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France hopes to retain title with Tony Parker back in team (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 03 Sep 2015 01:44:46 PDT)
Tony Parker is back and France will be looking to retain the title at the European Basketball Championship that starts over the weekend in four cities across the continent. Originally scheduled to be held in Ukraine, the competition was moved because of the unrest in the east European country and will be spread around before the medal round in France. Four teams from each of the six-team groups will advance to the knockout stage in Lille, France, which will host the final on Sept. 20.

Hawks to retire Dikembe Mutombo's No. 55 next season (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:16:38 PDT)
ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Hawks will retire Dikembe Mutombo's No. 55 next season, about two months after he is enshrined into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Tim Duncan named NBA's top teammate (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 19 Aug 2015 14:46:46 PDT)
Tim Duncan has given up millions in salary to give the San Antonio Spurs the cap space needed to re-sign teammates and add players such as LaMarcus Aldridge. Duncan's peers awarded him the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year award on Wednesday. In its third year, the award is voted upon by players from a candidate pool selected by past NBA stars.

Veteran wing player Jason Richardson signs with Hawks (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 18 Aug 2015 18:40:58 PDT)
ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Hawks have signed guard-forward Jason Richardson.

Sources: Guard Jason Richardson to sign with Hawks (Yahoo Sports)
(Sat, 15 Aug 2015 15:08:49 PDT)
The veteran averaged more that nine points and three rebounds for the 76ers last season.

The best day of each month of the 2015-16 NBA regular season (Ball Don't Lie)
(Wed, 12 Aug 2015 19:30:54 PDT)


NBA's top 10 games for the 2015-16 season (Yahoo Sports)
(Wed, 12 Aug 2015 15:42:17 PDT)
The NBA released its 2015-16 schedule and won't lack for entertaining storylines this upcoming season.

Hawks' Horford in Dominican Basketball without Borders camp (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 12 Aug 2015 09:23:14 PDT)
NEW YORK (AP) -- Atlanta Hawks star Al Horford of the Dominican Republic will take part when a Basketball without Borders camp goes to his home country for the first time.

Veteran frontliner Brand retires after 16 seasons
(Tue, 11 Aug 2015 15:02:09 PDT)
Elton Brand, the top pick of the 1999 NBA Draft, announced his retirement Tuesday after 16 seasons, which included two All-Star nods. The 36-year-old center and power forward was taken first by the Chicago Bulls and earned NBA Rookie of the Year honors for the squad, but was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers after two seasons in the league. Brand become a tough inside player in seven seasons with the Clippers, twice being named to NBA All-Star Games, but he missed most of the 2007-08 season with a ruptured left Achilles tendon and was sent to Philadelphia, where he spent four seasons.

Three-Man Weave: Which Eastern Conference contender will make it up to No. 2? (Ball Don't Lie)
(Tue, 11 Aug 2015 07:37:53 PDT)
With the draft and the bulk of free agency now behind us, it's time to start taking stock of what's transpired this summer and how it all figures to impact the upcoming NBA campaign. First up for consideration: Which Eastern Conference team looks best primed to grab the second seed behind You Know Who? *** Dan Devine :   I kind of can't believe that I believe this, but ... I think it's the Washington Wizards? I believe   Fred Hoiberg   is an excellent coach, but I'm not yet sure I believe that   firing   Tom Thibodeau — even if the separation was   a long time in coming   — makes the Chicago Bulls demonstrably better. The Atlanta Hawks might   take a step back   without former starting small forward DeMarre Carroll. His   new employers , the Toronto Raptors, might hit some bumps in the road after jettisoning three of last season's top eight (Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams, backup point guard Greivis Vasquez and frontcourt cornerstone Amir Johnson) in a defense-first roster reload. The Miami Heat — as much as they've invested in   their   starry   starting   five   — feel like a team dependent on an awful lot of health/chemistry-related ifs going its way to make that large a leap. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] Washington, on the other hand, seems poised to take another step forward behind All-Star point guard John Wall, rising sharpshooter Bradley Beal and dynamite dive man Marcin Gortat. While it certainly hurts to lose Paul Pierce, who was huge in the Wizards' playoff run, general manager Ernie Grunfeld has both given head coach Randy Wittman three new options to help replace "The Truth" — versatile veterans Jared Dudley and Alan Anderson, plus first-rounder Kelly Oubre — and opened the door for 22-year-old Otto Porter Jr., a revelation in the playoffs , to step into the larger role many envisioned when Washington tabbed the Georgetown product with the No. 3 pick in the 2013 draft. (And hey, if Martell Webster's finally fully recovered from last summer's back surgery and capable of shooting the long ball like he did before he went down, so much the better.) With all those wings in the mix, veteran guards Ramon Sessions and Gary Neal on hand to spell the star-studded backcourt, and top reserve big man Kevin Seraphin off   to Manhattan , as Seth Partnow noted at   the Washington Post's Fancy Stats blog , the Wizards' roster seems much better suited to more regularly playing small-ball lineups during the regular season than last year's model did. Given Wall's remarkable skills as a pick-and-roll playmaker capable of creating open 3-point looks with the threat of his penetration and the promise of his passing, pairing him with a screen-setting big and surrounding him with shooting — the kind of Gortat/Nene-at-the-five, Pierce-at-the-four configurations that blitzed the Raptors   out of Round 1 — seems like something that should be an everyday staple and not just an "in case of emergency, break open glass" postseason wrinkle. Having more able, younger swingmen at his disposal — especially if/when Dudley gets back to full strength after his own summer back surgery — could allow Wittman to worry less about overtaxing one particular stretch four, a   reported concern   with Pierce last season. That, in turn, could make it more likely that the somewhat   confounding success of   #PlayoffWittman   carries over to the regular season. "We know what we have to do, the pieces that I'd like to add moving forward," Wittman said after the Wizards bowed out to Atlanta   in May . "Brad and John are going to be here a long time. So we got to utilize what their strengths and capabilities are, and find the right people to put around them, which allows us to play the way that I think we were kind of playing in the [playoffs]." Grunfeld seems to have done a sound job of finding those "right people," and considering how good the Wiz looked before   Wall broke his left hand   — and   how   achingly   close   Washington still came to knocking off the Hawks — doubling down on Wall, Beal, Porter and that four-out, bombs-away style might well move Washington to the front of the trail pack. *** Kelly Dwyer : The Chicago Bulls, frankly, were an embarrassment last season. The squad held a 2-1 lead over a Kevin Love-and-Kyrie Irving-less Cleveland Cavaliers squad and were mere seconds away from getting an overtime shot at taking a 3-1 advantage in the Eastern semis when LeBron James’ game-winning three-pointer broke things. That shot allowed both its coaching staff and top players to act the role of the martyr instead of focusing on the task of downing an injured and top-heavy Cavaliers rotation in a best of three series.

