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It’s official: Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Ray Allen headline 2018 basketball Hall of Fame class

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It was a great year for guards.

The 2018 class for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame was made official Saturday and it is loaded with some of the great guards of the last couple decades in the NBA. There are not a lot of surprises here — if Jason Kidd isn’t a first-ballot Hall of Famer you’re doing it wrong — but it doesn’t lessen the quality of the class.

Here is who made it and will be inducted this fall.

RAY ALLEN. Jesus Shuttlesworth Allen had as pure a jump shot as the game has ever seen, which lifted him to be the NBA’s all-time leader in made three-pointers. Allen’s resume includes two NBA Championships (2008 Boston Celtics and 2013 Miami Heat), being an All-Star 10 times, and having an Olympic Gold Medal in 2000. Before getting to the NBA, he was a 1996 First Team All-American at UConn. However, when you think of Allen, you’ll think of this shot.

JASON KIDD. Arguably the greatest point guards of his generation and without question belongs in the Hall. However, if you want the resume he’s an NBA champion (2011 Dallas Mavericks), five-time All-NBA First Team, four-times All-Defensive First Team, a 10-time NBA All-Star, and the 1995 NBA Co-Rookie of the Year. At the University of California, Kidd was named Pac-10 Player of the Year and a consensus First-Team All American in 1994.

STEVE NASH. Nash is a two-time NBA MVP who helped revolutionize the NBA with Mike D’Antoni and the seven-seconds or less Suns (every NBA team now was influenced by Nash and those Suns). He’s Canada’s greatest NBA player ever and he got the HOF resume with those MVPs,  being an eight-time NBA All-Star, and being three-time All-NBA First Team member. He is third in all-time assists and holds the NBA record for highest career free throw percentage (.904).

GRANT HILL. Despite injuries that changed the trajectory of his career, Hill’s greatness was never in question. He was the 1995 Co-Rookie of the Year (with Kidd), five-times All-NBA, a seven-time NBA All-Star, and in college at Duke was a member of two NCAA national championship teams (1991, 1992). Hill also has a gold medal in the 1996 Olympic Games, and now he’s part of the Atlanta Hawks ownership group.

MAURICE CHEEKS. It’s good to see defense get rewarded. Cheeks was a lock-down defender for most of his 15-year career, an NBA champion (the 1983  Philadelphia 76ers), a four-time NBA All-Star, and a five-time All-Defense player. Cheeks is still involved in the game and is currently an assistant coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

CHARLIE SCOTT. Another great guard who played a couple of seasons in the ABA before going to Phoenix in the NBA. He’s a five-time All-Star who averaged 20.7 points per game for his career, and was a 1976 NBA Champion with the Celtics.

ROD THORN. Thorn was a coach and GM with the Bulls who drafted Michael Jordan, but more than that built the Nets teams that reached back-to-back NBA Finals, ran the 76ers and served for years in the league office.

RICK WELTS. An executive formerly with the Suns and now with the Warriors, he helped transform franchises and make them profitable.

DINO RADJA. He played four seasons with the Celtics back in the 1990s (averaging 16.7 points per game and making the All-Rookie team), but Croatian big man is in on the strength of his international play, where he is one of FIBA’s 50 Greatest Players.

Also getting in this year but not with direct NBA ties:

TINA THOMPSON. Thompson is a four-time WNBA Champion with the Houston Comets (1997- 2000) and a nine-time WNBA All-Star. She is one of the greatest WNBA players in the league’s history.

CHARLES “LEFTY’ DRIESELL. Driesell is the only coach in NCAA history to win 100 games at four different schools and just one of 11 coaches to lead four schools to the NCAA Tournament.

KATIE SMITH. The WNBA Finals MVP (2008) and a two-time WNBA Champion with the Detroit Shock (2006, 2008), she is the all-time leading scorer in women’s professional basketball, plus has three Olympic gold medals. Smith played for the Ohio State University (1992-1996) and was the first female Buckeye athlete to have her number retired.

ORA MAE WASHINGTON. One of the great female athletes of the turn of the last century, she was born in 1898 and part of 11 straight Women’s Colored Basketball Championship teams.

 

Rumor: People close to Kawhi Leonard think he’ll re-sign with Raptors

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Kawhi Leonard has made it known that he wants to play in Los Angeles. Specifically with the Lakers, although playing for the Clippers reportedly has become more of an option as of late for Leonard.

Still, for the meantime the former San Antonio Spurs star will be playing with the Toronto Raptors, at least to start the season. Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri leveraged his goodwill from the city as well as the future of his team by trading DeMar DeRozan to get Leonard. Now, the question is whether Leonard will be healthy enough to play, or whether he will prove difficult much in the way he was last season in Texas.

Rumors are already swirling in Ontario about whether or not Leonard will prefer to stay with the Raptors after this season when he can opt out of his current deal. According to at least one rumor, some close to Leonard think he will stay with Toronto.

Via The San Diego Union-Tribune:

Here’s what someone who knows Leonard as well as anybody told me privately: “He’s going to fall in love with Toronto – it’s going to happen. He’s not going to leave, I’m telling you.”

We have to treat this as hearsay at this point, as a lot of the recent talk from people rumored to be close to Leonard has turned out to be inaccurate.

