Next year — LetLeBrondunk.com. Please.
Nate Robinson has won his third dunk contest — more than Dominique Wilkins or Michael Jordan — but he was able to do it Saturday without near the flair it would have taken to beat those other legends. There was one inspired dunk all night — a pass of the side of the backboard bring it around the front of the rim beauty from DeMar DeRozan — but after that it was all things we’ve seen before. Or never really cared to see.
With it all on the line, Robinson did a pass-off-the-backboard to himself, two-handed throw down. It was nice. To counter it, DeRozan (the other finalist) tried the classic “leap from the free throw line” dunk made famous by Michael Jordan and Dr. J. Impressive dunk — if you leave from the free throw line. DeRozan left from a step inside the line, which is impressive anywhere else but not in this contest.
So in the end, Robinson wins because it’s still impressive he can dunk.
Shannon Brown may be the best in-game dunker in the league but even his ally-oop from Kobe Bryant was not that thrilling. Let Shannon Dunk didn’t live up to the marketing efforts. Sadly.
Gerald Wallace, he needed to go Dominique. Be so physically strong people are stunned He didn’t, and the result was the Chinese food of dunks — you won’t remember any of them an hour later.
On the under card: Paul Pierce won the three point contest, Steve Nash the skills contest and Durant has won the H-O-R-S-E two years in a row now. All of those, about as thrilling as the dunk contest, by the way.
Trae Young and Luka Doncic will be forever linked by their draft-night trade.
The Hawks took Doncic No. 3 then traded down with the Mavericks for No. 5 pick Young and a future first-round pick.
Young, via Andrew Sharp of Sports Illustrated:
“The thing with Luka,” Young says, “he’s a great player. I don’t understand why it can’t work out for both situations. I hear [Atlanta made a mistake] all the time. Luka’s a great dude, and I think he’s going to be a really good player. But at the same time, I’m going to be a better player. Just because of my ability to stretch the floor, get others involved, I think I’ll be better.”
Of course, Young was never going to say Doncic would be better than him. But Young didn’t have to address this so directly at all. By going out of his way to make such a bold statement, Young puts more pressure on himself.
So far, both Doncic and Young have impressed. I’ll still stick with Doncic, though. Enough to justify Dallas surrendering that extra first-round pick? That’s a far tougher call and the one the Hawks will be judged by.
Young doesn’t want that leniency, though. He’s aiming to be better than Doncic straight up and unafraid to say so publicly.
Philadelphia’s Markelle Fultz is in his own head with his free throw stroke now. (And, likely much more than that, but we’ll stick with the free throws for now.)
Earlier this week Fultz double-clutched a free throw attempt and his stroke was a mess.
Each game that stroke seems to change and the latest one is… different. Very different.
As Vecenie notes, this is actually an improvement in terms of the release, but that doesn’t make it good. Fultz was 1-of-2 in his one trip to the stripe (as of this writing).
Still, I have never seen someone pass the ball back-and-forth between their hands as they go into their shooting motion like that. Very, very odd.
Why is 76ers guard Markelle Fultz‘s shot so screwed up?
Did he suffer an injury? Did he change his mechanics? Does he have the yips? Some combination?
Another theory presented by Brandon Robinson: Fultz got into a motorcycle crash last year.
Fultz’s agent, Raymond Brothers, via Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice:
“Markelle and the motorcycle, I saw the article that was sent, 100 percent not true,” said Brothers. “Quote me on that.”
The Collective Bargaining Agreement prohibits players from riding on motorcycles, though this theoretically could have been before Fultz signed his contract with Philadelphia. So, if this is true, there could be even more complications.
But Robinson’s report is too far-fetched to believe. Without more evidence, I’m not buying it.
Derrick Rose was found not liable during a civil rape trial in 2016.
The plaintiff appealed, and her argument was heard today. It doesn’t sound like it was well-received.
One of the appellate-court judges, Hon. Barrington D. Parker Jr., via Kyle Bonagura of ESPN:
“The main issue in this case is what happened that night between Doe and the three defendants,” Parker told Anand. “And you did a good job of presenting your case that what happened on that evening was nonconsensual, that she was raped.
“The defendants, as I look at the record, had powerful defenses to that presentation, which at the end of the day, the jury bought. You had a nine-day trial and this jury was out in what, 15 minutes? And you lose on every single claim. The jury just didn’t buy your case. No trial is perfect, but your evidence concerning the night in question came in and the jury had an opportunity to hear that.”
Following the trial as it unfolded, it seems the jury made the correct decision. Doe’s case was presented and considered. There wasn’t nearly enough evidence against Rose to find him liable.
That doesn’t mean he didn’t rape Doe. Her accusation counts for something. But at a certain point, if her claims can’t be credibly substantiated, Rose deserves a chance to move on. Police also investigated Rose and didn’t charge him.
The Court of Appeals has not yet ruled on Doe’s appeal, but it sounds like Rose is one step closer to putting this behind him legally.