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Ball Don't Five: Top 5 most important stories of the NBA offseason (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 02 Oct 2015 12:00:00 PDT)

What John Henson's new contract could mean for other extension-eligible bigs (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 02 Oct 2015 11:42:17 PDT)

The Wizards' new 'Baltimore Pride' uniforms bring back Bullets' racing stripe, add sleeves (Ball Don't Lie)
(Thu, 01 Oct 2015 08:14:29 PDT)
The Washington Wizards officially unveiled their entry in the NBA's "Pride" uniform collection on Wednesday, confirming the design that had been included in a massive leak of mockups that made its way online back in July: [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] OFFICIAL: #Wizards to wear Baltimore pride jerseys this season http://t.co/r8YrsUjbrt pic.twitter.com/iN8pgu7aez — Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) September 30, 2015 Yep — they're red, they're sleeved, and they bring back the three-wide racing-stripe wave pattern that the Baltimore Bullets wore from 1969 through 1973. Here's what the Wiz have to say about their "Baltimore Pride" kits, which join the Charlotte Hornets' "Buzz City" alternates, the New Orleans Pelicans' Mardi Gras uniforms and the Houston Rockets' "Clutch City" uniforms in this year's Pride collection: [ Yahoo Fantasy Basketball: Sign up for a league today ] The Washington Wizards will celebrate their special relationship with the city of Baltimore by wearing Baltimore Pride uniforms for six select games during the season. The uniform pays homage to the uniform worn by the Baltimore Bullets from 1969-73, updating the color scheme to the Wizards’ current red, white and blue. The Wizards will also honor the organization’s proud past with the addition of a display featuring all of the uniforms in franchise history. A narrative highlighting historical facts and pictures will also be included. Fans will have their first chance to see the new display at the Wizards’ preseason game on Oct. 6 against the Philadelphia 76ers. The display will be located on the concourse outside of section 112. The Wizards franchise called Charm City home beginning in 1963, playing as the Bullets at the Baltimore Civic Center and featuring future Hall of Famers Walt Bellamy and Gus Johnson. Fellow Hall of Famers Earl Monroe (1967-71), Wes Unseld (1968-73) and Elvin Hayes (1972-73) also were part of the Baltimore franchise before the team relocated to Landover, Md., prior to the 1973-74 season. (For the record: the Indiana Pacers referred to their "Hickory High" threads as "Pride" uniforms, but they're listed on July's uniform leak as "Hardwood Classics Nights" throwback editions. The Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings are all expected to unveil sleeved Pride unis, too.) I dig the idea of saluting the franchise's Baltimore past, and I think the red, white and blue color scheme looks like a pretty clean replacement for the Bullets' orange, white and blue, which the Wiz wore in a cap-doffing throwback during the 2005-06 season . The sleeves ... well, that's well-trodden territory, at this point. I'm not a fan, and a lot of you don't seem to be, either, but Adidas and the NBA have long since committed to the argument that lots of people who aren't us like them. Fair enough. We'll see if Nike continues to skate in that lane when they take over the league apparel deal in two seasons' time . Beyond that, you might quibble with the placement of the Wizards' updated logo on the chest. It kind of calls to mind the club badges on soccer players' uniforms, which is neat, but because it's lower and circular, it makes it look sort of like John Wall's wearing No. 20 and Bradley Beal's wearing No. 30, only sort of overly stylized and off-kilter. Otherwise, though, it seems like a pretty decent marriage of old and new; if you've got to get into the sleeve game, this doesn't seem like the worst way to do it. The Wizards will wear the Baltimore Pride uniforms six times this season, all coming on their home court at the Verizon Center — on Dec. 19, against the Charlotte Hornets; on Jan. 16, against the Boston Celtics; on Jan. 23, against the Utah Jazz; on Jan. 28, against the Denver Nuggets; on March 5, against the Indiana Pacers; and on March 19, against the New York Knicks. - - - - - - - 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.

Who's Trending? Jump On Jimmy (Rotoworld)
(Wed, 30 Sep 2015 20:25:00 PDT)
Ethan Norof examines Jimmy Butler and others trending in the right direction as NBA training camps open.