Even further, Leonard’s wants and actions have been hard to predict. Two years ago, Leonard changed agents and with the help of his uncle, has taken a new direction with his business management. It’s been staunch, and conservative, and stubborn. On paper, forcing his way away from the best-run franchise in the NBA is a real head-scratcher.

That’s also why you can’t necessarily dismiss the idea of Leonard staying in Ontario. His wants and needs seem to shift, and what will affect him one day to the next seems hard to gather. It’s entirely possible that he ends up liking playing in Toronto, and the city itself, which is magnificent.

Yes, we all saw the rumor that Leonard doesn’t like the cold, but that contradicts with the idea that Leonard is “all about basketball”. It’s not as though the basketball situation in Los Angeles is better than the basketball situation in Toronto. And despite their playoff failures, you could say that management installed in Canada is better than those acting in Southern California.

We will see whether Leonard even plays a significant amount of games for the Raptors. We all thought it was impossible that he would sit out an entire season for San Antonio last year, and now we can’t dismiss that possibility moving forward. Getting him on the floor and in a Raptors jersey is first.

Then we can talk about him re-signing in Toronto.

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JR Smith finally says goodbye to LeBron 21 days after Lakers announcement

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Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith isn’t the most aware player on the court. We learned that the hard way during the NBA Finals.

But life in Cleveland will move on, and with Smith apparently still on the roster for the foreseeable future. Smith was at one point in time a favorite of LeBron James, who is now wearing a Los Angeles Lakers jersey.

Apparently, that fact has finally kicked in for Smith. On July 22nd, three weeks after James made it clear that he was heading to the Lakers, Smith decided to finally acknowledge the departure of The King.

Via Instagram:

Thanks bro @kingjames

A post shared by JR Smith (@teamswish) on

NBA players were not shy about sending out their reaction to James heading to the Lakers on social media the day it happened. No doubt actual teammates of LeBron would need to take some time to process it, but even guys like Cedi Osman were more punctual with their well wishes.

Some people bring out the worst in you, others bring out the best. And there are remarkably rare ones, who just bring out the most of everything that even you don't know that you have. They build you up. They make you feel alive. They make you feel strong. They make you feel indisputable. From the first moment we met, you’ve always been that rare one for me, King. I don’t believe in coincidences. I choose to believe my path crossed with you for a reason. And that reason will be uncovered as I continue to walk through. Please accept my highest gratitude for your support and appreciation for your inspiration. I’m truly blessed to have been surrounded by your charm. Bazı insanlar doğanızdaki kötü tarafları ortaya çıkarır; bazıları ise içinizdeki iyiyi katlayarak yansıtmanızı sağlar. Ama bazı özel insanlar vardır ki, onların sayısı çok azdır, sahip olduğunuzun farkında bile olmadığınız yönlerinizi parlatmanızı sağlar. Sizi geliştirir, yaşadığınızı hissettirir ve güçlü olduğunuzu hatırlatır. Kral, ilk buluşmamızdan itibaren benim için eşsiz biri oldun. Biliyorum ve inaniyorum ki seninle yolumuz özel bir nedenle kesişti. Bu özel neden, hayatım boyunca benimle olmaya devam edecek. Verdiğin tüm destek için sana kalpten teşekkür ediyorum. Seninle geçirdiğim her dakika için minnetarım. Yolun açık olsun…

A post shared by Cedi Osman (@cediosman) on

Los Angeles and Cleveland will be interesting teams to watch next year, and largely for the same reason. Each might end up being a complete tire fire, although they will attack things from different ends of the spectrum. How Smith operates in that void for the Cavaliers will be interesting to watch.

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DMV in Cleveland tapes a photo of LeBron to their camera to stop people smiling

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A trip to the DMV is never at the top of anyone’s list of ways to spend an afternoon. Still, it’s a necessary evil of adult life.

The DMV is a place for rules, one of the most common ones is that you are not allowed to smile in your picture for your driver’s license. In Cleveland, the DMV there has decided to make a small alteration to their camera setup to ensure that citizens follow this rule.

Specifically, they taped a photo of LeBron James in a Los Angeles Lakers jersey to the camera that takes the driver’s license photos.

Via Twitter:

At least for this year, putting a photo of LeBron on a camera at the DMV in the Cleveland should keep straight faces on people getting their photo taken. However, seeing as the Cavaliers probably won’t be very good moving forward, it might be just as easy to tape a photo of the team logo up there.

It appears that everyone is upset about Lebron leaving for the LA.

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DeMar DeRozan with classy goodbye to Toronto fans

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DeMar DeRozan did not want to be traded from the Raptors.

He will eventually warm to San Antonio and the Spurs, but for a franchise that has seen star after star push their way out of town — Chris Bosh, Vince Carter, Damon Stoudamire, and on down the list — DeRozan was the one guy who embraced the city, repped it, and not only said he wanted to stay but did just that. DeRozan was all in on Toronto and loyal, and they shipped him out anyway. It may well have been the right basketball move, but it was cold. And a lot of Raptors fans were not happy about how it went down.

DeRozan, classy as always, thanked the Raptors fans in a heartfelt Instagram post.

Someday they will retire DeRozan’s jersey in Toronto. Deservedly so.