Video: The NBA 2K12 intro video is here

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NBA 2K11 might be my favorite video game of all time. It was the first basketball video game that actually let you call out plays that worked and, after a little while, get your players to go where you wanted them to go on the court and legitimately beat guys off the dribble instead of having the defender fall down after watching a crossover.

I never got tired of running Steph Curry off picket-fence screens along the baseline to open him up for three, converting and-1s with LeBron in transition, or making a read on a sideline pick-and-roll. (I will note that I have played my colleague Rob Mahoney online a few times, and he does none of those things. He takes crazy gambles on defense and has one guy go right at the rim after dribbling around for a while. I have yet to beat him. So there’s that.)

I don’t get as excited about the “classic” stuff as most people do — for reasons I can’t really explain to anyone but myself, I need my sports video games to have some realism to them, mostly because I fake-broadcast my games against the computer, and I need explanations for why Tim Duncan and Prime Hakeem Olajuwon are playing on the same team or against each other. Likewise, I didn’t love 2K11’s Jordan Challenge nearly as much as I loved the other game modes, because the 8-minute quarters and statistical qualifiers forced me to have MJ shoot on every possession, which ran counter to all the things I loved about the normal gameplay — the play-calling and ball-sharing.

However, 2k12’s intro video does heavily feature historical players playing against current players, and I have to admit it’s pretty cool to see the Dream Shake, Kareem’s Skyhook, and the Dream Shake in the game. (Which reminds me: hopefully NBA 2K12 releases a better manual for all the post moves this time around, even if it’s online. I never could figure out how to string together counter-moves like the computer could against me, even after doing all the tutorials.)

Larry Nance has buzzer-beating tip-in to beat Pacers (VIDEO)

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The Cleveland Cavaliers are not a good basketball team. Heading into Tuesday night’s game against the Indiana Pacers, LeBron James’ former squad had just seven wins.

Enter Larry Nance.

Where’s the Cavaliers down by one point with nine seconds to go in the fourth quarter, Rodney Hood took it upon himself to take what he thought would be the last shot for Cleveland. Hood danced around the defense before finally taking a jumper from the free-throw line, which bounced softly off the rim.

Nance, battling down low for the rebound, worked his way free for a tip-in as time expired.

Via Twitter:

There’s not much to cheer for in Cleveland this season but that’s a fun way to win a basketball game.

LeBron James on Anthony Davis joining Lakers: ‘That would be incredible’

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What counts as collusion these days in the NBA? What counts as tampering? It’s hard to say, but the league office takes a look at each and every comment like the one LeBron James made on Tuesday about New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis.

Speaking to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, James said it would be incredible if Davis were somehow able to make his way onto the Los Angeles Lakers. This slots into the rumor around the NBA that LA is stockpiling its young core to be able to trade for a player like Davis.

Here’s the quote from LeBron, via ESPN:

“That would be amazing,” James told ESPN on Tuesday before the Lakers’ 115-110 loss to the Brooklyn Nets. “That would be amazing, like, duh. That would be incredible.”

There’s nothing much here that LeBron said that isn’t factual. Davis is a 5-time All-Star and one of the best players in the NBA, a unicorn not unlike LeBron himself.

The NBA is certainly hoping that the Lakers can get their act together and put a powerhouse around James at Staples Center. How he does it is up for debate, although making comments about current players probably isn’t the best idea. James has been able to keep his mouth shut for the most part, but perhaps talk of Davis is just too tempting.

NBA refs admit they missed James Harden’s shuffle-step travel

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Did James Harden travel on Monday night? Obviously.

But was Harden called for a travel by officials? No. At least, not at first.

Video of Harden’s ridiculous shuffle was circulated on social media after the Houston Rockets beat the Utah Jazz, 102-97. Harden was asked about the move by media, and said that he wasn’t going to tell on himself, which is fair enough.

On Tuesday the official NBA referee Twitter page decided to comment on the play at hand, admitting that they had made a mistake and had missed a travel.

Via Twitter:

Having a Twitter account hasn’t always worked out for the NBRA. Their explanations of what many would consider to be violations have often stood in the face of common sense. To that end, they’ve sometimes been mocked on social media, which is against their goal of having the social channel in the first place. But this play with Harden was a particular sore subject with fans around the league, and it was right of them in to make a comment.

At least they got it right.

Watch LeBron James get blocked at the rim by Jarrett Allen

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LeBron James is seemingly and ageless wonder. The Los Angeles Lakers forward is still one of the most athletic players to ever grace an NBA court, and despite his obvious physical decline, that’s not to say he’s a slouch out there. He’s not exactly late-career Boris Diaw just yet.

But LeBron is now 34 years old, and as such there are other players on the floor with him at any given time that have a bit more bounce than The King. James found that out the hard way on Tuesday night as the Lakers took on the Brooklyn Nets in New York.

During a play early in the first quarter, James drove to the basket only to be rejected by Brooklyn’s Jarrett Allen at the rim.

The result was striking.

Via Twitter:

Good for Allen. It’s one thing to say you have played against the best player of all time, but it’s another thing altogether to swat him on a play that creates a turnover.