Refreshed and recharged, Ty Lawson taking aim at Steph Curry, NBA's elite (Yahoo Sports)
(Wed, 30 Sep 2015 15:16:56 PDT)
After a difficult offseason, Lawson is ready to help Houston topple the West's best. But can the Rockets depend on him?

Faried can be Manimal again with Nuggets devoted to running (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 30 Sep 2015 15:12:55 PDT)
Kenneth Faried instantly perked up when his new coach proclaimed the Denver Nuggets would return to their uptempo roots. The athletic forward nicknamed Manimal can be Manimal again. ''I don't want him to forget who he is, the core of Kenneth Faried.

The 10-man rotation, starring Carmelo Anthony's place in history (Ball Don't Lie)
(Wed, 30 Sep 2015 13:37:12 PDT)

Four Corners: Who is winning the Western Conference in 2015-16? (Ball Don't Lie)
(Tue, 29 Sep 2015 11:05:00 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. This week, we discuss: Who is winning the Western Conference in 2015-16? *** Dan Devine : Warriors. San Antonio might boast the NBA's best frontline and its best pair of wing defenders, but the Spurs need one of Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili (and ideally both) to bounce back from their worst seasons in more than a decade to run the best version of Gregg Popovich's offense. Oklahoma City gets Kevin Durant back to pair with Russell Westbrook and an incredibly deep big-man rotation, but how confident can we be that the Thunder will run at peak effectiveness for the next eight months when we've seen one significant injury scuttle each of their last three seasons? [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] Doc's communication commentary aside, I've got some concerns about how the new-look Clippers will fit together for the long haul. Memphis looks roughly the same, and while their sameness is awesome , it is also not markedly better than what fell short last year. Houston might have enough talent to go all the way, but its primary differentiation from last year's model is a risk (even if only mitigated and short-term ) that could upset a rotation good enough to make it to last season's conference finals. The Warriors, meanwhile, played at an unparalleled level on both ends of the floor for all of last season. They return a shade under 92 percent of the total minutes and 93 percent of the total points from last year's title squad, per Mark Porcaro . They can slide several capable players ( all-the-way-back-from-injury big man Festus Ezeli, physical specimen James Michael McAdoo, steady veteran addition Jason Thompson) into more significant roles as needed/warranted. Their four core pieces (MVP Stephen Curry, All-Star Klay Thompson, DPoY runner-up Draymond Green and about-to-get-paiiiiiiid swingman Harrison Barnes) are all young, healthy and improving. Even without Alvin Gentry, who decamped after last season to take over the New Orleans Pelicans, they've got arguably the best coaching staff in the league, led by Steve Kerr, who proved last year to be the perfect man for this particular job . Any, and perhaps even all, of the other elite Western teams could take down the Dubs if their "ifs" break right. But as tough as it is to repeat in the NBA, I'll take the champs' "ifs" over anybody else's until given evidence that I should think differently.

Craig Sager tugs on James Harden's beard, plans opening-night return to TV (Ball Don't Lie)
(Tue, 29 Sep 2015 10:57:02 PDT)

Lawson focused as he prepares to start camp with Rockets (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 28 Sep 2015 16:46:38 PDT)
Ty Lawson knows he is facing a pivotal time in his career, and the point guard is looking forward to training camp with the Houston Rockets. Lawson was acquired in a July trade with Denver while he was in a 30-day residential treatment program following his second DUI arrest. ''I'm in a different mindset this year because I know we're going to be playing for something,'' Lawson said.

Rookie Emmanuel Mudiay anxious to get the season started (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 28 Sep 2015 15:28:46 PDT)
Rookie Emmanuel Mudiay doesn't find going up against the likes of Steph Curry, Chris Paul or Tony Parker all that intimidating. Now that was daunting for the Denver Nuggets point guard. ''Definitely got some bruises,'' Mudiay recounted Monday, a day before training camp began in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Lakers ink World Peace
(Thu, 24 Sep 2015 18:44:53 PDT)
The Los Angeles Lakers have inked veteran NBA forward Metta World Peace to a reported one-year, non-guaranteed contract. World Peace, known as Ron Artest before changing his name in 2011, is the 19th player on Los Angeles' roster with teams allowed to take a 20-strong squad into training camp. The 35-year-old has been a presence at Lakers practices this offseason while mentoring forward Julius Randle, the seventh overall selection in the 2014 draft who broke his leg in his first NBA game last season.

