Category Archives: NBA

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Jabari Parker Officially Announces He Will Enter 2014 NBA Draft

Jabari Parker is leaving Duke for the NBA, which is no surprise at all. Parker, the most complete freshman in the country – and perhaps the “best” rookie in the sport since Kevin Durant – will be a Top 3 pick, probably after the Kansas tandem of Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid. Depending on who wins the lottery, Parker could certainly go 1st overall.

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Parker revealed his decision in a piece for Sports Illustrated with Jeff Benedict:

Ultimately, I boiled my decision down to two simple questions:

Which environment — college or the NBA — offers me the best opportunity to grow as a basketball player?

Which environment — college or the NBA — offers me the best opportunity to grow and develop off the court?

The answer to both questions is undeniably the NBA.

There is something else. My father, Sonny, played in the NBA. I know firsthand that the career span of a pro basketball player is finite. The lucky ones play until their mid-30s. With that perspective, I shrink my professional career with each year that I remain in college. It’s ironic, but true.

The story here, though, is Duke, which will lose Parker and wing Rodney Hood to the draft – the latter is expected to go in the lottery, possibly in the Top 10 – but the Blue Devils are still expected to open next season as the No. 1 team in the country. It’ll be fashionable to bash Duke following another NCAA Tournament letdown, and the fact that they love the 3-pointer in the postseason, but we’re talking about a team that returns three rotation players (Quinn Cook, Rasheed Sulaimon and Amile Jefferson) to go along with the best recruiting class in the country. Toss in Marshall Plumlee, who improved a bit as a sophomore and should be better by December, considering he’ll be going against Jahlil Okafor in practice, and you’re going to have a well-rounded team that should win the ACC and get back to the Final 4.

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Klay Thompson Calls Out Blake Griffin for Flopping, Says He’s Like a Bull in a China Shop

The Clippers and Warriors will meet in the first round of the NBA playoffs this Saturday, and we already have our first headline. Golden State’s smooth shooting guard Klay Thompson, just tossed some timely cat nip into the mix of what was already a heated rivalry made wonderful through open disdain.

“He is a good guy off the court but he probably just … I mean … plays pretty physical and flops a little bit,” Thompson said. “He flairs his arm around so you know you might catch a random elbow or something that doesn’t you know rub off too well on guys. He’s kind of like a bull in a china shop, kind of out of control sometimes. And then you do just see him flop sometimes like how can a guy that big and strong flop that much. I can see how that gets under people’s skin and be frustrating to play against.”

So basically, Blake Griffin is an out of control, flopping bull in a china shop who annoys the crap out of opposing players. Gotta love it.

More than a little criticism has come his way over the last two seasons in regards to flopping. In November 2012, Thompson’s teammate, David Lee, could be seen telling Griffin to “stop flopping,” according to CBS Sports’ Royce Young.

Can’t wait for game 1.

[ESPN]

 

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Milwaukee Bucks to Be Sold to Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry for $550 Million

Longtime Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl announced Wednesday that he has reached an agreement to sell the team to hedge-fund billionaires Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry for about $550 million. The deal is subject to approval by the NBA and its board of governors.

Kohl later confirmed the deal in a statement on the team website:

“My priority has always been and will continue to be keeping the Bucks in Milwaukee,” said Kohl. “This announcement reinforces that Milwaukee is and will continue to be the home of the Bucks. Wes and Marc agree, and they share my commitment to the long-term success of this franchise in Milwaukee.”

Kohl, a longtime senator in the state of Wisconsin, has owned the small-market Bucks since 1985 when he purchased the team in an effort to keep it in Milwaukee. A beloved figure in his home state, the 79-year-old has been staunchly committed to keeping the Bucks in Wisconsin—even as legislature has continually balked on giving the team a new and lucrative stadium deal.

“This has been one of my life-long interests, the NBA and Milwaukee,” Kohl told Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in December. “And there is no way I would allow people under the Milwaukee Bucks tent unless they have full level of commitment to keeping the team here.”

Among the challenges for Edens and Lasry, assuming their purchase is ratified by the league, will be erecting a new building to replace the outdated Bradley Center.

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Memphis Grizzlies Clinch Final Playoff Berth in West with Win over Suns

Ladies and gentlemen, the field for the 2014 NBA Playoffs has been determined.

While some of the seeding still has to be worked out in the final days of the regular season, the Memphis Grizzlies became the 16th and final team to clinch a postseason berth with an impressive 97-91 road victory over the Phoenix Suns. The loss officially eliminated the Suns from the playoffs.

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The Grizzlies can move ahead of Dallas for the No. 7 spot with a victory at home over the Mavericks in their regular-season finale Wednesday night.

The Suns lost their third straight to come up just short of the playoffs in a remarkable turnaround season under first-year coach Jeff Hornacek, winning 22 more games than a year ago, with one to play, after going 25-57 in 2013.

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