Late in the first quarter of the Lakers Christmas Day matchup against the Knicks, Metta World Peace terminated the dribble out top, and Carmelo Anthony was overplaying Kobe Bryant on the wing defensively in an attempt to deny him the basketball.
Bryant faked Anthony one way, then cut backdoor, where World Peace found him.
With Tyson Chandler coming over to help, Bryant opted for the reverse layup, flying from one side of the rim underneath it to the other, where he converted the acrobatic layup for an extremely entertaining two points.
Kevin Love launches “Love Fund” to bring more focus to mental health issues
The NBA is not shying away from the issue of the mental health of its players.
In the wake of All-Stars DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love coming forward about their mental health challenges, the league and the players’ union combined to tell players to speak out on the issue and take advantage of the services offered.
For @TheAthleticNBA and @WatchStadium: NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Michelle Roberts co-authored a preseason letter obtained, encouraging players to utilize increased resources for personal development and newly-enhanced mental wellness programs.
Commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Michelle Roberts tell all players in letter today: "It’s the power to make a difference that’s long been part of the NBA and the Players Association and that matters now more than ever." https://t.co/8TV9VOnghD
Kevin Love is doing more than just that, he has formed the Kevin Love Fund to help change the stigma around mental health issues. The fund has partners such as Headspace, with the focus being on prioritizing mental health awareness. He went on the Today Show on NBC to talk about it.
“We’re beating down the stigma as much as we can.”-@kevinlove dropped by to tell us about his new initiative to help people improve their physical and emotional well-being, the Kevin Love Fund pic.twitter.com/NRSH2CIccZ
Filling the 76ers vacant general manager position dragged out all summer for one main reason:
They liked what they already had in-house. The Sixers were an especially collegial and collaborative group with their decision making, and if they brought in a big name from the outside — former Cavaliers’ GM David Griffin, or the two guys who went deep into the interview process Utah assistant GM Justin Zanik on Rockets VP Gersson Rosas — it would change that dynamic.
There were other title changes within the organization as well.
Beyond promoting Brand to GM, Sixers are elevating Alex Rucker to Executive VP of Basketball Operations, Ned Cohen stays assistant GM and Marc Eversley SVP of Player Personnel, sources said. https://t.co/XL9Ij5U4zV
What this means on the ground is don’t expect any significant changes with the Sixers’ plans — nor should there be. They are banking on Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Markelle Fultz — now with a functional jump shot, they hope — to be at the core of a contending team, then next summer they will go big game hunting again for an elite free agent. (There is more pressure to get a deal done this summer before the big extensions for those young stars start to really kick in.) That said, this is a team poised on the brink of a great run.
And if things are going well, why make a dramatic change? Brand can help them on the course already set.
Pat Riley: Dion Waiters not recovered for start of training camp, “unlikely” for start of season
When Dion Waiters had ankle surgery 30 games into last season, the hope was that he would be healthy for the start of this season and return to the post All-Star form of 2017, when his hot play (15.6 points per game, 41 percent from three and carrying a heavy offensive load) led the Heat to offer him a four-year contract.
Turns out, that’s not going to happen.
Heat announce that Dion Waiters, still recovering from ankle surgery, will not be ready for start of training camp and is "unlikely" to be ready to start the season. pic.twitter.com/Mx5zts1dsR
Waiters being out also is bad news for the player but could save the franchise money on another front: Waiters receives a $1.1 million bonus if he plays in 70 games this season. If he misses the start of the season, he becomes far less likely to make that threshold.
Michael Jordan donates $2 million to Hurricane Florence recovery efforts
Michael Jordan is North Carolina through and through. His father is from Wallace, he played his high school ball in Wilmington, he won a national championship in college as a North Carolina Tar Heel in Chapel Hill, and he is now the part-owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets.
To help out, Jordan is donating $2 million to the relief and recovery efforts. Jordan is contributing $1 million each to the American Red Cross and the Foundation For The Carolinas’ Hurricane Florence Response Fund.
“It just hits home,” Jordan told The Associated Press. “I know all of those places: Wilmington, Fayetteville, Myrtle Beach, New Bern, and Wallace… So quite naturally it hits home, and I felt like I had to act in a sense that this is my home.”
This is not all Jordan and his Hornets are doing to help out. Charlotte and Fanatics teamed up to design a T-shirt with the Hornets logo in the middle of the states of North and South Carolina surrounded by the words “Carolina Strong” and 100 percent of the net proceeds from the shirt sales will go to the Foundation For The Carolinas’ Hurricane Florence Response Fund
When you purchase this #CarolinaStrong T-shirt, 100% of the net proceeds will go to the Foundation For The Carolinas' Hurricane Florence Response Fund.
On Friday, more than 100 members of the Hornets organization will partner will help pack disaster food boxes at Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. The disaster food boxes – with Food Lion donating the food — will be shipped to Wilmington, N.C., Fayetteville, N.C., and Myrtle Beach, S.C., and distributed to those who have been directly impacted by the hurricane. The organization’s goal is to pack 5,000 boxes.