Sources: Lakers sign Metta World Peace to nonguaranteed deal (Yahoo Sports)
(Thu, 24 Sep 2015 14:24:00 PDT)
Mehta World Peace has reached agreement on a nonguaranteed deal to rejoin the Lakers.

Doc Rivers opens up about regrets, rifts and second chances after nearly losing DeAndre Jordan (Yahoo Sports)
(Thu, 24 Sep 2015 08:59:29 PDT)
The Los Angeles Clippers head coach said he didn't notice the seriousness of the issues between Jordan and Chris Paul. He now vows he – and the Clippers – will be better.

Dunk History: Dr. J 'jams the jinx,' makes Boston Garden sing different tune (Ball Don't Lie)
(Tue, 22 Sep 2015 10:15:00 PDT)
As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History . Today, Scott Pianowski of Roto Arcade comes in praise of Julius Erving, the good Doctor, and a very memorable house call to the Boston Garden in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. I can’t say I have a crystalized memory of this dunk. I do know it happened, though, because it’s frozen in time on a spectacular Sports Illustrated cover , and back when I was a fledgling NBA fan in the early 1980s, SI was as much my source of record as anything else. I was born in 1969 and sports-crazy by the late '70s. It was a much different time to be a fan. Today’s NBA junkies know teams and players by sight — television, Internet, League Pass, tethered smartphones, etc. When I was in elementary school and worshipping my heroes, it was more about what you could read. Heck, the NBA Finals were still broadcast in tape delay. So much was left to the imagination. My level of fandom leapt forward in 1979. In the spring, I purchased my first book in the "Complete Handbook" series — "The Complete Handbook of Baseball 1979." Player profiles, team predictions, stats, pithy writing, a photo of every important player ... this was a game-changer for a 10-year-old. I was hooked for life.

Harden, Davis ready to see if they've closed gap on Curry (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 21 Sep 2015 23:12:57 PDT)
The Beard and the Brow checked the same place first when they got a look at the NBA 2K16 video game. ''My rating,'' echoed Anthony Davis, ''and my jump shot. Soon enough, they can see how their teams rate in the NBA's Western Conference.

BDL 25: Is Dwight Howard still a superstar? (Ball Don't Lie)
(Mon, 21 Sep 2015 14:04:02 PDT)

