Via Arizona Sports -- Lionel Hollins honored by ASU jersey retirement

Lionel Hollins had his jersey retired at Arizona State University back in 2011, when Hollins was coach of the Memphis Grizzlies. Three years later, now as the coach of the Brooklyn Nets, Hollins got on the radio with Doug & Wolf for the ASU Sun Devil Fork Report to talk about his jersey retirement and his new job in Brooklyn.

When asked... MORE →

 

Larry Drew

Larry Drew (AP)

Larry Drew's moving forward, so he says.
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LeBron James, Deron Williams

Deron Williams (AP)

In a follow-up to a long-form article tracking Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant through six days in China, Sports Illustrated's Chris Ballard released a series of bonus stories that came out of his time with the future Hall of Famer.

In perhaps the most Kobe-intense quotes ever, Bryant told his documentarian Gotham Chopra "I would go 0-30 before I go 0-9." Why did he say that? Because he'd just seen Deron Williams do the same thing, in a game against the Miami Heat.
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Mason Plumlee

Not even Mason Plumlee's Team USA ascension impacts Vegas. (AP)

The Brooklyn Nets aren't the odds-on favorites to win the NBA title, nor are they even close.

After the Cleveland Cavaliers completed a trade to acquire Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves, Vegas oddsmakers Bovada released updated NBA title odds for each team, which are as follows:... MORE →

 

AP.

AP.

 

Joe Johnson, Iman Shumpert (AP)

Joe Johnson, Iman Shumpert (AP)

Get your calendars ready. The NBA will release the full official league schedule to the public at 6 P.M. EDT on NBA TV, the league announced today. That includes all 82 Nets regular season games.

The Nets aren't expected to play on Christmas Day or New Year's Eve, after two straight years of holiday games after the move to Brooklyn.

Is Joe Johnson a Hall of Famer?

Posted on: August 11th, 2014 by Ryan Carbain Comments

 

Dwyane Wade, Chris Andersen, Joe Johnson

Seven-Time All Star and likely Hall of Famer Joe Johnson (AP)

Is Joe Johnson a Hall of Famer?... MORE →

Is Deron Williams slow?

Posted on: August 7th, 2014 by Devin Kharpertian Comments

 

AP

AP

How fast is Deron Williams?

It's a simple question that used to be impossible to answer definitively. But now, thanks to NBA.com's newly public optical tracking data, we can learn not just how fast Deron Williams ran, we can also figure out how his speed evolved over the course of last season.

Let's start with this:
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Becky Hammon

Becky Hammon, attending a San Antonio Spurs playoff game. (AP)

When the rest of the NBA focused their efforts on national players, the Spurs searched overseas to discover new talent. After the success of Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, the league followed suit. Now, while much of the league recycles head coaches and employs assistant retreads, the Spurs found another untapped source to fill out its coaching staff: the WNBA.

In the most Gregg Popovich way possible, the Spurs announced that the team hired Becky Hammon, a soon-to-be-retired WNBA Six-Time All Star, as an assistant coach.  There was no pomp and circumstance, just a brief press release and a scheduled media availability session (which Pop, predictably, will not attend).

In the NBA world, it’s history: Hammons is the first woman to serve as a full-time assistant with a NBA franchise (Lisa Boyer served as a part-time assistant on the 2001-02 Cleveland Cavaliers). In the cantankerous world of Popovich, she’s just another assistant coach, just as Tim Duncan, one of the top ten players to ever play in the NBA, is just another player.

Why was she hired? Her credentials from the Spurs are below, and they should speak for themselves. But there’s another instance of why she’ll fit in just fine in San Antonio’s culture. Last year, while recovering from injury, she joined the Spurs coaching staff as an unofficial intern.

From the San Antonio Express News:

“I’m kind of just there, a fly on the wall soaking up how they run things over there in the film sessions,” Hammon told the Express-News’ Mike Monroe. “I get a lot out of their film sessions, just listening to the coaches go back and forth on what they think is happening on certain plays."

By all accounts, she impressed players and coaches alike. Then the man who might know Pop the best, the individual who served as the building block of a great franchise chimed in: “She’s willing to learn. Pop is willing to have anyone who has that perspective.”

Duncan learned to cede minutes to elongate his career and win another championship. Kawhi Leonard learned a new jump shot to potentially become of the NBA’s next stars. Bold prediction: Becky Hammon is willing to learn, and I think she’ll wind up alright on the bench.

The Spurs found another source of talent today, it’s going to be fun watch the league follow suit again.