USA Basketball's embarrassment of riches on display at 34-player Vegas minicamp (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 07 Aug 2015 08:22:03 PDT)
On Thursday, USA Basketball announced the list of players expected to attend in its three-day summer minicamp, set to begin Tuesday in Las Vegas. As anticipated, the 34-participant list includes a who's who of NBA stars, including eight members of the U.S. men's national team that won gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and 11 members of the 2014 FIBA World Cup-winning squad, which suggests that Team USA decision-makers Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski are going to have one heck of a time picking the final 12-man roster that will represent the red, white and blue at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] From USA Basketball's roster release: Added to the 2014-16 USA National Team roster and participating in the Aug. 11-13 USA National Team training camp are eight NBA standouts, including Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors); Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls); Michael Carter-Williams (Milwaukee Bucks); Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies); Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors); Tobias Harris (Orlando Magic); DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers); and Victor Oladipo (Orlando Magic). USA National Team members confirmed for the 2015 Las Vegas minicamp include: LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs); Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings); Paul George (Indiana Pacers); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz); Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers); Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs); Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers); Chandler Parsons (Dallas Mavericks); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Mason Plumlee (Portland Trail Blazers); Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors); John Wall (Washington Wizards); and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder). “With this being a summer where we do not have an official competition that we need to prepare for, this year’s minicamp is an opportunity to continue and expand the brotherhood and camaraderie that has been built,” said Colangelo, who has served as managing director of the USA National Team since 2005. “It will be a celebration of all that we've accomplished with USA Basketball since the National Team program was formed in 2006 while also looking ahead to 2016. The minicamp is going to be low key with light workouts, no contact, and the USA Basketball Showcase on Aug. 13 will be a fun all-star type game." I think we're all in agreement that we don't really care how fun this summer's showcase is, so long as everybody makes it out in one piece . [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today! ] The 34-player roster represents a seven-participant cutdown from the 41-name list released last month . Gone from the final list are Dallas Mavericks point guard Deron Williams, owner of two gold medals from Team USA's wins in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012; '12 medalists Tyson Chandler of the Phoenix Suns and Andre Iguodala of the Golden State Warriors; and the Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose, who performed poorly on last summer's World Cup side , had an up-and-down 2014-15 NBA season marked by another knee surgery , and has likely worn his national team's colors for the last time . Others left off the final list include Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, who recently said he didn't see a reason to attend after being cut from last summer's World Cup squad; Atlanta Hawks sharpshooter Kyle Korver, still rehabilitating from his season-ending ankle surgery ; his teammate, forward Paul Millsap, a late addition to the 2014 World Cup tryouts who didn't make the squad; and Boston Celtics forward David Lee. One of the eight previously reported training-camp additions, Utah Jazz point guard Trey Burke, didn't make it to the final invitee list, seemingly replaced in the process by the Bucks' Carter-Williams. The Jazz might not mind that too much, though, considering their recent run of misfortune related to their point guards playing for their national teams . The 6-foot-11 Jordan adds yet another elite big man to a group that already features World Cup standouts Davis and Cousins, 2008 gold medal center Howard, 2014 depth bigs Drummond and Plumlee, and five power forwards — Love, Griffin, Aldridge, Faried and the also-newly-added Green — who could play up a spot in the international game. Managing director Colangelo "has made attendance in Vegas mandatory for any player who wishes to be considered for the 2016 Olympic team," according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein , but that doesn't mean all 41 players will fully participate in the workouts. LeBron, for example, will attend USA Basketball's Monday meeting before heading back to Akron, Ohio, for his foundation's annual charity event . Ditto for the Pacers' George , who still has his sights set on suiting up in Rio even after shattering his leg during last summer's USA Basketball Showcase. A handful of All-Star participants recovering from season-ending surgeries — Anthony , Durant , Irving , Love and Parsons — have reportedly already been excused from on-court work, as well. “We recognize and understand that some of our players’ availability to participate is still up in the air," Colangelo said in a USA Basketball statement . "Some players are coming off of injuries and are not yet ready to actively participate, or they are getting ready for their NBA seasons. So, it’s a good thing that we don’t have a competition to get ready for this summer." But even with no tournament this summer — the U.S. is exempt from this summer's FIBA Americas Tournament and earns an automatic bid to the 2016 Olympics by virtue of winning last summer's World Cup — there's still plenty of work to be done in chopping this 34-player pool down to the final 12 that will go to Brazil. Whittling down a wing pool that includes 12 of the 15 members of this past NBA season's All-NBA teams — a number that does not include the likes of KD, 'Melo, Love, Howard, Wall and the top two finishers in Defensive Player of the Year voting, by the way — seems like the sort of task that could justifiably take the next 11 months, even with some strong coffee and all-nighters sprinkled in. My first pass at a 12-man roster, for example — the Brow, Love, Blake and Boogie up front; LeBron, KD, George and 'Melo on the wing; CP3, Steph, the Beard and Kyrie on the ball — left off Westbrook, Wall, Dwight and Kawhi, which makes me feel like I need to go to confession. Even if this is obviously one of those very, very, very good problems to have, I don't necessarily envy Colangelo and company as they begin the process of solving it next week. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