Charles Barkley's touching eulogy for Moses Malone: 'The world's a sadder place' (Ball Don't Lie)
(Mon, 21 Sep 2015 07:58:57 PDT)
One week after issuing a heartfelt statement mourning the loss of friend, teammate and mentor Moses Malone, who died Sept. 13 at age 60 , Hall of Famer Charles Barkley delivered a touching eulogy for the late and often underappreciated legend at a memorial service held Saturday in Houston. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] Barkley spoke with reverence about the effort Malone put into helping him lose weight and get in basketball shape during his rookie season, expressing his gratitude for the "type of leadership" the veteran Malone showed in "staying on my case." "Because of him working with me before and after practice, we developed this kinship," Barkley told the estimated crowd of 1,200 mourners who'd traveled to Lakewood Church — which was once The Summit , the arena where Malone starred for the Houston Rockets en route to the first two of his three NBA Most Valuable Player awards — to celebrate Malone's life and legacy. "Like I said, every time I saw him, I called him 'Dad,' I gave him a big hug, and I told him how I appreciated and respected what he did for me. "I never understood why a guy that great — because at that time, he was obviously on the downside of his career; he'd accomplished everything — I never understood why he took a little kid from Alabama under his wing," Barkley continued. "[...] At the time, it was a struggle, but man, I cannot believe how lucky I am to, No. 1, have a father figure not only on my team but also living in my same building, staying on me consistently [to make sure] that I didn't do anything, to keep me moving forward. And I always thanked him for that." [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today! ] Barkley wasn't the only one to share fond remembrances of a man who touched the lives of many, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle : Other former players who attended the ceremony included Dominique Wilkins, Ralph Sampson, Clyde Drexler, George Gervin, Artis Gilmore, Alex English and Tracy McGrady. They came out of love and admiration for one [of] their own who was still even in their company special. “He did it his own way,” [Julius] Erving said, comparing basketball’s “Chairman of the Boards” to another. “You have to compare him to Frank Sinatra, a guy who did it his own way and in the process, changed everything. Moses wasn’t the smoothest. He wasn’t the most articulate. There’s a short list of things he wasn’t and a long list of things that he was. “I feel like he completed his mission. He always had a mission, the message that he carried around in his bible. He did what it said. He was a man who loved his family, loved life to the fullest and got the most out of his time here.” [...] “My father was a great man,” Moses Malone Jr. said. “He taught me and my brother so much about life, how to love your family, how to react to anybody that came toward you. He never thought he was any better than anybody. He was friends with the trash man, the janitor, all the way to the star. He taught me and my brother how to be men, how to respect The Lord, how to respect life.” That legacy — of taking people as they are, trying to lend a helping hand and making sure those who come after you are just a bit better off — resonated with Barkley, who closed what he called a "bittersweet" eulogy by relating a conversation he'd had with another all-time great and mentor figure, Bill Russell, about the measure of one's accomplishments. "I always ask him, 'What is your greatest accomplishment? Was it winning the back-to-back championships in college , or all those championships in the NBA?'" Barkley recalled. "And he said, 'Oh, dude, that's just basketball.' He said, 'The only thing that mattered to me in my life was pleasing my dad.' He did. He says, 'I don't care about it. Hey, basketball, it's great to do all that stuff. But the No. 1 thing a man should want to do is please his father.' "And the sweet part for me: being up here today, when the family asked me to speak today, it meant, to me, that my dad was proud of me." Hat-tip to Ananth Pandian of Eye on Basketball . - - - - - - - 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.

NBA great Moses Malone's kindness remembered at funeral (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 20 Sep 2015 07:38:15 PDT)
HOUSTON (AP) -- Moses Malone has been remembered not only for his rebounds and three MVP trophies, but for making people smile.

Ball Don't Five: The top 5 NBA coaches who aren't in the Hall of Fame (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 18 Sep 2015 15:39:32 PDT)
As we continue to work our way through the endless summer between the Finals and Opening Night, we'll pause each Friday to briefly consider and count down some NBA-related topic of note. We like starting lineups and round numbers, so we'll run through a handful of items each week. With a nod to our friends at Dr. Saturday , welcome to Ball Don't Five . This week's installment: The top five NBA coaches who aren't in the Hall of Fame. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] NOTE: I'm limiting this to coaches who aren't presently active. George Karl would be here if he hadn't opted to take the reins of the Sacramento Kings. So would Gregg Popovich if he wasn't — still! somehow! — at the helm of a Western Conference title favorite led by Tim Duncan. ***

