James Singleton skips out on a minimum NBA contract for a chance to play in China

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James Singleton is an NBA player, but next season he’ll be merely an NBA-caliber player. Rather than take another tour riding the pine for an NBA team, Singleton has opted to sign a deal with the Xinjiang Gyang Hui Flying Tigers (basketball home of almost-NBAer Charles Gaines and one-time NBA import, Mengke Bateer!), according to Michael Lee of the Washington Post:

“I’ve seen and experienced just about everything the NBA can offer. I’m
blessed cause I was able to partake in it,” Singleton said, “Some guys
would love to just make it there, ride the bench and get paid. I’m not
that guy. I want to play. I didn’t work hard all these years just to
sit and watch other people. I was given a true talent, but sitting
around and being a cheerleader isn’t one of them.”

Lee reports that the Washington Wizards and several other NBA teams were interested in signing Singleton for the minimum salary, but Singleton went with the better opportunity for playing time and a bigger paycheck, to boot. The Chinese Basketball Association doesn’t quite approach the NBA in terms of prestige, but Singleton is ready give that up for a chance to play real, competitive basketball.

The NBA door will likely remain open for Singleton as long as he continues to hustle and hit the glass, but if James really is looking to pay and cash in while he can, the CBA could be the best place for him.

Stephen Curry gets four-point play after Klay Thompson foul, Curry does some taunting

Associated Press
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Stephen Curry is enjoying going against Klay Thompson. Maybe a little too much.

In the first half, Curry was matched up on his Warriors’ backcourt mate and enjoyed that Thompson missed the shot.

Then in the fourth quarter, with the game tight, Curry drained the contested three and drew the and-1 on Thompson — and did a little taunting.

That’s some All-Star fun.

Stephen Curry bounces alley-oop way above rim, Giannis Antetokounmpo slams it down (video)

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CHARLOTTE – Stephen Curry bounced this so high!

I suppose it helps that Giannis Antetokounmpo has such ridiculous reach.

Dirk Nowitzki walks on All-Star court, quickly splashes three threes

Associated Press
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Maybe Dirk Nowitzki shouldn’t retire after this season.

Added to the All-Star Game by Commissioner Adam Silver (along with Dwyane Wade) in what is expected to be the final season for the future Hall of Famer, the greatest shooting big man of all time showed he still has the touch. Entering the game midway through the first quarter, Nowitzki proceeded to quickly splash a couple of threes.

And he was not done yet.

Nowitzki never officially said he was retiring….

Giannis Antetokounmpo throws himself alley-oop on free throw… that obviously doesn’t count (video)

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
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CHARLOTTE – It’s an All-Star game, but you still can’t do that. A free throw that doesn’t hit rim is a violation, and Giannis Antetokounmpo clearly crossed the line early, too:

He was clearly going for levity, and at least he accomplished that.