Tag: Vince Carter

Sprite Slam Dunk Contest 2015

Zach LaVine brings back Dunk Contest. At least for a night.


NEW YORK — Zach LaVine made the Dunk Contest fun again.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say the Timberwolves rookie brought the All-Star Saturday night Dunk Contest back. We thought that before only to see it fade away once again.

But at least for a night, LaVine brought the dunk contest back — it was must watch. It was thrilling. In part that was because he started out with a bang.

Next he did this.

Those two dunks had the crowd in Barclays Center on their feet and people referencing Vince Carter.

“I came up with (those dunks) in high school, I’ve been working on them since high school,” LaVine said after the game.

That he could do those dunks in high school is just frightening. But the rookie knew hot to play to the crowd.

“I just wanted to come out here, put a jolt through the crowd, get everybody out of their seats,” LaVine said.

He did that.

But it wasn’t just LaVine, Orlando’s Victor Oladipo had an insane first dunk as well.

Mason Plumlee had a couple nice dunks, but the Nets’ center laughed at the idea he had any home court advantage.

“Zach would have won this no matter where we held it,” Plumlee said.

There were high hopes for the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the Greek Freak may be one of those people who is a phenomenal in-game dunker who can’t really translate that to an exhibition setting.

LaVine not only one but brings hope for future dunk contests — he said he wants to do this again. Maybe defend his title in Toronto in 2016. The best quote of the night came when asked which one of those dunks was the one Andrew Wiggins tweeted about, saying it almost made him faint.

“That’s the funny thing, I didn’t do that one,” LaVine said. “I got some tricks in the bag still.”

If the Dunk Contest is going to continue to thrive, it needs more star power. LaVine said he would try to help with that by recruiting Wiggins to do it next year (and it’s not hard to picture the Canadian wanting to do it in his native land). Maybe other bigger names will want to challenge LaVine.

But LaVine brought the Dunk Contest back. At least for a night.

Legendary coach Dean Smith’s best starting five in NBA

Dean Smith obituary

Dean Smith left more than just a legacy of great basketball at North Carolina, he helped change the game of basketball. Including the NBA, for example he was talking about points per possession and other “advanced stats” basics back in the 1960s and ’70s. His fingerprints and influence can be felt from the Los Angeles Lakers (where former Smith player Mitch Kupchak is the GM) to Charlotte (where Michael Jordan is the owner) and just about every place in between.

Smith, who passed away last weekend, sent numerous players on to the NBA out of Chapel Hill, but what would have been his best starting five at the next level? We put together the list — and it’s one heck of a team.

Point Guard: Kenny Smith. While Phil Ford may have had the better college career, we give the nod to Kenny “the Jet” Smith. He was the starting point guard on both Houston Rockets title teams, was an intellegent player who took care of the ball, was fantastic in transition, knocked down a  career 39.9 percent from three, and knew how to run a team. On this squad he isn’t the one going to be asked to do the scoring, but he would help space the floor, play solid defense, and help the team get some easy buckets on the break.

Shooting Guard: Michael Jordan. Was there any doubt? The six-time NBA champion, five-time MVP, 14-time All-Star, and, most would argue, simply the greatest player ever, said that Dean Smith was key to both the player and person Jordan became. “He was my mentor, my teacher, my second father…. In teaching me the game of basketball, he taught me about life.” (Vince Carter would be the reserve here… not a bad backup.)

Small Forward: James Worthy. An important part of the Showtime Lakers, “Big Game James” Worthy could play back-to-the-basket in the post or destroy you with tomahawk dunks in transition. He had the quickest baseline spin move of anyone I remember seeing play in the league. He was also an underrated defender. Over the course of his Hall of Fame career he averaged 17.6 points on 52 percent shooting, and he picked up one Finals MVP with his three rings. Billy Cunningham would come off the bench behind him.

Power Forward: Bob McAdoo. One of the great scorers the game has seen, he was a three-time scoring champion and had one MVP award for his efforts. He averaged 22 points (and 9.4 rebounds) a game for his career, but three seasons he topped 30 points a game on average. Even well past his prime he could put up enough points that he was a valuable part of the Lakers’ first two titles of the Showtime era. Antawn Jamison would be his reserve.

Center: Brad Daugherty. One of the more underrated NBA big men of his era, he averaged 19 points and 9.5 rebounds a game, plus was a quality defensive big man in the paint for those Cavaliers teams that were good but could never get past Jordan’s Bulls. Daugherty, a No. 1 overall pick, was efficient with a career .590 true shooting percentage. Off the bench behind him we’d have the scoring machine that was Sam Perkins — one of the first bigs who could really space the floor with his shot, a career 36 percent shooter from three.

Grizzlies’ Vince Carter has left foot tendon injury, out at least a week

Orlando Magic v Memphis Grizzlies
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This is where the pick up of Jeff Green may turn out to be very useful.

Grizzlies reserve guard Vince Carter —who left Thursday night’s Memphis win in the second quarter and did not return — has a left foot tendon injury, the team announced Friday. It was confirmed by an MRI. As for his return…

Carter will be re-evaluated within the next week at which time an update will be provided.

The Grizzlies start Courtney Lee and Tony Allen at the two and three, but now they have Jeff Green can come in for either one of them. Green was recently acquired in a trade with Boston.

Carter is averaging 6 points a game in less than 17 minutes a night this season while shooting 33.4 percent. He has looked like Father Time is winning the race this season. That said he had scored in double digits two of the last three games before the injury.