The New Orleans Pelicans brought back their very festive Mardi Gras uniforms (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 18 Sep 2015 11:50:09 PDT)
Way back in the long, long ago of 2009, the New Orleans Hornets wore green, gold and purple special Mardi Gras uniforms for select midseason matchups to pay tribute their hometown's legendary annual Carnival celebration. The team wore them for three seasons, before the franchise went through the identity overhaul that brought us the New Orleans Pelicans, returned the Hornets to Charlotte, and relegated the Bobcats to that great mountainous forest/swamp/desert in the sky. Now, as part of the Pelicans' ongoing attempt to more fully connect with its local fanbase — an effort that has brought us such wonders as "The Special Man Plan" and such terrors as the return of King Cake Baby , NOLA's brass has brought back the Mardi Gras kits, unveiling them Thursday in an event at Mardi Gras World : [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] The old/new threads — intended to "signify and represent the relationship between a team, a city and a culture of a region," as the Pelicans said at the unveiling — look just about exactly like the designs included in the massive leak of forthcoming NBA uniform designs that made its way across the Internet back in July. The design brings back the purple fronts, NOLA wordmark and wrought-iron-style letters and numerals of the '09-era version, but thankfully eschew the green back of that edition in favor of a uniform purple look with green and gold accents. Those accents, however, appear around the shoulders of the short-sleeved jersey, marking yet another new alternate uniform — along with those recently introduced by the Houston Rockets and Charlotte Hornets — using Adidas' much-maligned sleeved silhouette. Whether the oft-derided move toward short sleeves will persist when Nike takes over the NBA's apparel contract in two years remains to be seen, but for now, eliminating bare arms is part of the league's standard operating procedure for rebranding efforts, according to the Pelicans' press release announcing the new unis : The unveiling of the uniforms follows the NBA’s progression for teams that introduce a new identity. The first season, home and road uniforms are released, followed by an alternate uniform. The third year, teams can add a “Pride” uniform with required sleeves. The “Pride” uniforms utilize indigenous design elements or phrases or colors that are linked to the team’s local culture in a manner that enhances and extends the team's identity. So that explains it, I guess! [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today! ] We've touched on the cons and cons of sleeved jerseys in the past, so we won't rehash them here, except to say that the addition of the green-and-gold stripes on the shoulder continues to look sort of odd and uncomfortable, like the Pelicans are wearing super-tight and restrictive schoolbags. The other touches, though, are pretty rad — I'm a sucker for cool secondary logos, and the Pelicans' "Crescent City Basketball" circular patch and the NO/basketball/compass combination certainly qualify: A closer look at the new threads! pic.twitter.com/hITctKdAYS — New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) September 17, 2015 As is the case with the league's other "Pride" uniforms, the Pelicans will be allowed to wear their Mardi Gras kits as many as six times this season. New Orleans plans to take full advantage of the full half-dozen surrounding Mardis Gras season, rocking them during home games on Jan. 30 vs. the Brooklyn Nets, Feb. 1 vs. the Memphis Grizzlies and Feb. 4 vs. the Los Angeles Lakers, which will be nationally televised on TNT. The Pelicans will wear the new alternates on the road, as well, getting colorful on Feb. 3 against the San Antonio Spurs, Feb. 6 against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Feb. 8 against the Minnesota Timberwolves. - - - - - - - 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.

Witches Shane Battier and Daryl Morey belt out 'Wicked' duet at karaoke for charity (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 18 Sep 2015 10:02:55 PDT)

Rockets' McHale says Lawson and Beverley will battle for PG spot (Ball Don't Lie)
(Thu, 17 Sep 2015 20:11:46 PDT)

BDL 25: The rise of Rudy Gobert and the Utah Jazz (Ball Don't Lie)
(Thu, 17 Sep 2015 14:02:06 PDT)

Malone's funeral on Saturday in Houston (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 16 Sep 2015 17:21:57 PDT)
HOUSTON (AP) -- Basketball Hall of Famer Moses Malone will be remembered at a funeral service on Saturday in Houston.

The 10-man rotation, starring Moses Malone, underappreciated legend (Ball Don't Lie)
(Wed, 16 Sep 2015 13:34:54 PDT)
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : ESPN.com . J.A. Adande: "The more you read about Moses Malone, the more impossible it is to avoid the conclusion that Malone is most underappreciated great player of the modern NBA." PF : The Nation . Dave Zirin on the shared legacy of Malone and Darryl Dawkins, another former 76ers center gone too soon : "These were men who changed the people around them. They took teammates, family members, and especially kids aside when the cameras weren’t on, and imparted indelible memories as casually as some of us send tweets. They took to mentoring not as a burden but as a blessing, feeling the need to be kind for the sake of being kind." SF : GQ . Bethlehem Shoals: "Malone was as hungry as a journeyman bench player; he just also happened to have been born a superstar. He played like he had to prove himself on every possession, as if reputation were nothing and you were only as good as your last play." SG : NBA.com . Fran Blinebury recalls Malone, fresh off his second Most Valuable Player award with the Rockets, working out with a 19-year-old University of Houston phenom named Akeem (no H yet) Olajuwon in "perhaps the greatest teacher-student class project in basketball history." PG : SB Nation and The Sporting News . A pair of interviews with Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans, who see big things ahead for the New Orleans Pelicans thanks to a combination of renewed health, the addition of well-regarded offensive coach Alvin Gentry and the continued growth of All-NBA power forward Anthony Davis. 6th : Hardwood Paroxysm . I knew it's taken Daryl Morey an awful lot of moves and machinations to get the build this Houston Rockets roster, but when you go step-by-step over how he's built it over the past few years, the sheer number of transactions and amount of roster churn necessary to build the team feels staggering. 7th : Eye on Basketball . Most of us expected that Tristan Thompson would have signed a long-term extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers by now, but the restricted free agent's situation remains unresolved. Zach Harper wonders if maybe that's because the Cavs aren't so sure that Thompson's a necessity rather than a luxury. 8th : Sports on Earth . Inspired by the late "Chocolate Thunder," Shawn Fury comes in praise of backboard shatterers. 9th : Blog a Bull . Lake to this, but a good look from Tyler Pleiss at how Nikola Mirotic might fit into Fred Hoiberg's offense. 10th : Interbasket . You know how you wanted to learn all about the official team nicknames of every country's national basketball team? Well, now you can do that just by clicking on one link and scrolling for, like, quite a while! - - - - - - - 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 BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

