Add Stephen Curry to list of people praising high schooler LaMelo Ball for calling his shot


By now you’ve probably seen the video, UCLA-bound high schooler LaMelo Ball calls his shot: points to halfcourt as he walks the ball up, then pulls up and drains the shot.

The current master of the long-range bomb Stephen Curry was impressed. He was asked about it postgame and said this, via Let’s Go Warriors (hat tip Eye on Basketball).

“That was some confidence right there. The fact that he made it. I wonder if he’s done it before and missed it. It’s the highlight-driven generation, so that right there was pretty unbelievable, though. For him to call his shot like Babe Ruth and knock it down and act like nothing happened. So shoutout to him.”

Ball has done it before, the guy has crazy range, plus knows how to share the ball. Whether he can translate this success to the college level (or beyond) remains to be seen, but Ball certainly has gotten everyone’s attention.

Today in NBA history: Michael Jordan dropped 51 points at age 38


I have tried to repress the memory of Michael Jordan’s Wizards years, preferring the memory of him walking away from the game after pushing off Bryon Russell, draining a title-winning shot, and putting on a new ring.

But there were some highlights.

Like Dec. 29, 2001, when at age 38 Jordan dropped 51 on the team he now owns, the Charlotte Hornets. Enjoy the trip down memory lane, and the post up fadeaways (which are nothing like LeBron James‘ version).

Stan Van Gundy not thinking trade to snap Pistons out of slump. Yet.

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The Detroit Pistons have lost seven of their last nine games and with that have slid down the standings — if the playoffs started today, they’d be able to book fishing charters out of the Bahamas because they’d have the free time. In those last nine games, they have been outscored by 11.8 points per 100 possessions, worst in the NBA. Their offense has been anemic in this stretch, scoring less than a point per possession, while the defense that carried them early has been a mess and bottom five.

What has gone wrong? Stan Van Gundy — the coach and GM — is struggling to figure that out. But he’s not at the point he’s ready to make a trade to shake things up, he told Rod Beard of the Detroit News.

“I’m focused on getting this group to play better and to try to figure this out; my focus is not on changing everything. I’ve seen this group win; I know this group can win. I know this group can be good; I know this group should be better than it is. I’m approaching it as a coaching issue. I’ve got a team that is underachieving where they should be, from a coaching standpoint. That’s how my thought process is right now: How do we get this team playing better, bringing more consistent energy?”

The Pistons have time to turn things around — they are just two games out of the playoffs currently. Only four games separate the Hornets as the four seed from the Pistons and Magic, who are tied as 11/12 seeds. But, with that many teams in the mix, the Pistons need a sense of urgency and Van Gundy knows that.

“We’re in jeopardy right now – that’s certainly not out of it by any means, but every loss puts you in more jeopardy, especially when you’re losing at home like we are. There’s no question that you have to understand that. You can’t run from the fact that all those losses are putting you in jeopardy.”

Van Gundy changed the starting lineup (benching Tobias Harris and starting John Leuer), but with limited success. Is it time for a Pistons trade to shake things up? With Reggie Jackson struggling since his return, are there point guards out there who could interest the Pistons? Another stretch four? Just some depth?

LeBron James on Michael Jordan: “Our games are completely different”

Associated Press

LeBron James is compared to Michael Jordan not because they have similar styles, but because at a certain point the games great players can only be measured against one another — and Michael Jordan is the ultimate bar. He is the GOAT (at least for most people, you can argue it if you want). LeBron wants to be on that tier.

But LeBron’s and MJ’s games are not the same. LeBron was asked about similarities in their styles at age 32, via Cavs.com:

“No. He was much more of a scorer, at that point did a lot of post work, but our games are just different. His body is different, my body is different than his. You recognize the dominance in someone at that age, but there’s no similarities in our game at all.”

What about the fadeaways?

“Our shots are different. He had much more lift in his fadeaway than mine. That was definitely a go-to move of his, but our games are completely different.”

LeBron is correct. Jordan had a more consistent jump shot from an early age and used that as a weapon, plus his footwork made him dangerous in the post much earlier. LeBron is more athletic and can bully his way to the rim against anyone, then uses that insane first step and strength to open up the other areas of his game (like his jumper). MJ was the better scorer, LeBron the more gifted and natural passer.

But game recognize game. These are two of the best the NBA has ever seen.

NBA’s best bloopers of 2016 (VIDEO)

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What have you got to do for the next 16 minutes that’s better than watching the best NBA bloopers of 2016?

Exactly, nothing.

This has Russell Westbrook dancing and blowing dunks. There is plenty of mascot action. There are more missed dunks. There are airballs. There are guys getting dropped on crossovers. There is just a lot you need to watch.