From the Spurs’ official release:

A six-time WNBA All-Star, Hammon has spent the last eight seasons with the San Antonio Stars. She is the Stars all-time leader in assists (1,112) and three-point field goals made (493) while ranking second in franchise history in points (3,442) and games (218). In 2012 Hammon was the top vote getter for the Stars All-Decade Team.

In her WNBA career Hammon has appeared in 445 regular season games, averaging 13.1 points, 3.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 28.0 minutes. She has earned All-WNBA First Team honors twice (in 2007 and 2009) and was named to the All-WNBA Second Team in 2005 and 2008.

A three-time All-American at Colorado State, Hammon went unpicked in the 1999 WNBA Draft. She signed with the New York Liberty in May of 1999 and spent eight seasons with the Liberty before being traded to the Stars in a draft night deal in 2007.

 

Lionel Hollins

How did the Nets do this offseason? (AP)

The Nets lost a couple of big pieces this offseason: Paul Pierce bolted for D.C., Shaun Livingston the Bay Area, and Jason Kidd assistant coach Joe Prunty also moved on. But did they offset those departures enough to stay competitive in the offseason?
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Cognizant of the infusion of young talent brought upon by the NBA draft, The Nets put together a ticket package called the “Rising Stars 6 Pack” that includes an exclusive ticket to the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge.

In a weird setup, the Nets and Knicks will share the 2015 All-Star Weekend. While the Knicks got the winning bid for the actual game, the Nets picked up the pre-game competitions: the Slam Dunk contest (with a possible hometown entrant), the three-point contest and the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. Leave it to The Nets to capitalize on the opportunity.

Per ESPN’s Darren Rovell, in addition to the Feb. 13 ticket for the skills competition, the package includes five games with likely “Rookie of the Year” candidates. Games include:

[The] Cleveland Cavaliers (Andrew Wiggins), Milwaukee Bucks (Jabari Parker), Orlando Magic(Aaron Gordon), Boston Celtics (Marcus Smart) and Philadelphia 76ers (Nerlens Noel).

One footnote, the team is mum on what happens in the (likely) event Andrew Wiggins is traded, but Rovell contends that Cavaliers game should remain a part of the package. A game featuring LeBron and (maybe) Kevin Love seems like a decent ticket to me.

The six-game package starts at $325, and according to Nets CEO Brett Yormark marks the first time that an All-Star Friday ticket has been sold in this fashion.

ESPN -- Nets include All-Star Friday in ticket plan

 

There's no denying the global reach of the NBA & the Brooklyn Nets. After Nets CEO Brett Yormark returned from a business trip to China last week, the team announced a preseason schedule including two games in Shanghai. Forward Andrei Kirilenko and coach Lionel Hollins are spreading health & wellness with Basketball Without Borders in Africa, and Kirilenko fell in love with a cheetah.

Now, it looks like the man in the middle has made his way to Russia, the home country of Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, and met his twin in Moscow. Via Oregon Live:

The twins attended a streetball tournament in Moscow on Thursday, and will head to Perm, located on the European side of Russia on the Kama River, where they will hold a clinic Saturday.

The clinic will be held at the Olympiets club court, which was refurbished as part of a partnership with the NBA and Sibur, a Russian gas processing and petrochemical company. They are refurbishing 10 courts around the country "to grow the game of basketball in Russia by providing safe and accessible basketball facilities."

Lopez has not played in an NBA game since December 20th, when he broke a bone in his right foot in the fourth quarter of an overtime loss. He has since had two surgeries, one to repair & realign his right foot, and another to clean out his left ankle.

Lopez's twin brother Robin, who plays for the Portland Trail Blazers, blogged about the experience:

We went straight from the airport to the hotel, which is right across from the Kremlin and Red Square. You can almost see St. Basil’s Cathedral, one of the most iconic European landmarks, from my hotel room. It’s just out of view, but it’s there.

We had the rest of the day off, so we took a quick stroll into Red Square, which was everything I was expecting and nothing I was expecting. It was interesting. The architecture is definitely an East meets West feel, a hodgepodge of cultures. There’s Nordic influences, some Italian, some Indian, some Turkish. It’s such a mix of cultures. For the most part, as an American, my view of Russia mostly shaped through spy movies and superhero comic books, along with a few history classes I’ve taken. So it’s nice to see the real Russia, not the vilified version you see in fiction. And despite some frosty relations between the United States and Russia, I haven’t noticed any animosity at all. People have been very friendly and welcoming right from the start. Nothing standoffish or anything of the sort.