Here are the Rockets' 3 new alternate uniforms, featuring sleeves and surprise (Ball Don't Lie)
(Wed, 16 Sep 2015 12:04:59 PDT)
We knew the Houston Rockets had a pair of new uniforms coming — they were part of the massive leak of new NBA uniform designs that made their way around the Internet back in July — but the Rox still found a way to surprise us when they made the official unveiling of the new threads on Tuesday night: [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] Here is the first glimpse at the Rockets new alternate jerseys. #Pursuit pic.twitter.com/skzOmg2kaJ — Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) September 16, 2015 In addition to the gray kits with black accents and red lettering and the "Clutch City" wordmark on the familiar McDonald's-color-schemed duds — both of which feature short-sleeved jerseys, which continue to look, well, unfortunate — the Rockets busted out a brand new black uniform, modeled here by rookie Sam Dekker, marking the first time the club's sported an all-black look. There's just one catch, though: the Rockets won't actually wear the black "Space City" uniform until the 2016-17 season . That's kind of a shame, since that one (to these eyes, at least) seems by far the best-looking option of the bunch — clean, simple, and not quite as muted as the Phoenix Suns' new all-black-everything strip . I can understand the argument that the pendulum might be swinging too far back toward black uniforms, and that can wind up giving us more drab on-court palettes; on the other hand, y'know, black looks pretty cool, and a well-executed black jersey makes a nice counterpoint to the white, red, yellow and silver that dominate the Rockets' look. [ Yahoo Sports Store: Buy the new Rockets jerseys ] The new gray/"silver" sleeved uniform sported by Dwight Howard and Dekker's black "Space City" jersey continue the "Pride" collection move toward using city nicknames for franchises, like the "Rip City" and Motor City alternates sported by the Portland Trail Blazers and Detroit Pistons, respectively. They also feature a checkerboard pattern on the side-paneling from the players' underarms down their legs — better visible here on Howard and here on Dekker — that evidently doffs its cap to Houston's NASA roots: As @QuakesFan84 pointed out, the Rockets grey alt nods to the aesthetic of the Gemini Titan rockets from the '60s: pic.twitter.com/09q1mg6F2f — Conrad Burry (@conradburry) September 15, 2015 It's a neat nod to the hometown faithful; we'll have to see how it looks on the court. We'll get our first chances come November, with the red Clutch City alternates making their maiden voyage on Nov. 14 against the Dallas Mavericks and the "silver" alternate premiering on Nov. 25 during an NBA TV contest with the Memphis Grizzlies . As for when we'll first see the Space City black threads ... well, I guess we'll have to wait for the 2016-17 schedule to drop next summer. - - - - - - - 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.