Random NBA Players: Tom Gugliotta (Ball Don't Lie)
(Wed, 05 Aug 2015 08:00:28 PDT)
The internet is filled with hundreds of thousands of nostalgic tales, but that’s to be expected. As a wise man once said, “Nostalgia is a mild form of depression,” and everyone can get a little blue when thinking back to 1997. With the summer sun shining, however, we’re in a cheery mood. And with the NBA having settled down after a busy first few weeks of offseason transactions, we thought it best to highlight some random NBA players who may have done their best work a decade or two ago. This isn’t a list of your “Top 12 File Sharing Services of 2002” or “27 Ways Britney Ruled the VMAs.” No, this is … Random Players, NBA Edition We start with Tom Gugliotta. The Phoenix Suns were supposed to be great, and Tom Gugliotta wasn’t ever supposed to be anyone’s consolation prize. After an incredibly wacky 1996-97 season, the Suns entered 1997-98 with five major assets in hand. They had a warm climate and a gem of a player’s coach in Danny Ainge. They featured Jason Kidd at lead guard, and the recently acquired Antonio McDyess at big forward. The seemingly superfluous Steve Nash was the NBA’s second-biggest bit of trade bait, after Mitch Richmond. They also had cap space for the summer of 1998, heaps of it, with the knowledge that they’d be able to surround Kidd and McDyess with all manner of high-priced free agent talent. A Scottie Pippen here, a Vlade Divac there. Perhaps an Ike Austin coming in off the bench. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] The problem for the Suns is that there really was no summer of 1998 for the NBA, as the league’s owners locked out the players until the first week of January in 1999. Nash was dealt for a pick that turned into Shawn Marion, no troubles there, but Ainge had to wait until late January of 1999 to execute a plan that was by then two years in the making — and he had but a few days to pull it off. Divac, shockingly at the time, went to the Sacramento Kings after flirting with the Seattle SuperSonics. Pippen engineered a sign-and-trade to join some other greybeards with the Houston Rockets. Ike Austin went to Carl’s Jr. and apparently never came back. McDyess, to the surprise of the entire league , re-signed with the same Denver Nuggets team that he engineered a trade away from just 16 months earlier. The Suns still had one more pop at a home run, though, and they got it with Tom Gugliotta. Seemingly in his prime at age 29, Googs had made the All-Star team as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1997 before an injury-plagued 1997-98 season (he played at an All-Star level but missed 41 games) scuttled a return engagement to the midseason classic. With the Wolves ready to handle the power forward reins to Kevin Garnett full time, they had no room to financially compete for the services of Gugliotta, and the Suns pounced on their opportunity. They would be getting a star who had averaged 20.6 points and 8.7 rebounds with 4.1 assists the year before, making more than half his shots. He was athletic enough to finish on the break while still versatile enough to run a pick-and-pop game with Kidd. This was their guy, and with other veteran helpers on hand to sop up minutes (Clifford Robinson, Danny Manning, Luc Longley), the Suns rolled over their cap flexibility to the summer of 1999. The Suns would go on to produce a top five offense and a 27-23 record during the lockout-shortened season, with Gugliotta averaging a team-leading 17 points per contest. With that cap space on the docket, the team’s ears perked up when the John Gabriel-led Orlando Magic signaled that they thought its current roster had gone as far as it could go. The Magic would be rebuilding under rookie head coach Doc Rivers, and the Suns pounced in time to snag star guard Penny Hardaway in a sign-and-trade deal. It wasn’t Kidd, McDyess, Vlade and Pippen, but a core of Kidd, Googs and Penny was still pretty fearful. Shaquille O’Neal even put down his animus toward Hardaway long enough to call the loaded Suns the Los Angeles Lakers’ top expected rival in the West, regardless of the fact that the defending champion San Antonio Spurs were standing right there. The Suns did improve in Gugliotta’s second season, and though the forward started every game he played in, one frightening incident in the second month of the season cast a pall on the entire season. Just hours after a 17-point, 14-rebound appearance against the West’s best club in the early-going of the season (the Portland Trail Blazers), Gugliotta collapsed on the Suns’ team bus while talking on a cell phone with his wife Nikki. He had recently begun taking an over-the-counter nutritional supplement that was used as a sleep aid that went by the name of gamma butyrolactone, or GBL. From an account a few months after the incident, penned by Gugliotta, at ESPN the Magazine : After the game, I showered, had a soft drink, filled the dropper in the GBL bottle to 5 milliliters and took the stuff. I got on the team bus and called my wife, Nikki. As I talked, it felt like low voltage electricity was going through my body. I heard a humming noise in my head. The skin on my face started twitching. I was feeling a little loopy and queasy. That's how I imagine an OD would feel — like I took a drug, but skipped passed any buzzed feeling and went straight to sick. Nikki says I started babbling. I could tell I was passing out, and didn't want her to hear, so I tried to cut off the cell, but I guess I dropped it. Still on the line, Nikki heard my teammates yelling for an ambulance. The trainer started slapping my face, but my eyes kept rolling back and my chin dropped to my chest. Luckily, there was still an EMT crew around. As they were taking me from the bus to the ambulance, I started foaming at the mouth and shaking. That's what GBL can do to you. It knocks you out and slows your breathing, sometimes to the point of stopping it. That's what happened to me. Nikki was aware that her husband had been taking the supplement in attempts to get better rest. She immediately called the wife of Suns teammate Rex Chapman, who then called Chapman on the bus to ask the medical personnel to rifle through Gugliotta’s duffle bag in order to find the supplement’s label. The antidote the EMT staff gave Gugliotta saved his life, due to some quick thinking on his wife’s part.

