Terrence Ross says Kevin Garnett NBA’s best pick-setter ‘because he sets illegal screens but he never gets caught,’ wants Nets in playoffs

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I didn’t want Toronto to trade Kyle Lowry at the trade deadline, because I think the Raptors are one of the most fun teams in the NBA. They’re young and hungry, and they have a solid shot of winning just the second playoff series in franchise history. Even if Lowry’s impending free agency forces tough decisions this summer, this season’s run justifies itself. It wasn’t the time to break up such an enjoyable group.

A key figure on this fun roster: Terrence Ross.

Ross is quickly becoming one of my favorite players in the league, and participating in a reddit AMA only endears him further – especially these fearless answers.

Question:

Who do you think is best at setting picks in the NBA, and why is it Amir Johnson?

Ross:

best at setting picks is kevin garnett because he sets illegal screens but he never gets caught. he’ll literally hold you and you can’t get around him.

Question:

Also, who do you want as a first round matchup in the playoffs?

Ross:

i want brooklyn personally.

The Raptors are currently third in the East, but just a half game ahead of the Bulls. The Nets are fifth, ahead of the sixth-place Wizards by about a tenth of a percent. There a lot of ways the standings could fall into a Toronto-Brooklyn matchup, and I’m rooting for any of them.

Most players won’t be so open about their desired opponent, saying they’ll be glad to to face any challenge in the playoffs. But Ross, and these Raptors, march to their own drum. That’s what makes them so enjoyable.

In the AMA, Ross also praises Lowry – the most-deserving player not selected to the All-Star game – in ways opposing coaches who vote for reserves should have recognized.

Question:

Who talks on D? Who is the most vocal and who calls out the opposing team’s plays?

Ross:

kyle lowry. always. before every play i ask him, ‘yo what they running?’.

usually the team come down the court, lowry will recognize the play and call out what they’re doing.

Question:

Who’s the one teammate on the Raptors you look up to for leadership?

Ross:

kyle lowry because he’s the smartest guy on the team. he makes the biggest impact on the games.

In perhaps the gem of the chat, Ross called Tyler Hansbrough ‘psycho t,’ which led to this question:

i thought he hated being called psycho t?

Ross:

maybe, but i still call him that! his other nickname is chops. he calls himself chops, but we don’t. he’s crazy, so we still call him psycho t.

Kurt and I don’t exactly see eye-to-eye on nicknames. When Kevin Durant disproved of his “Slim Reaper” nickname, Kurt argued that made it a better nickname. “You’re not supposed to like your nickname,” he said. I, on the other hand, believe someone should some have some limited right of refusal on his nickname.

But we, and I presume everyone else in the entire world besides Koko Costanza, definitely agree someone can’t choose his own nickname.

Chops? Get the heck out of here with that. Psycho T it is.

One last look back: Best dunks of All-Star Weekend (VIDEO)

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Defense? That’s one thing that rarely makes an appearance All-Star weekend.

Combine that with the game’s best athletes and what you get are three days of insane dunks.

The NBA put this together, the best dunks of All-Star weekend in Charlotte. Enjoy.

Wizards’ Bradley Beal: ‘Recruiting process is really going alright…I’m trying’

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LeBron James went out of his way to say he was not recruiting guys on his free-agent heavy All-Star Team.

Bradley Beal had no such hesitation, he tried to recruit guys, as he told Chase Huges of NBC Sports Washington.

“The recruiting process is really going alright. It’s going alright. I’m trying,” Beal said. “This is new for me. I’m definitely getting some ears and seeing what guys are looking for.”

Beal was too smart to name names — that would have brought a fine from the league — but he said some guys asked if he was happy where he was, while other guys he talked to about the possibilities in Washington.

The problem is while the Wizards will have some cap space after trading Otto Porter and Markieff Morris (and assuming they don’t pick up the option on Jabari Parker) but they will be nowhere near the max cap space needed to land the elite free agents at the All-Star Game (Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, etc.). Even the second-tier All-Star free agents such as Khris Middleton will get max offers. Same with players who just missed the game, such as Tobias Harris.

If the Wizards renounce free agents they can get to $9 million in cap space, stretch and waive Ian Mahinmi and they can get to $18 million. That’s the top end. Meaning the Wizards will have room to make moves for good rotation players, but with John Wall‘s supermax extension kicking in at $38 million next season flexibility is limited. Genuine upgrades will be hard to come by.

Predicting what Washington GM Ernie Grunfeld will do next summer is a fool’s errand, but Beal is doing his part to try and bring more talent into Washington.

Kevin Garnett says 2000 Olympic team had $1 million bounty to dunk on Yao Ming

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Team USA earned a Gold Medal in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, led by Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett, and Alonzo Mourning. Lithuania made the Americans work that year, losing by just nine in pool play then by two points in the semi-finals.

That’s not what anyone remembers from those Olympics, they remember Vince Carter doing this to 7-footer Fredric Weiss of France.

Recently Garnett sat down with Dwyane Wade for an interview (which airs on NBA TV today) and he told a fantastic story about that dunk. (Hat tip to Yahoo Sports)

Everything just paused. First of all, people didn’t know, we had a bounty out on Yao Ming. The whole USA team had a bet. We had a million dollar bet on who was going to be the first person to dunk on Yao Ming. None of us did. We all tried to dunk on Yao, but he would block it or we would miss. So, the first thing I thought of when I saw Vince dunk over Frederic was oh s***, you won the million dollars. But then I realized it obviously wasn’t Yao. I pushed Vince, and if you look at the clip, he almost punches me in the face by accident. But my first thought was, oh s***, you won, you got the million.

KG has the best stories.

MSG denies rumor James Dolan looking to sell Knicks

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Rumors that James Dolan is considering selling the Knicks — which elicits a “Hallelujah” chorus from Knicks fans — have been cropping up for a couple of years now. There were rumors he wanted to spin off the Knicks and Rangers into their own company to be sold. That’s just one, there are others — he confirmed he got a feeler $5 billion, but never a firm offer, for the Knicks — and each time he has shot them down.

This is no different.

On his latest Podcast, the Ringer’s Bill Simmons said he had heard that Dolan wanted to focus more on concerts/in-game experiences in Madison Square Garden and that the Knicks were “available.”

The Madison Square Garden Company released this statement (hat tip New York Daily News).

“The story is 100% false. There has been nothing. No discussions. No plans to have discussions – nothing.”

That’s pretty unequivocal.

While Dolan may entertain the idea on some level of selling the Knicks, until he takes concrete steps to do so — not rumors, but actual, documented moves — I’m not buying it. He’s sitting on a gold mine that keeps going up in value, despite how he manages it, so why sell now? Knicks fans that buy this rumor will likely end up like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football.