New Adidas pitchman James Harden can't wear Air Jordans anymore, which makes sense (Ball Don't Lie)
(Wed, 16 Sep 2015 07:33:07 PDT)

Three-Man Weave: Which 2015 All-Star will miss out on selection this season? (Ball Don't Lie)
(Tue, 15 Sep 2015 09:02:24 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. This week, we discuss: Which 2015 All-Star will miss out on selection this season? *** Eric Freeman : Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers. Every January, NBA writers proffer their ideal rosters for the All-Star Game. With very rare exceptions, it is always most difficult to choose the West guards. The conference has been so good for so long that even a drop in form from an established candidate such as Tony Parker does not always open up a spot for a young star. The likes of Chris Paul and Stephen Curry make it pretty tough to get a long look. What Lillard has accomplished the last two seasons is therefore pretty remarkable. The now 25-year-old followed up his 2013 Rookie of the Year award with All-Star berths in each of the next two seasons (albeit as an injury replacement in 2015) as the Blazers established themselves as no-doubt playoff participants. Along with LaMarcus Aldridge, Lillard gave the Blazers two nationally relevant stars capable of lifting the team to contention ... provided that the 13 other guys didn't get hurt and leave them seriously shorthanded for a first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies. Aldridge figures to join at least one of his new San Antonio Spurs teammates in Toronto for 2016's All-Star Weekend, but Lillard can probably start planning a vacation now. With the Blazers set to rebuild, Lillard should lose whatever advantage he had in a crowded field. That does not mean his production will dip. In fact, Lillard would seem likely to improve upon his 21 points-per-game average as he soaks up more possessions in what figures to be an offense centered around his best attributes. Unless the Blazers emerge as a first-half surprise, though, the standings just won't do many favors for their star. Such is life in the West, where a player can improve personally and still see his reputation dip to the lowest levels of his career. Up until now, Lillard has experienced a pretty steady upward trajectory from highly impressive rookie to marketable star on a solid team. Aldridge's departure poses the first serious challenge of his time in Portland, one that should test both his ceiling and that of the team. Whenever Lillard makes his next All-Star team, he'll certainly have earned it. ***

Dunk History: Von Wafer and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad dunk (Ball Don't Lie)
(Mon, 14 Sep 2015 10:05:00 PDT)
As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History . Today, Ben Rohrbach  revisits the greatest missed dunk in basketball history, starring Von Wafer in 2011. Somehow, Von Wafer achieved perfection on a missed dunk. By way of Greece , the Florida State product joined a 2010-11 Boston Celtics squad coming off its second trip to the NBA Finals in three seasons. Before ever wearing green in earnest, Wafer found himself on the wrong end of a Delonte West sucker punch in the locker room during preseason. Thus began Wafer’s tenure in Boston. Flash forward six months, and the Celtics were 55-25 entering the penultimate game of the season. With little chance of eclipsing the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference standings, Doc Rivers all but conceded the No. 2 seed to Miami by starting West, Wafer, Jeff Green, Glen Davis and Jermaine O’Neal against the lowly Washington Wizards. A so-called scorer averaging all of 2.8 points per game on 42.5 percent shooting, Wafer made the first start of his C’s career opposite the Wizards after 56 previous appearances off the end of the bench. He was given 44 minutes of playing time to prove himself. And 41 minutes into his night, he sure did. Corralling a pass from Carlos Arroyo at the top of the key, Wafer had his moment in the sun with three minutes left in overtime and the Celtics up by two. An open lane to the basket between bystanders Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee offered an opportunity to unleash all the anger Wafer had built up in five years of failed tours with the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks. That’s when Von Wafer peaked. There is nothing that’s not great about this missed dunk, and, yes, it deserves every bit of that double negative. Let’s really break this down for a moment, shall we? Step 1 : Wafer lets out a primal scream as his dunk attempt caroms off both sides of the rim, off the backboard and into the arms of O’Neal. This is only the beginning. Step 2 : Somehow not realizing he missed badly, Wafer takes two full seconds to pose for the cameras and stare down a D.C. crowd that, given the actual result of the play, seems very confused. Step 3 : Still not recognizing he missed a dunk he’s now celebrating, Wafer turns around, rams O’Neal and forces a turnover. He added imbecility to adding insult to injury. Step 4 : The close-up of a confounded Wafer mouthing an obscenity is the bow on this gift.

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