Here are the Raptors' new uniforms, as unveiled by Drake at OVO Fest (Ball Don't Lie)
(Tue, 04 Aug 2015 10:19:32 PDT)
We've known that the Toronto Raptors' long-awaited rebrand would result in the unveiling of new uniforms since at least December . We've known what they'd look like (more or less) since May , with confirmation of the four-jersey set coming via leaked images last month. All that remained was for the Raps to make their official reveal ... which came Monday night, during team global ambassador and noted meme enthusiast Drake's beef-broiling OVO Fest performance in Toronto. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] Drake bringing out the @coryjoseph jersey at #OVOfest #6 #Raptors pic.twitter.com/1i1aQvo4RA — Klutch Sports Group (@KlutchSports) August 4, 2015 Drake took the stage in a black jersey with gold trim — the OVO-colored alternate kit the Raps had teased for quite a while — bearing the name of Cory Joseph, the Toronto native whom general manager Masai Ujiri brought home with a four-year, $30 million deal to help bolster the Raptors' defense . Joseph, who wore No. 5 with the San Antonio Spurs, will reportedly wear No. 6 with the hometown team, thanks in large part to the shoutout that Drake gave him on "Charged Up," the first diss track the "6 God" lobbed at Meek Mill, which you of course know all about, because you are on the basketball Internet. Unlike last summer, when Drake's Raps-related OVO Fest work — publicly exhorting the crowd to join him in recruiting not-even-close-to-a-free-agent-yet Kevin Durant to come up north — landed the organ-eye-zation in some hot water with the league office, the Raptors were fully on-board with this particular Drizzy drop. Shortly after Drake's festival first-look, the Raptors pulled back the curtain and launched the full-scale reveal . [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today! ] Here are the new home whites:

The NBA's all-time starting five: Atlanta Hawks (Ball Don't Lie)
(Mon, 03 Aug 2015 15:50:49 PDT)
You’re in your second semester of AP Basketball History, you love really good teams, and you love lists. With precious little drama left in the NBA’s 2015 offseason, why don’t we hit the barroom and/or barbershop, pour ourselves a frosty mug of Barbicide, and get to arguin’ over each franchise’s most formidable starting five-man lineup. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] Because we don’t like making tough decisions, the lineups will reflect the All-NBA line of thinking. There will be no differentiation between separate forward and guard positions, and the squads will be chosen after careful consideration of individual merits only – we don’t really care if your team’s top shooting guard and point guard don’t get along. These rankings will roll out based on when each franchise began its NBA life. We continue with the Atlanta Hawks, who have boasted an incredible amount of talent in three different cities since 1946. C: Dikembe Mutombo . Only played three and a half years, but was the defensive cornerstone on a series of Hawk teams that (where have we heard this before?) ably served in the second tier of the Eastern Conference hierarchy. Averaged 3.2 blocks per game in Atlanta alongside a double-double for the Lenny Wilkens-led Hawks teams before being traded for Theo Ratliff and Toni Kukoc in 2001. F: Bob Pettit . On the short list amongst the greatest power forwards ever. Alongside Wilt Chamberlain, can claim to be the only champion that felled Bill Russell in his prime, leading the St. Louis Hawks to the 1958 NBA championship. Averaged over 26 points and 16 rebounds in his career, he made the All-Star team in each of his 11 seasons before walking away from the game (despite averaging over 22 and 12 in his final year) at age 32. F: Dominique Wilkins . The go-to force behind a litany of powerful if badly-timed Hawk teams in the 1980s and early 1990s. Averaged nearly 26 points per game for the Hawks despite working under coach Mike Fratello, who kept the game flowing at a snail’s pace (while still winning heaps of games). Was the national face of the franchise after a decade’s worth of desultory years, rotating (if not quite good) coaches, and hoped-for on-court saviors. G: Lou Hudson . An outstanding pro, six-time All-Star, and scoring machine for a Hawks franchise that featured a rotating cast of would-be helpers during the 1970s. Hudson averaged 22.4 points per game for Hawks teams that made it to the (Western!) Conference finals three times, but could not find the final missing piece to make a run at the championship. G: Joe Johnson . Oft-mocked for the price the former Hawk owners paid for him (in order to pay him more money than anyone else was offering, they initiated a sign-and-trade deal that included Boris Diaw and draft picks that turned into Rajon Rondo and Robin Lopez) and the second contract extension the other old owners gave to him (six years, $120 million), Johnson nevertheless was the lead figure on five Hawk playoff teams, averaging 20.9 points and a combined 9.4 assists/rebounds in his time with the club. As should be the case for a franchise that has been around since 1946, the Hawks have quite a few former players that barely lost out on making the starting five. Ed Macauley was a fantastic scoring center for the team when it worked out of St. Louis. The hometown product also went toe-to-toe with Bill Russell (whom he was once traded for) as the Hawks took the 1958 title. Teammate Cliff Hagan was a ferocious player with a killer running hook shot, and he was massive figure in the 1950s basketball scene. Prior to the franchise’s move to Atlanta, Lenny Wilkens was as important a fixture as a player in St. Louis as he eventually was a coach in Georgia. Cotton Fitzsimmons and Hubie Brown also had the good fortune (despite all their screaming) of coaching Walt Bellamy, John Drew, and Pete Maravich. The Hawks were, inarguably, the franchise most hurt by the competing ABA: Atlanta lost out on the rights to employ draft picks Julius Erving, Marvin Webster, and David Thompson during the mid-1970s. Mike Fratello enjoyed great success with Kevin Willis and Doc Rivers running things, while big man Al Horford (who has played twice as many seasons as Dikembe Mutombo in Atlanta, and 154 more games) has a good argument to make the starting five despite his injury woes. This is the five we’re going with. Who would you take? Previous entries : Golden State . Boston . New York . Detroit . Sacramento . Los Angeles Lakers . - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops

Flip Saunders swears he loves 3-pointers (Ball Don't Lie)
(Mon, 03 Aug 2015 10:40:53 PDT)


NBA in Africa: Visiting Mandela's house and planning safaris (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 31 Jul 2015 10:33:22 PDT)
Chris Paul keeps waking up in his hotel at 3 a.m. because of jet-lag and is wiped, though it hasn't stopped him getting out and visiting the house where Nelson Mandela lived. Luol Deng couldn't wait to talk to Pau Gasol about a trip he recommended the Spaniard take to one of South Africa's most beautiful cities. Gregg Popovich is planning a safari and a tour of the country's wine region.

Hawks' Mike Scott faces felony charges after arrest on pot, MDMA possession (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 31 Jul 2015 06:42:32 PDT)


Hawks F Mike Scott arrested on drug charges in NE Georgia (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 30 Jul 2015 19:46:20 PDT)
Atlanta Hawks forward Mike Scott has been arrested on drug charges. The Banks County sheriff's office says deputies attempted to stop an SUV driven by Scott's 20-year-old brother, Antonn, for following too closely Thursday morning on Interstate 85 northeast of Atlanta. Police say Mike Scott is charged with felony possession of marijuana and possession of a Schedule I drug.

Hawks coach enjoying time in Africa after hectic summer (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 30 Jul 2015 15:03:45 PDT)
After a hectic start to the summer, Mike Budenholzer is doing important work in Africa while relishing some quality time with his wife and kids. The Hawks coach will never say his work is done. ''We feel like had a very good summer,'' Budenholzer said Thursday on a conference call from South Africa, where he is coaching in a historic exhibition game with 20 NBA stars.