Vince Carter exits Grizzlies-Nuggets game with leg injury (VIDEO)

Dennis Schroder, Vince Carter
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Vince Carter left Thursday night’s Grizzlies-Nuggets game with what looked like a non-contact injury to his left leg.

He’s going to undergo an MRI. Hopefully it’s not serious.

Stephen Curry makes 1,000 3-pointers quicker than anyone else. Much quicker

Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard

Stephen Curry could have stopped shooting 3-pointers for more than a full season and still made 1,000 career 3-pointers in fewer games than anyone in NBA history.

Of course, Curry wouldn’t do that.

The Warriors guard became the 74th player to make 1,000 3-pointers, draining four triples in the Warriors win over the Pacers last night. He needed just 369 games to achieve the mark – 88 fewer than second-place Dennis Scott.

Here’s how long it took everyone in the 1,000 3-pointer club:


And despite his early injury troubles, Curry was also the youngest to 1,000 3-pointers:


Player 3s Games to 1,000 3s Age at 1,000 3s
Stephen Curry 1003 369 26-299
Dennis Scott 1214 457 29-076
Ray Allen 2973 473 27-167
Gilbert Arenas 1079 476 28-323
Peja Stojakovic 1760 488 28-145
Mike Miller 1553 527 27-319
Nick Van Exel 1528 534 29-025
Jason Richardson 1577 551 28-001
J.R. Smith 1344 561 27-097
Michael Redd 1045 570 31-218
Ben Gordon 1162 585 29-005
Kyle Korver 1607 585 30-001
Jason Williams 1238 587 31-100
Baron Davis 1332 589 28-334
Jamal Crawford 1765 591 28-360
Wesley Person 1150 595 31-267
Chauncey Billups 1830 598 29-182
Brent Barry 1395 600 32-317
Jason Terry 2009 602 29-121
Tim Hardaway 1542 605 31-213
Glen Rice 1559 606 29-265
Kevin Martin 1043 608 31-043
Paul Pierce 1981 611 29-029
Antoine Walker 1386 615 28-092
Eddie Jones 1546 615 32-025
Rashard Lewis 1787 626 28-098
Reggie Miller 2560 627 29-207
Quentin Richardson 1167 633 29-277
John Starks 1222 642 33-184
Vernon Maxwell 1256 652 31-153
Cuttino Mobley 1085 654 31-218
Mookie Blaylock 1283 654 31-012
Manu Ginobili 1231 657 34-253
Joe Johnson 1645 660 28-196
Stephen Jackson 1252 661 31-338
Vince Carter 1847 670 31-025
Allan Houston 1305 682 30-354
Damon Stoudamire 1236 691 31-151
Kirk Hinrich 1123 693 32-103
Dan Majerle 1360 698 32-170
Morris Peterson 1009 701 32-217
Mitch Richmond 1326 702 32-162
Mike Bibby 1517 706 29-306
Steve Nash 1685 734 32-334
Dana Barros 1090 736 32-312
Nick Anderson 1055 745 32-040
Steve Smith 1148 746 32-330
Dirk Nowitzki 1513 746 29-269
Hersey Hawkins 1226 747 31-062
LeBron James 1184 749 28-068
Tracy McGrady 1081 766 29-203
Mike Dunleavy 1165 769 33-070
Chuck Person 1220 775 31-261
Lindsey Hunter 1075 781 34-119
Michael Finley 1454 783 32-352
Hedo Turkoglu 1200 784 31-286
Dale Ellis 1719 784 33-225
Shane Battier 1250 794 33-154
Jason Kidd 1988 803 32-259
Latrell Sprewell 1104 810 33-172
Allen Iverson 1059 815 32-286
Kobe Bryant 1688 820 29-143
David Wesley 1123 834 34-138
James Posey 1035 834 33-329
Metta World Peace 1119 844 33-019
Dell Curry 1245 860 34-251
Antawn Jamison 1163 935 35-223
Derek Fisher 1248 996 35-178
Terry Porter 1297 1001 35-005
Rasheed Wallace 1086 1018 35-055
Danny Ainge 1002 1037 36-020
Clifford Robinson 1253 1109 36-340
Gary Payton 1132 1121 36-128
Derek Harper 1070 1125 36-121

Yes, I too was surprised J.R. Smith previously held the record for youngest player to make 1,000 3-pointers. (Smith has surprised me quite a bit lately.)

In no uncertain terms: Curry blew the competition out of the water.

I’ve long believed Curry will retire as the greatest 3-point shooter of all-time, and obviously him breaking these records reinforces that belief. But he has strong competition sooner than I ever imagined.

Damian Lillard (red) has made 500 3-pointers in 199 games, putting him ahead of Curry (blue) at the same point:


Even by age, despite Curry entering the league younger, Lillard has passed the Warriors guard:


Lillard (2.5 3-pointers per game in his career) trails Curry’s overall pace (2.7), and Curry deserves credit for improving even after his fast start. But it’s also possible Lillard makes similar improvements.

Of course, volume isn’t the only factor in determining the best 3-point shooter. Curry has a healthy lead in career percentage (43.5 to 38.3), and that’s a big reason I remain confident in my Curry prediction.

Still, if we’re going to discuss how Curry smoked the field in games to 1,000 pointers, it’s worth noting Lillard could get there even more quickly.