roles. I stuck to the play-by-play, with a hint of sarcasm. He listened well and reacted to things I said with a lot of enthusiasm and, of course, a lot of humor. In all due respect, for a few hours, I sort of sensed perhaps how Dean Martin might have felt working with Jerry Lewis, Carl Reiner with Mel Brooks, Bud Abbott with Lou Costello. It was an honor and a privilege and an incredible learning experience sparring verbally with one of the great comedic minds of our time.

Forget the VHS tapes — there is YouTube. Enjoy Stewart’s performance and the entire game.

Devin Harris says he wishes DeAndre Jordan had handled situation with maturity

Las Vegas Summer League Behind the Scenes

Mark Cuban says he has moved on. The Dallas Mavericks organization moved on and went out and got Deron Williams and Zaza Pachulia.

Still, the DeAndre Jordan mid-stream reversal is the story of their off-season.

Dallas fans haven’t all moved on — wait until the Clippers visit the American Airlines Center — but in an interview with Earl K. Sneed of the team’s official Web site, reserve point guard Devin Harris summed up the feelings of many around the team:

The problem for Dallas is now they are a team battling for the eight seed in the West next season, a team without a clear path to return to the Finals while Dirk Nowitzki can still contribute. Not that Jordan alone was going to make that happen, but he was a big step down the path (along with signing Wesley Matthews, who stayed with the team).

What Jordan did was fully within his rights — it may have violated the way things are usually done, but he can change his mind any time up to signing the contract. Cuban and the Mavericks admit that.

However, this circus ended up being an extension of Jordan’s personality — he’s fun-loving, and not always the most mature guy in the locker room. He’s 27, he doesn’t have to drive a mini-van and act like he’s 47. He’s a good guy (from my limited interactions with him), and he should be enjoying all Los Angeles and life have to offer. But his personality was all over how this series of events went down, and he should have at least called Cuban as it was happening and explain his change of heart. That would have been the adult thing to do.

Now, we should all just move on… well, until the Clippers come to Dallas.