After depression, diet ended NBA career, ex-lottery pick Sweetney playing for $1M (Ball Don't Lie)
(Thu, 30 Jul 2015 09:33:04 PDT)


NBA in Africa? 'Stay tuned' for regular-season game (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 30 Jul 2015 09:03:46 PDT)
The NBA is in Africa for an exhibition, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver expects more important games to come. ''Stay tuned,'' Silver said Thursday as 20 NBA stars, including Chris Paul and Luol Deng, prepare to play at a small arena in downtown Johannesburg - the first NBA game of any kind in Africa. Although he didn't give an exact time frame, Silver said a pre-season game and then a regular-season game on the continent was the logical progression for the NBA, which is on a ''fast track'' to build a brand in soccer-crazy Africa.

Mavericks sign pair of free agent forwards (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 27 Jul 2015 15:08:38 PDT)
DALLAS (AP) -- The Dallas Mavericks have signed free-agent forwards Jamil Wilson and Brandon Ashley.

Cavaliers bring back Matthew Dellavedova on one-year, $1.2 million deal (Ball Don't Lie)
(Mon, 27 Jul 2015 11:04:05 PDT)


Mavericks sign pair of free agents in Jenkins, Famous (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 24 Jul 2015 17:01:59 PDT)
DALLAS (AP) -- The Dallas Mavericks have signed free-agent guard John Jenkins and forward Jarrid Famous.

Hawks sign G-Fs Patterson, Petteway after summer league (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 24 Jul 2015 09:37:10 PDT)
ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Hawks have signed swingmen Lamar Patterson and Terran Petteway after their impressive performances in the Las Vegas Summer League.

Josh Smith says it will be 'harder' to work on his $6.9 M salary, and he's kind of right (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 24 Jul 2015 09:24:58 PDT)
New Los Angeles Clipper signee Josh Smith is trying to turn his career around with his fourth team in 26 months. The versatile forward, who finished out 2014-15 with Houston after being waived by the Detroit Pistons midseason, signed on for the veteran’s minimum in Los Angeles at around $1.5 million for 2015-16. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] He also maybe kinda let a dumb, if completely accurate, thing slip. Speaking at the press conference introducing (and, in DeAndre Jordan’s case, re-introducing ) new Clipper players on Tuesday, Smith dropped a Latrell Sprewell-like statement that did not go unnoticed by Orlando Sentinel columnist David Whitley : "At the end of the day, you know, I do have a family," he said. "So it is going to be a little harder on me this year. But I'm going to push through it, you know." You know? I know. You’re going to be raked over for this in the comment section. Smith has made nearly $94 million in his NBA career thus far, and even with the insane real estate prices in Los Angeles and stiff tax considerations, he won’t be clipping coupons any time soon. If he actually does turn his career around, something we’ve been tapping our foot and waiting on for years, he will be able to take advantage of the massive uptick in salary cap space next season and act as a potential eight-figure a year consolation prize from a dumb team that thought they could get Kevin Durant. The forward signed a four-year, $54 million contract with the Pistons in the summer of 2013 after an up and down nine-year run with the Atlanta Hawks. Frustrated with his fit and his play during the first year and a half of his tenure in Detroit, the Pistons waived Smith using the stretch provision last December. This means the Pistons will still have to pay Smith the remainder of the contract they owed him, but in chunks of $5.4 million per year between now and 2019 as opposed to the yearly $14 million payouts in 2014-15 and 2015-16. This is where the part about Josh Smith being completely correct comes into play. Smith signed for below the $5.4 million the Pistons owe him in 2015-16, which in a way is good for him because it means the Pistons’ salary hit doesn’t have to make up the difference and he’ll make a combined salary of just under $6.9 million this year. That’s just under half of what he was set to make this season, $14 million, had the Pistons not waived him, or had they found a doofus to trade for him last season. I don’t care who you are or what you’re making, when you budget for something and then your yearly salary is cut in half, that’s a shot to the system. Even if that $5.4 million will act as a nice chunk of change for a player who might not be in the NBA in 2018-19, at age 33. Could Josh Smith have found a better way of saying things? Sure. Perhaps “harder” isn’t the right way to describe a change in plans from $14 million to $6.89 million. It is a hit, though. Especially as he’s reeling from a paucity of free agent options, being forced to take the minimum in what should be his prime in yet another attempt to play well and earn a long-term deal in the next offseason. Smith played slightly better in Houston last season while attempting to rehabilitate his basketball image alongside good buddy Dwight Howard, but he wasn’t great. The only real change to his game was that he made a better percentage of his mid-range and paint looks, and took more three-pointers (which improved his league-worst True Shooting Percentage to that of the ranks of “just really bad”) at a below-average mark. He dished fewer assists and turned the ball over more, and his defense remained solid. Houston was supposed to act as the rehabilitation center, playing 25 minutes as a super sub and working into the third round of the playoffs. He did start eight playoff games and made an above-average mark of 38 percent of his three-pointers in the postseason, but apparently that 17-game sample size (even against improved competition) wasn’t enough to sway teams into offering him a healthy, long-term deal. Now he’s banking on playing three playoff series (or more) with the Clippers this season, though it’s doubtful that he’ll often see starters-level minutes on what is now a surprisingly deep Clipper team. That realization, mixed with the limited free agent interest after a sound postseason run, has to be hard on the man. And it will be hard on his family to jump from town to town to town to town and to (we’re guessing) another town next summer, all in the space of three years. You gotta find a better way to put this, though, Josh. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops

2015-16 NBA uniform leaks: New alternates for OKC, Mavs, Nuggets and more? (Ball Don't Lie)
(Thu, 23 Jul 2015 07:38:58 PDT)
Several NBA teams have unveiled new uniforms for the upcoming season in recent months, with some — like the Los Angeles Clippers , Milwaukee Bucks , Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks — undergoing full-fledged revamps and others — like the Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers — adding spicy new alternate kits to their existing collection of threads. Evidently, though, we'll be seeing even more new unis during the next NBA campaign ... provided, of course, that this collection of 2015-16 Season Identity Updates that began to make its way around the Internet late Wednesday night via Reddit's NBA community and Andrew Lind of The Tidewater News is the real deal: [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

Becky Hammon is ready to be a head coach in the NBA (Ball Don't Lie)
(Tue, 21 Jul 2015 08:47:06 PDT)
Shockingly, the San Antonio Spurs’ entrant into this year’s Las Vegas Summer League was a joy to watch. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] Weird, right? The same organization that gave us perhaps the most aesthetically-pleasing entrant into the 2012, 2013 and 2014 NBA playoffs managed to trickle its wily ways down into a prospect tournament. Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon, after just one official year on the San Antonio bench – following two years as a regular staple at Spurs’ practices – led a team as head coach featuring the super-slow but ultra-effective Kyle Anderson to a tourney win . And, following that win, she earned the fawning praise of both her players … Spurs' Jonathan Simmons on coach Becky Hammon: "I barely know her and I love her already." pic.twitter.com/FJVmi4huEU — Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) July 21, 2015 … and league observers: I know this is a bold statement. If I was running a team and had a head coaching opening. The first call would be to Becky Hammon. — Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 21, 2015 Hammon is as qualified as any current assistant coach in the NBA. She is paying her dues and working from the bottom up. — Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 21, 2015 These basketball reasons are why the NBA needs to get the novelty of the first hiring of a female head coach out of the damn way. Becky Hammon can coach your favorite team, and she can coach it well. And when she is hired and when she does coach it well, we can move on to more important things. Like gender equality in jobs that actually matter. There are no open NBA head coaching gigs, and unless some head coach and his bosses have a complete meltdown between now and October (never count out a certain franchise in California’s state capitol!), there won’t be anything opening up by the start of the 2015-16 season. There is almost 100 percent certainty that Hammon will spend that season as she spent her inaugural campaign in 2014-15 – sitting behind the Spurs bench as an assistant third or fourth on the team’s totem pole. And that’s just fine! NBA coaching is in a good place these days, due to the work of San Antonio’s head coach: Gregg Popovich. Popovich pairs old school irascibility and motivation techniques with an ability to think on his feet, be curious when needed, and a knack for adaptability. San Antonio’s offensive schemes look absolutely nothing like the sets that brought the team its 2005 championship, and yet a decade later an entirely new system (offensively, at least) might rank as the top championship favorite heading into this season. As a result of Popovich’s careful mix of stern glares and patient moves, the NBA has grown up around him. There are a couple of iffy coaches out there, we’re not going to name names (though regular readers know who we’re on about), but as a result of certain franchise’s motivations heading into 2015-16 no head coach is really on the hot seat. This means Becky Hammon isn’t exactly set to take to a lead role anytime soon. If Jason Kidd can be trusted with running a team with a $100-plus million payroll just weeks after retiring from basketball, however, Hammon (a WNBA point guard until 2014) certainly should be. If Derek Fisher can have absolutely no loss in job security after running a 17-win New York Knick team (after, also, taking the job just weeks after retiring), Hammon should be just fine with any outfit. Steve Kerr, also a Gregg Popovich-acolyte, might be the NBA’s Next Gregg Great Coach, but despite a sterling resume as a player, executive, broadcaster and internet scribe, he had no coaching experience at any level before brilliantly leading Golden State to a title in his first year. Clippers coach Doc Rivers also won NBA Coach of the Year in his first year on the bench with Orlando, jumping to the role with (say it with me) no coaching experience. These are all smart basketball people, two of them worked in the same arena as Gregg Popovich, and despite Fisher’s early troubles (hardly his fault) all will be or already are fantastic NBA head coaches. This league is all about its players, as Jonathan Simmons noted above, and there are only five to a side. Becky Hammon, as is the case with fellow Spurs assistant Ime Udoka and as was the case with former Spurs assistant and current Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer , is ready to recognize as much and act upon it at the highest level. Popovich, who reportedly promised recent signee LaMarcus Aldridge that he’d stay on the bench for the duration of Aldridge’s contract , isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Because this is the NBA, though, some other coach will be. And Becky Hammon is as good as any candidate we’ve ever seen to step in, and take over. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops

The Indiana Pacers will wear 'Hoosiers'-themed uniforms next season (Ball Don't Lie)
(Tue, 21 Jul 2015 07:54:34 PDT)
Good news, '80s-movies-and-fundamentals-loving dads who root for the Indiana Pacers! Starting next season, you'll be able to rock authentic team gear that also pays homage to an Indiana basketball institution more widely known and celebrated in popular culture than the state's college or pro teams. Get your Hackman on, George Hill: [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] It’s an honor to break this news: @Pacers going Hollywood next season! #HickoryPacers #HoosiersMovie pic.twitter.com/VNAArYeBqz — INDIANA GEORGE HILL (@George_Hill3) July 21, 2015 It’s an honor to break this news: @Pacers going Hollywood next season! #HickoryPacers #HoosiersMovie pic.twitter.com/21R6p41eSB — INDIANA GEORGE HILL (@George_Hill3) July 21, 2015 Now, I know what you're thinking: "Wow, it's pretty cool that George Hill is paying tribute to the 1993 film 'The Meteor Man' by dying his hair an unmistakable Golden Lords blonde ." And yes, of course, we all agree about that. You've gotten sidetracked, though. Check out the uniform! Yep, that's right — on several occasions next season, the Pacers will take the court at Bankers Life Fieldhouse wearing replicas of the Hickory High uniforms from the 1986 film "Hoosiers," a fictionalized retelling of the story of the 1953-54 Milan High School Indians, who won the Indiana state boys' basketball championship despite an enrollment of just 161 students. From the Pacers' Tuesday announcement of the deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, which produced "Hoosiers," that'll bring the red-and-gold strip to life: For the 2015-16 season, the Pacers will introduce the Hickory uniform to be worn in select regular season games as part of the NBA Pride Collection. The Hickory uniform is a tribute to the rich tradition of basketball in the State of Indiana and will serve as inspiration to fans everywhere that no matter how improbable the challenge may be, amazing things can be accomplished through teamwork, determination, heart and hustle. "Our team will be honored to wear the Hickory uniforms because of the attention it will bring to the storied history of Indiana basketball and the success of that movie," said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. " Hoosiers takes us all back to a special place and time." [...] Todd Taylor, Pacers Sports & Entertainment's Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing, championed the idea of wearing the Hickory uniforms and worked with MGM on the partnership. "Obviously, we revere the film, but more importantly we believe our organization, especially our players, embody the core message of the story — by coming together as a team, there is nothing that can't be accomplished," said Taylor. The jerseys are not currently available for sale, according to Matthew Glenesk of the Indianapolis Star , but you'd imagine that'll change in relatively short order ... especially since, according to the team, "the Pacers will wear the Hickory uniform during select games over the next several seasons," and not just during the 2015-16 campaign. How they'll look on an NBA court in 2015 very much remains to be seen — if nothing else, the Atlanta Hawks will now have some company in the mix-and-match jersey-and-shorts department — but it's a neat idea to tap into the state's love of its basketball mythology, especially if it opens the door to even further excavation of Indiana's rich love of hoops. "The Miracle Men of Milan are just one of the legendary basketball stories in the state," sales and marketing VP Taylor said in the Pacers' statement. "We look forward to drawing attention to the contributions and accomplishments of those that have made Indiana synonymous with the game of basketball." Here's hoping that means a follow-up nod to Crispus Attucks High School, the Oscar Robertson-led squad that won the next two Indiana state championships after Milan, becoming the first all-black team in the country to win a state title . That's a legacy well worth celebrating, too, even if you wind up being one year late on its anniversary. News of the "Hoosiers"-inspired unis, of course, led fans and writers to start calling for their own movie-themed NBA kits: Next November is the 20th anniversary of Space Jam in case MJ needs any Hornets alternate jersey ideas — Sean Highkin (@highkin) July 21, 2015 @SeanTPendergast @hoopscritic how perfect would the sixers be in the unis from Fish that saved Pittsburgh? — ian meltzer (@newguymeltz) July 21, 2015 @bomani_jones Curious which NBA team will wear "Tech U" jerseys next season. pic.twitter.com/KPpO4o6qNP — Greg Rosenstein (@grosenstein) July 21, 2015 So will the Knicks wear Lincoln Railsplitters uniforms this year? — RUSS BENGT$ON (@russbengtson) July 21, 2015 I'm guessing Ray Allen's "J. Shuttlesworth" nickname jersey is the closest we'll get to a "He Got Game"-themed uniform on an NBA court, but we can dare to dream. And if we're just putting our hopes and dreams out into the world on this one, let's see if we can get someone to go with some Beers jerseys from "BASEketball." Might as well have something good come out of the sleeved jersey era, NBA. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

Summer Update - team-by-team (Rotoworld)
(Thu, 16 Jul 2015 22:49:00 PDT)
Dr. A is back with a team-by-team trip around half the league. Paul George is going to play some PF, whether he likes it or not.

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